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Europe > Central Europe > Czech Republic > West Bohemia > Pilsen

Pilsen

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For other places with the same name, see Pilsen (disambiguation).
Center of Pilsen with the St. Bartholomew Cathedral

Pilsen (Czech: Plzeň) [1] is in Bohemia, in the Czech Republic in Central Europe. It is the home and birthplace of the Pilsener (or pilsner) beer variety which is derived from the city's name.

It is the 4th largest city in the country and the largest city in West Bohemia, and is a convenient base for exploring this region of the Czech Republic.

Get in[edit]

From Prague, bus and train are the easy options of getting there. Trains leave from Prague's main train station (Praha - Hlavní nádraží ČD) hourly during the day. Buses leave frequently from Prague's terminus metro station Zličín (line B). The trip takes approximately an hour and 40 minutes by train and about an hour by bus.

From Germany, Pilsen is easily accessible by train on the Prague - Munich track.

Pilsen's main train station (Plzeň - Hlavní nádraží ČD) and the main bus station (Plzeň - Centrální autobusové nádraží) are located within walking distance of the center of the city.

For information on schedules and rates, see the online timetable.

Get around[edit]

To get around the compact city center, it is best to walk. To get around the whole city, the services of the public transport operator PMDP are recommended. The PMDP operate trams, buses and trolley-buses in Pilsen.

For information on lines, schedules and rates, visit the PMDP's official website [2].

See[edit]

Sights[edit]

  • St. Bartholomew's Cathedral - the Gothic St. Bartholomew's Cathedral was founded in the late 13th century. Its tower (102.26 m/335 ft) is the highest in the Czech Republic. Official website [3].
  • The Town Hall - this Renaissance masterpiece was built in 1554-1559, based on the designs of an Italian architect, Giovanni de Statia.
  • Historical underground network - a sophisticated system of cellars and tunnels of up to three levels under the whole Old Town area. It is accessible from the Brewery Museum in Veleslavínova street. Official website [4].
  • The Great Synagogue - the second largest synagogue in Europe and third largest in the world (after synagogues in Jerusalem and Budapest).
  • Pilsen Zoo - home to over one thousand species of animals in natural conditions without bars. Official website [5].

Museums[edit]

  • West Bohemian Museum (Kopeckeho sady 2, http://www.zcm.cz) - regular exhibitions
  • Ethnography Museum of the Pilsen Region (nam. Republiky 13) - regular exhibitions
  • Brewery Museum (Veleslavinova 6, http://www.prazdroj.cz/en/come-and-visit/pilsen-brewery/brewery-museum-tour) - history of brewing in Pilsen
  • Techmania Science Center (Borská street, http://www.techmania.cz) - Modern interactive museum on the premises of the Škoda factory.
  • Patton Memorial Pilsen (sady Pětatřicátníků) - The only American Army museum in Bohemia, opened on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Pilsen and South-West Bohemia. It features the stay of the American soldiers in the region May through November 1945.
  • Ghost Museum (nám. Republiky 33, http://www.muzeumstrasidel.cz) - The exhibition features the themes of fairy-tale worlds and legends. Recommended especially for children.
  • Puppet Museum (nám. Republiky 24, http://www.muzeumloutek.cz) - Located in the completely adapted historical house No. 24 in the Square of the Republic, the Puppet Museum was expected to be opened in 2009. Exhibitions and workshops will map the unique history and present of Pilsen puppetry and offer interactive activities for both children and adult visitors.
  • Pilsen Municipal Armoury (Kopeckého sady 2, http://www.zcm.cz/index.php?page=zbrojnice) - it ranks among the best preserved armouries of the European medieval towns. It began in 1363 when the Emperor Charles IV was building armouries in a planned manner in the royal Czech towns to provide for their readiness. The oldest part includes a set of firearms from the turn of the 14th century. An extensive set of battlement guns with simple fuse systems was created in the first half of the 16th century. The firearms collection is completed historically by muskets from the Thirty-Year War period. Cold weapons are represented in the armoury by morgenstern from the 15th century and arquebuses from the 16th and 17th centuries. The armours of Plzeň burghers are represented by a great number of chest and back plates, shoulder and arm protecting plates, and many helmets of different types.
  • Diocese Museum (Františkánská street) - Exposition of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures in the cloister of the Franciscan monastery, chapel of St. Barbara with Gothic frescos, exhibition hall in the Baroque monastic refectory. Museum temporarily closed.

Galleries[edit]

  • Pilsen City Art Gallery (Dominikánská 2)
  • West Bohemian Art Gallery "Masné krámy" (Pražská 18)
  • Jiří Trnka Art Gallery (nám. Republiky 40)

Do[edit]

  • Walk through the city parks that circle the historical city center on its two sides.
  • Enjoy the view of the city and its surrounding areas from the church tower of the St. Bartholomew's Cathedral.
  • Enjoy a drink of Pilsner Urquell in the city that gave its name to all the pilseners in the world.
  • Jet fighter flight in Czech Republic, MiGFlug & Adventure GmbH, Badenerstrasse 286, 8004 Zurich, +41 44 500 50 10, e-mail: . Very nice but rather expensive experience. Starting from an Airbase close to Plzeň. The customer can fly the jet under watch of the pilot. €1999 for a flight including all preparations.

