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.


Information Centre

Informační centrum

i Horní náměstí (Upper Square)
Town Hall's archway
779 11 Olomouc

Opening hours: daily 9:00am –7:00pm
Tel.: (+420) 585 513 385, 392



Mapa města

Olomouc region Card

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.

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Facts and figures

Pécs, Hungary

Pécs is considered the Hungarian gateway to the Mediterranean Sea. It is situated in the south-western part of the country and serves as the centre of the Baranya region, which has about 400,000 inhabitants. With its 180 thousand inhabitants, it is the fifth largest city of Hungary.

The city is also the gateway to Croatia, the Balkans and Northern Italy. The nearby Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean climate, picturesque streets of the historic centre and a lively rush during summer evenings evoke the Mediterranean atmosphere. In 2000, the local cemetery from the early Christianity became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pécs is a city of vineyards and fine wine. One of the first companies producing sparkling wine was founded here and wine-making has long tradition both in the city and in the region. Collections of works by Vasarely, Csontváry and Zsolnay are known throughout Europe. Many visitors are drawn just by the artistic life of Pécs (exhibitions and festivals), but the reputation of the city rests on its research institutions and international scientific conferences as well. The local university was founded in 1367 - it is therefore the second oldest university in Central Europe after the Charles University. In the present day, about 25,000 students attend nine faculties. The settlement of Germans, Croats, Serbs and other nationalities caused significant mixing of the population over the last two thousand years. The peaceful coexistence of minorities has greatly contributed to the development of the city's rich cultural traditions. This is well illustrated for example by The Croat Theatre of Pécs, the first self-initiative institution of Croats in Hungary, acting together with the National Theatre of Pécs, Third Theatre and puppet theater Bóbita. In 1998, the city received the UNESCO prize Cities for peace in recognition of its minorities policy and activities of civic associations.

Cooperation with Pécs

The cooperation agreement between Pécs and Olomouc was signed in 2002. Since then, several cultural exchanges have taken place - guest appearance of the puppet theatre in Olomouc, mutual exhibitions of visual artists in both cities, days of national cuisine. Archaeological centres share their experience; the cities mutually present each other at fairs and cooperate on EU projects in the social sector. A three-year joint project CASE - "Cities against social exclusion" is culminating currently, aimed at combating social exclusion and poverty and rehabilitation of urban districts, where there is a greater concentration of ethnic minorities. In 2008, Professor František Mezihorák was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Pécs. The Olomouc Museum of Art introduced the work of Victor Vasarely, the famous native of Pécs. In 2009, as part of European Heritage Days, Pécs presented itself at a craft fair, where masters of the Zsolnay porcelain factory showed handmade porcelain painting.