Abstract Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramic tubes with large length–diameter ratio were fabricated by a viscous plastic processing-extrusion method at different sintering temperatures and holding times. The phase composition, microstructure, dielectric and piezoelectric properties of the tubes were investigated by XRD, SEM, precision impedance analyzer and d33 measuring instruments. A typical perovskite phase without other impurities was obtained for the tubes sintered at 1290°C for 2h. A homogeneous and compact structure with 2–5μm grain sizes was also observed. The relative dielectric constant (εr) and dielectric loss (tanδ) of PZT piezoelectric ceramic tubes were 2734 and 0.35, respectively. The longitudinal piezoelectric coefficient (d33) of PZT ceramic tubes was 528pCN−1.