Olomouc is one of the larger cities in the Czech Republic and is less than 2 and a half hours away from both Vienna and Prague (and about an hour and a half from the small village that my family is from). The best way to get there is by train as it is the quickest but also quite pretty to see the countryside, particularly in summer.
As an old university town the buildings are a combination of beautiful traditional buildings and the more modernised structures from the communist era (i.e. big concrete blocks – not very pretty), which are all best explored by foot or by the local tram! Olomouc is the perfect day trip with lots to see and obviously lots of beer to drink (considering the average price for beer in the Czech Republic is around $1.70 AUD or as low as 50c in my family’s village). Apart from walking through the countless old side streets, the main things I would recommend to see are:
- The Upper Square (sometimes hosting little food stalls with beer, sausages and cheese – classic Czech)
- The Holy Trinity Column – also in the Upper Square: and old monument built as a thanksgiving for the end of the plague
- The Town Hall - with astrological clocks, also in the Upper Square
- The University Faculty of Philosophy Building and its surrounding grounds - (my cousin studies at the University and mentioned that the University library is also interesting to see)
- Tvarůžková Cukrárna – a small Czech bakery based on the famous cheese