Anyone who’s been following us these past few months knows we’re currently living in the Czech Republic. Obviously, going to pubs and breweries has become a pass time of ours. You could say it’s by choice but it’s basically just the Czech lifestyle. If you remember our first post, we visited a little local gem here in Prague. This time we went outside of Prague to a less hidden gem… The Pilsner Urquell Brewery!
With spring right around the corner and all of Prague’s beautiful parks, pubs, and breweries filling up with flocks of both tourists and locals we recommend getting out of the city and visiting one of Prague’s little brother, Plzen (Pilsen) which is located in Western Bohemia. The name sounds awfully familiar doesn’t it? Feels like a word you’ve said a million times before. Well, it’s because you probably have!
If you’ve ever been to a frat party, wedding, long weekend camping trip, or just having a drink during the week you’ve probably stumbled upon a Pilsner once or twice. Since Pilsner beer makes up two thirds of all the beer in the world, there’s a good chance you’ve consumed your fair share as well (just like us). Well, that wonderful invention comes from this small city nestled away in western Czech Republic. So, if you’re interested in learning about the history of beer and learning about the original Pilsner then make sure to take some notes and make your way to the Czech Republic if you’re not already here!
The brewery itself was founded back in 1842 as the first of its kind which would end up producing the world famous pale lager which is now replicated all around the world. The Pilsner Urquell Brewery main gates open themselves up to guests all year around, and there is no other place like it in the world. Literally. Pilsner Urquell beer is supposedly only produced and exported from this Pilsner Urquell Brewery.
And that’s not all of it… The brewery produces about 120.000 bottles of beer per minute. That has to be a sign of good beer, right? No wonder the Pilsner Urquell tour is one of the world’s best rated tourist attractions.
Who to bring
This wonderful balance of history and beer is the perfect mix for almost anyone travelling, living abroad, or looking for somewhere to explore on the weekend. We’d personally recommend this to almost everyone. You see almost every aspect of the brewery, learn all about the processes of brewing the golden liquid, the history behind, and you even get to try the world famous Pilsner Urquell beer (raw version, yummy!) at the end of the tour. The beer is poured directly from the underground orc barrels – it really doesn’t get much closer to the source than that. It’s a great trip for a group of university students studying abroad. Or if your friends or family visit you while you’re staying here in Czech. Best part? The whole day is affordable for basically any kind of traveler.
When to go
We would definitely recommend you to go earlier in the day. Especially if you’re doing a day trip from Prague. It will give you plenty of time to explore the town square and make a few stops along the way before heading to the tour. Just make sure you book tickets in advance because they do sell out quickly (we bought our tickets three days in advance out of season and they were almost sold out).
How to get there
Pilsner is just over an hour away so it is extremely easy to get to using public transport. This makes this trip extremely doable for locals or tourists who are spending a few days in Prague. Using the Omio app (previously known as GoEuro) or Můj vlak app you can purchase tickets to get to Pilsner ranging from 2-4 € a ticket. Conveniently, buses and trains go extremely often directly from Prague main station to Pilsner main station. There are also other departure points around Prague if you aren’t based close to the main station. Multiple buses and trains go there, but to make it easier for yourself I’d recommend you that you use DPP’s journey planner.
Other useful info:
- Book your ticket in advance! They were almost sold out when we went, and we booked a few days in advance.
- If you have an ISIC card you can get a discount on both your train ticket and your brewery ticket. (It saves you 75% on the train fare and about 35% on the brewery ticket). You can also get a discount on your brewery ticket if you have a regular student card.
- We’d recommend stopping at Pivotecka for lunch. The variety of beer is great and the traditional goulash is fantastic. Also the owner speaks english quite well and is extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the history of the city and the beer.
- Pilsner is also known for its medieval network of underground tunnels which are accessible by guided tours. You could easily add that in before or after the beer tour and have a fun packed day of tours!
- If you’re really coming to Pilsner for the beer then don’t forget to stop by the Beer museum.
- One litre of beer requires roughly 4-8 litres of water to produce. Yet, wherever you go, beer is cheaper than water in the Czech Republic. Logic? I guess they just want you to always be drunk…
- Pilsner beer makes up about 90% of the beer consumed yearly in the Czech Republic. Heck, they love their Pilsner! Good on them!
- Pilsner is also a rich source of vitamin B, antioxidants, and supports digestion. If you ask Dom’s grandma you should drink a glass of beer for dinner with every meal. I’m not complaining! 😉
- Czech adults drink about 143 liters of beer yearly. 286 pints per capita per year. They’re either listening to Dom’s grandma or they all just really like to have a good time.
Have you been to a brewery before? Where was it and how did you like it? Please share with us in the comments below!
Dom & Jo