- Flight time from London: 2 hours 10 min
- Leoš Janáček Airport Ostrava: 22km from the city centre; transfer time about 23 min
- Nearest railway station: Ostrava-Svinov
- Currency: Euro
With 320,000 inhabitants, Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and is a unique destination. Ostrava city breaks suit the explorers among us, with many traditional cafes and restaurants that seem untouched by foreign influence.
With more than 70 pubs and clubs, Stodolní Street is buzzing with tourists and locals alike. A wide variety of different atmospheres, styles of music and colourful personalities are on show, making the area a popular night spot. Ostrava's quaint streets and shops are very different from the bustling squares and monuments that can be found on Prague City Breaks, making it easy to walk around the city and travel by tram.
The transformation from an industrial machine to a historical green haven has given the city a new lease of life and provided the area with many activities as well as a host of theatres and stadiums that bring the latest in entertainment and concerts. Located next to the Beskydy and Jeseniky mountain ranges, an Ostrava city break provides the visitor with plenty of opportunities for hiking and skiing in the winter. Visitors should not miss the historical city centre, which was recently renovated and is full of interesting buildings, churches and shops.
The city of Ostrava provides its citizens with a vibrant cultural scene. It has five permanent theatres presenting opera, drama, ballet and operetta, whilst visitors can also enjoy the Puppet Theatre. Every two years, Ostrava is enlivened by the Spectaculo Interesse international puppet festival, which gives great pleasure to viewers both big and small. In addition, there is a range of cultural centres for lovers of the performing arts which offer stage dramas and musical events featuring artists from the Czech Republic and abroad. Classical music enthusiasts can visit the annual Leoš Janáček festivals that take place in the city and at the nearby Hukvaldy Castle, featuring a range of chamber and symphonic music.
One of the summer highlights, and an absolute must for friends of world music, is the international Colours of Ostrava Open-Air Festival. It hosts some of the world's best-known music performers, including Asian Dub Foundation or Fun-Da-Mental and offers a unique multicultural atmosphere. Ostrava is home to a nationally acclaimed summer Folklore Without Borders Festival which is a popular celebration of many different ethnic cultures featuring national dance performances in multicoloured folk costumes.
The most famous attraction is probably Stodolni Street with more than 70 clubs and pubs to suit all tastes. People can choose music from the early 60s up to the present day, so everybody can find their "cup of tea." Stodolní Street is visited by thousands of people every week.
The 56, or 'padesatsestka' as it is known locally, is sort of a bikers' pub but is really just a fabulous local place to hang out, with a great sense of community, buzzing atmosphere, welcoming locals, top beer(s) and good times. Liberal opening hours (a philosophy of 'whenever we like') help to invigorate weekend evenings.
The range of places to eat in Ostrava is wide, since having a good time with friends and enjoying a good meal is a Czech speciality. A visitor may enjoy the friendly atmosphere of numerous taverns, student pubs, wine bars, romantic cafés and patisseries. You can drop in at both fast-food and specialised bars offering vegetarian meals and you mustn't forget all the restaurants with both traditional Czech and international cuisine - Mexican, Italian or Asian. After checking out all of these options, you will surely find eating out a favourite way to relax and socialise with your new Czech friends.
The shopping scene in Ostrava often surprises visitors as it is so well developed.
This is particularly the case if you choose to head to the Futurum shopping mall, home to a wealth of stores and located at the very centre of Ostrava. The Futurum contains some 80 different shops, along with a Tesco hypermarket and a multiplex entertainment centre, complete with cinema screens.
© Fred. Olsen Travel.
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