Views over Pilsen
You might think, due to Pilsen’s position in a valley surrounded by four rivers, that the city isn’t much of a traditional sightseeing location. In reality, however, the exact opposite is true. Not only is the Czech Republic’s largest church tower found in Pilsen, you can also discover a number of observation towers in the city’s immediate surroundings. These locations provide a wonderful view (weather permitting) of mountain ranges such as Brdy, The Bohemian Forest and The Upper Palatine Forest. There are also plenty of places that offer sights over Pilsen, which is why we prepared an overview of the nine most beautiful views of the city.
1) St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral on Republic Square
Pilsen’s truly dominating feature is St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, which boasts the tallest church tower in the Czech Republic. The tower’s terrace stands 60 metres off the ground and offers a view of the entire city and surrounding area. On good-weather days you can even see the peaks of the Alps from here. You will find the entrance to the tower next to the cathedral’s main doors, a few steps away from the plague column.
2) The Chlum Lookout Tower
You will find the Chlum Lookout Tower, located atop a forested hill, in Pilsen’s Doubravka neighbourhood. The tower offers a magnificent, circular view of Pilsen and its surroundings, and you can catch a glimpse of the peaks in the Bohemian Forest mountain range on good-weather days. Nearby the tower you will also discover a sitting area, complete with a food stand and playground for children. You’ll have to conquer 121 steps to reach the tower’s top, but the view is definitely worth all the hard work!
3) Krkavec Observation Deck
You can easily make your way to the Krkavec Observation Deck, which first opened its doors in 1901, by either walking or biking any one of the nature trails that lead there. Cyclists are sure to appreciate the designated bike path that takes you directly to the tower. You may, however, travel here by car. Once you’ve arrived, all that remains is the view of Pilsen, the Bohemian Forest, Germany’s Hohenbogen mountains and the Brdy peaks.
4) Sylván Observation Tower
One of Pilsen’s lookout towers from which you can watch over the northern skyline is the telecommunication and observation tower of Sylván, located not far from the hilltop of the same name.
5) Koterov Viewpoint
You can find a scenic viewpoint, overlooking a steep hillside, on the street connecting the Pilsen neighbourhoods of Koterov and Božkov (map). You can get here by car, although, a bike path also leads to the location. You can expect to encounter the most impressive views at sunset. Hang gliders can also be spotted here as they take off from the hilltops over the Úslava river valley.
6) Tower of the Radyně castle ruins
The royal castle of Radyně was built by Charles IV atop a hill near the town of Old Pilsen (Starý Plzenec). Apart from visiting the ruins and the highest outlook tower near Pilsen, checking out the rock formations in the forest below the castle is also worth your time. And surely it won’t only be children interested in the legend of the castle’s founding by the vengeful Radouš!
7) Švábiny Outlook
Not far from Rokycanská Street and near the Central Cemetery hides the Švábina Outlook, surrounded by picturesque nature scenes (map). This vantage point offers an impressive view over Pilsen, Přimda Mountain and the Bohemian Forest.
8) Tower at DEPO2015
The metal observation tower, designed by the artist Čestmír Suška, at the DEPO2015 cultural centre offers a bird’s-eye view of the industrial area of the former bus depot.
9) Mikulka Lookout
If you’re embarking on a trip to the Great Bolevec Pond, then you should definitely include a stop at the Pilsen hilltop known as Mikulka, which stands nearly 400 metres above sea level (map). When the weather is nice, you can enjoy a beautiful view over all of Pilsen.
10) View for the more adventurous
If you’ve already hiked to the top of every observation tower and view point in the area, and are still looking for more, maybe you would be interested in a hot air balloon ride or flying over Pilsen in a sight-seeing plane.