Prague Day Trip: Plzen

Highlights: nonstop beer bust; city strolls; religious sites
Duration: five to ten hours
Exertion level: low to moderate
Accessible by: train, bus

Plzen Pilsner Urquell

If you're looking for a fresh glass of pilsner, there's no better place than Plzen. Photo: Ma Rui.

Plzen is the birthplace of pilsner lager. Beer is Plzen, and Plzen is beer. This is the most significant fact about Plzen. It's a beer town like no other.

To see

While Plzen's attractions are not limited to beer, the city's lager-based history and present comprise its biggest single attraction. In addition to the Pilsner Urquell brewery, Plzen also has an exceptional Brewery Museum, as well as inviting beer bars. The city also boasts Plzen Historical Underground, a set of preserved tunnels used historically for brewing and stashing beer.

For the beer-neutral, Plzen features a number of other attractions. Rather surprisingly, it contains the massive Great Synagogue, among the world's biggest synagogues. You can also find an awe-inspiring 13th-century Gothic church in Plzen. The church includes a tower that rises over the city dramatically.

To top it all off, Plzen's Old Town is picturesque. Much of the Old Town is encircled by gardens, especially inviting during the summer. Outside the Old Town, Plzen is a fairly unremarkable, industrial, modern city.

Getting there

It's a ninety minute journey from Prague to Plzen by train. The round-trip journey costs about CZK300.

For more information about Plzen, check out the city's official municipal pages.

Want more? Read up on some other Prague day trips, including a jaunt to the spa town of Karlovy Vary and a day in Brno, the Czech Republic's second city.

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