PLZEĎ – CAPITAL OF WEST BOHEMIA
The city of Plzen (Pilsen) is situated in Western Bohemia at the confluence of four rivers. With its 170,000 inhabitants it is the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic and an important industrial, commercial, and administrative center. It is also the capital of the Pilsen Region. In addition, it has been selected as the European capital of culture for 2015 by the Council of the European Union.
Aerial view of the centre of Plzen from the south. Photo © Monika Spelinova & Kamil Ekstein, 2009.
(Official web of the city is at http://www.pilsen.eu/en/)
Plzen is well-known for its brewing tradition. The trademark Pilsner-Urquell has a good reputation all over the world thanks to the traditional recipe, high quality hops and good groundwater. Beer lovers will also appreciate a visit to the Brewery Museum or the Brewery itself.
Apart from its delicious beer, Plzen hides lots of treasures in its core. The city can boast the second largest synagogue in Europe. The dominant of the old part of the city center is definitely the 13th-century Gothic cathedral featuring the highest tower in Bohemia (102.34 m). It is possible to go up and admire the view of the city. Not far from the cathedral is the splendid Renaissance Town Hall from 1558 and plenty of pleasant cafes and pubs are situated on and around the main square.
There is also the beautiful Pilsen Historical Underground – under the city center, a complex network of passageways and cellars can be found. The passages are about 14 km long and visitors can see the most beautiful part of this labyrinth during the tour.
It is recommended to visit the City Zoological Garden, having the second largest space for bears in Europe and keeping a few Komodo dragons, large lizards that exist only in a few zoos in the world.
In the surroundings of the city, there are some worth seeing landmarks, especially the Radyne Castle, the Kozel Castle, and St. Peter's Rotunda in Stary Plzenec which comes from the 10th century.
The University of West Bohemia in Plzen provides a variety of courses for both Czech and international students. It is the only institution of higher education in this part of the country which prepares students for careers in engineering (electrical and mechanical), science (computer science, applied mathematics, physics, and mechanics), education (both primary and secondary), economics, philosophy, politics, archaeology, anthropology, foreign languages, law and public administration, art and design.
The city has access from the D5 motorway connecting Prague (Praha) with Germany (see the map above). Pilsen (Plzen in Czech) has very good bus and train connections with the capital of Prague (it takes about 1 – 1.5 hour to get from Prague to Pilsen). From the Prague International Airport Ruzyne (PRG) you can reach Pilsen by frequent public transport in 1.5 – 2 hours.
The closest airport to the city of Plzen is the Vaclav Havel Airport Prague (code PRG, www.prg.aero), other possibilities are much farther airports in Munich or Vienna. The Prague airport is well connected by highway with Pilsen, so the travel time is not too high. By car it is usually only slightly more than one hour of driving. The recommended ways of transport from the airport are listed here:
By train: Use the Airport Express (marked AE) bus service (travel time 45 min, goes every 20 minutes, cost 60 CZK) from airport to the main railway station in Prague (Praha hl.n.) and take a train to Pilsen (Plzen, hl.n.) (travel time 95 min, goes every hour, cost 100 CZK). From main railway station in Pilsen it is a 3 minutes walk to get to the hotel, directions here
By bus: Use the bus line No. 100 (travel time 20 min, goes every 15 min on weekdays, 20 min on weekends, cost 24 CZK) to the final stop Zličín (also a final stop of the yellow metro line B if you want to use it for travel from/to Prague) and take a bus to Pilsen (tikets are sold in the building left from metro entrance and buses depart from the platform No. 1 farthest on the right). We can recommend the Studentagency company for their good service, but in rush hours (Friday and Sunday evenings for example) they are usually full (as the tickets are sold in advance and people book them out, visit their booth inside the mentioned building, or you can view their pages www.studentagency.eu and buy the ticket online in advance). In Pilsen use the tram No. 2 to the stop Sirková or the trolleybus No. 12 to the stop Šumavská (travel time 15 min, cost 18 CZK in newspaper booths etc., or 30 CZK in the vehicle).
