“Ostrava is the gateway haven for adventure junkies in the Czech Republic as it straddles along two historic provinces of Moravia and Silesian Region”.
City breaks? History buff? Ever wonder where to go when heading to the Czech Republic? Everyone’s first thoughts about Prague! City lovers who enjoyed strolling along the old cobbled street and snaking along with the tourist crowds on a narrow alleyway while listening to the city history.
Stop right there! If you love the outdoor and yawning while the guide is mumbling about the history of the castle or the statues along the Charles bridge? Please do me a favour, do check that train heading to Ostrava and get ready to have some exhilarating fun! Adventure Junkies? Please all come along!
Ostrava’s first settlement dates back from 1229, situated along the banks of Ostra River (known Ostravice ) where the city name took from. Ostrava is the third largest city in Czech, and is the capital city of the Moravian-Silesian Region as it straddles along the two historical provinces.It used to be a coal mining centre of Czechia, and the last coal mining was in 1994. Ostrava was previously known the country’s “ Steel Heart ” as evidence of old mining factories that towering the city skylines.
Let’s check out some mining factory! The coal mining city has gone through a big transformation to a modern cultural city, but there are still remnants of the coal mine factories.
After taking a bus towards the Michalkovice, and stopping just in front of The Michal Mine compound. With our tour guide, we headed towards the rusty iron gate on with a Du Michal sign.
“In 1843 the Austrian estate begun digging a two pits in Michalkovice. And in 1950 one of the pit was named The Michal Mine it was declared a National Cultural Monument in 1995 and also nominated in UNESCO World Heritage list”.
From the ticket office, we were greeted by our tour guide. Soon we were following the miner’s footsteps used to be their daily work route to the mine, we entered an old building where the factory worker kept their personal numbers to clock-in to work.
Then we headed towards the chain cloakroom, you will notice the old rag like clothes with the grime of coal dust hanging up the ceiling connected to chain, where they pull it down and change their clothes before commencing their work.
The mine was closed in 1993 but you can still see the original machineries from 1932 that was being displayed and very well preserved.
I also had a chance to go and visit the Dolni Vitkovice area, an old mining factory compound transformed into a multi – purpose function and conference hall locally known as the Gong Convention Centre.
While wandering around the old mining compound and staring at those big rusty pipes keeps me wondering, how did it look like when it was still in its full functioning glory.
Imagining the blaring noise from the big machineries echoing in the air, vibrating the walls and those thick black smoke coming from the exhaust pipes disappearing up in the sky.
While walking around the warehouse complex and looking up those intimidating big old pipes, ever wonder what it feels like looking down the surrounding area?
Stunning 360 Degree views of the city! And the most interesting building that catches my eye was the Bolt Tower named after Usain Bolt. With a small fee to go up the tower offering a stunning view of the whole city.
I eagerly queued up to the gate after purchasing my entry ticket, soon, then the elevator guide took us up to the cafe bar level. From there, I was free to roam around and soak in the 360 views of the city. ( Not recommended activity if you have a fear of heights ! )
Another good vantage point is the New City Hall Tower. The tower is centrally located in the city and with a minimal fee entry to go up the tower, you will be welcome with the cityscape view.
The viewing tower terrace is 73 meters high, it has been said that during a good weather condition it is possible to see the stunning Beskydy and Jesiniky Mountain from the distant and imagined as far as Poland?
I highly suggest going up the tower just before the sunset and wait until it get darks. The city lights twinkling from afar are perfect for a great night photography.
Let’s Party! When I was booking my accommodation online, I was checking the location, convenience of bars and restaurant as well as the public transport. The added bonus Brioni Hotel was along the Stodolni Street known as the party street of Ostrava!
As soon as I step out from the hotels main door, I was greeted with bars and restaurant. And comes night time the blaring sound of music, putting you in a party mood and swaying on to the dance groove. After one too many Radegast beer, I was ready to crawl up to my bed.
“Radegast beer is brewed locally in Nosovice Moravian-Silesican Region since 1970. It was named after the Slavic god Radegast”. It is the most popular beer in the Moravian Region.
