The final stages of the Variscan orogeny in Central Europe were associated with voluminous granitic plutonism and widespread volcanism. Four samples representative of the main rhyolitic volcanic units from the Stephanian–Permian continental succession of the North-Sudetic Basin, in the eastern part of the Variscan Belt, were dated using the SIMS (SHRIMP) zircon method. Three samples show overlapping 206Pb–238U mean ages of 294 ± 3, 293 ± 2 and 292 ± 2 Ma, and constrain the age of the rhyolitic volcanism in the North-Sudetic Basin at 294–292 Ma. This age corresponds to the Early Permian – Sakmarian Stage and is consistent with the stratigraphic position of the lava units. The fourth sample dated at 288 ± 4 Ma reflects a minor, younger stage of (sub)volcanic activity in the Artinskian. The silicic activity was shortly followed by mafic volcanism. The rhyolite samples contained very few inherited zircons, possibly owing to limited contribution of crustal sources to the silicic magma, or owing to processes involved in anatectic melting and magma differentiation (e.g. resorption of old zircon by Zr-undersaturated melts). The SHRIMP results and the stratigraphic evidence suggest that the bimodal volcanism terminated the early, short-lived (10–15 Ma) and vigorous stage of basin evolution. The Permian volcanism in the North-Sudetic Basin may be correlated with relatively late phases of the regional climax of Late Palaeozoic volcanism in Central Europe, constrained by 41 published SHRIMP zircon age determinations at 299–291 Ma. The Permian volcanism and coeval plutonism in the NE part of the Bohemian Massif can be linked to late Variscan, post-collisional extension.