Advent Pilsen will enchant you with its unique atmosphere
If there’s any time of year that Pilsen truly shines, it would be the Advent season. During Christmas time, the city is submerged by a festive atmosphere. Every stroll through the historical city centre will take you past the Advent market, which entices with its delicious mulled wine, live Nativity Scene, and intriguing selection of gifts. During Advent, you can visit Pilsen’s main tourist destinations, including the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, the Great Synagogue, and St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral with Pilsen’s highest tower. Your view over the Christmas decorations will come as welcomed bonus.
Advent Pilsen will put you in the holiday spirit
This year’s Christmas market will open on Nov. 23, and you can visit it until Dec. 23. Republic Square next to St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral will glimmer with the Christmas tree lighting, and the ever-present aroma of mulled wine and cinnamon will flow through the city centre. Children will be delighted by the little donkey and sheep from the Nativity Scene as well as the bell they can ring to make all their Christmas wishes come true. Your secret dreams can also be granted by the small angel on the bars behind the cathedral, simply reach out and touch him.
As with every year, multiple original Nativity Scenes can be found in Pilsen. You’ll find the largest, carved display and its 72 figurines at the market. There’s also a charming Nativity Scene for you to discover at the Church of the Assumption on Františkánská Street, featuring over 30 figures standing as tall as 1.5 m, including an elephant, a camel, and a horse. It was carved right before WWII by Tyrolean woodcarvers. This Nativity Scene is unique in that it has two Baby Jesuses of different sizes. On Christmas Eve, a tiny sleeping Christ the Child will appear in the manger, which is switched out with a larger, sitting Baby Jesus in the following days.
Enjoy a festive Pilsen without the crowds
While walking through the historical city centre, you’ll discover plenty of monuments. Next to the brewery gates and the Gothic-style St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, whose tower offers the most beautiful view over Pilsen’s Christmas lights, you’ll find another iconic building: the Great Synagogue, which just so happens to be the largest in the Czech Republic and the third largest synagogue in Europe. While in the city centre, you can admire the facades of the many other historical homes, many of which are adorned with sgraffito by Mikoláš Aleš.
There’s still loads to discover here during the winter months while also avoiding the crowds of tourists. Whether you opt for the unique renovated interiors by world-renowned architect Adolf Loos or a visit to the largest local attraction, the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, you’re in for a special experience.
Your children are sure to enjoy Pilsen just as much as you. Aside from the Pilsen Zoo and the Puppet Museum, we recommend visiting the Techmania science centre. Here awaits a giant world of science and technology for your kids to explore, and even a modern 3D planetarium with an area larger than four football fields. At these expositions, you don’t have to worry about running into signs saying “Don’t touch”. In fact, expect the opposite; at Techmania, you can thoroughly examine every display piece.