Despite being the third-largest city in the Czech Republic, Ostrava is just now being recognized as a tourist destination.
The large city in the Moravian-Silesian Region has a rich industrial past, but people knew it as a place without any significant attractions until it hit a recent turning point.
The fascinating industrial history of the area is evident in many of Ostrava’s attractions. And, as Ostrava has invested in tourism, the city has become home to many cultural events as well as some of the best hotels in the country.
The city even landed itself on the European Cultural Heritage List.
So, you’ll never be short of things to do in Ostrava, as it has something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.
15 Top-Rated Attractions and Things to Do In Ostrava
1. Silesian Ostrava Castle
Built by a Tesin prince in the 13th century and sitting just outside the downtown area is the Silesian Ostrava Castle. It features an astounding 16th-century tower, and recent renovations allow guests to walk inside its history.
For centuries, the fortress stood as an essential strategic outpost along the rivers and the border with Poland. However, at one time, mining tunnels underneath the structure caused it to sink 16 meters into the ground.
Today, the structure contains a museum dedicated to the history of the city and the torture methods practiced in the castle dungeons.
2. Landek Park
The mining museum at Landek Park is the largest in the Czech Republic. The interactive museum puts the mining and industrial history of the city and its coal mines on display and lets you experience what it was like to work in an actual mine.
After taking a ride in a mining elevator, you have the opportunity to go on a guided tour of a restored section of the mine with old equipment still in place. You can also learn about the history of Landek Park, how they would rescue miners, and what life was like for the workers.
3. The Vitkovice
Located right in the city center, and perhaps one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ostrava is the Dolni Vitkovice.
The structure was originally one of the largest ironworks facilities in Central Europe, but now the buildings house a museum and performing arts center.
Today, guests can walk through and learn about areas such as The Bolt Tower, which workers built on a former blast furnace, or the concert hall, a room that was once a massive gasometer.
Furthermore, Vitkovice hosts the Colours of Ostrava, which is a series of massive 4-day music festivals. If you happen to visit the city during the event, it’s a fantastic way to experience the arts and culture of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.
4. New Town Hall
The New City Hall houses a tourist information office and is the best place to go to find the city’s hidden gems. The New City Hall tower is the tallest city hall viewing tower in the entire country.
In addition to being an excellent viewpoint and a great place to find things to do in Ostrava, tour guides offer tours of the building every thirty minutes. Also, they are readily available to answer any questions you may have about the city, attractions, or building.
5. Masaryk Square
The pedestrian area of Masaryk Square is one of the best people-watching and architectural spots in the city of Ostrava. There are two monuments in the main square, the Marian Plague Column commemorating the end of an outbreak in 1702 and a statue of St. Florian, patron saint of firefighters.
Furthermore, in the winter, the square hosts a festive Christmas market.
6. Michal Coal Mine
Michal, which is a preserved former coal mine, became a National Cultural Monument in 1995 and, today, has a good chance of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Since 2000, tourists have been able to take guided tours of Michal Mine through control rooms, mine shafts, and other areas set up just like they would be in an active mine.
Overall, Michal is an excellent place to see what coal mining and the coal industry was all about.
7. Ostrava City Museum
In 2009, the city converted the Old City Hall into a museum dedicated to the city of Ostrava. Here, you can learn about the area’s geology, view mining artifacts, and check out art and furniture donated by local families.
Mining history and the city’s history go hand in hand, and visiting the Ostrava museum is a great way to explore both the history and social aspects of the mining industry.
8. Antonín Dvořák Theatre
Predating World War I, the Anton Dvorak Theatre Building stages operas, ballets, and plays within its walls.
Also, the interior of the building, decorated in magnanimous neo-baroque style, is worth visiting, even if you don’t purchase tickets for a show.
9. Science and Technology Museum at Svet Techniky
The Science and Technology Center is one of the best places to take a day trip with the kids since it’s excellent for people of all ages.
The museum contains plenty of hands-on activities that explain scientific ideas in a fun, interactive way. You’ll learn about everything from physics to astronomy, making it a must for any Ostrava itinerary.
10. The Ostrava Zoo
As the second-largest zoo in the Czech Republic, the Ostrava Zoo is one of the area’s top attractions. The zoo’s quality and care for animals is high, as it meets European ethical standards and holds EEP and EAZA membership.
The zoo contains the House of Evolution for teaching the theory, plus a safari, an Amazon hall, and a garden and play area for kids to meet and play with farm animals.
11. Sareza Aquapark
The heat can get unbearable in the summer, and what better place to cool off than a water park. The Sareza Aquapark has a lake-sized swimming pool, family-friendly splash pools, and waterslides, making it an excellent place to cool off and take a break from a hectic itinerary.
The park also has a lovely cafe, food court, and all the amenities you would expect at a top-notch waterpark. Plus, you can find plenty of play areas, volleyball courts, mini-golf holes, walking trails, and football goals.
12. Ostrava Brewery
Beer is the Czech Republic’s national drink, and Ostrava is the nearly unknown local variety.
At the Ostrava Brewery, you can get a tour of the factory, check out antique brewing devices, and sit down at a tap bar to sample local brews.
13. Ostravice River
The Ostravice River is another great place to cool off, relax, and even enjoy some watersports.
Here, you can walk or bike trails that follow the river out into the surrounding countryside or sit back and just watch the river flow past from the benches. Alternatively, you can rent a canoe or raft and float through slalom courses.
Overall, the river flows slowly and is pretty shallow, so most activities in the river are very safe.
14. Ostrava’s Volcano, Ema Slag Heap
While it may sound like a hazard, you can safely hike the Ema Slag Heap on the outskirts of the city.
The hill, formed from dumped mining debris, is still burning underground, resulting in a rare subtropical climate surrounding the hill. You can also watch as smoke swirls up through the ground in some places.
15. Stodolni Street
Stodolni is the city’s entertainment district, boasting over 60 bars, clubs, and restaurants.
When visiting Ostrava, you’ll find that the area is home to the largest concentration of bars and clubs anywhere in the Czech Republic and is the best place in Ostrava if you’re looking for nightlife.
You can also try out the nearby Forum Nova Karolina, which is one of the largest shopping malls in the country.
From the blast furnaces of the ironworks buildings to the beautiful town hall and museums, there are plenty of things to do in Ostrava that make it an excellent choice for your next trip.
Just remember that when you visit Ostrava, you should have a little knowledge of the Czech language, understand how their public transport works, and have travel insurance if you plan on going into the mines for a tour.
Table of Contents
- 15 Top-Rated Attractions and Things to Do In Ostrava
- 1. Silesian Ostrava Castle
- 2. Landek Park
- 3. The Vitkovice
- 4. New Town Hall
- 5. Masaryk Square
- 6. Michal Coal Mine
- 7. Ostrava City Museum
- 8. Antonín Dvořák Theatre
- 9. Science and Technology Museum at Svet Techniky
- 10. The Ostrava Zoo
- 11. Sareza Aquapark
- 12. Ostrava Brewery
- 13. Ostravice River
- 14. Ostrava’s Volcano, Ema Slag Heap
- 15. Stodolni Street