- For other places with the same name, see Pilsen (disambiguation).
Pilsen (Czech: Plzeň) 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.
The city is well connected with both buses and trains leaving hourly from Prague. Travel times for both buses and trains are just over one hour. From Germany, there are trains every two hours from Munich taking about 4½ hours. Both rail and bus stations are within walking distance from the city centre.
- 1 Pilsen main railway station (Plzeň hlavní nádraží, Plzeň hl.n.), Nádražní 9. The current building, art nouveau building, was opened in 1907. Several tramway lines stop just out side the main entrance.
- 2 Central bus station (Centrální autobusové nádraží), Husova 60.
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.
- 1 Cathedral of St. Bartholomew (Katedrála svatého Bartoloměje), Náměstí Republiky Square. The Gothic St. Bartholomew's Cathedral was established in the late 13th century. Its tower (102.26 m/335 ft) is the highest in the Czech Republic. Free.
- 2 Great Synagogue (Velká synagoga), Sady Pětatřicátníků 11. The second largest synagogue in Europe and the third largest in the world (after the synagogues in Jerusalem and Budapest). Free.
- 3 Renaissance Town Hall (Plzeňská renesanční radnice), Náměstí Republiky 41. Built between 1554–1559, this Renaissance masterpiece was based on the designs of an Italian architect, Giovanni de Statia. Free.
- 4 Historical Underground Network (Plzeňské historické podzemí), Veleslavínova 6, ☏ . One English tour every weekday, three English tours on weekends (April-August); separate group tour arrangements possible. A sophisticated system of cellars and tunnels on three levels under the old town centre. Accessible from the Brewery Museum. Tour: 120 Kč.
- 5 Pilsner Urquell Brewery (Plzeňský Prazdroj), U Prazdroje 7, ☏ . Daily from 12:30PM. Founded in 1842, this brewery is home to the Pilsner Urquell, the original Pilsener-type beer. Tour: 250 Kč.
- 6 Pilsen Zoo (Zoologická a botanická zahrada města Plzně), Pod Vinicemi 9. Home to over a thousand species of animals kept in natural conditions instead of cages. April-October: adults 150 Kč, children 110 Kč; November-March: adults 100 Kč; children 70 Kč.
- West Bohemian Museum, Kopeckeho sady 2. Regular exhibitions
- Ethnography Museum of the Pilsen Region, nam. Republiky 13. Regular exhibitions
- Brewery Museum, Veleslavinova 6. history of brewing in Pilsen
- Techmania Science Center, Borská Street. Modern interactive museum on the premises of the Škoda factory.
- Patton Memorial Pilsen, sady Pětatřicátníků. An American Army museum opened on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Pilsen and South-West Bohemia. Focuses on the American occupation from May to November 1945.
- Ghost Museum, nám. Republiky 33. The exhibition features the themes of fairy-tale worlds and legends. Recommended for children.
- Puppet Museum, nám. Republiky 24. 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 on the history and present of Pilsen puppetry, and offers interactive activities.
- Pilsen Municipal Armoury, Kopeckého sady 2. 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.
- Pilsen City Art Gallery, Dominikánská 2.
- West Bohemian Art Gallery (Masné krámy), Pražská 18.
- Jiří Trnka Art Gallery, nám. Republiky 40.
- 7 Air Park. A freely accessible privately owned collection of around 50 airplanes
- 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, ☏ , [email protected]. 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.
- Football: FC Viktoria Plzen. They play soccer in the First League, the top tier. Their home ground is Doosan Arena (capacity 12,000), short walk from the city center.
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)
- Na Spilce, U Prazdroje 7, ☏ , [email protected]. 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
- U Salzmannů (Pražská 8) - the oldest beer restaurant in Pilsen serving Czech traditional cuisine
- Slunečnice (Jungmannova 4) - healthy bio cuisine including vegetarian and vegan cuisine
- Anděl Vegetarian Restaurant (Bezručova 5) - a creative and stylish vegetarian restaurant
- La Tartelette (Rokycanská 174/7) - French fast food (soups, salads, quiche ...)
- Na Parkáně (Veleslavinova 4) - the pub to get an excellent unfiltered Urquell
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.
- Měšťanská beseda (Kopeckého sady 13) - a luxurious Art Nouveau-style café
- CrossCafe (Jungmannova 5) - good coffee and light meals (sandwiches, salads, yoghurts)
- 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 therapy
- Zach’s Pub (Palackého nám. 2) - Irish pub with music club, regular music production
- House of Blues (Černická 10) - regular live concerts, nice milieu
- 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
- Hotel Slovan, Smetanovy sady 1, 301 00 Plzeň, ☏ .
- AK Penzion Plzeň, Křimická 102 (outer city center), ☏ , [email protected].
- City, Sady 5. Května 52 (city center), ☏ .
- Stará Plzeň, Na Roudné 12 (outer city center), ☏ , [email protected].
- Morrison, Thámova 9 (outer city center), ☏ .
- 1 Hotel Plzeň, Budilova 15, 301 00 Plzeň, ☏ , [email protected].
- U Zvonu, Pražská 27 (city center), ☏ , [email protected].
- Parkhotel Plzeň, U Borského parku 31 (Bory neighborhood, south of city center), ☏ .
- 2 Hotel Central, nám. Republiky 33 (main square), ☏ , [email protected].
- Primavera, Nepomucká 128, ☏ , [email protected].
- 3 Courtyard By Marriott Pilsen, Sady 5. kvetna 57, ☏ .
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), ☏ , [email protected].
- Informační centrum města Plzně Hlavní nádraží ČD (the smaller city tourist office), Nádražní 102, 301 10 Plzeň (just outside the main train station).
Pilsen has coverage by 5G from all Czech carriers. Wifi is widely available in public places.