Visiting Pilsen for the Champions League and much more
Although FC Viktoria Plzeň has qualified for the group stage of the Champions League for the fourth time now in the past 12 years, the opportunity to host the leading European clubs has yet to feel commonplace for local football fans. And your trip to Pilsen can be just as “uncommon”, given that Pilsen is the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic and primarily known around the world as a beer metropolis, where the celebrated Pilsner Urquell beer has been made for 180 years. What sort of things does Pilsen have to offer, and why shouldn’t you rush back home after the big game?
Make some time for a tour of the brewery
Pilsen and beer go together like Barcelona and Puyol, Inter Milán and Javier Zanetti, or Bayern Mnichov and the name Müller. That’s why you shouldn’t miss out on the chance to tour Pilsen’s brewery; it’s one of the most visited tourist attractions in the whole country. The tour will take you approximately 90 minutes, and you’ll see into both the historic cellars and the modern operation. But most importantly, you’ll get to enjoy the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in its pure unfiltered and unpasteurized form, something you won’t find anywhere else. Once you’re done, simply make your way across the footbridge over the river and straight to the stadium.
Walk through the historical centre
You’ll also find the historical city centre within walking distance of the stadium. When the weather’s nice, you can sit outside on any of the terraces of the local cafes and restaurants with a view of the charming historic houses, the Renaissance-style City Hall, or the Gothic St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral. The cathedral actually boasts the highest church tower in the Czech Republic, which, of course, comes with a view of the stadium. You can also check out the newly renovated Great Synagogue, which just happens to be the third largest in all of Europe and the fifth largest in the world. In the centre, we recommend also visiting Pilsen’s Historical Underground or the Brewery Museum.
Gastro tips and other points of interest:
- Apart from the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, many other delicious beers are brewed in Pilsen by local craft breweries. We recommend tasting the specialties made by the brewmasters from the breweries Raven, Purkmistr, and Proud.
- You’ll find more than just beer in Pilsen, however. Not far away, Czech sparkling wine is made by the company Bohemia Sekt. Could you find yet another interesting souvenir here?
- Traditional Czech cuisine isn’t exactly health food, but indulging just this once should be all right. Order yourself some Czech dumplings with pork and sauerkraut, some roasted duck, sirloin cream sauce with dumplings, or a plate of fried cheese. Pickled camembert (similar to brie), pickled sausages, or potato pancakes also make for a great snack with a beer.
- If you’re on a trip to Pilsen with children, we recommend visiting the local zoo garden and DinoPark.
- Lovers of architecture will surely appreciate a tour of the interiors designed by world-renowned architect Adolf Loos.
- The nearest airport to Pilsen is in Prague. From Prague, you can easily make your way to Pilsen by train or bus in about an hour and 15 minutes.
- You’ll have no trouble at all making your way around Pilsen using its public transport. Tickets can be bought directly in the vehicle with a contactless card.
- The Tourist Information Centre and its wide array of souvenirs can be found right on central Republic Square as well as at the Main Railway Station.
- In the city centre, you can use the restroom for free in restaurants and cafes displaying a “WC Zdarma – Free Toilets” sticker on their door.
- You’ll find other tips and recommendations at www.visitpilsen.eu, @visitpilsen, #visitpilsen or email email@example.com.