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Ostrava

If you want to compare the city to a woman, Ostrava would be Carmen. Complicated and luscious, wearing drifty skirts with black frills and a flaming heart in the corset. Ostrava is a “modern” city whose history is closely linked to hard coal and glowing red steel.

The traditional horizontal view of Ostrava won’t tell you much. You need to approach it vertically: it reaches deep down underground. It branches out in a maze of coal faces and coal beds with never-ending systems of corridors dug out by the insatiable jaws of heavy machinery. This is Ostrava, born from pain and hard work, matured into a young lady full of energy who knows what she’s doing.

The Lost Baron Rothschild’s Talisman

Do you know who Rothschild is? Yes, the famous family of bankers. That name is quite common in Ostrava and its surroundings. Just like anywhere else in the world, they became the synonym of wealth and prosperity here. From 1843 to WWII, the Rothschild family owned local iron works and started the local industrial revolution. But they also had their secrets. Set out on a quest to find Baron Rothschild’s magic talisman with the coded mobile app. And make sure your phone is fully charged because this city game full of interesting facts and logical riddles can take several hours.

Let’s Go Down

Fiery tongues are licking metal with creaking steel. And the steam! It bursts out with a deafening hiss every time the pistons move, driving the infernal machinery and joints of coke-devouring giants. This is what the Lower Area of Vítkovice (Dolní oblast Vítkovice) looked like at the time of its greatest fame. But even though metallurgists left the ironworks a long time ago, this fascinating industrial area is living through its renaissance and it will surely become more famous than ever. The City of Ostrava has approached its deep mines and ugly steelworks as its greatest advantage. The place where iron was rolled for more than a hundred years has turned into a unique heritage site that attracts lovers of industrial tourism, education and culture and collects architectonical awards. An example of this is GONG, a unique multi-purpose hall reconstructed from a former gas holding building, which received the 2013 Building of the Year title. And the atmosphere there is palpable!
When you go to a concert through the centre of the “steel city”, you might feel like you are going to a night shift at the factory rather than a cultural event. There are many things that you can do in the area of Dolní Vítkovice. You can tour a furnace or visit the interactive Small World of Technology (Malý svět techniky) centre in the former sixth energetic switchboard, which seems as though it has been cut out of a Jules Verne’s novel.
Another industrial site that is definitely worth visiting is the NKP Důl Michal mine that looks like the miners have just left. Their clothes, shoes, and lamps still hang there, all in their place, waiting for the next shift that will never come. The Anselm mine is home to a mining exposition, the most interesting part of which is underground and allows you to explore the shaft depths with a headlamp. It is an ambivalent experience providing a bit of adrenalin, a bit of stress. If you are claustrophobic, you should definitely stay aboveground and visit the ZOO.

City of Colours

Unlike most Bohemian and Moravian cities, Ostrava doesn’t boast old monuments, but instead offers historical industrial sites and a multitude of entertainment. If you’re really into festivals, the unique Colours of Ostrava ensures you can both fun and industrial sites. The diverse music event adds some extra volts to the local electrical atmosphere for four days. Whether you prefer easy-listening pop-jazz, hard rock experiment, bittersweet folksingers or temperamental ethno or electronic music, you will love Colours. In addition to alternative performers, the festival hosts jazz, rock and pop stars such as ZAZ, Alanis Morissette, The Cranberries, Sinead O’Connor, Bobby McFerrin, Jamie Cullum, Gipsy Kings, among others. This huge festival is colourful and atmospheric, and continues to grow every year. The programme also includes theatre performances, dance workshops, discussions, movies, etc. Colours of Ostrava is one of the largest events in the region, and the original backdrop in the form of the hip weathered factory premises of Dolní Vítkovice is the main added value. No other festival can teleport you into an 80s sci-fi atmosphere with all the lights, metal and concrete. So, let’s dance, let’s party! Visit Ostrava in July and be there!

The Street that Never Sleeps

If you can’t make it to the festival, don’t worry. Ostrava is fun every day, regardless of the season and weather. So, if you have arrived in Ostrava and don’t feel like sleeping, make a trip to the legendary Stodolní Street (Stodolní ulice). The street never sleeps. Only a few steps from the main avenue, in places where Batman wouldn’t dare to venture after dark just a few years ago, things have changed quite a bit. All of a sudden, this shiny and phenomenal “party land” grew on a few square metres. This street transforms into a pulsating, noisy and multicultural promenade, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, crowded with visitors from all over Central Europe. Dozens of various coffeehouses, pubs, dance houses, karaoke clubs, casinos, bowling alleys and billiard houses, Czech pubs and music bars, discotheques, African clubs and Italian pizza restaurants… There’s no way you could read the names of the places in one breath, just like there’s no way you can get to know Stodolní in one night.

Make some trips from Ostrava to its surroundings. Do something for yourself and hike to the highest peak of the Beskydy Mountains – Lysá hora. A great trip can be had visiting Těšín, a town that is divided by the Olše River between the Czech Republic and Poland. More tips for trips are available at www.msregion.cz.

Transport

If you have arrived at Leoš Janáček Airport (Letiště Leoše Janáčka), you can easily get to the centre by taxi, bus or train. Ostrava is easily accessible by train from Prague. The private railway carrier LeoExpress offers comfortable travel, often with special offers on tickets at very reasonable prices. In Ostrava, you can make use of the public transport; the routes and other information are available on the Ostrava Transport Company.

 

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Arriving in Ostrava

Fly directly to Ostrava. You can get to Leoš Janáček Airport from locations such as Great Britain, France or Germany. Search for your flight on the map of destinations.

Arriving in Brno

The Brno International Airport is a base for trips to Moravian towns. Take a look at all of the regular and charter flights to the Moravian capital.

Arriving in Prague

You will arrive at Václav Havel Airport in Prague, and can set off on a journey throughout the Czech Republic. Click here to find out from where and on which airlines you can get to Prague.

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