Just an hour and a half southwest of Prague by train, Plzen is an easy day trip. You can buy your tickets from Praha hlavni nadrazi (main train station) ticket counter, a reservation on the train to Plzen and open ended return ticket back to Prague. Trains run hourly in both directions making your itinerary extremely flexible.
Plzen is a beautiful city with so much to see you could easily fill a few days of activities. As a day trip, we focused our time on three activities, The Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour, Brewery Museum and Pilsen Historical Underground Tour. Restaurace Na Spilce, located on the Pilsner Urquell property is an excellent dining choice serving traditional Czech cooking and of course, Pilsner Urquell beer!
While Plzen offers an excellent public transit system featuring many trams and busses we found it quite easy to walk from the train station to the brewery. The route from the brewery to the Pilsen Underground is marked and easy to find. The Square of the Republic, Plzen’s old town square is just a block or two from the Underground.
The Square of the Republic is the historical center of Plzen and is one of the largest medieval squares in the Czech Republic. Restored since the fall of communism to its original beauty with buildings dating as early as 1300. Below the square and its surrounding buildings is a labyrinth of underground tunnels and passageways dropping several levels below the surface. Many of the tunnels date back to the 14th century and can be explored as part of the Pilsen Historical Underground Tour. We included this tour on our visit and would suggest you do the same. Our guide was both knowledgeable and very entertaining as she explained the origin and historical significance of this intricate network of passageways, showing the secret nooks and crannies and how they played into the day to day life in this subterranean underground. Tours are available in many languages and can be booked together with the Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour.
The brewery tour is easily Plzen’s biggest attraction, brewing beer at this location since 1842 they are the first brewery to produce pilsner blonde lager beer. The name Pilsner Urquell roughly translates to “The Original Pilsner“. You’ll have an opportunity to explore the facility, from the modern bottling facility to the old copper brew kettles and finally the cellars below the brewery. The highlight for me was tasting the fresh unpasteurized beer directly from the wooden casks… Delicious!
The brewery museum is located at the entry to the Pilsen Historical Underground and features the original medieval brew house dating back to the 15th century. Visitors will learn the story of beer from ancient times to present day with another welcome sampling of Pilsner Urquell beer.
Make your reservations in advance of your visit since the English tours for both the brewery and the underground should be coordinated.
The Beer-Centric Traveler writes for Play Harder Tours… Please email Bill@playhardertours.com and start your travel planning today! For a complete list of recommendations please email with “Plzen Day Trip” on the subject line. I’d love to hear your suggestions too.