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Internationally known for its famous Pilsner beer created in 1842 by a Bavarian brewer, Josef Groll, Pilsen is a city in the Czech Republic about 90 km west of Prague. In a country historically renowned for throwing people out of 3rd story window buildings in mob hysteria, with one such poor victim surviving because he fell on a pile of horse manure, this is definitely the "defenestration" capital of the world. Pilsen is a blue-collar city sitting beside some of the prettiest spa towns in Bohemia, so is quite often forgotten about on the tourist trail.
There are however quite a few things to see and do in Pilsen, if you are so inclined to get off the tourist treadmill. The Republic Square dominated by the spire of St Bartholomew's Cathedral is choked with the colorful and vibrant facades of baroque townhouses where the local farmers' market is held every Saturday. This is a great place to chill out with an espresso at one of the many cafes and watch the passing parade of people. Whilst you are at the railings of the church, follow the lead of the locals and give the "lucky" angel sitting there, a cuddle or two for good health, as this is what the Pilsen hangman used to do. Of course you can take a brewery tour with a happy ending of a tasting if you are so inclined, or go to the Brewery Museum, you can still have a happy ending there as well. If you are into crawling around dark spaces, then you should check out the labyrinth of tunnels built during medieval times that lay beneath the cobblestone streets of the Old Town. This historic underground winds for 19 km, but you have to be in the company of a guide. When the hunger pangs strike, head to one of the local eateries dishing up a hog roast then watch a footie game at the Struncovy Sady, that is home to the Czech League club, FC Viktoria Plzen.
If you want to grab a show then head to the New Theater, the first purpose built playhouse to open in the Czech Republic for over 50 years. For the art lover there are numerous open-air art galleries dotted around the Old Town, in the parks and abandoned industrial units.
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