There are cities you visit and the memories go away within a few weeks. There are several destinations where you'd like to go back to. And then there are places that you fall for immediately that will not let you go. Olomouc is one of these places, a city that captivates with its unique atmosphere. Olomouc is more than a thousand years old and currently the fifth largest city in the Czech Republic. It is situated in Central Moravia on the rivers Morava and Bystřice. It has been an important centre during different historical periods, was the capital of Moravia until The Thirty Years War and has been an archbishop's seat since 1777. Nowadays Olomouc is an important industrial town, transport crossroads and centre of education.
Thanks to its rich history, there is wonderfully complex display of historical memorials, ancient churches, fountains, and romantic streets accompanied by the gorgeous scenery of the city parks. There are simply a lot of beautiful places in Olomouc which you must see. The highlight is definitely the historical city centre, which has the status of an architecture conservation area and is the second most important one after Prague. The Holy Trinity Column on Horní náměstí (Upper Square) has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000 and it is the highest column in the Czech Republic. You can admire a lot of churches and cathedrals throughout the entire downtown area, for example St Michael's Church, St Wenceslas Cathedral or St Moritz Church with a nice view from its tower. A good idea is to make a trip to Svatý Kopeček (The Holy Hill) as well – there is a convenient bus connection. The place provides a charming view of the whole city and is home to the wonderful Basilica of Virgin Mary from the 17th century. Pope John Paul II gave a mass here during his visit to Olomouc in 1995. You can also visit the Svatý Kopeček zoo which is open daily.
Besides the food industry, engineering and pharmaceutical firms, there are important cultural institutions in Olomouc, such as the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moravian Theatre, the State Deposit Library, the museum, the Archives, and last, but not least – Palacký University.
It is the university coupled with a great number of other educational institutions that makes Olomouc the top student city in the Czech Republic – simply because every fifth person in the city is a student! The conservation part of the city is home to 22,000 students from all over the world, who prove every single day that there is a reason why Olomouc is referred to as the Czech Oxford. Students are literally all over the place, which only highlights the friendly or even family-like atmosphere of the city, which you will fall in love with at first sight.
The leading traveller guide Lonely Planet has ranked Olomouc for two years in a row among the top ten European destinations, claiming that: “Olomouc is one of the Czech Republic's most under-rated destinations, with a great nightlife scene and a mini-Prague feel.” Dozens of parks, cafes, mysterious nooks, theatres, diverse music clubs and varied sports centres will all be at your fingertips. Add the fact that music, theatre, and film festivals are held here almost every week and you can rest assured that the city will stay in your heart months, or even years, after your studies in Olomouc are over; you will always be happy to come back.
Have a look at YouTube: “Olomouc ̶ University City” the official spot created in cooperation with Palacký University and Olomouc city. For more information, visit the visitor centre and its official page: www.tourism.olomouc.eu, www.olomouc.cz.
A great map of Olomouc specifically made for international students is available at www.esnup.upol.cz.
UPoint - Shop & Information Centre
UPoint is ready to provide you with a wide range of information about Palacký University and life in Olomouc a great university city. No matter whether you are interested in our various study programmes which are open to all generations, our active Alumni Programme or upcoming cultural and educational events, you will find everything you need to know here.
UPoint offers a variety of souvenirs and useful items (ranging from pens to picnic blankets to university-branded honey or beer). Each item we carry has been carefully chosen for our customers from quality local suppliers.
Our graduates have created our own fashion brand called UniWearCity. If you'd like to support your fellow students and class up your wardrobe , stop by and browse our collection of modern shirt and sweatshirt designs.
Books and Publications
Come in and find the most prestigious publications from the university publishing house and from Academic Publishing all in one place. Whether you are looking for a philosophical treatise, an atlas or a relaxing book for your next train journey, UPoint has your choices covered.
Posters and Photos
Here you will find stylish posters from our own university photographers, each of which makes an excellent decoratation for your dormitory room or can be useful in your academic studies. If you prefer to capture a memory for your bedside table, come in and see the large selection of photos and get inspired.
Coffee & Services
UPoint invites you to take a break and relax with a cup of our excellent coffee at UPoint. Additionally, you can recharge your phone, connect to the internet or perhaps fill-in your application to become a part of our fine university.
For more shopping venues visit Guide / Practical Information under Students section.
Olomouc is renowned for various cultural, sports and social activities of students. There are plenty of student associations, organizations and groups at Palacký University. Among them you may also find some for international students: ESN (Erasmus Student Network), PEPA (Palacký English Programme Associantion - for students of medicine and dentistry) and PUCF (Palacký University Christian Fellowship).
Please see our updated list and description in the section Students / Guide / Student Organizations.
