Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic. It is a major industrial centre due to its abundant coal reserves. The city has two mining attractions and the nearby Vitkovice region, which features colliery and metal works in an ensemble unlike anywhere else in Europe.


With over 18 million annual visitors, the Czech Republic is no stranger to tourists from other countries. Although many visitors to this Central European country make an effort to see more than just Prague, many only end up venturing out of the capital for a day trip to Cesky Krumlov or a quick stopover in Brno on their way to or from Vienna or Bratislava. However, Ostrava, the third-largest city in the Czech Republic, is often overlooked.

Ostrava, about halfway between Krakow and Brno, is a great place to break up a trip through Central Europe. However, the city’s image as a place of industry and hard work has kept it from receiving the visitors it deserves. Although it lacks the beauty of some other Czech cities, the city’s rich mining history makes it an interesting destination.

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Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and a major industrial centre due to its abundant coal reserves. Carbon pushes up through the topsoil all the way here in Landek Park, and there’s evidence of human coal use dating back 25,000 years. As a result, the area around the city has recently become an industrial powerhouse, and the citizens take great pride in their mining roots to this day. For those searching for genuine industrial tourism, Ostrava has you covered with its two mining attractions and the nearby Vitkovice region, which features colliery and metal works in an ensemble unlike elsewhere in Europe. Let’s check out our article about best things to do in Ostrava!

12 Best Things To Do In Ostrava

The New City Hall Viewing Tower

You can find any local data you could require at the New City Hall in Ostrava. Climb the Viewing Tower for unparalleled views of Ostrava, and don’t forget to ask the helpful locals for more suggestions of things to do while you’re there. The Czech Republic does not have a city hall with a taller viewing tower than this one. In addition to getting information, you can also buy souvenirs and use the free wifi to check your email. Take the elevator to the top of the observation tower once you’ve finished. It is possible to see blast furnaces and coal mines in Poland and the surrounding area on a clear day.

Explore the Landek Park Subway.

Ostrava is known for its rich industrial and mining history, reflected in many of the city’s attractions. It’s one thing to read about mining, but it’s another to be close to the industry in action. A portion of the historic mine is preserved in Landek Park, with all the original buildings and machinery still in place. Coal has been mined in this area since 1830, and former miners who have become tour guides will show you around the tunnels and tell you all about it.

Arc Building at Ostrava Poruba

Arc Building at Ostrava Poruba

The old miners’ tavern, the workers’ locker room, and the mine tunnels are all open to the public at Landek Park. Getting up close and personal with the tough reality of the miners is an eye-opening experience. However, archaeologists also discovered the Landek Venus, a torso figurine of a woman measuring 46 mm and dating back 25,000 years, was also discovered in the park in 1953. The Landek Venus demonstrates that the earliest Ostravans were mammoth hunters.

The Museum in Ostrava.

If you want to learn more about Ostrava and the people who live there, the best place to go is the Ostrava Museum. The museum, which Karel Jaromir Bukovansky founded in 1872, is home to many exhibitions and collections. Some people consider this museum a national history museum; it features archaeological, geological, and historical displays about the people who lived in Ostrava. The collections cover various topics, from military history to musicology to glass and ceramics. The museum is spread across two floors, with the first floor devoted to the history of Ostrava and its culture and the second floor focusing on Ostrava’s natural history.

Ostrava Festivals

July must be spent in Ostrava by music fans. The two massive music festivals, Colours of Ostrava and Beats for Love, take place in the same month at the Dolni Vitkovice complex and are among the best things to do in Ostrava. Having the stages and dance floors smack dab in the middle of pipes, gasholders, and blast furnaces is an unforgettable sight. We should feel terrible about missing both festivals. With this new information, however, we have yet another excuse to revisit Ostrava, this time in July in time for, if not both, then at least one of the festivals.

