This metropolis of Moravian-Silesian region is by its area and its overall population the third largest city of the Czech Republic. It has a strategic location-it is located 10 kilometres south of the border with Poland and 50 kilometres west of the border with Slovakia. Ostrava is located 360 km from the capital city of Prague,170 km from Brno, 90 km from the Polish city of Katowice, 310 km from Vienna. Rivers Odra, Ostravice, Opava, and Lučina flow through the city.
|Number of districts:||23|
|Population:||about 290 000|
|Population density:||1500 pop./km²|
Ostrava is a key communication and transportation hub of Northern Moravia and Silesia. The D1 motorway and main railroad tracks run through the city. Public transport provides a dense network of bus, trolleybus and tram lines. Leoš Janáček Ostrava International Airport in Mošnov, which is located 25 km from the city centre, is connected with the city by train.
The city lies in the valley between The Beskydy Mountains and The Jeseníky Mountains, known as The Moravian Gate. A significant part of its territory is covered with forests, parks and other green. There are over one hundred and thirty important landscape elements, three nature reserves and four natural monuments. Among them there are two parts of The Protected Landscape Area Poodří located directly in the territory of the city-The Polanecký Forest and The Polanecká Meadow. Very attractive are also Rezavka and Turkov with many floodplain forests, surrounded by The Štěpán’s pond or national natural monument of Landek, with outcroppings of coal seams on the surface. Natural rarities also include Swedish granite boulders from the era of glaciation. The largest one is located in the middle of a new smelter in Ostrava Kunčice. A unique feature is forested heap Ema at an altitude of 315 m above sea level. Approximately 150 years old dump inside is still burning, temperature deep inside reaches up to 1 500 °C.
Ostrava is also an important economic centre. During the last ten years there have been discovered a lot of new jobs in non-traditional sectors, which are for example the automotive industry, IT technology or outsourcing services. At Ostrava University and collages study over 30 thousand students. VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava is according to the rankings the best University in Central Europe and also the University of Ostrava provides education in a wide variety of interesting fields.
Ostrava offers a variety of cultural and social activities. The local theatre is one of the best scenes in the country, The Gallery of Fine Arts and The Gallery of Plato are respected institutions with a refined design, exhibitions and music clubs hosting both known and budding musicians and bands of different genres. Adding a number of festivals, prestigious sporting events and tourist attractions, it is clear that there is no boredom in Ostrava.