I’ve wanted to visit Pilsen ever since my very first sip of Pilsner Urquell. Although my visions of a mid-evil town with moats overflowing with golden beer wasn’t quite accurate, my day trip to Pilsen proved that this small industrial town 93 kilometers from Prague is so much more than the birthplace of my favourite beer.
Since my time in the Czech Republic was short I decided on a day trip to Pilsen. Getting there from my Aria Prague Hotel proved very easy. Trains leave every hour from Praha Hlavni Nadrazi station and cost 300 CZK for a return trip. Tickets are open meaning you can hop on any of the trains coming and going to Pilsen.
After our short 1.5 hour our scenic ride we arrived at the Pilsen train station ready to see the sights. Thankfulley for this day trip to Pilsen, the towns main attractions are centered around the main square which is a short walk or tram ride away.
Free to Roam
The first thing I noticed on my day trip to Pilsen was the lack of tourists. After rediscovering how busy Prague has become I was expecting similar crowds, but no. There I was in the middle of Pilsen’s beautiful Republic Square and no one was around. Bonus – we sat and had a coffee/beer in a café within the square and was not gouged on prices. This freedom alone is worth the day trip to Pilsen, not to mention the interesting architecture found in the Square.
Capital of Culture
While enjoying our coffee/beer in the square we met up with a representative from Pilsen 2015 to share the awesome and artsy events going on. She went on to explain that Pilsen has always been known as industrial town with an artistic side that is only starting to get the credit it deserves. It is a bit of a surprise it has taken so long for the world to take note. Being named Europe’s Capital of Culture should bring Pilsen the spotlight it deserves. Throughout the year Pilsen is hosting some pretty awesome events such as music concerts, photography exhibitions, and art displays. (for full lineup see here) If you’re going to visit this capital of culture, now is the time to do it. With so much going on you may even consider more than a day trip to Pilsen.
All of the Beer
Of course a day trip to Pilsen isn’t complete without a visit to thePilsner Urquell Brewery, something that has long been on my bucket list.
Not surprisingly there is more Pilsner beer history than the Pilsner Urquell brewery. The Museum of Beer documents just that. This quirky yet fascinating museum is set in an old brew house and includes several fun and interactive displays – but then again how can beer not be fun?
Old Town Walk
Post Beer Museum Tour we enjoyed an unfiltered and unpasteurized pint of Pilsner Urquell, something you can only get in this town and something not-to-be missed on your day trip to Pilsen.We then continued our day trip to Pilsen with a walking tour of the Old Town. This fascinating insight to the buildings and people of Pilsen included a visit to the largest synagogue in the Czech Republic, the old city hall, and the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew – the tallest church tower in the Czech Republic. This included some interesting superstitions such as touching the angel faces on the churches gates for good luck.
By the looks of it there is lots of luck to give.
Worth the Trip
A day trip to Pilsen should be on everyone’s Prague itinerary. I may be biased because of my (disturbing) love for Pilsner Urquell but I quickly found a day trip to Pilsen can offer so much more. From the beautiful and massive Old Town Square that is yours to enjoy Segway free, to the history and culture beyond, Pilsner is a win.
Being a capital of culture, there’s no better time to visit.