Large European cities crawling with tourists? No thanks. Rather a trip to Pilsen
If you’re the same as the majority of travel lovers during the pandemic, then you may have spent some time sadly looking over photos from your past travels with anguish. It’s safe to say, you put your travel boots back on as soon as you could. Paris, London, Venice, or Barcelona? Any chance you felt a little packed in those places? If you’re not a fan of crowds, you’re not willing to pay 100 euros for a room with twelve other guests, or you simply want to enjoy a Euro-weekend a bit differently, then give Pilsen a chance, you won’t regret it. So, what exactly can Pilsen offer?
A bit of Prague (and close to Prague)
You can combine your trip to Pilsen with a trip to Prague, which is a great place to fly into, assuming you aren’t arriving over land. You can then easily make your way to Pilsen by train or bus in about an hour and 15 minutes for only a few euros. And if you’re hoping to get to know the true Czech pup culture and gastronomy, then Pilsen has got you covered, without the need to pay tourist prices. Just like in Prague, you can take the evening Tour de Pub around Pilsen and even end up in the historical city centre as a bonus.
A bit of Vienna
World-renowned architect Adolf Loos, one of the founders of modern architecture, is often considered a Vienna local. So, surely, you’ll be surprised to hear that you can embark on four tour routes of six interiors designed by him in Pilsen. Regular tours of the Loos Interiors are held on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as on Sundays from the months of April to October. If you’re still missing a bit of Vienna after having seen the quality architecture, then some tasty coffee, delicious cakes (not just sachertorte), and some quality schnitzel can be enjoyed at many Pilsen establishments.
A bit of Dublin
Even Dublin and Pilsen have a lot in common. Of course, we can start with the beer, given that it’s a crucial part of both cities. While this Irish metropolis entices visitors with its tours of the Guinness Brewery, in Pilsen, you can enjoy the world-renowned lager Pilsner Urquell right in the historical brewery cellars. Masterfully tapped Pilsner beer will accompany you every step of the way in Pilsen. Who wouldn’t want to trade gold for black, anyway? However, we will tell you about one way that Pilsen does fall short. Unlike in Dublin, where the most famous Irish prison, Kilmainham, is accessible to the public, you won’t be able to see inside the infamous Bory Prison. However, that doesn’t change the fact that even the likes of Václav Havel were imprisoned here during the days of communism.
A bit of Madrid
Football craziness isn’t only found in this Spanish capital but in Pilsen as well. The local football stadium has already hosted more than one star-studded team during a few cup matches for FC Viktoria Plzeň. In recent years, Real and Atlético Madrid, SSC Napoli, Manchester City, and Bayern Munich, just to name a few, have played against this multiple Czech league champion. You don’t have to plan a trip to Pilsen just for the beer and sights but also for high-quality football.
A bit of Budapest
Even though the Great Synagogue in Budapest is the second largest in Europe, the newly renovated Great Synagogue in Pilsen comes right after it. Here, you can embark on regularly held, commentated tours and admire the wonderfully reconstructed interior. The Pilsen synagogue now primarily serves cultural purposes; we recommend attending the concerts held here, given that the building has fantastic acoustics. But when it comes to spas, Pilsen has no chance of beating Budapest. However, we do have one truly original wellness experience for you at the beer spa located in the Purkmistr Brewery.
A bit of Naples and Venice
You might be surprised to hear that Czechs, and even people from Prague, come to Pilsen for the best Neapolitan pizza. You’ll find its many delicious variations and fluffy crust just like they do in Naples at the Da Pietro pizzeria near the Smetanovy Sady park. And if you were looking to continue along your Italian pilgrimage, then head over to “Pilsen’s Venice”, also known as the Mill Race. You probably won’t find many gondolas here, but you will find a nice afternoon by the water on any given day.