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


Tampere, Finland

For long twenty-two years, Olomouc maintains partnership with the Finnish city of Tampere. Around 1770, Finland was part of Kingdom of Sweden and the development of northern Europe started to pick up speed.

Ironworks and other factories were being set up with great enthusiasm through the country. During his visit to the province, the young Swedish monarch Gustav III. was intrigued by a strait between two lakes and rapids which linked them. He quickly understood the opportunities that loomed on the horizon and in 1779 Tampere was granted full city rights.

Four years later, the first paper mill of Finland was established in Tampere and during the Russian dominion in the 19th century several other factories followed. The first cotton spinning mill belonging to the big textile manufacturer Finlayson came into operation in 1820 and determined the character of the city for a long time. In recent decades, the spinning mills quieted and the typical brick factories in the city centre have turned into museums, cinemas, apartments, bars and restaurants. With its 210 000 inhabitants, Tampere is the third largest city in Finland. The oldest building of the city is a church from the 15th century, which had been standing here hundreds of years before the founding of the city. Tampere, which is situated on the banks of the Tammerkoski rapids, is dubbed the "Manchester of Finland" for its industrial past with the prevailing textile industry. The city has two universities that focus on technology and research, also for the nearby Nokia. Tampere is set in a typically Finnish lakeland landscape which contrasts with many modern buildings. There is a Philharmonic Orchestra and number of theatre companies and museums here. Residents can spend their free time also by skating or riding on two lakes whose total length is 210 km.

Cooperation with Tampere

In previous years, there were exchanges of high school students and members of art, theatre and choir ensembles. Representatives of Olomouc attended a conference on the environment in Tampere and also gained experience in construction of multi-purpose ice-hockey arenas. In 2008-9 there were exchange visits of political leaders of the two cities, which included reciprocal photographic exhibitions.