The city of Brno in the Czech Republic lies where the Rivers Svitava and Svratka join. This attractive town with its mix of old and new, is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination and recent years have seen much restoration of old buildings and investment in cultural activities. Most of the sights are in the historic old town where you will find the narrow streets and squares a pleasure to stroll around. Dominating the city and open to the public are two large medieval buildings, the Spilbert Castle and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov Hill. A labyrinthine system of corridors, tunnels and cellars running under the old vegetable market has recently been opened to the public. Much of this dates back to the Middle Ages and makes an intriguing tour. If you wish to discover more about the town and region, visit the Moravian Museum, which is home to a huge collection of artifacts and displays covering the history of both the town, Moravia and the Czech Republic. The countryside surrounding Brno is dominated by vineyards and stunning scenery, such as the Brno Reservoir. This man-made lake, surrounded by dense forest, is a popular destination for hiking, cycling, swimming and a range of water sports. Overlooking the lake is the picturesque Veveri Castle. Other beautiful places worth a visit are The Moravian Karst, a region of gorges and caves, and the Marian Valley which is a series of lakes cascading down a wooded valley.
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Brno has a temperate climate with the months of June, July and August being the warmest and the best period for exploring or enjoying the reservoir and countryside. There is moderate snowfall between November and February. Every year at the end of May, the Ignis Brunensis, is held at the Brno Reservoir; this is a firework competition which attracts many international competitors.
The Cinema Mundi Film Festival takes place in February where 60 or more films, hoping to get Oscar nominations, are shown. If you are a wine lover, visit in September for the Slavnosti vina, when the wine harvest is celebrated with a festival.
Getting around Brno
The city is well served by public transport, which includes an extensive tram and trolleybus system, as well as regular buses. These are economical, with a variety of tickets which are bought from the yellow machines at bus stops.
Pleasure boat trips can be taken on the Brno Reservoir, these run to Veveri Castle and tickets are purchased before boarding at Bystrc Harbor. For the more adventurous, 4x4 safaris make the journey to the Moravian Karst. The tourist office will have information about the guided walking tours available downtown.
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