- Flight time from London: 1 hour 45 min
- Prague Václav Havel Airport: 89km from the city centre; transfer time about 1 hour 20 min
- Nearest railway station: Plzeň hlavní nádraží
- Currency: Czech Koruna
The phrase 'Zde se narodilo pivo' (the birthplace of beer) greets you at almost every turn. And they aren't kidding. Some 400 years ago, a group of men formed Pilsen's first beer-drinking guild and today beer is probably the best reason for you to stop at this industrial town.
Unfortunately for the town, its prosperity and architecture were ravaged during World War II, and few buildings were left untouched. However, the main square, námestí Republiky, is definitely worth exploring.
The annual Pilsen Beer Festival is one of the highlights of the towns calendar.
Plzenské Pivovary (Pilsner Breweries), will interest anyone who wants to learn more about the brewing process. The brewery building actually comprises several breweries, pumping out brands like Pilsner Urquell and Gambrinus, the most widely consumed beer in the Czech Republic. The 1-hour tour of the factory (which has barely changed since its creation) includes a 15-minute film and visits to the fermentation cellars and brewing rooms.
Near námestí Republiky, this small restaurant, named after a local radio station, excels at grilled meats and poultry. Appetisers like mozzarella slices with tomatoes and olive oil stand out in this city devoted to the beer culture. The fondues are a little pricey but not a bad alternative if you have someone to share with.
In the same building that houses the brewery's management, this pub has remained true to those who supply it with beverages by cooking hearty, basic Czech meals. Because the brewery workers make up the majority of customers here, don't expect a multilingual menu or staff.
There's nothing flashy at this typical Czech pub located next to the Brewery Museum, but it is the perfect place to quench a thirst built up by looking at all that brewing paraphernalia. Wooden benches and tables provide the setting for large pork schnitzels, hearty goulash, and creamy svícková (steak and vegetables).
Large shopping centres are located not only on the outskirts of the city near the main slip roads but in the city centre as well. They offer shopping in specialised shops but also serve as a social space with a pleasant atmosphere where it is easy to spend a significant part of a day.
Shops with luxury goods (e.g. glass, porcelain, antiques, and fashion boutiques) are located mostly in the historical city centre.
For pre-recorded beats until the early hours.
Pilsen's main theatre stages regular performances.
Film buffs can catch a flick before heading to the attached Rock Bar Elektra for late-night drinks and tunes.
© Fred. Olsen Travel.
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