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, being a convenient base for exploring this region of the Czech Republic.
Schedules of all public transport in the Czech Republic can be searched on http://www.idos.cz.
The nearest airport is the Prague Airport (PRG). To get to Pilsen take bus No. 100 from Terminal 1 or 2 to Zličín (18 minutes, 24 CZK) and transfer to any bus to Pilsen at Zličín bus station (Regiojet buses are leaving from stop No. 1, ČSAD buses from stop No. 8, last bus at 21:00). Total journey time takes at least 90 minutes.
Pilsen has also direct bus connections to airports in Munich (1 daily, 3:45 h) and Frankfurt (upto 2 daily, 6 h).
Airport Plzeň-Líně is not used for public flights.
Pilsen is located on crossroad of railways to Prague, České Budějovice, Klatovy, Domažlice (and further to Munich), Cheb (and further to Nürnberg) and Most. All trains leave from the main railway station (Plzeň - hlavní nádraží) which is just 5 minutes walk from city center.
From Prague's main station (metro C - Hlavní nádraží) or Prague's Smíchov station (metro B - Smíchovské nádraží) the trains leave on an hourly basis during daytime (20 daily, 95 - 155 CZK, 74 - 96 minutes).
From Munich: 4 daily, over 4 h
Pilsen has direct bus connection to most towns in West Bohemia and also some other Czech and European cities. All buses leave from central bus station (centrální autobusové nádraží) in Husova street approx. 5 min walk from the city center.
Main domestic destinations:
Prague: about 30 daily, from 79 CZK, 60 minutes from Prague - Zličín (metro B) or 90 minutes fromm Prague - Florenc (metro B and C - less frequent). The main bus operators are:
Regiojet - upto 21 daily, leaving only from Zličín, tickets to be purchased in advance in yellow kiosk at bus station or online for 100 CZK. Free wifi, free hot drinks, audio-video system and steward on board.
ČSAD autobusy Plzeň: upto 5 daily, leaving from Zličín (79 CZK) and Florenc (100 CZK), tickets to be purchased at driver. Free wifi on board.
Autobusy VKJ: upto 3 daily, leaving from Zličín and Florenc, tickets at driver.
Flixbus: 2 daily, leaving from Florenc, 89 - 239 CZK.
Karlovy Vary: upto 8 daily, 92 CZK, about 1:40 h, tickets at driver, free wifi available on most buses
Klatovy: upto 18 daily, 40 CZK, 1 hour, tickets at driver
Domažlice: upto 20 daily, 56 CZK, 1:20 h, tickets at driver
There are also direct international bus connections to Germany (Munich, Nürnberg, Frankfurt, Regensburg, Cologne etc.), Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Slovakia and Ukraine, operated mainly by Regiojet, Eurolines and Flixbus.
Pilsen is best reachable by freeway D5 connecting Prague with Nürnberg in Germany.
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 .
A single ticket for a journey up to 30 minutes costs CZK 18 using tram, bus or trolley-bus. Travelcard valid for 24 hours costs CZK 60. Tickets can be bought at any newsagent stand, from bus and tram drivers or from on-board ticket machines (contactless payment only). All tickets must be validated by inserting them into the top of the yellow validating machines near the vehicle door with the numbers at the bottom of the ticket facing towards you and pulling the top of the machine forwards (which punches holes in the ticket). Failing to do this may result in a fine of CZK1000.
- St. Bartholomew's Cathedral - the Gothic St. Bartholomew's Cathedral was founded in the late 13th century, its tower (102.26 m / 335 ft) being the highest in the Czech Republic.
- 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.
- The Great Synagogue - the second largest synagogue in Europe and third largest in the world (after synagogues in Jerusalem and Budapest).
- Pilsner Urquell Brewery, U Prazdroje 7, ☎ +420 377 062 888, . Daily from 12:30PM. Founded in 1842, home to the Pilsner Urquell, the original Pilsener. Tour: 150 Kč. edit
- Pilsen Zoo - home to over one thousand species of animals in natural conditions without bars.
- Bohemia Sekt Winery (Smetanova 220, 332 02 Starý Plzenec, http://www.bohemiasekt.cz/) - While being 10km out of town, the largest Czech Champagne Winery can be reached via train (hourly on workdays). You can book a tour in advance via eMail to [email protected]
- 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) - A very small toy store and haunted house combination, features the themes of fairy-tale worlds and legends. Haunted house was extremely musty and it and the tour are best avoided. The toy shop was nice, and is centrally located across from St. Bartholomew's.
- 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 is 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. Its origin dates back to the year 1363 when the Emperor Charles IV was building armouries in a planned manner in the royal Czech towns to provide for their readiness. Globally outstanding is the oldest part which 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, as well as 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.
- Pilsen City Art Gallery (Dominikánská 2)
- West Bohemian Art Gallery "Masné krámy" (Pražská 18)
- Jiří Trnka Art Gallery (nám. Republiky 40)
- Original design shop - Gift & Gallery shop (Bezručova 24) 
There are several events during the year that are even more suitable for visiting the city than others.
- 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 - last weekend of July. This music festival bring in Plzen the best of Electro, Rock and World music. In 2014 lineup, you can find Goran Bregovic, Dubioza Kolektiv, The Subs, Coma, Optimo (espacio), Bonaparte, Puppetmastaz, Kayper, DJ Yoda,...
- 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)
- Walk through the city parks that circumfuse 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.