UP students organize balls and dance parties, sports competions, open-air activities in the Olomouc parks, such as film projections, quizes and games. They also run their own film clubs, amateur theatre groups and publish their own magazine.
The biggest event prepared every year by the UP students is the Olomouc May Festival of Palacký University - MAJÁLES. This traditional celebration of spring, youth, academic and civil liberties usually covers the whole first week of May, and its programme includes live concerts with international artists, theatre performances, film projections, workshops, sports activities, exhibitions, discussion forums and interactive presentations of more than 40 non-profit organizations. The aim of the event is to revitalize public spaces and bring Palacký University and the inhabitants of Olomouc closer together.
The city offers many opportunities for those who enjoy music, film, theatre, museums, art galleries, sightseeing or walking in the quiet beautiful parks and gardens. Music and film festivals, concerts and important exhibitions take place during the whole year. The city has been changing its face recently thanks to a lot of new art galleries, fancy shops and cafés. There are clubs for those interested in various styles of music: jazz, rock, rap, hip-hop, ethnic etc. Classical music is performed by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra in Reduta Concert Hall. Don't miss the chance to visit unique Olomouc Archdiocesan Museum, Flora Flower Exhibition or the Festival of Baroque Music.
Cultural and Arts Centres
Palacký University Arts Centre (Konvikt)
Even if you are not an art student, you should have a look around the Palacký University Arts Centre. The stunning Baroque building of the former Jesuit college is the artistic hub of the university. It houses five art departments and most of the space is used for instruction as well as for a variety of artistic activities. The chapel hosts classical and other concerts and the corridors are decorated with the works of the students of various art disciplines, whose workshops are on the ground floor. In the attic there is a theatre where you can see the films of the Pastiche Filmz cultural platform, among others. There is also a music hall where the UP chamber choir Ateneo rehearses every week. Konvikt also holds a variety of cultural festivals – Academia Film Olomouc, Festival of Film Animation and Modern Art, and many others. Follow the UP calendar of events on the main site and check posters for updates.
Adress and contact: Univerzitní 3, Olomouc.
Cultural and community venue W7
The cultural and community venue W7 runs the Divadlo Na Cucky Theatre, an independent scene open to art and dialogue. In addition to Divadlo Na Cucky, the venue hosts Czech and international artists mainly from the field of contemporary theatre and dance. The theatre regularly runs workshops on dance, juggling, storytelling, and many other activities. W7 is also a venue of environmental and civic activities, art exhibition and Bajkazyl bike shop.
Adress and contact: Wurmova 7, Olomouc www.divadlonacucky.cz, Facebook: divadlonacucky.
For more information, check out their facebook page: W7 cultural and community venue
Cultural and social center provides entertainment in the form of concerts, dances, theatre performances, leisure activities and dance lessons. The center runs a café called Déjavu designed in the style of the thirties. It’s a really interesting and cool place to go.
Adress and contact: Sokolská 7, www.artumcentrum.cz
The Moravian Theatre Olomouc
For those interested in traditional theatre, there is the Moravské divadlo Olomouc (Moravian Theatre Olomouc) located on Horní náměstí. You can choose from ballet, classical drama or opera. Performances are held almost daily. Prices start at 55 CZK and the most expensive ticket is 230 CZK (these prices include a 50% student discount).
If you prefer alternative theatre or want more fun, we recommend the independent Divadlo Tramtarie (the Tramtarie Theatre). You can choose one of their entertaining plays and just enjoy. The actors of this theatre are non-professionals who are simply keen on playing, many of them being students of the university. You will find this small theatre at Slovanský dům (the Slavic House) above the Billa supermarket, not far from the swimming pool and the centre.
Divadlo Na Cucky
Divadlo Na Cucky is an independent theatre group that can be found at the Cultural and community venue W7. Its performances vary in a wide range between drama and dance, always striving for purely contemporary aesthetics and reflection of current cultural and social events.
Na Šantovce Theatre
The Na Šantovce Theatre Olomouc puts on high quality shows not only for adults, but also for children. Besides the shows of visiting theatre groups, it also hosts concerts, lectures, theatre Saturdays and many more fun events. The venue is in Galerie Šantovka in Olomouc, top floor.
If you fancy cinema, you should consider attending the various events of the university film club. Every week they put on an independent movie at a small cinema at Konvikt. Sometimes this art group dedicates a week to a particular director and you can see a selection of his/her masterpieces.
The best place to see the latest blockbusters is the CineStar multiplex. This cinema is in the Olomouc City shopping mall, which is basically a part of the Globus shopping mall. You can reach it directly by bus no. 27 from the city centre or get off at Hřbitovy (tram no 2, 5 or 7) and walk from there. Tickets are cheaper on Mondays, but remember to bring your ISIC card, as you will get a student discount. For information about what is on and to book tickets, visit their website.
