One of the most famous Czech spa: Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad)
The Czech Republic has many beautiful places to offer! Besides the most famous tourist destination which is Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, you can also visit other interesting places in this small, but charming country in the heart of Europe. Czech Republic is not only famous for its delicious beer, but also famous for its spa and wellness treatment. One of the most famous and well-known Czech spa city is Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) in the west Bohemia region of the Czech Republic.
If you are already familiar with Prague, we would recommend you to spend some time in Karlovy Vary too. Karlovy Vary is only about 2 hours from Prague by car. You can also use bus going from bus station Florenc in Prague to Tržnice station in Karlovy Vary. Line is generally operated by modern and comfortable buses.
Spa for Kings and Queens
If you are not interested in long spa treatment, but you would like to see famous colonnade and taste healthy thermal springs in Karlovy Vary, you can do just daily trip from Prague, as many tourist visiting the Czech Republic are doing. But to absorb unique calm spa atmosphere of Karlovy Vary, we definitely recommend to spend there at least one or two nights by experiencing the traditional Czech hot water treatments. Ideal duration of stay is one or two weeks for a real “recovery”, as the experts recommend. You can choose from various hotels in Karlovy Vary here.
In Karlovy Vary, you can currently can find 14 thermal water springs with different temperature, minerals and CO2 ratio. Water temperatures vary between 30 to 72 Celsius degrees. Each of those water resources is used as an alternative in many disease treatments. Thermal waters in the city are presented to the public with fountains. The most enjoyable form of drinking healthy water are traditional cups with specific design.
Names of most popular thermal springs: Hot Spring, Lower Castle Spring, Upper Castle Spring, Snake Spring, Mill Spring, Charles IV Spring, Freedon Sping and others. The list of all mineral springs in Karlovy Vary you can find here.
First public spa house in Karlovy Vary was built early in the 18th century, along with the Baroque church of St. Mary Magdalene. A further, particularly Art Nouveau development followed in the 2nd half of the 19th century, when the Mill Colonnade and Hot Spring Colonnade, the Imperial Spa and the today’s theatre building were built.
City was increasingly becoming an important venue for gatherings. The spa was visited by the scientific, political and artistic elite of the 19th century and in the early 20th century Carlsbad was the most famous spa town in Europe.
Today Karlovy Vary with a population about 55 000 is still very famous and favorite spa town for many Europeans, especially for tourists from Russia, Germany, Ukraine and other countries.
As we have already mentioned, many famous people such as leaders and artists visited Karlovy Vary. For example Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Beethoven, Tolstoy visited Karlovy Vary and also the first president of Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who stayed in hotel today called Carlsbad Plaza Medical Spa & Wellness Hotel.
Famous Hotels in Karlovy Vary
Other famous hotel in Karlovy Vary is Grandhotel Pupp. The hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels of Karlovy Vary with comfortable room options, gastronomic experiences in restaurants and bars, pool and sauna options. Pupp Royal Spa offers traditional and modern treatments.
Other famous and populars hotels in Karlovy Vary are Hotel Imperial and Thermal Hotel which is also venue of The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. This one of the oldest film festival in the world held annually in July in Karlovy Vary.
Karlovy Vary is not only famous for its hot springs and thermal water, but also famous for herbal liqueur, Becherovka invented by Josef Becher, a pharmacist from Karlovy Vary, who started selling bitters made to his own secret recipe as a medicinal tonic.
Karlovy Vary offers many places to eat and drink, but we can recommend you restaurant Cafe Azyl which is directly at main colonnade and offer also outside seats with unique outdoor heaters Galavito Heating Table.
Local tip: Funicular and Diana Tower
At the end we would like to share with you a local tip: Funicular and observation Tower Diana, in Karlovy Vary. This tower built in 1914 can be found at the Friendship Hill above the Grandhotel Pupp. You can reach the tower by walking along forest trails or by the funicular, which runs at intervals of 15 minutes. The funicular ride to the lookout tower takes about 3 minutes, but by walking it will take around half an hour. Diana observation tower has also nice restaurant, but the most important is remarkable view of Karlovy Vary!
If you want to learn more information also about other spa cities in the Czech Republic, you can read our previous article about Poděbrady.