Plzeň (Pilsen in German) is famed among beer-heads worldwide as the mother lode of all lagers, the fountain of eternal froth. Pilsner lager was invented here in 1842. It’s the home of Pilsner Urquell (Plzeňský prazdroj), the world’s first and arguably best lager beer – ‘Urquell’ (in German; prazdroj in Czech) means ‘original source’ – and beer drinkers from around the world flock to worship at the Pilsner Urquell brewery.
The second-biggest city in Bohemia after Prague, Plzeň's other attractions include a pretty town square and historic underground tunnels, while the Techmania Science Centre joins the zoo and puppet museum to make this a kid-friendly destination. The city is close enough to Prague to see the sights in a long day trip, but you'll enjoy the outing much more if you plan to spend the night.