Life in Brno
10 reasons why Brno is the best city for students
According to the highly regarded Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings, Brno is one of the top ten best student cities in the world.
1. Students as far as the eye can see
With around 380,000 inhabitants, the city is also home to up to 80,000 university students during the academic year. Masaryk University (MUNI) is the largest local university with over 30,000 students, which includes about 2,000 international students (plus several thousand students from neighbouring Slovakia who are not included in the international student count).
2. Everything within easy distance
While Brno might not be the easiest place to get to as the local airport is quite small, its location makes it perfect for those who would like to see more of Europe than just one city. Two hours on the bus or one and a half on the train will get you to Vienna in Austria, and still leave you with enough money for a cup of the famous Viennese coffee. Visiting the Slovak capital of Bratislava will also take two hours, while the journey to Budapest in Hungary or Katowice in Poland will take about four. Just a few hours are all you need to get to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and it takes the same amount of time to reach almost anywhere else in the country including the twelve Czech UNESCO sights, which are certainly worth a visit.
3. Abundance of sports activities
If sport is your thing, there is no need to drop the ball while you are in Brno. The local facilities cater to a wide range of sports including aerobics, floorball, swimming and volleyball. In addition to the private and city-run sports halls and grounds, you can choose from among the hundreds of sports classes on offer at Masaryk University.
If you prefer spectator sports, Brno still has much to offer. You should definitely go and see at least one match of Kometa, the Brno ice hockey club that holds the most titles in the history of the top Czech ice hockey league. Brno also boasts excellent basketball and baseball teams while August sees the popular annual Moto GP races in Brno.
4. From the stands to the auditorium
For those who prefer cultural events, there are ballet and opera performances and concerts by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra on one end of the spectrum and a number of music clubs with a wide selection of concerts and events on the other. Film lovers can see all the new releases from the major film studios and you should not forget to check the programme of the University Cinema Scala in the city centre.
5. Foodies are welcome
Only a few years ago, finding a delicious meal or a good cup of coffee in Brno would take some time. These days it is overflowing with gastronomic delights and offers something for everyone, from the tempting seafood options in top-notch restaurants to Vietnamese cuisine in GÔ, vegetarian and vegan specialities in Forky’s, bite-sized delicacies in 4pokoje and lots of sweet treats in the ever-popular patisseries.
Going out for a beer is something that will be hard to avoid in Czechia. The selection is wide and includes traditional Czech beers, local craft beers and international brands. One thing you should not miss out on is getting a beer at one of the squares in the city centre, Jakubské or Moravské náměstí, and drinking it outside on the pavement along with the hundreds of other people who sit around with their beer. From spring to autumn, these places have a unique vibe about them.
6. A little big city
There is no need to worry that exploring Brno and all its attractions will cost you a fortune in bus tickets or new shoes. Even though it is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, it is actually quite compact and pleasant.
Most of the attractions, from sights to cafes, are within a 15-minute walk from the city centre. Most importantly, Brno has an excellent public transport system, so an inexpensive city transport pass will get you anywhere you need by bus, tram or trolleybus. This will particularly come in handy when travelling to the MUNI university campus or perhaps going on a day trip to Brno dam or to the countryside and forests on the city outskirts.
Public transport will also come to the rescue when a party goes on into the small hours. There is always a bus to take you home: the city transport buses leave the main train station every hour on special night routes that cover the whole city.
7. Life in Brno will not break the bank
Costs are undoubtedly one of the factors that you look at when deciding between universities. In this respect, Brno and Masaryk University are certainly one of the more cost-effective options. With respect to other living costs, the Czech Republic and Brno are an affordable option for students. According to Eurostat, prices in the Czech Republic are lower than the European Union average.
8. Innovation rules
Brno thrives and prospers not only because of the local students but also because of the local companies. The good location, city support and the presence of universities attracted top IT companies such as Red Hat and IBM to Brno, which is also the birthplace of the global online air ticket search and booking service Kiwi.com. The city is also home to technology companies such as Honeywell and electron microscope manufacturers – the Czech Republic is actually the leading country in the world in electron microscope production.
9. The city and the university in good shape
Most of the faculties at Masaryk University have been refurbished and brought up to date in recent years. Regardless of whether you would like to study IT, economics or languages, you can look forward to new buildings and facilities. Medical and dental students can look forward to something brand new in the new academic year, as their campus is now being extended with a new building that will include a cutting-edge teaching simulation centre.
10. Brno is safe
The Czech Republic is one of the safest countries in the world and currently ranks tenth in the Global Peace Index. The number of traffic accidents and the crime rate in Brno have both dropped significantly in recent years.
photo source: Statutory City of Brno, photo: Pavel Gabzdyl
Centre for international Cooperation organizes orientation week for students new to Brno and Masaryk university every September
More info about living and studying in Brno: http://www.brnoregion.com/
For expat support, visit https://www.brnoexpatcentre.eu/
Explore Brno, major events and cafés: https://www.gotobrno.cz/en/
Current events in Brno and tickets: https://goout.net/en/brno/events/
Tourism and trips: https://www.czechtourism.com/home/
City Guide - Centre for International Cooperation - MUNI Brno Guide 2023
Information and assistance to researchers who are coming to work in the Czech Republic: https://www.euraxess.cz/
The city of Brno operates a cultural and information centre at Radnická 8, in the building of the Old Town Hall. It has a wide selection of maps, brochures and other information on Brno and the surrounding region, and also acts as a ticket agency, selling tickets for a number of cultural events.