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Travel | Brno, Czech Republic

Hello there!

It's been a long since my last blogpost, but I'm really reaaally trying to get back to it (I guess I say that every time I "come back").
But the truth is, 2017 has been really good and saturated to me so far. And even though there were lots of things to write about, I didn't have enough inspiration when I had some free time, and when I finally had inspiration there was no time and possibility to write at all.
But as I said, 2017 (in cooperation with my former job and my family haha) really pleased me, especially when it comes to traveling. Just now I returned from our trip to Georgia (and I will definitely do a blogpost about it, it's an amazing country to visit), but also in April I got to spend a month in Prague and Brno, Czech Republic.
Since I've been to Prague before and did a blogpost with lots of photos back in 2015 (here), I don't think there's any point of creating another one. But Brno I visited for the first time and I liked it a lot!
So without any more rambling, here it is. Vítejte v Brně :)

The easiest way to get to Brno is to fly straight to its airport Brno Tuřany with Wizzair, Ryanair, Lufthansa or a few other companies. Or, if these flights aren't available from your country, you can fly to Vienna or Bratislava (the closest ones) or Prague and get to Brno by train or bus within a few hours. Great prices and service offers RegioJet (and they have free coffee and hot chocolate on board!)

Brno is known as a city of students. For a city of 370 000 citizens (as for 2017) it has 14 universities. And since you won't find many tourists there, you can meet a lot of students from around the world. 

This is the main square of the city - Freedom square (Náměstí Svobody). Cafes, restaurants, shops like New Yorker or H&M you can find here. In April I was also lucky to visit Easter fair there, and it was so beautiful and so tasty with all the wine, street food and sweets.

Czech people, from my experience, are very friendly and ready to help if you need it. Although in Brno not many of locals (I don't count students) can speak English, so if you're going to visit it - be prepared. But still, I'm pretty sure that even without English they would be glad to help :)

Cathedral of Peter and Pavel is one of the highlights of Brno. Gothic architecture always takes my breath away and this time was not an exception. But to me, nothing beats Saint Vitus cathedral in Prague (and not to mention Barcelona Cathedral). 
Entrance is free, but if you want to see panorama of Brno from up there, you should pay 40 crowns, which is about 1,5-2 euro. (Not sure if it's worth it though.)

Speaking of churches and cathedrals, there is one I would highly suggest visiting. It's Saint James` church and it's located near Freedom square. It's genuinely one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen. It's very bright, and looks even bigger than it actually is because of its huge windows that let lots of light in.
I absolutely love this place and I went there several times just to look at it and enjoy some silence.

Both Cathedral of Peter and Pavel and Saint James' church can be noticed from another must-see place - Špilberk Castle. It's a dominant of Brno and just historical place worth visiting.
From the castle you can see entire Brno and there are also great parks to walk or to read on the grass.

Another important historical and architectural place is Villa Tugendhat. 
It was built in 1929-1930 and basically it's the only example of modern architecture in Czech Republic. But here's also another interesting fact about villa: in 1992 there was signed a document that divided country of Czechoslovakia into Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. 
I went only to the garden, but you also can buy tickets to get inside and explore every room. Tickets you can get here. Villa Tugendhat is located near park Luzanky and it's easy to get from Brno centre even by walking.

The day I got to Brno I bumped into a grumpy man that, for some reason, wasn't happy seeing me standing at the tram station; ten minutes later a few drunk students that spoke Ukrainian helped me with a ticket machine. Adding to that my tiredness after a long road, I was pretty confused about the idea of spending two weeks there. But after all, I can say that I do like this city. It's not on my list of the most favorite cities of all times, but even as a tourist I would definitely go back there. It's calm, pretty quiet, very beautiful and interesting, it has its rich history. Brno has that balance between old and modern, and it's something that I love the most in any city that I visit. 

Have you been in Czech Republic and in Brno in particular? If so, how did you like it? :)
xx, D

Travel | Madrid in two days

Hello there and welcome to Madrid!

