Located at the junction of several rivers, Plzeň is a historically rich city south-west of Prague. It was established as a town in 1295 and became a centre of Catholic resistance during the 15th-century Hussite Wars. Plzeň is famously home to the largest producer of beer in the Czech Republic, Pilsner Urquell.
Things to do in Pilsen
Spend an afternoon exploring the historic heart of Plzeň, which is home to beautifully preserved buildings such as the Neo-Renaissance-style Burgher’s Hall. Pastel-coloured townhouses surround Republic Square, which is home to St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral with its spire observation gallery. You can pick up fresh produce at the Saturday morning market in Republic Square.
One of Plzeň’s most spectacular buildings is the Great Synagogue, which combines the onion domes of a Russian Orthodox church with Oriental-style decorations and a Star of David on its facade. It was used as a synagogue until World War II, when it was transformed into a storage facility. Now restored, the Great Synagogue regularly hosts concerts and art exhibitions.
Beer lovers can visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, which opened in 1842 and was the first brewery in the world to produce a pale lager. Join a guided tour to learn about what goes into making this golden brew while exploring three different brew houses from various periods in time. At the end of the tour, you can taste some of Pilsner Urquell’s famous beers in the historic cellar.
Getting around Pilsen
Plzeň is around an hour’s drive from Prague and Vaclav Havel International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular trains connect to the Plzeň railway station while trams, trolleybuses and buses travel throughout the city. The centre of Plzeň can easily be explored on foot.