Czechia’s Steel Heart

Ostrava is different to many other places in the Czech Republic. Most towns and cities in the country — or indeed, in this part of Europe — are about enchanting cobblestoned streets, gothic cathedrals and castles, and quaint towns with coloured buildings. Ostrava, on the other hand, is an old mining centre, once nicknamed Czechia’s steel heart”. 

Whilst the mines and steelworks closed in the 90s, the infrastructure still remains, giving Ostrava a much more modern feel than other European cities.

But that’s not to say Ostrava is without its charms: the town square is a bustling energetic place, and the cafes on the surrounding streets are trendy and charismatic. In the winter months, visitors flock to the city for the nearby Pustevny ski fields, and for the iconic Christmas markets. In summer, travellers can hike the surrounding mountains or explore the open-air mining museum.

What’s more, foodies will rejoice all year round at the amount of restaurants serving up traditional Czech food. Don’t leave without trying svíčková at a local bistro, such as Moravska Chalupa. And be sure to sample local beers at one of the many tap houses around the city, or head out to the Radegast Brewery to see how it’s all made.

Sure, Ostrava may not be as picturesque as other Czech destinations, but there’s still much to be said for this contemporary, charismatic city.

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