Anytime I suggested a trip to Ostrava, the most of my acquaintances answered me it was not a good idea. Why? The answer usually was because of the gipsies who are everywhere and always try to rob you; because of the rough people who are the only one able to live there. And also because there is nothing more to see than the mining towers and the buildings of the metallurgical industry.
Once I met a man in one of the Brno pubs and he told me that Ostrava was a very nice city. But one has to know where to go. The following day I began to browse the web of the city of Ostrava. And I wondered how many beautiful places I found!
I had heard about the Stodolní Street which was a street full of pubs and bars. But that day I found that there were many cultural places and events to see. Galleries, museums, theatres, a zoological garden, a castle, a City Hall Tower in the center of Ostrava, a planetarium, a nice city center – with special architecture that corresponds to the city mining and metallurgical lifestyle.
I told my acquaintances about what I had found and that I would like to visit the city. They seemed to be a bit surprised by that information. But I was lucky. Two of them agreed to go to Ostrava with me, for a weekend. We booked some rooms in the Harmony Club Hotel that is near the city center.
We went there by a train to try the real city by the means of the public transport. The main station is very nice. It is newly reconstructed; and huge. Of course, there we met several people who were not pleasant at all – the homeless who wanted some money. But this happens in each larger public transport station. That is why I always have a pepper spray with me.
To get to the city one has to ride a tram or a trolley bus. But it is a short ride, just five or six stations, not more than 10 minutes. We got out the tram on the Důl Jindřich Station to put up at our hotel. Than we walked to the city center because it was really near.
I was enthused by the city architecture. It really is different than in other cities. We went up the City Hall Tower and looked around the city from the above. The city is completely green. It is full of trees. We all were surprised by that. The city has its specific air because of the heavy industry. But really is green.
We visited the Mining Museum, the Ostrava Castle, some Galleries; and of course, in the evening we had to see the Stodolní Street. But… nothing special. Just a street full of bars and pubs. Yes, the pubs are in different styles (e.g. Irish, American, Caribbean) and offer different range of drinks and meals. But just pubs. Nothing more (at least the night we were there).
And what about the rough people? We were lucky. We met many nice people who told us a lot about their city. The gypsies really were everywhere. They behaved terribly. Once I saw a gypsy woman who was trying to pickpocket an older woman. Luckily, the woman was so assertive that the gypsy better went away. But this happens in any city or town.
Where to find Ostrava
Ostrava is 3.5 hours Train or bus ride from Prague