Perhaps Karlovy Vary is the most popular resort in the Czech Republic. The city is famous for its attractions – hot springs, beautiful scenery and architectural monuments. There really is a lot to see here. We present you 10 options for an unforgettable vacation in Karlovy Vary.
Top 10 Sights of Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary – it is not only a therapeutic vacation, but also an interesting adventure, which can be diluted by visiting interesting places, buying souvenirs and admiring the local beauties.
To enjoy Karlovy Vary with all your senses, you can’t miss tasting the traditional herbal liqueur – Becherovka, which is produced only here.
It first appeared in 1807 in a pharmacy owned by the chemist Josef Becher. It was originally sold in bottles as a cure for stomach ailments.
The production of this liquor has been shrouded in mystery for 200 years. The exact ratio of ingredients was passed down from father to son. These days, the recipe for Becherovka is known only to two people who make a mixture of spices and herbs once a week. The specific taste is also influenced by aging the drink for two weeks in oak barrels and, as they say, by the nature of Karlovy Vary.
You can try Becherovka in almost every pub, restaurant or bar. It is served on its own or in mixed forms, of which Becherovka and tonic is the most popular.
Becherovka is an integral part of Karlovy Vary. That is why there is a museum devoted to the drink. The exhibition is located in the historic building where Becherovka was made for 150 years. During a tour of the museum you will see a short film about Becherovka, the cellars where the bottles are kept, various historical items related to the liquor (original labels, bottles and fakes) and other attractions. The museum also has a store and a bar that serves perfectly chilled liquor.
Diana Lookout Tower
The observation tower is located at an altitude of 547 meters Grandhotel Pupp. It was built in 1914 and provides a beautiful view of the whole of Karlovy Vary and its surroundings. You can get here on foot or by cable car. The trip takes about 4 minutes. Tickets to and from the tower cost 70 crowns.
Admission to the observation tower is free. Next to the tower is a restaurant where you can sit down for a cup of good coffee.
If you want to continue your journey, we recommend a walk on the forest trails. An information board at the base of the tower will help you find your way. The trails are color-coded according to the severity of the passage.
Geyser Colonnade and a tour of the Geyser Underground
The most popular hot spring in Karlovy Vary can be found in the center of the spa area. Here the springs eject water to a height of 12 m and in 1 minute can issue up to 2,000 liters of thermal mineral water with a temperature of 72 ° C.
The hot springs are surrounded by the Hot Spring Colonnade, which was built in 1975. When you visit the walking hall, which is open daily from 6 am to 7 pm, you will find not only the hot spring fountain, but also five other outlets of waters. The Geyser Colonnade building also contains several retail stalls with souvenirs, jewelry, and glass and porcelain. Also very popular is the restaurant, located here.
Water from the hot springs is supplied by an underground subway to local spas, which use it for both bathing and drinking courses. The old part of this subway is open to the public. In addition to underground vents, you can see rare minerals and other interesting things.
Thermal baths and spa treatments
Relaxing massages, whirlpool baths in thermal water, pleasant warm compresses and wraps – that’s why millions of tourists come here every year.
The first documented patient of Carlsbad was Emperor Charles IV, who used the water from the hot spring to heal his wounds. Among the doctors who greatly helped develop and optimize spa treatment were Jan Becher and Jean de Carro.
Today, spa houses and hotels offer both traditional spa treatments and many variations of health and beauty programs. You can order one treatment or a complex at once. Women usually prefer cosmetic wraps and anti-cellulite treatments, while men can go for a massage and take a thermal bath.
Karlovy Vary is known as the City of Colonnades. All five are located near each other. If you walk from the Thermal Hotel against the flow of the Tepla River, you will soon come to the Garden Colonnade. It is the largest spa structure in this city. The mill colonnade itself was built between 1871 and 1881 and is a few steps down the road.