The Colors Of Ostrava Festival, The Colours of Ostrava music festival, which lasts for four days, is the city’s most anticipated event. This massive festival, held in the sprawling Dolni Vitkovice industrial site, was recognized by The Guardian as one of the best music festivals in Europe in 2016. Through the years, it has hosted some of the biggest names in the history of the global music industry. The local acts from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland are what set the Colours of Ostrava apart (besides the epic venue).

Waterpark in Sareza

Ostrava boasts a large, state-of-the-art waterpark that is open during the warmer months. Sareza Aquapark has a large 50-meter pool and thrilling slides for those looking to cool off. At its peak, the park sees as many as 20,000 visitors daily. This enormous waterpark features numerous brightly coloured water slides, restaurants, and sunbathing platforms. If you want to go swimming but feel like you need a few lessons first, you can get those, too.

Dolni Vitkovice

Dolni Vitkovice

Dolni Vitkovice; Credit : https://www.flickr.com/photos/krozruch/

From 1828 until 1998, pig iron and coal were mined at the Dolni Vitkovice industrial complex. It’s a massive, aesthetically striking public space that is a prime example of the potential for repurposing former industrial areas. Everyone is welcome to visit the complex; there are no admission fees, and visitors are welcome to stay as long as they like.

You can spend hours there taking pictures of the enormous machinery used to process and ship iron. Book a guided tour to walk inside an old blast furnace and learn how Dolni Vitkovice became one of the most important ironwork facilities in the Czech Republic. It’s one of those things you can only do in Ostrava; you won’t find it anywhere else in the country.

The Dolni Vitkovice is not only an open-air museum of Ostrava’s industrial legacy but also a cultural and science complex. Formerly a gas holder, the building has been converted into an auditorium where international events can occur annually. And the U6 Energy Station in Dolni Vitkovice is now the Science and Technology Center of the city.

Partying on Stodolní Street

Stodolmi

Stodolni Street ; Credit To: https://www.flickr.com/photos/infodad/

The buildings on Stodolní Street had a bad reputation when the communist system still governed the Czech Republic. Since then, it has drawn young people, transforming it into the city’s liveliest area. Currently, around 60 clubs on Stodoln street and in the area nearby attract large groups of hedonistic, beer-hungry locals every night. Along with the usual clubbing and dining, numerous cultural events are held there, such as concerts, lectures, and exhibitions.

Moravska Chalupa

Moravska Chalupa, one of the city’s earliest eateries, continues to uphold the hospitality, culinary excellence, and excellent regional wines for which Moravia is famous. Specialities include fried cheese and hearty meals fit for mine workers, while the decor is a sophisticated blend of modern and classic styles. Moravian and Czech national cuisines serve as inspiration. While the chef employs traditional cooking methods of preparation, the kitchen is not afraid of experiments and modern gastronomic techniques, resulting in a delicious fusion of flavours and styles.

Ema Heap

The Ema Slag Heap, an artificial hill rising to a height of 315 meters above the city of Ostrava, can be found not far from the Ostrava Zoo. A slag heap has formed this hill, and because much of the waste is still burning below ground, the slag heap enjoys a mild subtropical climate all its own. Flowers bloom all year round because there is never any snow accumulation, even in the dead of winter.

The trail to the top of the hill is marked and fairly flat, making it accessible to hikers of varying fitness levels. Though the vistas from the top can’t compare to those from the Vez Tower, they’re still stunning and show you a new side of Ostrava. Hiking up the hill is risk-free; people do it all the time, and the smouldering mining waste is buried deep below the surface.

Michal Mine

Michal Mine, located a short distance east of Halda Ema, is an excellent destination for those interested in learning about the history of coal mining in Ostrava. The well-preserved mine is open for tours, and visitors will follow in the miners’ footsteps as they begin their shifts every day. However, you won’t be able to take a tour deep into the mine itself. Visit the Mining Museum in Landek Park in the northern part of the city if you’re interested.