- Vinárna u staré studny, Malá 5, ☎ +420 737 814 582 ([email protected]), . Tue - Sat: 11:30AM - 11PM. Italian (Tuscany) cuisine and both domestic and foreign wines. They have great Risotto Asparagi. You can order wine tasting with sommelier here. 120CZK - 200CZK. (49.749345,13.378869) edit
- Rango, Pražská 10, ☎ +420 377 32 99 69 ([email protected]), . Mon - Fri: 11a.m. - 11 p.m. Sun - Sat: 12 p.m. - 11 p.m.. Top quality Mediterranean restaurant, with good wine selection and unique options for dining atmosphere including 16th century cellar vaults. Great calamari. Central location, and also contains a hotel. edit
- Na Spilce, U Prazdroje 7, ☎ +420 377 062 755 ([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. edit
- Na Parkanu (Veleslavinova 4) - the pub to get truly excellent unfiltered Urquell, same group as the Na Splice
- U Salzmannů (Pražská 8) - the oldest beer restaurant in Pilsen serving Czech traditional cuisine, same group as both above
- Potrefená Husa (Martinská 1) - a big restaurant, good selection of meals and drinks
- Plzeňská bašta (Riegrova 5) - a stylish Czech restaurant, good meals
- 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
- Stará sladovna (Malá 3) - Middle-Age-style restaurant
- Comix restaurant (Republiky sq. 14) - Very popular restaurant with good standard of food and services
- Most popular burgers restaurants: Delish Burger, Buffalo burger, Blondies burger
- Angus restaurants-one of the best options for good piece of meat
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 itself, 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.
Less well-known is the fact that Pilsen is also home of the Bohemia Sekt Winery, their sparkling wine being the most popular in the country and almost unknown around the world, despite being excellent.
- Měšťanská beseda (Kopeckého sady 13) - a luxurious Art Noveau 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
- Café Strecha: rooftop café with a nice portion of sun
- 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
- 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
- Ubytovna Zahradní, Zahradní 21 (Slovany neighborhood, southeast of city center), ☎ +420 377 443 262, . edit
- Hotel Slovan, Smetanovy sady 1, 301 00 Plzeň, ☎ +420 377 227 256, . A hotel in a grand art nouveau building facing the city park. Rooms are stuck in the 70s but big, clean and well kept. Offers private parking for guests. edit
- Apartman NOMAD (Houskuv Dum / Houska House), Houskova 14 (larger city center), ([email protected]), . checkin: after 14:00; checkout: before 11:00. Fully furnished and equipped 1 bedroom apartment for 2 (max. 4) people. 3 nights minimum stay. Only advance booking via e-mail. (49.73851,13.38955) edit
- AK Penzion Plzeň, Křimická 102 (outer city center), ☎ +420 605 113 606 ([email protected]), . edit
- City, Sady 5. Května 52 (city center), ☎ +420 377 326 069. edit
- Morrison, Thámova 9 (outer city center), ☎ +420 377 370 952, . edit
- Stará Plzeň, Na Roudné 12 (outer city center), ☎ +420 377 259 901 ([email protected]), . edit
- U Zvonu, Pražská 27 (city center), ☎ +420 378 011 855 ([email protected]), . splurge. edit
- Parkhotel Plzeň, U Borského parku 31 (Bory neighborhood, south of city center), ☎ +420 378 772 977, . splurge. edit
- Central, nám. Republiky 33 (main square), ☎ +420 377 226 757 ([email protected]), . splurge. edit
- Primavera, Nepomucká 128, ☎ +420 377 237 049 ([email protected]), . splurge. edit
- Marriot, Sady 5. kvetna 57, ☎ +420 373 370 100, . splurge. edit
- Angelo, U Prazdroje 2720/6, ☎ +420 378 016 111, . splurge. edit
Pilsen is generally safe, even at night, unless you leave your stuff unattended.
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 Rennaisance city hall), ☎ +420 378 035 330 ([email protected]). edit
- Informační centrum města Plzně Hlavní nádraží ČD (the smaller city tourist office), Nádražní 102, 301 10 Plzeň (at the main train station). edit
- Jet fighter flight in Czech Republic, MiGFlug & Adventure GmbH, Badenerstrasse 286, 8004 Zurich, ☎ +41 44 500 50 10 ([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. 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
- Prague - capital of the Czech Republic
- Karlovy Vary - the biggest spa town in central Europe with beautiful spa buildings, hot springs and Vřídlo geyser, easily reachable by bus
- Mariánské Lázně - another beautiful spa town even closer to Pilsen, easily reachable by train
- Klatovy - historical town 50 km south of Pilsen with Black Tower, catacombs or historical Barock pharmacy
- Domažlice - historical town 50 km southwest of Pilsen, capital of historical Chodsko region
- Radyně - castle ruin on a hill above Pilsen
- Kozel chateau near Šťáhlavy 15 km southeast of Pilsen, reachable from train station in Šťáhlavy
- Šumava mountains - great place for hiking in summer and skiing in winter
- Plasy monastery - in Plasy 30 km north of Pilsen
- Kladruby monastery - in Kladruby 30 km west of Pilsen
- Horšovský Týn - town with beautiful chateau 40 km southwest of Pilsen
- Nepomuk - birthplace of John of Nepomuk 40 km southeast of Pilsen
- Švihov - water castle 40 km south of Pilsen, easily reachable by train
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