Center of Pilsen with the St. Bartholomew Cathedral
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.
From Prague, bus and train are the easy options of getting there. Trains leave from Prague's main train station (Praha - Hlavní nádraží ČD) on an hourly basis during daytime. 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, being located on the Prague - Munich track.
Pilsen's main train station (Plzeň - Hlavní nádraží ČD) as well as the main bus station (Plzeň - Centrální autobusové nádraží) are both located within walking distance of the very center of the city.
For information on schedules and rates, see the online timetable.
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 .
- 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.
- Pilsen Zoo - home to over one thousand species of animals in natural conditions without bars.
- 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)
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 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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, .
- Hotel Slovan, Smetanovy sady 1, 301 00 Plzeň, ☎ +420 377 227 256, .
- AK Penzion Plzeň, Křimická 102 (outer city center), ☎ +420 605 113 606 ([email protected]), .
- City, Sady 5. Května 52 (city center), ☎ +420 377 326 069.
- Stará Plzeň, Na Roudné 12 (outer city center), ☎ +420 377 259 901 ([email protected]), .
- Morrison, Thámova 9 (outer city center), ☎ +420 377 370 952, .
- U Zvonu, Pražská 27 (city center), ☎ +420 378 011 855 ([email protected]), . splurge.
- Parkhotel Plzeň, U Borského parku 31 (Bory neighborhood, south of city center), ☎ +420 378 772 977, . splurge.
- Central, nám. Republiky 33 (main square), ☎ +420 377 226 757 ([email protected]), . splurge.
- Primavera, Nepomucká 128, ☎ +420 377 237 049 ([email protected]), . splurge.
- Marriot, Sady 5. kvetna 57, ☎ +420 373 370 100, . splurge.
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]).
- Informační centrum města Plzně Hlavní nádraží ČD (the smaller city tourist office), Nádražní 102, 301 10 Plzeň (at the main train station).
- 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.
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
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