Checking out the Czech Cuisine! What comes to mind when thinking about Czech food? I have been in Prague about 5 years ago and revisiting again has reminded me of my sumptuous dumpling meal. Yes! Dumplings are served widely around Czech, of course, there’s more to their local cuisine aside from the dumplings!
While I was in Ostrava, I had a chance to join a food tour. The traditional Czech food consist of meat and potatoes served with heavy and thick gravies! Hope you are hungry, as I show you some dishes I have tried during my trip around Czechia.
Svickova Na Smetaneis a marinated beef braised sirloin with creamy thick sauce, topped with cranberry sauce and whipped cream.
Vepro Knedlo Zelo is a roasted pork usually served with dumpling and a small portion of pickled cabbage ( sort of sauerkraut )
Gulas ( Goulash ) normally pork or beef stew ( game meat are also used ) the stew is very thick with lots of onion, served with bread dumplings. To be honest I had one to many goulash during my stay, I can’t resist this hearty meal!
Chicken Broth with Noodles, the clear broth is usually served as a first course. The chicken is slowly simmered with chicken and fine noodles with carrots, celeriac and sprinkled parsley just before serving.
Day trips around Ostrava! So after a few days in Ostrava its about time to explore the surrounding area. Let’s go for a road trip and let’s enjoy some outdoor activity that the Moravian-Silesian Region has to offer!
Starting the adventure in Beskydy only and hour drive from Ostrava. It has been declared as protected nature reserve area in the year 1973.
“Among the Beskydy mountain range Lysa hora is the highest mountain in Czech republic with 1324 meters above sea level”. And Pustevny saddle between the Radhost and Tanecnice mountains.
Reaching Pustevny is either hike it up or used the chair lift which we opted for the later. It’s regarded the most visited alpine resorts in Beskydy. The stunning view from above was breath taking, the fresh air and strong aroma of the fine trees are so refreshing.
Upon reaching the top of Pustevny we continued a short hike following the Sierra trail, passing along the legendary place where the famous sculpture of pagan god Radegast (sharing the same name of the locally brewed beer in Moravia-Silesian Region ).
Continuing the slight ascent hike you will reach the well-known hill of Radhost is 1129 meters above sea level. The summit is popular for religious pilgrimage, where the chapel and sculpture of Saint Cyril and Methodius.
Calling all Adrenaline Junkies! Aside from hiking around the Beskydy area, there are lots of fun activities awaits! If your legs are aching from hiking up the hills, there’s a fun option descending down. I don’t mean rolling down the hill because that wouldn’t be as fun as using a Kick scooter!
Yes Kick scooter is exhilarating and fun! Following down the zigzag Pustevny route through the scenic surroundings of Beskydy mountain range. The 6 kilometres are enough to ensure, you have a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
If you are not worn out yet, and still lots of energy to burn! I highly suggest a visit to Hosrky Lanovy Park Raztoka ( Ropeway Park Tarzanie ) is a must!
Offering a track of 18 obstacles, Physical demands varies from simple to hard obstacle at a height of 2 to 4 metres above the ground. After securing the harness and quick instruction, we were eager to try the activity.
After a couple of simple rope, plank tracks, and zip line swinging the building up the excitement were cut short due to time constraint we only had a chance to do the shortcut track. But for sure the experience was totally fun!
If you are still contemplating and looking for an adventure holiday look no further Ostrava is definitely the getaway place for an exhilarating and fun holiday. Do check out my other blog post at Exploring Jeseniky Mountain
After exploring Prague, I highly suggest to explore Ostrava situated northeast of the Czech Republic, where the fun adventure awaits!
Take the opportunity for cheap flights from U.K to Ostrava, and getting around Ostrava is easy as trams are well connected around the city.
Don’t miss out to visit some of the coal mine factories too! Walking along the same path as the miners and reminiscing their bravery, how they venture a dangerous life on a daily basis.
Calling all Hikers! Exploring the surrounding areas of Ostrava is Hikers haven for sure. Come and discover the local treks offering the charming views of Beskydy Mountain ranges.
Disclaimer: Some of the activities were organised by the Czech Republic Tourism Board and Ostrava Tourism Board, although I enjoyed my experience as a guest I have received no further remuneration to write this post.I retain full editorial control and all opinions are my own.
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