Sports[edit]

  • Watch football at FC Viktoria Plzen. They play in the First League, the top tier of Czech football, and often qualify for European tournaments. Their home ground is the Doosan Arena (capacity 12,000), by the river confluence in the northeast of the city.

Events[edit]

There are several events during the year.

  • The Liberation Festival - around May 6th, when the city of Pilsen was liberated from Nazi Germany by the George Patton's 3rd Army in 1945. The city is full of music and other culture.
  • The Puppet Rock Festival - This summer festival is hold in the park behind the Plzen Plaza the last weekend of July.
  • The In The Streets Festival - generally in the first half of August. Small stages around the city center, a big stage on the Square of Republic. Music, theater and street performances.
  • Pilsner Fest - the biggest and most famous beer festival in the Czech Republic takes place every year around September when Pilsner Urquell Brewery celebrates its birthday (in 2010 already on August 27-28)

Eat[edit]

  • Na Spilce, U Prazdroje 7, +420 377 062 755, e-mail: . M-Th, Sat 11AM-10PM. F 11AM-11PM. Sun 11AM-9PM. The biggest restaurant in the Czech Republic with 550 seats. Within the grounds of the Prazdroj brewery
  • Potrefená Husa (Martinská 1) - a big restaurant, good selection of meals and drinks
  • Plzeňská bašta (Riegrova 5) - a stylish Czech restaurant, good meals
  • U Salzmannů (Pražská 8) - the oldest beer restaurant in Pilsen serving Czech traditional cuisine
  • Jadran (Bezručova 9) - both Czech and international (especially Mediterranean) cuisine
  • Slunečnice (Jungmannova 4) - healthy bio cuisine including vegetarian and vegan cuisine
  • Vegetka (Americká 13) – vegetarian dishes, vegetable salads and soups
  • Anděl Vegetarian Restaurant (Bezručova 5) - a creative and stylish vegetarian :)restaurant
  • La Tartelette (nám. Republiky 18) - French fast food (soups, salads, quiche ...)
  • Stará sladovna (Malá 3) - Middle-Age-style restaurant
  • Na Parkane (Veleslavinova 4) - the pub to get truly excellent unfiltered Urquell
  • U Pašáka (Poděbradova 12) - microbrewery with home-brewed beer and good Czech cuisine

Drink[edit]

Pilsen is the city where the pilsner beer was invented. Pilsner Urquell is the famous beer brand of Pilsen. In a few pubs (Senk Na Parkanu) and at the brewery, you can get the unfiltered, unpasteurized version of Pilsner Urquell, which tastes even better that the common filtered version. Another brand made in the same brewery is Gambrinus. Gambrinus Light (desitka) is probably the most common beer in the Czech Republic, and it's cheaper and weaker than Pilsner Urquell.

Cafés[edit]

  • Měšťanská beseda (Kopeckého sady 13) - a luxurious Art Nouveau style café
  • CrossCafe (Jungmannova 5) - good coffee and some small stuff to eat (sandwiches, salads, yogurts ...)
  • Sky Bar Café (Anglické nábřeží 1) - coffee and something to eat as well
  • Kajetánka (Sedláčkova 2) - a winehouse
  • Anděl Café (Bezručova 7) - coffee and chocolate house with music
  • Kačaba (Prokopova 17) - café and teahouse employing people with disabilities as part of a therapy
  • Nebeská čajovna (Sady Pětatřicátníků 2) - a stylish New Age-like teahouse

Clubs[edit]

  • Zach’s Pub (Palackého nám. 2) - Irish pub with music club, regular music production
  • House of Blues (Černická 10) - regular live concerts, nice millieu
  • Buena Vista Club (Kollárova 20) - regular live music, movie projections, theater performances
  • Jazz Rock Café (Sedláčkova 18) - a place to chill, live music, groovy-jazzy-funky
  • Anděl Music Bar (Bezručova 7) - good music, projections

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

Tourist information[edit]

There are two official tourist information offices in Pilsen. Start your visit of Pilsen by visiting them (choose the main one on the náměstí Republiky, if possible), finding out about the current events and collecting a free map of the city. Both offices are open daily from 9.00 to 18.00 (until 19.00 between April and September).

  • Informační centrum města Plzně (the main city tourist office), náměstí Republiky 41, 301 16 Plzeň (to the left of the Renaissance city hall), +420 378 035 330, e-mail: .
  • Informační centrum města Plzně Hlavní nádraží ČD (the smaller city tourist office), Nádražní 102, 301 10 Plzeň (at the main train station).

Connect[edit]

You may find Internet connection in many hotels, so better ask at the reception first. In case of needing an Internet cafe, there are several options in Pilsen.

  • Aréna - Internet Cafe - Františkánská 10
  • Nico - Internet Cafe - Koperníkova 25
  • Marriott - Internet in the lobby - Sady 5. kvetna 57

Go next[edit]


This city travel guide to Pilsen is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.