The pretty little city ‘better than Prague’ and without the massive crowds

Prague might be the first place that springs to mind when thinking about heading to the Czech Republic, but there’s another city without the crowds that is considered by artists and visitors alike as a stunning alternative.

Olomouc, is the capital of a region in the east of the country of the same name, and can trace its origins back to the sixth century before becoming a city in the 1200s. 

During that tumultuous century the inhabitants managed to fight off a Mongol invasion, but over the next 800 years various foreign powers would lay claim to the area. 

The teeming history of the city means it has been blessed with some stunning architecture, including the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Holy Trinity Column. The huge edifice is a tribute to the people who died from plague that ravaged Olomouc in the 1700s.

The column stands in the Old Town of Olomouc which is filled with beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings. 

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Writing on travel site Tripadvisor one glowing review said: “The Old Town of Olomouc is full of amazing sights such as fountains, picturesque buildings, pillars and columns. Out of the latter, Holy Trinity Column stands out. Being one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, one cannot expect anything less impressive.”

Another added despite having “never heard of the place” they ended up “very impressed”, writing: “I was very impressed with Olomouc. I’d never heard of the place until recently but we decided to stop over for two nights and were glad we did. The old town was lovely, with a couple of squares, including one with this amazing monument, and fountains and churches etc.

“Great to sit out and enjoy the history. There’s also a great zoo and kids’ science museum nearby.”

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As well as a zoo, Olomouc is also packed with fountains, being host to no less than 25 dotted around its squares and streets.

The most striking example of which is Caesar’s Fountain which helpfully has plenty of restuarants and cafes around it so people can enjoy the spectacle. 

Travel writer Kami and the Rest of the World wrote on her blog Olomouc can be “a very good alternative to overcrowded Prague”.

She said: “Since Olomouc is the students city there is this intellectual vibe floating around. As a result you have numerous small bookshops and charming cafes to relax at.”

Prices in Olomouc are also attractive, with a local beer costing less than £1.50 and a meal for two in a restaurant setting you back around £25.

It’s best to fly to Prague for the cheapest flights to the Czech Republic from the UK, and then a train from Prague to Olomouc costs just 13 euros. 

And while Prague is mobbed by 5,976,267 tourists every year, Olomouc receives just 193,434 – so you can wander the city in peace.

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