Admission in English is 110 CZK, and a guided tour in English will cost you an additional 220 CZK. Since English-speaking tours aren’t always available if you show up unexpectedly, it’s best to call at least a day ahead of time to ensure you can get one.

Masaryk Square

 

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This crown jewel of the pedestrian-friendly Moravian Ostrava Urban Heritage Zone was established to protect the city’s historic architecture. Surrounded by colourful turn-of-the-century buildings, Masaryk Square is a great place to meet up with friends when the weather is nice. Within the square are two restored monuments: the historic statue of St. Florian, the patron saint of fire-fighters, and the Marian Plague Column, commemorating the end of an outbreak in 1702. The Ostrava Christmas Market is a must-see if you are in town during the holiday season.

Winter Landscape Ostrava

Winter Landscape Ostrava

Experience the thrill of rafting down the Ostravice River.

Canoeing or rafting down the river is an experience that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat, so why not give it a try? Try your hand at the on-water slalom course after picking up an inflatable raft at the brand-new sporting complex along the water’s edge. It’s not overly taxing, and the water’s only waist-deep, so there’s no reason to be nervous about it.

Tatra Regional Museum In Koprivice

Koprivnice is located fifty kilometres to the south of Ostrava, and it is a small town well-known worldwide for two different reasons. Emil Zatopek and Tatra both contributed. Okay, we completely see the blank expression on your face now, so we’ll give you a little clue.

Tatra is a Czech automobile manufacturer, and Emil Zatopek is considered one of the best long-distance runners. Some of the larger trucks you may be familiar with from the Dakar Rally were manufactured here in Koprivnice.

It is necessary to travel there by car for approximately forty-five minutes from Ostrava, but the trip is well worth it, particularly if you are a petrolhead (well, even if you are not, to be honest). Although Koprivnice is home to four museums (the Tatra Museum, Fojtstvi, the Lasske Museum, and the Exhibition of Emil and Dana Zatopek), the Museum of the Tatras is, without a doubt, the most impressive of the bunch.

Silesian Ostrava Castle

Fortress Maria Theresa is Ostrava’s most famous historical site. Because of its location near the confluence of the Ostravice and Luina rivers and the proximity of the Polish border, this structure, built in 1280, played a crucial role in regional defence for centuries. It was originally built in the gothic style but was transformed into a renaissance chateau. In 1872 it was destroyed. That’s why. Mining!

The 16-meter sinking of the building was a direct result of the underground tunnels that had weakened its foundations. It has been painstakingly restored to its former glory and is now a museum showcasing displays of Ostrava’s past and the torture techniques used in the castle’s dungeon.

History of Ostrava

Let me briefly describe the city of Ostrava before I list the things you can do there! The city of Ostrava was first mentioned in written history in the 13th century, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that it truly began to thrive. People soon discovered that the coal in that area was of exceptionally high quality. Construction began on ironworks, mines, and other facilities.

Over two hundred years, coal mining was the primary source of income for the city of Ostrava. Coal, steel, and iron were all produced on the Ostrava industrial site. The mining operations were shut down in 1994, which resulted in the loss of more than one hundred thousand jobs. Although many city residents moved away in search of employment opportunities elsewhere, others remained. Ostrava exerted a great deal of effort to recover from its setback. They updated the city to entice the greatest number of tourists.

Where to find directions to Ostrava

From Western Europe, only a select few direct flights arrive in Ostrava (apart from London). It is highly recommended that you begin your trip to Prague. Click on this link to get the most up-to-date list of flight prices. After that, you can get to Ostrava by taking a bus, a train, or both. It takes about three hours (bus or train). Check out Flixbus for information on the bus. For information on the train, refer to Regiojet.

Although it’s near the easternmost point of the Czech Republic, Ostrava is easily accessible everywhere. We love taking the train from Prague to Ostrava and back again. By far. At present, three major railway operators offer high-quality service at affordable prices.