The Metropol Cinema is near the city centre, behind the Koruna Department Store (U Sv. Mořice tram stop). Metropol is the last traditional single-auditorium cinema that shows both new flicks as well as less commercial films; it also holds film club nights and film marathons.
Premier Cinemas – Galerie Šantovka
This multiplex is on the top floor of Galerie Šantovka near downtown (Polská 1). It shows the latest blockbuster and contemporary films.
Academia Film Olomouc
The International Festival of Science Documentary Films
Organized by Palacký University, the oldest film festival of its kind in Central Europe has been running continuously for over 50 years. Every year in mid-April, Olomouc becomes a hub of films, music, and visual arts for children, students and adults alike. Most of the programme takes place on the ancient and beautiful premises of the university.
Flora Theatre Festival
The International Theatre Festival
What kind of September in Olomouc would it be if all conceivable venues were not brimming with theatre? With university students playing a major part, this long-established festival is one of the top events of its kind in the country. Come and see the very best of the Czech, European and world theatre in theatres, clubs and on the street.
The International Festival of Film Animation
This four-day festival of film animation and contemporary art has been around, mainly thanks to the UP students and alumni, for 13 years. The PAF Festival brings the best of animated films, live performance and visual art. The event includes workshops, open discussions with celebrities and concerts of progressive artists.
Majáles / Palacký University May Festival
Traditional student party in the month of May
“Majáles” is a student party that has a rich history at universities in the Czech Republic. It is basically a celebration of the spring, youth and civil liberties. Students hold concerts, film screenings, theatre shows, elect their king and organize an allegorical masked parade through the city. Student and non-profit organizations get to present themselves and, basically, it is all just one big party.
The largest beer festival in the country
It brings together dozens of breweries and beer brands as well as dozens of the best Czech bands. In three days you get to taste the best beers out there and enjoy a great atmosphere with another twenty thousand visitors. A perfect way to see, once again, that the Czechs and beer go truly hand-in-hand.
Colores Flamencos Olomouc
Multi-genre Flamenco Festival
Within the five years of its existence, this festival for lovers of Spanish culture and the flamenco dance in particular has secured a strong position in the Olomouc scene. You can look forward to leading artists, fascinating movies, delicious food and a lot of other programmes which will envelop Olomouc in Spanish rhythms, flavours and fragrances for a few days in the summer.
International Festival of Contemporary Music
Founded in 2009, the festival consists of several concerts of specific style, genre or theme that combine regional, national and international values. If you are into spectral and experimental music, ethnic music or jazz, this is the event for you.
VZÁŘÍ / Septembeam
The Festival of Light and Video Mapping
Septembeam is an international competition festival of video mapping and a celebration of various forms of light. It introduces current technology and trends in large-scale animation and lighting design. If you would like to see what light and video mapping can do with facades of historic buildings in the city, and on top of that go to awesome concerts, note down the dates!
Jeden svět / One World
The International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival http://www.oneworld.cz
One World is the biggest human rights film festival in the world. Organized by Czech NGO People in Need, it presents over 100 documentary films in spring. The festival takes place in 34 cities in the Czech Republic, including Olomouc. If you are a person interested in the changing world of human rights, this is a festival for you.
Noc Kostelů / Night of Churches
The Night of Churches offers a free look at many churches, cathedrals and monasteries around Czech cities. It not only opens their beautiful architecture covered in the moonlight to visitors, but also presents a program of concerts, activities and other events. To explore the spiritual side of Olomouc at night, wait for May, when this event takes place.
Festivals of classical music
The international music festival Dvořák’s Olomouc represents Antonín Dvořák’s considerable connection and cordial relationship to Olomouc, however, it is also oriented at other important Czech authors. The second festival for classical music lovers is The International Organ Festival. Over the years, this parade of organ music and compositions has attained wide popularity especially thanks to Engler’s organ in the Church of St. Moritz, the largest organ in Central Europe.
Olomouc offers a wide range of sporting and recreational opportunities. Programmes for leisure time sports activities of students and academics are organized by the Academic Sport Centre of Palacký University, situated in the Boathouse building. The centre organizes and offers various outdoor and indoor activities in Olomouc, and also re-creations such as winter skiing courses in the mountains or boating tours in summer. The university offers its facilities and services for sports and re-creation to students, academic and non-academic staff, and also to external public. There is a wide choice to offer: open space sports grounds as well as the large Sports Hall with facilities for training and championships of volleyball, basketball and handball. The university Boathouse is open up to students interested in rowing on the river Morava.
For more information visit section Students / Guide / Practical Information.
For practical information on accommodation, medical care, religious services, consulting, shopping, meals, banks, telephones, etc. visit section Students / Guide / Practical Information.