15. 10. 2007

Brno - and what then?

A short post in English, so our foreign Brno inhibitants can understand parts of Brnopolis too... About ways to promote our city, few historical tips and also something completly different.

Hello Brnopolis and thanks for the opportunity to take part in a discussion about Brno. I decided to write in English, since when I spoke about Brnopolis to couple of my foreign friends based in Brno, they didn't really seem interested in a site, which is almost completely in Czech. And I'd like them to get them involved as well, as if we ever want to have a cosmopolitan feeling, it's a must.

I got quite used to the fact, that if I say abroad "I'm from Brno," it doesn't sound familiar to most of the people, so I add usually "the 2nd biggest city in Czech republic". We not only lack promotion, but once the tourists arrive, we don't have a decent tour guide in English or German!

As a member of Hospitality Club (a site with almost 350 thousand members who help each other travelling and often offer each other accommodation for free and show around the city) I had over 40 guests from various countries whom I tried to convince that Brno is a nice place they can recommend. Members of HC aren't usually typical tourists and it's an interesting experience. Some of them come prepared, others know nothing.

Well - by 'prepared' I mean that they read Lonely Planet. What does the most important guide says about Brno? Not much, close to nothing actually. Three highlights: Crypt, Castle and Moravian Gallery... Then there's the Unesco highlight: Villa Tugendhat. Plus a lot of people know about Grand Prix. But that's a specific subculture. About the rest: the reconstruction of the castle was never really well accepted among the architects and historians, but people like it. The crypt is nothing that special, just a couple of mummies, that is. And Villa? A disaster worth its own article.

Is it really all? Couple of more highlights would I believe fit in the LP too - e.g. the Old townhall, the Cathedral or St. James' Church. But generally, there's not that many sights and we should I think promote Brno differently. As a good place to live, fun city to visit, in middle of the nature and with lot of attractions around. No wonder the best materials for tourist we have are half Brno, half South Moravia. There is the Moravian Carst, Austerlitz, not far from here Pernštejn, Telč, Třebíč...

For Brno itself we have already discussed the issue, but it would be important to put it all together, along with the clubs, pubs (and we have plenty of them), hotels and hostels - having this in English, in all Czech Centers around the world, that would be a reasonable approach to promotion. Also we can speak of Brno as a student city, with so many universities the number of foreign students has risen significantly and they have (as far as I know) a very good opinion of Brno, no matter how stupid the stuff in the dorms is. It's true, that one of the most important reasons is the price of the beer. But nevertheless, these students could be our ambassadors abroad.

So welcome in Brno, enjoy the ride and let us know what is your opinion on the city. We need to know what you like and what you don't in order to improve the situation.

1 komentář:

Anonymní řekl(a)...

The topic in English, link to comment in Czech and the page with comment in German. WOW! I am lucky to know all 3 languages. :)

Brno just like the whole CZ is a quiet place. Most of young people are interested in dance clubs or other noisy places. Visitors from Moscow or Kiev say that even Prague is deadly quiet compared to some towns in Russia or Ukraine.
I and my family love quiet towns. And what is much better is that there are many historical places within a short distance. The only problem for now is visa requirement and money for travel.

The fact that I could barely find the hotel to stay in Brno for the few first days tells us that the information about hotels/hostels is not well presented in the Internet. I usually go to www.hostelworld.com and look there. I bet you know more places to stay, but they are not found in first lines of google search.

Places to go. There are many places. Hrad Vevery is one of them. And one can get there by car, bus or ship. Ship is fun in its own. But the hrad is not very popular, though the entrance is very cheap, and thus reconstruction is not done well. There is nothing to look at. But if town would invest a bit more in it, it could become much more interesting.
I've heard of 3D dino-world. It should be close to Brno zoo, but it is in another town. And it is pretty small, which makes the trip not worthy. The Zoo itself could be much better, though it is pretty good. Why is the tiger place so stinky?
If there are some shows or other entertainments in the town, there is no way to find out about them. I was visiting brno.cz several times to find any notes about air-show or similar events. And there were only reports about past events, not the coming ones.

My general conclusion is: the businessmen of Brno are just as quiet as the country itself, that's why all the attractions are so modest. Or maybe government doesn't allow businessmen to do something really good. Advertisement fails for sure.