Olomouc at the top
Three years, three excellent awards by the world’s prestigious guidebook. Lonely Planet made a list of the most beautiful, yet lesser known tourist destinations. It wasn’t the hot springs of Iceland, Gibraltar Rocks, Odysseus' Ithaca or Luxemburg that ranked in first place but the historical center of Olomouc!
The mini guidebook, Secret Europe, presents tourists with fifty cities from different parts of Europe. The largest, world-renowned guidebook publisher attracts tourists to Olomouc by saying that “in terms of tourism Olomouc can be equated to an authentic restaurant which is your own, small, personal secret. The Main Square is amongst the most enchanting in the country. It is surrounded by historical buildings. It is adorned by the Holy Trinity Column listed as the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Magnificent churches, many of which host an exciting history, are scattered in the streets of the historical center. Explore the foundations of the ancient Olomouc castle in the Archdiocese Museum which is a must-see and then set out to one of the many pubs or mini-breweries”. In 2012, the publisher also awarded Olomouc by ranking it in the top ten most beautiful hidden treasures in Europe. One year later it was once again on the list of the recommended destinations in Moravia. “It’s beautiful as well as surprising for us. Lonely Planet is to tourist guidebooks what Michelin is to gastronomy. I perceive it as a win in the tourist Olympics,” responded Olomouc mayor, Martin Major, when he first heard of the award. “I am very pleased that the professional editor-in-chief of this publication truly appreciates the beauty of our city, its picturesque atmosphere and its uniqueness.
Apart from other things, Olomouc captivated them by the fact that it offers the same architectural treasures as Prague but without the crowds of tourists. It is definitely Olomouc’s advantage in comparison with our capital. However, despite repeated acclaim from the renowned guidebook, it may only be temporary”, mentioned the mayor, Major, with a smile. The deputy mayor, Jan Holpuch added, “I believe that this is an opportunity to introduce our beautiful city to many other tourists.” “I think that being awarded as a hidden treasure or undiscovered city will give Olomouc an even stronger stamp of attractiveness and will evoke more interest in potential visitors.”
Olomouc has been trying to advertise its beauty in a high-quality and systematic way. In the past years, this attempt has proved effective. Statistically as well as simply looking into the streets of the city center confirms that the number of tourists to Olomouc has truly increased. Olomouc is on the list of destinations offered by travel agencies as for example, one-day trips from Prague or as a part of the Vienna – Krakow route. “Greater advertising in cooperation with the agency CzechTourism certainly helped.
This agency gives Olomouc more space than before”, says Karin Vykydalová, head of the tourism department. “Acclaim from Lonely Planet obviously helps. Ideally, a visitor comes here based on the recommendation, is satisfied here and then recommends Olomouc to his friends back home”, adds Dušan Gavenda of the same department. Lonely Planet Secret Europe can be downloaded for free at: www.lonelyplanet.com/secret-europe.
Horní náměstí (Upper Square)
Town Hall's archway
779 11 Olomouc
Opening hours: daily 9:00am –7:00pm
Tel.: (+420) 585 513 385, 392
Olomouc region Card
Olomouc Region Card is a tourist discount card that allows you to visit Olomouc significant savings. Its purchase to make sure you completely discounted or free admission.
The Bratislava-Old Town borough (Staré Mesto in Slovak) is the heart of the Slovak capital. It is the social, cultural, political, and tourist centre of Slovakia.
The core of the Old Town constitutes the historic centre of Bratislava situated within the line of the former city walls. Most of Bratislava's sites are located in this borough – the Bratislava Castle overlooking the Danube, the Gothic St. Martin's Cathedral, the Slovak National Theatre (both the old and new sites), the beautiful Medicka garden, and Michael's Tower, beneath which starts the Korzo, sought after by tourists and locals alike. Here is the seat of the Slovak president, the parliament, and the Slovak Executive. The major sights include the the Old Town Hall on Primaciální square dominated by the Primate's Palace, seat of the Mayor. The Palace’s Hall of Mirrors of the Palace hosts concerts, weddings, and is also used for meetings of the city council.
Bratislava is a city of museums such as the Winery Museum, City History Museum, Museum of Jewish Culture, Museum of non-European cultures, and Museum of History.
The Old Town, with 9, 6 km2, is the smallest part of Bratislava; yet with 4280 inhabitants per 1 km2 is the most densely populated part. It has 41,086 inhabitants.
The official signing of the Treaty of friendship between our two cities took place during the visit of the Mayor of Bratislava-Old Town to Olomouc in February 2012. Since that time, several joint events have been organized already. Representatives of the Hálkova primary school received some Slovak language books for their school from the Ambassador of the Czech Republic on the Czech Day in Bratislava. The Department of Tourism has repeatedly presented Olomouc as part of the promotion of UNESCO sites in Bratislava. The Deputy Mayor of Olomouc established contacts with the economic department of the Old Town Hall on that occasion. A visit of a Bratislava seniors club has been made to Olomouc. Two runners from Bratislava attended the third annual Olomouc Half Marathon. In the near future exchange visits are planned between workers of municipalities and municipal libraries. Cultural exchanges between theatres and museums are being considered as well.