VFU Fresher’s Guide: IKEA, Tram Card & SIM card

The ‘VFU Fresher’s Guide’ is a series of picture guides. Each guide annotates and explains Brno in the order that you will experience it in. e.g. Arrival, Dormitory & Campus. The guide is designed for; VFU Freshers, VFU Erasmus, VFU Summer School & your visitors.

The fourth part of the ‘VFU Fresher’s Guide’ series, shows you how to get to all of the places you need to visit, to setup you new life in Brno. Content includes; Making your Tram-Card, IKEA Bus-stop, Tesco & the Mall.

Everything that needs to be accomplished in this guide, will require you to travel to Hlavni Nadrazi based on information provided in Part Three: Around the Dorms. So if you have not yet read that part, please do.


How to Read this Guide:

The pictures will, quite literally highlight, the important elements of this area via bright halos (hereafter ‘h’). Pay attention to these halos, as they will be identified and shortly described. All halos will be described in a left-right order.


Start at Hlavni Nadrazi

To reach Hlavni Nadrazi with the minimal number of transfers I recommend the following routes:

  • Bus 81 (up the hill)–> Tram 4 to Hlavni Nadrazi.
  • Bus 81 (down the hill)–> Tram 12 to Hlavni Nadrazi (longer route, but stops right outside the shopping centre, Tesco).
  • Not Recommended: Bus 81 (down the hill)–> Tram 3 to Ceska–> Tram 6/4/12 to Hlavni Nadrazi.


Tram Card / Transport Pass

The transport authority of Brno is called DPMB which stands for ‘Dopravní podnik města Brna’.

A transport pass is available at a large discount to those under 26 with a valid ISIC card. Those above 26 must, unfortunately, pay full price. They accept card.

A Tram card has 2 components:

  • Your identity: This paper has an annual validity.
  • Your transport card: renewed as per your choice (monthly / quarterly/ annual).
  • Note: For annual validity passes you are given four quarter passes. You still must remember to manually switch them out before expiry.

To obtain a transport pass, you need to visit the DPMB shop closest to you. Here’s a condensed list of the shops I use. For an extensive list visit this page (DPMB Brno website).

Office AddressDaysWorking Hours
Novobranská 18 (near Hlavni Nadrazi)Weekdays06:00 - 19:00
Saturday08:00 - 15:30
Královo Pole Train Station (tram 6 end)Weekdays7 - 18

As a fresher, you will have to fill out a combined form for a new Transport Identity card. At this point you need to prove that you are a student, to do so, you can follow two paths:

  • Obtain your ISIC card. (not certain if new ones need the sticker)
  • Obtain the ‘Potvrzení o Studiu’ which means ‘Proof of Study’ from the study office at university (refer to Part 5- end), which also proves that you are a legitimate student.


How to Get There

If you’ve read the first part of this series or have arrived with Student Agency bus, this will be easy. If you haven’t I recommend you have a brief look at part one.

Complicated Version: The street Novobranska, is easily accessible by getting to the left side of the image below.  Look for the ‘Swiss Cheese Building’. One you’re there, continue to along the footpath, in the direction this image was shot. Eventually there will be a large flight of stairs, climb them and walk down the street to your right. Literally on the edge where three roads merge is the DPMB office.

Easy Version: Walk to the Student Agency bus stop. 

Once there, turn to your right while you’re facing the main train station and there’s the DPMB – Novobranska office.

Once you cross the street to the DPMB office, this will be your view.

  • H1; Left- Student Agency Bus Stop
  • H2; Right- DPMB office
  • Image right: the street you would arrive from if you followed the complicated version.


Tesco, SIM-card & Ikea

Once you’ve got your new tram card, you can head back to the main train station and walk down any of the underground passage ways. Below is your view, follow H2 or H3.

  • H1; Left- Towards Student Agency Bus Stop
  • H2,H3; Right – Into the Passage way towards Tesco etc.
  • Image Right; Also visible are the stairs leading up/down from the main train station.

This is what H2 / H3 from the previous image look like, once you round the corner. Proceed to the Halo then turn left.

At this point the large crowds of people should be a clear indication of where to go. The green sign ‘Nakupni Centra’ also means Shopping Centre / Mall. So walk straight down.

Almost out.

Here is the view outside the passage ways. Tesco Layout:

  • Ground: Groceries, Baked good etc.
  • 1st Floor: Clothing
  • 2nd Floor: No longer Tesco. Sports Direct and other stores.

Both, the escalator and yellow path lead to the shopping mall, it doesn’t matter which route you take unless you want to go grocery shopping- which you can also do at Albert in the shopping mall.

Another view from the side, follow the yellow Halo.

A closer picture of the yellow Halo from the previous image.

The entrance to the ground floor / food section to Tesco.

  • H1; Green- The Shopping Mall visible across the road.

Across the road from Tesco is the shopping Mall called ‘Galerie Vankovka’. Here you can find multiple clothing shops, a food court, Starbucks & footwear shops.

  • IKEA Bus: Notably, across the street, on the side of the mall is also the bus stop for the free bus to IKEA. Do note that there is a free bus and a bus operated by the city (transport pass!).
  • SIM-card: on the ground floor of Vankovka you can also find Vodafone & AT&T shops. There are other branches in Brno, however I recommend the ones in Vankovka because they always tend to have at least one English speaking employee. Objectively speaking, Vodafone has the best plan at the given moment, it is called ‘Je to v Tobe‘. To be eligible you must have a valid ISIC card, if you lack one in the moment, you can always change your plan later.


Congratulations, you’re now fully oriented and know all of the most important places in Brno!

Thank you for reading this far, I hope this helped you, if it did, I would love to hear from you in the comments or in person! If it didn’t and you have suggestions or need further help, comment below.


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