I have been to Znojmo for three times this year and had a wonderful vacation with my family. It is a place worth visiting. Even if you should cross the whole country like we did.
What is Znojmo
What comes to my mind when thinking about Znojmo is wine, then a lot of sun, pavings and buildings from light colored stone, the river and the hills above it, the city walls and the new park.
The structures of Znojmo:
Wine, wine, wine everywhere
Maybe you are surprised about the wine, as Czech Republic is mainly known for its beer, but you should know and if you shall visit I bet you will never forget that South Moravia is a region of wine and fruit trees. I hope to write more about the local vineyards and wine making in the future.
Home is where the bed is
But before going to try the wines of Znojmo you should get yourself a place to stay. This shouldn´t be a problem as there are many very cosy pensions and hotels in the town. We were staying in the Pension U Mikuláše.
It is a simple place in an old house with a wonderful terrace from which you can take a look at all the city. The prices are low and you are in the centre of the town. I liked their breakfast which they served us after we choose from the menu (no cold buffet).
There are two possibilities how to see almost all the important buildings and places in Znojmo. You either walk (and it is possible to check out everything in one day at normal speed) or you take the tourist train (I think it is great for seniors or people with handicap.)
The main things one should see is the church of St. Nicholas (Svatý Mikuláš), the Znojmo Castle, the Rotunda of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the St. Catherine, the main square with pretty townhall and the park.
You may check out these monuments with main info on this website. (I thought I would recommend it for booking of hotels as well, but it suddenly skips into czech language in some parts.)
It´s adventure time
If you thirst for adventure try the Historical underground in Znojmo (they have big advertisements for this tour all over the city). I suppose it must be fun, mainly the parts where you go on all fours, but we did not go there. If you do not want to miss the experience but you are too afraid to go into enclosed places you can try the size of each part outside the building.
The pretty park
As many czech cities (and not czech only, for example Vienna as well) Znojmo used to have a big block of city walls. Not that there would be none now, but they are surely not as big as they used to be. They are pretty, so check them out. City walls used to be handy during medieval and baroque era.
But as the story goes in 19th century the cities decided to get rid of them as they were old and not good enough to protect anybody anymore. After getting rid of city walls one gets a wonderfuly big space for building parks. (Vienna Ringstrasse anyone?)
And so Znojmo got its place for a park. It is not all around the city, as there is a big valley on the south where the river flows. But you can walk all the park in one flow motion from the top of the hill down which is one thing I love about old big parks.
The park has been newly planted in some parts, so you can see old and new trees side by side.
The food and drink
I suppose I will be haunted by the ancestors of Znojmo but we did not visit any wine cellars. But we did go to a wonderful restaurant I found in the Mauers selection (Mauerův výběr, which is czech website for choosing really good places to go to) and that was recomended to me by one local woman at the same time by accident.
The place is called La Casa Navara. It surprised me they do not have an english website as they serve meals for foreiners in many languages without problem. (Here is the site anyway , at least you can see the interiors.)
They cook wonderful meals. We tried twice and it was superb. Also the staff is very polite and nice.
What else is there to see
If you go visiting South Moravia, don´t forget to take a trip to Lednicko-Valtický areal (UNESCO) and to Mikulov town.