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.
At the original manufacturing site, the Museum of the Genuine Olomoucké Tvarůžky A.W. was launched in the summer of 1994. Part of the exhibits come from in-house, part is a long-term loan from the Regional Museum in Olomouc.
THE PICTURSEQUE LANDSCAPE OF HANÁ WITH TRADITIONS, A POWERFUL SMELLING CHEESE AND DISTINCTIVE DIALECT
The Haná plain around Olomouc, interwoven with flowering gardens and golden fields of corn, is amongst the warmest and most fertile regions in the Czech Republic. It is famed not only for its pleasant climate but also due to its regional delicacies, folk traditions, regional costumes and distinctive dialect.
The most celebrated product of local cuisine is Olomouc “tvarůžky” cheese. This delicious, low-fat cheese with its powerful aroma is on offer in various dishes in local restaurants, and in the arcade of the Olomouc town hall is a unique vending machine offering this healthy delicacy. High quality hops is grown in the area around Olomouc, and you can enjoy excellent beer in the local brewery pubs, which have been praised by experts from the British newspaper The Times. Diehard beer enthusiasts can relax in the town’s beer spa.
A concert of aromas, tastes and colours awaits you every week on the outdoor markets, right in the historical centre, where the best produce from local farmers is on offer. Specialities from local chefs are served at the gourmet festival Gastro.ol, held on the main square during the City Festival in June.
You can encounter typical Haná folklore, the local music and dialect above all in the villages surrounding Olomouc. Many of these villages continue to keep to folk customs and hold regular presentations and folk festivals during the course of the year. In the nearby village of Příkazy an original Hanacky skansen is open to the public.
Haná folk songs can be heard at noon each day in the chiming of the Olomouc Astronomical Clock.