The city's green necklace
Where the city's manifested walls protected the historic downtown Pilsen for centuries in the past, a huge city park was created in recent years. As the need for a strong protection from the outside faded, the surrounding parks continued to grow to give the city it's green lung that significantly created the magnificent urban atmosphere of Pilsen.
You will find no less than five urban parks surrounding downtown Pilsen like a necklace in green. The parks form a place of peace and rest from the city's rumble of recent times and are therefore especially popular by the locals on a post-work afternoon. It is no surprise that the parks count as one of the most visited attractions of Pilsen.
A walk through the Smetanovy Sady...
… is exactly the thing you need after an exciting evening at the theater. The Grand Theater of Pilsen is located right next to the park and is surrounded by chestnut and linden trees. The imposing building was built in the Neoclassical Style and impresses with its enormous size from further away. You will be reaching the city library of Pilsen about 100 meters behind the theater. Josef Smetana greets you here directly in front of the library. The uncle of the famous composer Bedřich Smetana (“The Vltava”) was immortalized with a statue dedicated to him.
Moreover, many of the districts park benches were designed by art students from the University of Pilsen. Together with the tropical greenhouses they form a very colorful atmosphere.
A community hot-spot in the Kopeckého sady park
The second part of the chain of parks, surrounding the historic parts of Pilsen, is located right next to Smetanovy Sady. In the so called Kopeckého sady many flower beds in the most amazing set of colors as well as a water fountain that plays some parts of Smetana's compositions every hour. await you. You will find the cultural center Burger's Hall (Mestanska Beseda) directly behind the fountain,
The building is an architectonic highlight itself. It was first constructed in the year 1901 and used to serve as a meeting hall for the most famous visitors and guests of the city. In the year 1994, it was reconstructed as a monument of culture and is now considered as being the most important cultural institution in Pilsen. There are many community rooms and saloons as well as a cinema and a cafe in the building.
Museum of western Bohemia in the Šafaříkovy sady park
The Museum of western Bohemia is one of the largest museums in the entire country with more than two million exhibits and can be found by the left edge of the chain of parks. In it, the “city armory” is especially worth a visit – there is a huge collection of armaments and firearms to be seen. Back in the park, you can continue over well groomed pastures towards the Křižíkovy sady park. The Křižíkovy sady is especially nice in the summer months when its arcade of roses flourish in full glory.
Through this sea of roses you will get to the eastern part of the chain of parks. Make sure to check out the remaining old parts of the city wall here and the so called Theatrum Mundi, the biggest mural in the entire Czech Republic. Many of the most important celebrities of the Czech city are to be found on the more than 200 square meters large wall painting – for example the founder of Pilsen “Wenceslaus II Přemyslid”, the King of Bohemia, is portrayed on the wall.
A bit of Venice in Pilsen
The water channel and the equally named park Mlýnská strouha complete the chain of parks to the north east. The channel used to serve as a transport system in the mill “Panský mlýn” (translated “ manor mill”). Because a small amount of ferry boats used to operate on the channel, this part of downtown Pilsen earned its nickname “Venice” in the 19th century and was well known as a place of peace and romance.
However, where the mill used to stand is now the Marriot Hotel and the channel is merely being preserved for aesthetics. The parks are the center of life in Pilsen in the summer months. While parents stroll around the park avenues, children enjoy sporty activities on one of the numerous colorful climbing frames, that are works of art themselves.
How to get there
From Germany take the A3 coming from Nuremberg or alternatively the A93 from Regensburg/ Munich to get to the A6 to Prague. Follow the A6 for about 100 kilometers to the exit in the direction of Most. Head to the center of Pilsen on the route 26. There are two multistory car parks to the right and left of the route 26 right before the pedestrian zone. You can walk to the chain of parks from there.
With public transportation
There are numerous long distance trains stopping in Pilsen coming from all directions. The central station is located only about 300 meters away from one of the inner city parks. You can reach most of the attractions of Pilsen walking from the station.