The walls of the Mill Colonnade are decorated with allegorical reliefs. Looking down from the roof you can see 12 statues, each representing one month of the year. Among the columns you will also find an orchestra stage, a memorial dedicated to Joseph Zietek, the architect of this monument.
The six springs have their own names and differ in the temperature of the water. If you want to try the water, you can buy the original Karlsbad cups at a nearby kiosk.
After continuing a short journey against the flow of the river, you will reach the market, the castle, and the Geyser Colonnade. They are all located just a few kilometers from each other. Along the way you will pass many stores with souvenirs and luxury items.
Moser Museum and Glassware
Moser is the trademark for glass products, best known around the world. A unique glimpse into the history and present of this glass factory is presented by the Moser Visitor Center.
The Glass Museum exhibits offer a fascinating tour through more than 150 years of the glass factory’s history. There are more than 2,000 exhibits and the exhibition is accompanied by seven documentaries in six languages.
Definitely recommend the glass manufacturing tour. During the tour you will see how the molten glass is transformed into unique objects, you will see the work of master glassblowers. After the tour you can buy finished products directly in the shop of the plant.
In addition to strolling through the colonnades and main streets, we recommend a walk around the neighborhood. More than 180 kilometers of hiking paths and trails were created for walking tours, as well as biking trips. All trails are groomed and marked. Most of them were named after famous guests of Karlovy Vary.
As you walk, you will constantly come across gazebos, lodges and other structures that will provide you with rest, shelter from the rain, or just a visual pleasure.
Numerous posters, road signs, and road maps will inform you of the right direction. Tracks are marked with three colors:
- The low difficulty is the color green.
- The medium difficulty is blue.
- The high difficulty is red.
The most popular trails tend to lead to restaurants and attractions. Most of these journeys can be started from the Diana Lookout Tower.
The postal restaurant building is over 200 years old. It originally served as a stall for postal horses, but soon became an arena for important social, cultural as well as political events and a meeting place for the elite.
Neoclassical exterior and romantic interior of the restaurant creates an unforgettable atmosphere. The most fascinating room in the building is undoubtedly the Labitzky Hall, decorated with frescoes by master Kramolin.
The restaurant offers a rich menu, which includes Czech and international cuisine, there is a large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It is suitable for an afternoon or a romantic dinner. Parade halls hold wedding banquets or seminars, the dance floor can be used for corporate parties and other similar events.
If you are a fan of active or passive sports, Karlovy Vary has something to offer you.
Local visitors were the first in the Bohemian area to start playing golf as early as 1904. Currently, Carlsbad has three golf courses and seven more in the immediate vicinity. For fans of tennis built two indoor and 14 outdoor courts.
The races are the most popular with visitors. They were first held in these places before the outbreak of World War I. Once it was the privilege of the rich, now it is a public pastime. To get to the racetrack you can use bus routes 1, 9 and 10. The Hippodrome also has its own golf club, hotel and restaurant.
Souvenirs are an integral part of our journey. We suggest you choose gifts to remember the famous resort for yourself and your loved ones.
- For your dad: You will certainly make him happy with a bottle of Becherovka. The liquor is available in different volumes, in a souvenir package, buy it at the Jan Becher Museum.
- For your mom: She’ll be happy with a glass piece from the Moser factory, which has been producing world-famous luxury items for more than 150 years. The original design and quality of the glass has won many international awards.
- For your grandmother: There are many porcelain factories around Karlovy Vary. When choosing souvenirs, pay attention to luxury dining sets and ordinary tableware. They can be found in almost all the souvenir shops of the city.
- For friends: Another traditional souvenir is Carlsbad wafers (Karlovy Vary). As you walk through the historic center, you must have seen many tourists carrying several boxes of this sweet treat. Waffles come in different flavors and can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea.
- For yourself, as a reminder: You can be reminded of the days you spent in Karlovy Vary by items and handicrafts made of agglomerate (ore) or a traditional cup with a picture of the city.