During your stay in the Czech Republic, if you want to discover a medium-sized city with great potential and a strong identity, Plzeň could be a good destination for you.
In terms of discovering the city, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or simply a fan of historical or religious monuments: visiting Pilsen will do you a world of good in terms of local culture!
Where is Pilsen?
Located in the west of the Czech Republic, Pilsen is less than 90 kilometers from the capital, Prague. European Capital of Culture in 2015, it is also known as the national beer capital.
Indeed, Pilsen attracts many foreign tourists due to the popularity of its beers. The famous brewery is also located here. Pilsen is a medium-sized city, with a population of 172,441 in 2019.
How do I get to Pilsen?
To get to Plzeň, there’s nothing like the train or bus. Allow 2 hours by train and 1.5 hours by bus from Prague.
Prices are very affordable: €9 by train and €5 by bus.
Buses stop right next to the train station, giving you quick access to the city and a 3-minute walk to the famous brewery – a great start to your stay!
The city has an easily accessible tramway with 3 lines and 45 stops stretching to the outskirts of the city. Nevertheless, Plzeň is on a human scale, and every part of the city is within easy walking distance, which is not to be underestimated.
What to do in Pilsen ?
Here we present you with a list of unmissable things to do in Pilsen. An opportunity for you to discover the best things to do there.
1. Discover the Pilsen Urquell Brewery
This is surely the first place you want to visit in Pilsen. It’s located at the entrance to the city if you arrive by train, which makes it easy to get there on foot.
For the equivalent of €10 per person, you’ll have the chance to take part in the classic tour (lasting 80 minutes) tracing the history and design of their various handcrafted beers.
From the basement to the bottling plant, via the various operating rooms (brewing, fermentation, filtration) you’ll have the opportunity to learn in detail about the manufacturing process of the Czech Republic’s most popular beers.
And don’t forget: you’ll be treated to a free tasting of a fresh, unfiltered Pilsner Urquell, straight from the classic barrels used in the cellar.
2. St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral in Plzeň
This monument is located in the middle of Republic Square in the very center of the city, making it a must-see for all visitors.
Known as the highest bell tower in the Czech Republic, a single visit here will take you up no fewer than 200 steps to admire the whole city and its surroundings. In particular, you can see the great synagogue of Plzeň. Well worth the detour!
3. The Great Synagogue of Pilsen
Located to the west of the city’s historic center, this is Europe’s second-largest synagogue, with impressive Gothic architecture and a granite facade. Renovated in the mid-1990s, it is also used for classical concerts. There’s something for every architecture enthusiast.
4. The Beer Museum
Pilsen is a beer town. As such, we invite you to visit the Beer Museum! Here, you’ll discover the close relationship between beer and the Czech Republic. The museum is located right next to the brewery. You’ll find all the equipment you need for brewing, old instruments and explanations of the history of Pilsner Urquell.
5. Discover Pilsen Zoo
Like other major Czech cities, Pilsen has its own zoo. The zoo is quite old, but the current version was completed in 1996. It meets European standards. Many of the species housed here (1210 in all) are part of the European Endangered Species Program. Buying a ticket also gives you access to the botanical gardens and the DinoPark.
6. J.K. Tyl Theatre
This is Pilsen’s main theater. Here you can enjoy operas, dramas and magnificent interpretations of Shakespeare and others. Announcements and performances are quite frequent. If you’re spending the night, be sure to visit!
Where to stay in Pilsen?
Would you like to spend the night in Pilsen? If you’re thinking of booking a hotel, we invite you to visit our article dedicated to the best hotels in Pilsen. You’ll find a list of the city’s best establishments.
Where to eat in Pilsen?
Are you feeling peckish or would you like to try some of the local specialities? Take a look at some of the best restaurants in Pilsen! We’ve put together a wonderful little list for you. Here you’ll find the best restaurants in town.
What we think of Pilsen
Whether with family or friends, a trip to Pilsen is a good idea for anyone wanting to learn more about Czech culture. One day should be enough to have a good time and enjoy a typically Czech experience. We recommend you try the many bars and restaurants in the city center, which have their own distinctive style and atmosphere, and sample the many local beers available.