I’ll let you know immediately that I HATED Brno, so this is going to be a pretty grumpy post. I think if you’re already going you should read on, because when you don’t encounter these same issues, you’ll probably love Brno – everyone else I know did.
- Gypsies are everywhere. I don’t mean hippies in caravans but more like the families of 12 crammed into a tiny house, spending their days sat on the doorstep shouting at the family opposite whilst their many kids run around pickpocketing tourists type. However if you just stay alert this isn’t a problem, but it set the tone for the rest of my stay.
- Drug dealers. Guys with gang tattoos crawling up their necks and onto their faces would offer drugs at every corner, then follow me for a great distance in an “I’m not following you but if you’ve got cash and technology, it’s mine” kinda way. There would also be a lot of cars with fully tinted windows crawling beside me for long distances. It was an uneasy walk.
- Don’t stay downtown. My hostel was a 45 minute walk down a long road full of dodgy streets and the uneasy walk left me feeling trapped at night. Even if not for the people, just the effort of getting anywhere made the location a terrible idea.
- It’s expensive. I don’t mean expensive like back home, but for a relatively poor-feeling city everything cost a lot more than anticipated. I stayed in the cheapest hostel I could find and it was €15/night with no bed sheets included down the scabby end of town.
- The people are probably wonderful. Of course I didn’t mingle with the scarier sorts, but the young man running my hostel and all the people staying there were incredibly friendly. They were helpful and it felt like they knew the area wasn’t great and everybody wanted to make each other feel more comfortable. Even up in the main part of the city people seemed very welcoming without even trying to sell me anything which is unusual.
- There’s fuckall to do. Brno is one of those cities centred around a shopping centre with a few outlying bars. It might just be a city for career-minded individuals, but when visiting and searching for activities there’s nothing on offer apart from playing hostel games and going on a food hunt.
I guess I haven’t done much but act like a pussy about Brno in this post. A lot of other travellers reccomend it and I know a few guys that live here and love it so maybe I just let a few early impressions sit a bit too strongly. If you enjoy Brno I’d love to hear why, maybe I can be convinced to give it a second chance… But right now it’s not on my wish list for a return visit.