Disclaimer: This will be a feature that will continue throughout the length of my stays in places. Since literally every place as a walking tour/tourist guide, I am morphing that idea into things about the city that you really want to see. I figure that since I’m a pretty good gauge on what people are into and whatnot, this would be a good way to do an unbiased infomercial on a city that perhaps you haven’t seen and would like to know about. I will not pull punches, if I liked a place — I’ll sing its praises. If I hated, I’ll tear it the biggest asshole on the planet. Because I know assholes: I am one.
Take these as you will because I’m speaking only from my perspective. And remember: opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and only mine matters.
Brno, Czech Republic
One-word definition: Quality
Cleanliness of the city: Disney World
Quality of Girls: 8 out of 10 — Well, again, it is the Czech Republic. And Czech girls are just naturally beautiful. Now Brno is a relatively unknown town (despite being the second biggest town in Czech Republic) and, due to that veil of mystery, I don’t think the girls here get their fair shake in the world. Brno can certainly lay claim to supermodel-caliber women, but the college girls that inundate the city are not too shabby either. But it is a cuteness factor here, not so much the stunningly hot.
But there is something that needs to be said. I’m not sure what it is that is the dieting secret to the Czech girl composition, but the breasts here are from an exemplary stock of genetic mutation. This phenomenon was prevalent in Hungary as well, but the bodies are just ridiculous. Even the less attractive girls (e.g. butterfaces) have bodies that make them more attractive — obviously because the guys would be looking at everything that is on point rather than the one thing that isn’t.
Note of concern though: Middle-aged and elderly women do not show very well in the Czech Republic. In fact, leather upholstery cleaner would do a world of good to the older generations that look “weathered”. Rode hard and long and put away wet is accurate. No matter how you slice it, there is a wall that they hit. It could be having kids, it could be something else entirely. However, I think it the result of being oppressed and repressed by the former regime. Remember that the Czech Republic is only like 20 years old. And with the youth and freedom, you can see that they younger generations have really flourished. It is my only explanation… unless there were a ton of adoptions here.
Likeliness of Hooking Up: 10 out of 10 — I think it is a virtual lock to hook up in Brno. The numbers are squarely in your favor and you absolutely aren’t settling because of that. I met a girl here on the first day that I spent nearly all of my time with, but on the few occasions that I was by myself and just enjoying the city, other girls would talk to me. Knowing English is a powerful thing in Czech circles and the girls are always interested in meeting new boys here (because they completely outnumber them on the college scene). Had I pursued, I would have had my hands at any number of females in the town. Staying at the “Comsa” (Comsa Palace Brno) also has clout apparently.
But in truth, if you are engaging, intelligent, funny and even the least bit interesting, then hooking up is all but mathematical. If your sole goal is to flag, go to the Immigrant Pub. You’ll find Americans, Brits, Dutch, Irish, Czechs, Germans, Australians on any given night. It’s like the United Nations. All speaking English. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.
Language Barrier Level: 2 out of 10 — The younger crowd primarily speaks English. And the older shopkeepers are versed enough to complete transactions. But my Czech was much improved also — so I any sticking point was smoothed out with relative ease. No understanding of Czech wouldn’t be an issue, at all. And the Immigrant Pub is all English all the time anyway.
Receptiveness of Foreigners: 9 out of 10 — Brno doesn’t get foreigners unless they are students or working in the Ex-pat factories. So they are kinda amused by foreign presence.
Cost-effectiveness: 10 out of 10 — I’m beginning to feel like a broken record but everything here is cheap. And its even more cost-effective now than it was when I first landed in Prague (with the exchange rates favoring the dollar more). In Prague, I received 1550 Czech Koruna for $100 USD. When I went to exchange in Brno, at my hotel, it was 17.25 CZK for 1 USD (1725 CZK for $100 USD) — but the girl at the desk flat out told me “go exchange in the main street for a better rate.” So I did, and got 18 CZK for 1 USD (1800 for $100). I decided to exchange $60 and that lasted me into the weekend with plenty left over to exchange for Polish Zloty.
As I was leaving Brno, I noticed that the hotel was offering 17.92 CZK for $1 USD — so just for shits and giggles I checked on the street. 19.5 CZK for $1 USD. That is 400 more Czech Koruna for $100 (1950) which is pretty significant considering I haven’t come close to spending $100 anywhere yet. And I have eaten and drank well. Technically, I haven’t even spent a dime of my own money – as my mom gave me $300 for fun money. And I’m still nursing that.
The exchange rate is ridiculous. I can only imagine what it would be if the dollar was actually doing well.
