- Location: Western Bohemia, approximately 130 km west of Prague in the Czech Republic.
- Significance: Popular for its hot springs
- Attraction Type: Spa City
- Best Time to Visit: In every season, Karlovy Vary stands out with distinctive seasonal features
- How to Reach: You can fly to Prague and from there take a bus to the town of Karlovy Vary. The journey takes about two hours. There is an airport at Karlovy Vary but the only scheduled flights are from Moscow and St Petersburg for time being.
- Nearest Airport: Karlovy Vary Airport
The town of Karlovy Vary is a class apart from the rest of the Czech Republic. It’s the underground network of hot and cold mineral springs that have made the place one of the largest spa treatment centers in Europe. This picturesque town was founded in 1370 by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Karlovy Vary is historically known for its 13 main hot springs, around 300 smaller springs and the warm-water Teplí¡ River. In the 19th century, the town became a popular tourist hub, especially for international celebrities who choose this place for a spa treatment. The town has also gained importance for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the noted Czech liqueur Karlovarskí¡ Becherovka.
Visiting Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary is the biggest of the three renowned Czech Spa towns. You will thoroughly enjoy the health spas and feel refreshed and energetic. One of the greatest attractions of Karlovy Vary is its mineral water. There are 12 different types of mineral waters, and each having different flavors and qualities.
The mineral springs with various temperatures have medical properties which have got healing effects to those who are suffering from the digestive tract, metabolic and certain arthritic disorders, and many more. There are many springs that rise naturally from underground. However, only 12 are used for treatment purposes.
Karlovy Vary is a great place to pamper your body and soul in mineral water that has got healing power. There are also several thermal hotel pools where you can flock in. The spa treatment provides a number of services ranging from various thermal pools to wallow in, curative baths, massage electro treatments, and saunas.
There are also a number of popular attractions in Karlovy Vary that you must visit during your trip to this town. Visit the attractions like the Church of St. Andrew, the orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Municipal Theater, the Mill Colonnade and the Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene. Visiting the Moser Glass Factory will also be a good experience for you. There are also a number of items produced by local porcelain craftsmen available for sale. Buy some and take those back to your home as souvenirs.
The Karlovy Vary museum is a small one that traces the history of the place through its awesome exhibits on local culture, industry, and activities. The place has also got a number of historical buildings. Chateau gate was built upon the order of Charles IV, which got destroyed by a devastating fire in 1604. Only its tower was reconstructed later in a baroque style. Post Office Manor House, another historical building built in 1791, has got a classic style of design. The interior of the building reflects the ultimate romanticism. National House building is another example of great architecture. Currently, it is in deplorable condition though. Built-in 1886, the Metropolitan Theater will amaze you with its exquisite interiors. A painted curtain representing an allegory of arts by F. Matschem at the top would baffle you. Three Moors House stands in Stara Louka street. It was once the home of great J. W. Goethe during many of his stays in Karlovy Vary.
Those who love shopping should head toward the Old Louka Street — the most famous shopping street of Karlovy Vary. It is lined with high-end boutiques, elegant cafes and specialty shops.
Enjoy the Czech traditional liquor Becherovka, and eat some of the region’s famous hot waffles. Apart from tasting the drink, the historic downtown of Karlovy Vary displays outstanding buildings located literally one after another.
You can either hike or take a cable car up to the 35-meter Diana Lookout Tower which offers a beautiful view of Karlovy Vary and the surrounding countryside.
If you are a sports enthusiast, then this town has got a lot for you. It has plenty of sports complexes, playing fields, and pools to choose from. In Karlovy Vary, you will come across wide-open spaces, parks, and playing fields. Apart from the spa, the town also offers a number of outdoor and indoor swimming pools. Perhaps the best-known sporting events in the town are the races and ice hockey. Even cycling is a great option here.
Accommodation in Karlovy Vary
For accommodation, you will have plenty of options in Karlovy Vary. Right from 4-star hotels to 3-star hotels to budget hotels, you can choose the that best suits you. Some of the 4-star hotels are Hotel Vila Titania, Park spa hotel Sirius, Hotel Derby, Hotel Adria, Hotel Salvator, etc. You can also stay in one of the 3-star hotels like Karlovy Vary Hotel Palacky, hotel Jessenius, Hotel Villa Basileia, Hotel Mozart, Hotel Eurohotel Garni, etc. You also have the option of studio apartment and one-bedroom apartments in Karlovy Vary. Make the most of it.