If you are looking for a place to relax and to wind down, then the largest spa city in the Czech Republic – Karlovy Vary – is the place for you.
Situated at the confluence of the Tepla and the Ohre rivers and located just 1 hour and 50 minutes away from Prague, Karlovy Vary is the largest and best known spa city in the entire Czech Republic. Although the city was founded in the 14th century, after the accidental discovery of thermal springs in the area, most ancient buildings in Karlovy Vary have been destroyed — mainly due to natural disasters. The oldest buildings in this Czech town only date back to the 18th century, but Karlovy Vary is still flowing with both hot water and exciting things to do.
Karlovy Vary is visited by hundreds of tourists on day trips from Prague every single day. Most tourists visit Karlovy Vary for the hot springs, either to relax or to undergo medical treatments. Spas and hotels offer various opportunities for relaxation — visitors can take “normal” baths or baths infused with special herbs that will help cure some aliments. Massages and other typical spa treatments are also plentiful in this spa city.
Besides its thermal baths, Karlovy Vary is also visited for its architecture. The city is filled with Baroque and Neoclassical buildings which are guaranteed to leave visitors in awe. Some of the most famous spas are evidently inspired by Roman and Greek architecture.
The city is also famous for its film festival. Karlovy Vary hosts the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival every year, which attracts thousands of visitors to this beautiful Czech town.
Although it might not be the more culturally-enticing town in the Czech Republic, Karlovy Vary is the perfect place to stop at if you’re looking for comfort and relaxation during your holiday.
What to visit in Karlovy Vary
One of its many spas
Since Karlovy Vary is the biggest spa city in the Czech Republic, there are plenty of bathhouses and spas available to the public. Choosing the best one is complicated, since they all offer similar services and prices. However, visitors are usually attracted to the Mill Colonnade, mainly due to its architecture. The Hot Spring Colonnade and the Market Colonnade are two other famous bathhouses and worth a visit. Regardless, you probably will love whichever spa you end up visiting, since they are all very good.
Diana Lookout Tower
The Diana Lookout Tower stands 35-meters tall and offers an excellent view of the city and its surroundings. You will need to climb 150 steps to get to the top of the tower, but the view is definitely worth it. You can get to the Diana Lookout Tower by taking the funicular, or by walking for approximately 30 minutes from the town center.
Church of St. Mary Magdalene
This church is one of the most important Baroque buildings in the entire Czech Republic. The Church of St. Mary Magdalene houses several important religious artifacts and Baroque sculptures. It is located in the spa area of Karlovy Vary, so you can visit it on your way to or from the spa.