Safety and security: 10 out of 10 — If Langhorne, Pennsylvania is the safest place in the world, Brno is the safest place not named Langhorne, Pennsylvania. I walked the streets at night and never felt anxious. College girls are walking alone, people are in packs. It is safe. And the police have a strong presence. One even stopped and asked if I needed assistance because I was looking at road signs trying to find my way back to the hotel. Really quaint and awesome place. My kind of town.
How the Girls Are: 10 out of 10 — Girls in Brno have a ton going for them. First off, they are very approachable and receptive to meeting men, in general. It also needs to be noted that of the 45,000 students at Masaryk University (the largest in Brno), 63% are female. That is a ratio that you’d like to have if you are looking at a college. Especially when the student bodies are mainly Czech girls. Brno girls smile perpetually and just have a certain glow about them that girls in other towns haven’t shown. There is an excitement factor in Brno — and there is a definite bewilderment that an “outsider” would be visiting Brno. Because, let’s be honest: it’s Brno.
Best Chances of Meeting Girls: It really is impossible not to meet girls here. You really have to try not to. Since the college town is roughly 2/3s female — they are all over (in bars, shops, the main square). You can’t really miss them. But the best place to find girls (for me) was on the public transportation and at the Immigrant Pub. I went there every night and it was just a chill place to go and visit and speak English.
Accommodations: 10 out of 10 — The Comsa Brno Palace is the best hotel I’ve stayed in on this trip. In the grand scheme of hotels that I’ve been in (ever)… it is well within the top-10, and making a push for the top-5. I was super impressed and had a 5-floor room with skylights and loads of space. Best hotel in Brno, by miles.
Beer: 9 out of 10 — I had banana beer. Seriously. That was actually pretty awesome. And the Immigrant Pub has proper Guinness. Patrick (the owner) gets it in fresh and the girls that work there are all versed in the proper way to pour a Guinness pint. None of that spoon bullshit. Fergal Murray would be proud. They refuse to give you it for at least 5 minutes after the beautiful surge has settled and the chocolate malt is a rich color. Then top it off. It is the freshest Guinness I’ve had. I also had some Pilsner Urquell and another Czech brand. Virtual perfection. And Sherlock Holmes’ Pub is also a solid place as well.
Plug for Immigrant Pub’s Best Burger in Brno” too — delicious.
Getting Your ‘Merica, Fuck Yeah! On — The institutions of fast food are here (and not surprising as it is a college town). Ex-pats are also in full voice as IBM and Monster have strong corporate bases in the city. But the best slice of Americana is the Immigrant — which isn’t American at all. It’s an Irish pub. But the patrons speak English and you can chat about anything. And once people catch wind that you are American, the discussions are always about life back home. So in a roundabout way, it is a home away from home.
Pros — Inexpensive, girls in droves, safest place I’ve ever been to, picturesque, a completely walkable city and a wonderful untapped resource.
Cons — The road-naming system leaves a lot to be desired. It is fairly easy to get lost. Main roads also have the same name as side roads as sections of the city are named based on the road. For example, the Immigrant Pub is 57 Veveri. Veveri is a main thoroughfare out of Brno. But it is also the name of that particular section of the city. Think the five boroughs of New York, but on a much smaller scale. And Brooklyn and a number being put on every street in Brooklyn, in addition to the name of the street. So every address has two or three named addresses and the numbers often don’t correspond or go in sequence. Veveri 60 might be 10 blocks away from Veveri 59, even though you just walked down Veveri from 69-60. Every time I tried to go to the bar at night, regardless of if I was alone or with Katarina, I got lost. And only found it in the day because a taxi driver took me. And I’m great with directions, but I was all over the place.
The other con is the annoying beggar kid near the train station that tries to steal your food and have you give him money at the KFC. He learned what “Hey, you, fuck off!” meant really quick though. When I was leaving, he tried coming up again until he realized who I was and then quickly turned around and sped off.
My Brno Experience
Nothing but glowing reports for Brno, Czech Republic. I actually love the entire country. So much so that I am vowing to return, and vowing to learn the language. I believe my Mom would love it and that my sister would too. So if any of you are considering a trip here — I’d be game. Brno was just a chill little relaxing college town and I spent it with a wonderful girl that — despite a slightly checkered past — really was a sweetheart. As was her family.
I have absolutely zero complaints and it was a fantastic gamble/hunch on an out-of-the-way tourist city. The hotel I stayed in was really inexpensive for what it was — which was a 5-star hotel at about a 2 to 3-star price. From the architecture, to the cleanliness of the people, to the safety aspect to the people, it was just a wonderful place to be in.
Brno really is the hidden gem of Europe. It had everything that you could ever want in a small town/cityscape. It has all of the pros and none of the cons of any other city. If you are looking for a place to break up a travel schedule — stay for two or three days — and have a place that you can relax and make it your own — Brno is it. It’s a beautiful little town.