Getting to PilsenAs one of Prague’s closest neighbors, it’s outrageously easy to get to Pilsen at all hours of the day. You can either take one of many bus lines, like Flixbus or Regiojet, or take a regional train which departs to and from the city approximately twice every hour. You can pretty much show up at the train station anytime and get a ticket for less than $5. The trains will get you to and from Pilsen in an hour and a half if you take the express train, or almost two hours if you take the other trains. If you’re traveling around Europe and coming from certain cities in Germany, like Nuremberg or Munich, it makes more sense to stop in Pilsen on the way to Prague instead of taking a day trip from Prague. Pilsen is almost a halfway point.
Things to do in Pilsen
Plzeňský Prazdroj Brewery Tour
Have a Czech feastRight on the grounds of the brewery, you’ll also find the largest beer hall in the Czech Republic, Na Spilce. I recommend stopping in after your tour so you can enjoy more beer and the most delicious Czech food I’ve had in the entire country in the past two years of living here. There’s pork knee, goulash, and beer cheese. All portions are very shareable. Even sharing, you might need at least two beers before you can finish your meal.
Visit the synagoguesPilsen is known for two special synagogues. One is the Great Synagogue, which is the second largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It sits across from the J.K. Tal Theatre, making it a beautiful area to pull up a chair in an outdoor cafe and have a drink. You can visit the Great Synagogue interior for 70 czk from Sunday to Friday.
Climb the tower of the Cathedral of St. BartholomewThough the interior will be closed for renovations for another two years, the tower of the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew is still open for visitors. For 50 czk, you can climb the stone steps up to the tallest spire in the Czech Republic, giving you a bird’s eye view of the city.
Walk around Republic SquareIf you’re not up for a Cross Fit-esque workout, the imposing St. Bartholomew is also lovely to see from the exterior in Republic Square, surrounded by the colorful and ornate architecture of Pilsen. There are many restaurants and cafes on the perimeter of Republic Square, and during certain parts of the year, it houses markets and outdoor concerts. Aside from the church, notable things to see in the square include City Hall, Prague Column and the three modern gold fountains. The Renaissance style City Hall building is particularly spectacular.
Should you spend the night in Pilsen?If you’re in the Czech Republic for a long time and you want to see a lot of the museums in the city, you may want to make it an overnight trip. For instance, there’s the Brewery Museum, the Museum of Marionettes, and the Museum of the Church Art of the Pilsen Diocese, to name a few. There’s also the Historic Underground of Pilsen, a Medieval network of underground wells, storehouses and cellars that you can access on a 50-minute guided tour, which is 120 czk. This one ha a better reputation than Prague’s similar historic underground.
Get the GPS-guided version of this and other Plzen guides on GPSmyCity here.