About the City
The City of Brno
If you're right in your element in the crowd and crush of a major metropolis, if you like losing hours of time to public transport and wads of cash to the exorbitant cost of living, then Brno may not be for you. But if instead you want to live in a different kind of place—one large enough to hold all the amenities of a big city but small enough to retain a human face, with a safe environment and delightful natural surroundings—Brno could be your choice.
Rich in culture and intellectually inspiring, Brno is a young, vibrant city with an exceptional price/quality ratio. With 400 thousand residents, it is the capital of the South Moravia region and the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, and it lies at the geographical heart of Europe. Brno offers true immersion in the traditions and spirit of Central Europe. At least three iconic European capitals lie within 300 km of the city: Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. And that's not to mention other historical and cultural centres in the region, among them Olomouc, Krakow, and Bratislava.
Building on its prosperous past as a leading hub of the textile industry and a major centre of mechanical engineering in the nineteenth century Austro-Hungarian Empire, Brno is today home to five public universities spanning the range of research and study disciplines, and students of some 100 nationalities make up 20% of the city's population. A significant number of companies are here, as well: specialists in sophisticated production and services, often in the IT sector, with a highly skilled group of international employees. They include IBM, AT&T, Avast, Grisoft, Red Hat, Y-Soft, and Kentico Software.
Brno is nicknamed 'Little Vienna', due partly to its coffee culture, but mainly to its architecture. It is, the New York Times says, an 'architectural mecca' and boasts splendid structures both public and private realized by the same renowned architects who created the imperial splendour of the Austrian capital. They include some of the most important architectural monuments of the interwar period, like Mies van der Rohe's Villa Tugendhat, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In addition to renowned architecture, Brno's status as the cultural capital of Moravia means it is packed with concert halls, galleries, theatres large and small, and tiny alternative clubs where students experiment with new forms of art. Life in Brno takes place in large measure on the streets, which buzz day and night with buskers and street performances, concerts and random happenings. And when the weather drives life indoors, there are always new cafés and bars to be discovered. Like the New York Times says: 'Something cool is happening in Brno.'