Kromeriz (Kroměříž) is one of the most beautiful small towns I visited in Czech Republic. It is accessible from Prague, but it takes 4 hours to get there: this might be the reason why there are so few tourists. But the town is amazing! It has Gothic and baroque cathedrals, colourful buildings, narrow streets, but the most famous sight here is Kromeriz Castle.
This castle is the only reason why I chose to go there: I just couldn’t miss a place that had a castle 🙂 I saw some pictures on google and started planning my itinerary in the way I can go there.
How to get to Kromeriz
The easiest way to get to Kromeriz is to take a bus from Brno (read about my trip to Brno here): it takes 1 hour by bus. It is direct and departs from the bus station in front of the railway station.
I went there by a Regiojet bus. I bought my tickets in advance on their website, there is an English version. You do not need to print them, it is enough to show them on your phone to the bus assistant. Their buses are super comfortable, they provide free Wi-Fi on board as well as tea.
The station in Kromeriz is small and close to the castle, so there is no need to look for a bus.
What to do in Kromeriz
If you asked me where to start exploring Kromeriz, I would tell you to go to the Great Square.
The Great Square
The Great Square is the heart of Kromeriz. It is located meters away from the castle and is surrounded by beautiful buildings and many restaurants. There are a couple of benches, a fountain and a column in its center. In many Czech cities one can find similar columns called Marian columns that were erected to show the gratitude of people for the end of plague.
The tourist information center of Kromerziz is on the square, at the corner exactly opposite the tower of the castle. So, if you need a map or advice, you know where to go 🙂
I did not spend much time in the square and went to the castle.
Frankly, I don’t know why it is called Kromeriz Castle. I would say that it is a palace, as there are not fortified walls or any other signs of a castle. Nevertheless, it is an amazing place and I was not disappointed. But it would be fair to say that it is called the Archbishop’s Palace or Chateau as well.
The history of the castle started in the beginning of the 12th century when the bishop of Olomouc purchased the village of Kromeriz. In the 13th century the first castle here was built, but it was damaged severely during many wars. The reconstruction in the 17th century gave it its current look. Well, more or less, as a fire damaged it in 1752, and then in the 1940-ies the German armies burnt the tower. So, there was another reconstruction in the 20th century.
Interesting fact: Kromeriz Castle and its gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
– the basic tour where visitors get to see the representative halls of the chateau.
Cost: 340 CZK for foreigners, reduced and family options are available.
– the gallery of the chateau with paintings
Cost: 90 CZK for foreigners, reduced and family options are available.
– Sala Terrena with 5 lavishly decorated halls.
Cost: 80 CZK for foreigners, reduced and family options are available.
– the Tower offering panoramic views.
Cost: 60 CZK for foreigners, reduced and family options are available.
– the Flower Garden. Do not mistake it with the chateau gardens: the Flower Garden is about 1 km away from the castle.
Cost: 80 CZK for foreigners, reduced and family options are available.
I chose a combined tour called Via UNESCO that included the basic tour of Kromeriz Castle, the Flower Garden and the Tower. The cost is 290 CZK.
Now about my actual visit to the castle.
The visits to the representative halls are guided, and it means that I had to wait for an English-speaking group. Unfortunately, there was no one on the horizon, so I went in with a big group of Czech citizens. The tour was in Czech, but before we started, I told the guide that I am an English speaker and he gave me a brochure in English. So, instead of listening to the guide I read the text in the brochure. I am sure the guide told more that I read, but even listening intently I understood nothing. Still, it does not mean that I did not enjoy the tour. On the contrary, I loved it! The halls are lavishly decorated with exquisite furniture, paintings and chandeliers. And they showed as a library with huge old globes.
Unfortunately, pictures are not allowed inside, but if you are quick, you can try your chances 🙂
After this tour I went straight to the tower. There were another 2 or 3 people there, basically, I had the whole tower for myself 🙂 The view is fantastic! Even though there is a bit of stairs to climb up, I strongly recommend going there.
St Moritz Church
After climbing down the tower, I decided to go to the Flower Garden. I took the road marked on the informational panel at the entrance to the castle. On my way I passed next to St Moritz Church that definitely stood out when I was taking pictures from the tower and certainly attracted my attention.
This Gothic Church built in the 13th century is one of the most important in Czech Republic.
I know that it is open for visits, but, unfortunately, it was closed when I passed it by. Well, I got to see it from outside only. Their website is in Czech only, so it is my understanding that the opening hours are here, but I am not sure. In one of the reviews by tourists I have read that it is possible to climb one of its towers in summer.
Church of St John the Baptist
The next notable building I saw on my way to the Flower Garden is the Church of St John the Baptist built in the 18th century. This one was closed as well, but I got inside on my way back to the castle.
Unlike modestly decorated Gothic churches (like St Moritz Church above, so don’t be disappointed) this one is in baroque style, which means that its interiors are lavish: there are many statues and richly decorated paintings.
But these two churches are not the only notable buildings. Just have a look at the Judicial Academy and other houses on Masarykovo square. In general, enjoy your walk!
The Flower Garden
I think this is the best part of the palace complex: the gardens are amazing!
They are split into several sections with colorful field flowers and roses, rabbits, birds, labyrinths. My favorite place is the arched passage of trees where I could sit in silence and the pond with lilies and frogs.
Another notable place is the amazingly decorated rotunda in the garden. Tours inside are guided, so I saw it from the entrance only.
At the farther end of the garden there is a passage with statues of Roman gods. You can climb this wall to see the garden from above.
In addition to enjoying the beauty of flowers, you will get something else. There are many birds in the garden, so just sit somewhere, close your eyes and listen. Listen to the warbles of birds. Living in the stone boxes in big cities, we miss this part of nature. It is good that there are places where nature is still present.
I think I spent about three hours in the Flower Gardens walking around and taking pictures. It was less and less time till my bus departure, and I wanted to see the gardens around the palace.
Yes, there are less flowers here, but there are peacocks! Peacocks, just walking freely around 🙂
And there are deer, pigeons, a rabbit, squirrels and monkeys. In general, it was a nice walk 😊
Where to eat in Kromeriz
Well, that wasn’t easy 😊 I did not see many restaurants on the way to the Flower Garden, so they are mainly around the Great Square. I chose Restaurace Radniční sklípek as their terrace outside was not full of people 😊 I decided it was the right time to try schnitzel, so I ordered one and it came with potato salad. Frankly, it is not the healthiest food, but it was so delicious! At first, I thought that the portion was too small, but then I realized that potato with meat is more than filling 😊
For a quick grab I recommend another specialty of Czech Republic: kolace. These round pastries with cottage cheese and poppy seeds fillings are very popular and can be found in almost any bakery.
Well, this is all I managed to see before the departure of my bus back to Brno. Keep in mind that Regiojet buses are always on time, so don’t be late 🙂