If somehow you follow me on social media, you might know that in the beginning of January I happened to travel to Spain and Portugal (and I instagrammed a lot, really). To be honest, I've never dreamed much about visiting any of these countries (and oh, was I wrong!). So Madrid has always been a city somewhere far far away (especially when you live in very east Europe), and all I knew about it from my geography classes was that it was the capital of Spain.
But you know, sometimes things that you don't expect to happen, actually happen. And here I am, for a couple of days in beautiful Madrid, in more than 4000 kilometres from home.

Of course it's impossible to see everything in two days, so here's a small guide on what to see and where to go in a couple of days if you make it to Madrid once. Or you can just wander the city, cause it also sounds like a great plan.

Puerta del Sol

Basically it's one of the best known squares of the city with that famous statue of bear, which is a symbol of Madrid. Lots of shops, people, cafes, street artists. Another famous spot here is the kilometre zero near the House of the Post office. You can step on it and make a wish :)

Park El Retiro

If you don't feel like walking and sneaking through crowds of people, park is always a good idea. Although Buen Retiro is quite popular among both tourists and locals, it is really huge, so I guess it's enough place to get rest and relax for everyone. It's actually such a big territory that you literally go in there and get lost, all you have to do now is just walk and walk and stare at wonderful fountains and statues around almost every corner.

But I think I won't lie if I say that one of the most popular spots there is the Fountain of the Fallen Angel. Curious fact: this statue is known as the one dedicated to the devil and stands at 666 meters above sea level.

Also don't forget to take a look at those pretty buildings near the park.

Zoo (and) Aquarium de Madrid

I must say that I'm not a big fan of zoo parks for some reasons. But this one... oh, honestly I didn't regret spending 20 euros on it at all. Everything is so beautifully decorated, starting from the entrance and finishing animals' paddocks.

It's also a huge park where you can relax and spend some really good time. You literally would need a good few hours to walk it all.

Plaza de España

Honestly, to me it's one of these places where you go just to put "checked" on the list of things-you-have-to-see-because-everyone-goes-there. Although if you like Miguel de Cervantes' novels or Don Quixote in particular, you may want to visit it and take a picture near the monument. And if you don't, just put your head up and look at these tall huge buildings (like I did).

Royal Palace

I absolutely fell in love with this place. I mean, isn't it gorgeous? I'm pretty sure it's even more beautiful in summer, when everything around blossoms and fountains work. Unfortunately we didn't have much time to go inside, but I enjoyed every second spent in a park near this amazing palace.

For sure I'll get back here if I'm ever again in Madrid. And if you're planning your visit (you should!), here's the official site.

Madrid at night

I bet everyone knows that kind of special feeling and charm of walking through the night city full of lights, absolutely different energy and music from windows of small restaurants. I just couldn't not to mention it. Like any other city, Madrid changes its image at night, and of course it's worth seeing (and walking and having paella in one of those small restaurants where nobody speaks English).

Shopping on Gran Via

Here's a thing: I'm a shopaholic sometimes I do love some good shopping :) And I'm pretty sure that Gran Via is a perfect location for it if you're in the centre of Madrid and want to spend some money (treat yo'self, yep). Zara, Primark, H&M, a couple of Starbucks' on Gran Via itself and The Body Shop, Sephora, Lush and Apple Store (just in case) near, it's just the ones I could remember.


The last but not least point in my little list is Museums. It's the last one just because not everyone would like to spend a few hours in museums (and queues) when in Madrid only for a couple of days.
But still, if you're into it - then why not? Especially when Madrid is famous for it's museums. And even more especially when you can get there for free. 
Some museums such as Reina Sofia or Prado Museum have free entrance by the end of a day. Here's the list of museums of Madrid. 

Helpful links:

And here is it! As always, hope it's helpful somehow, or at least you enjoyed some photos.

Have you ever been to Madrid or any other Spanish city?
xx, D