Ostrava Czech Republic2

Ostrava Czech Republic2

You can’t go wrong with any of the options available to you, which are all excellent and reliable: Regiojet, Ceske Drahy, and Leo Express. If you want to experience a bullet train on the Czech way, you should take the fastest train on our tracks, the Pendolino by Ceske Drahy, which can reach up to 160 km/h.

Those who value autonomy or dislike the city’s public transportation options can find many affordable car rental agencies in Prague. Leos Janacek Airport Ostrava is an international airport; however, it is primarily used by large tour operators to transport customers to European vacation spots like Greece, Croatia, and Egypt. London is the only place non-European visitors could find useful on their trip to the United Kingdom.

Best Time to Visit Ostrava

Spring and summer in Ostrava offer pleasant temperatures, plentiful daylight, and pleasant daytime humidity. Ostrava is at its most beautiful in May, June, and July. The air quality drops in the fall, and the days are short and cold in the winter.

Ostrava Czech Republic

Ostrava Czech Republic

On average, you can count on summertime highs of 20-30 degrees Celsius and wintertime lows of 0 degrees Celsius. In general, January is the coldest month in the Czech Republic. If you are not interested in attending one of Ostrava’s major cultural events, you should consider waiting to visit the city.

In what time frame would you recommend seeing Ostrava?

While Ostrava is a sizable city, we believe that a day is sufficient to see the highlights; however, in such a short period, you would certainly miss some of the best sights that are not within the city borders, so if you are not in a rush, we recommend that you spend at least two or three days here. A longer stay in Ostrava will allow you to see more museums and attractions and take a day trip out of the city to the surrounding countryside and mountains.

Conclusion:

Ostrava is immediately distinguishable from the region’s other top tourist spots due to its unique character. This is a working-class city with a strong industrial base. Though I can see how this might annoy some vacationers, I find it delightful. There are a lot of similarities to the places I called home as a kid. Coal was the foundation upon which the city was constructed. Ostrava’s coal industry collapsed after the Velvet Revolution and the fall of Communism.

Even though coal veins are visible just beneath the city’s streets, mining operations were shut down in 1994. More than 100,000 jobs were lost with the decline of the coal industry. Many people in Ostrava have left the city in recent years in search of employment opportunities elsewhere. Those who stayed often had to struggle financially for a long time.

Even if Ostrava doesn’t win any beauty contests compared to Prague, it’s still worth visiting. There’s no way to avoid the captivating ambience of this former industrial centre turned artistic and technological mecca. After reading our article about things to do in Ostrava, we hope you will add it to your list of potential future vacation destinations.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Is Ostrava worth visiting?

Such a shame, because there are so many awesome things to do in Ostrava! From exploring underground coal mines to rafting down the Ostravice River, and even partying at one of the best music festivals in Europe, a visit to Ostrava is always going to be pleasantly surprising.

What is the best month to visit Czech Republic?

Located in the heart of Europe, the Czech Republic sees typical continental weather with long hot summers and very cold winters. The best time to visit is any time between June and September, unless you are planning on heading to the ski slopes, in which case December to March is better.

Is Ostrava near Prague?

It takes an average of 3h 43m to travel from Prague to Ostrava-Svinov by train, over a distance of around 168 miles (270 km). There are normally 36 trains per day travelling from Prague to Ostrava-Svinov and tickets for this journey start from €3.70 when you book in advance.

How far is Ostrava from Polish border?

The metropolis of the Moravian-Silesian region is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and has the third largest population. It has got a very advantageous strategic position – it is located about 10 kilometres south of the Polish border and 50 kilometres west of the Slovak border


Resources To Help You Plan Your Next Adventure

What to Pack: To help you get started on packing, here are essential travel gear for your trip.

Travel Insurance: If you are looking for travel insurance to go along with your trip we would recommend worldnomads.com, which fits to all kind of adventure.

Flight Tickets: Skyscanner and Expedia are the best places to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.

Accommodation: Trivago or Booking.com are the ultimate go-to platforms to search for amazing hostels and hotels at an affordable price.

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