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.

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Olomouc, the Only Czech City, Which Made Lonely Planet’s List of Europe’s Hidden Gems

28. března 2012 (st)

Olomouc, the Only Czech City, Which Made Lonely Planet’s List of Europe’s Hidden Gems

The fact that Olomouc is one of the most beautiful cities in the Czech Republic is a known fact by every Czech citizen. The “Hanacka” metropolis, however, is less known to international tourism. This is now all changing and thanks to the opinions of renowned travelers, Olomouc can proudly be compared with other revealed treasures of Europe.

The prestigious tour guide, Lonely Planet, has published a list of Europe’s hidden gems. It is a list of the 10 most beautiful places in Europe, which haven’t yet been too well-known. Olomouc ranked 7th on the list is the only city in the Czech Republic, which made the list.

“In the past years, we are systematically trying to take advantage of the potential of our city, which it has in the tourism industry, offer its beautiful sites and make it visible on the map for tourists. Therefore, we are absolutely pleased to be mentioned in Lonely Planet’s list. Only positive things are written about Olomouc, as for example, it probably being the most beautiful city in the Czech Republic and definitely a place worth visiting. It is a step, which will hopefully help Olomouc”, says Jan Holpuch, the deputy mayor of the city of Olomouc.

A committee consisting of professional travelers, even considers Olomouc to be the most beautiful Czech city. According to the judges, it has the same architectural charm and magic as Prague, however, without the chaos. Moreover, it has numerous aces up its sleeve. For example, the socialistic-realistic astronomical clock located on the building of the City Hall on the Upper Square, the sacral passage of the Archbishop’s Palace, which is still in existence, from the 12th century (today, it is a part of the Archdiocese Museum), as well as its excellent restaurants.

“Putting Olomouc on the list of the 10 hidden gems of Europe is by far an indisputable success. It would probably be amusing to think, that our city could actually seriously compete with world destinations like Paris or Rome. This however, does not mean that Olomouc has nothing to offer. In comparison with these mass tourist centers, Olomouc will always be a “surprising treasure,” which has spirit and offers the same jewels, but less chaos”, explains Jan Holpuch.

Apart from Olomouc, the German castle Satzvey, the village of Battle in Great Britain, the French Amiens, The Netherland’s Haarlem, Luxemburg, Spain’s La Coruňa and until now, Lonely Planet’s undiscovered gems hidden also in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, have also made the list.

The citizens of Olomouc can now rightfully be proud of their city. The city representatives are not holding back their enthusiasm and simultaneously are admitting great responsibility in an attempt to preserve the city’s wealth and magic, which is interwoven with cobble stone street alleys and a magical and calm atmosphere, and “inherited” historically unique monuments. The revelation done by Lonely Planet could bring Olomouc up from the category of “hidden gems” into the category of well-known tourist destinations. This event marks another significant, extraordinary step in Olomouc’s new age history and makes 2012 unusual.

Tour Guide Characteristic

  1. Satzvey Castle, Germany
  2. Battle, Great Britain
  3. Amiens, France
  4. Haarlem, The Netherlands
  5. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
  6. La Coruña, Spain
  7. Olomouc
  8. Klaipėda, Lithuania
  9. Tartu, Estonia
  10. Łańcut, Poland

Tour Guide Characteristic

Lonely Planet is a world renowned edition tour guide, which for the past 30 years has been among the most favorite on the market. It is written by professional travelers, who specialize in individual areas and is updated on a regular basis.