We have a limited possibility to organize the airport transfer by car. The offer may not be available in all times. The price is 1600 CZK for a vehicle up to 8 passengers and 3000 CZK for a vehicle up to 15 passengers. If you are interested in this offer, please contact us at the address firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange it. The price is for one trip from or to the airport. We can also arrange a group transport on departures if there is an interest.
BUS AND TRAIN DEPARTURES
Bus and train departures from Prague to Pilsen can be found at http://jizdnirady.idnes.cz/vlakyautobusy/spojeni/ (you can switch to the English version by pressing a button in right lower corner). The arrival station in Pilsen is CAN (Centralni autobusove nadrazi = Central Bus Station) and Plzen – hlavni nadrazi (Main Railway Station) respectively.
How to get there from the Central Bus Station: Take tram no. 2 – direction Svetovar. At the station Sirkova get off and continue on foot. You can see the hotel across the road and reach the hotel in 2 minutes. To get there you go to the underpass on the escalator, then turn to the left (sign Sumavska), you go up on the escalator and then take the second turn on your left. You go along a long street and the hotel is right in front of you. The reception is opposite the brewery entrance.
From the Main Railway Station: You leave the main train station through the main exit. You go straight on, turn to the right under the flyover and then you go down to the underpass, you go straight on, then turn to the right by the bakery, then you continue straight and turn to the right. By the sign Sumavska turn to the right, then go up on the escalator, you take the second turn on your left and go along a long street at whose end there is the hotel.
- You can find all public transport departures at http://jizdnirady.idnes.cz/plzen/zjr/. Information about fares in Pilsen public transport can be found at http://www.pmdp.cz/.
- Very detailed information about the angelo Hotel Pilsen location can be found at http://www.angelo-pilsen.cz/en/home/.
The conference will be hosted by the angelo Hotel Pilsen, a brand-new comfortable accomodation and congress facility in the very center of the city of Plzen. The advantageous location of the SPECOM 2013 hotel enables the participants to take pleasant walks around the historical center without a need of using the public transportation.
HOTEL ADDRESS & LOCATIONangelo Hotel Pilsen
U Prazdroje 6, 301 00 Plzen
Tel.: (+420) 378 016 111
Fax: (+420) 378 016 016
Some big shops usually accept payment in EUR, but generally be prepared to pay in CZK if paying by cash. Most of the shops also accept payment by credit cards, watch the logo at the entrance or next to a cashier's desk. There are several exchange offices that are in the city centre or close to the hotel and some of them are opened in Sunday as well. As of 31st August the buy rates in these exchange offices are 25,35-25,55 CZK per 1 EUR and 19,00-19,20 CZK per 1 USD. In bank you will get usually worse rate and they will require a small fee. Here we list few exchange offices:
- N 59 at the main railway station. You can find it in front of the entrance to the railway station on the left side close to the construction. The czech webpage is here. Opened daily (including Sunday) 8-19h.
- No 59 across the shoping mall at Americka street 70. Going towards the railway station, you will simply cross the street by underpass before the railway bridge, the office is 50 m furtehr on the left side. The czech webpage is here. Opened daily (including Sunday) 8-19h.
- Another N 59 exchange office is in the centre at Rooseveltova street 1 close to the main square Nam. Republiky. The czech webpage is here. Opened Mo-Fr 8:30-16:45.
- PetraTour exchange office at Sedlackova street 28 close to the main square Nam. Republiky. The czech webpage is here. Opened Mo-Fr 8-18, Sa 8-13.
- EUROWEX exchange office is in the centre at Otylie Beniskove street from the main square Nam. Republiky go through Rooseveltova street cross the bridge and then in the next block on the left side at its end. The czech webpage is here. Opened Mo-Fr 9-17, Sa 9-12.