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Finest Issues to Do in Karlovy Range Spa City

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Karlovy Range Spa

If you happen to’re in search of the most effective issues to do in Karlovy Range, also referred to as Carlsbad, search no additional.

A sublime spa city within the Bohemia area of the Czech Republic (a European nation now referred to as Czechia), Karlovy Range has fairytale structure, steaming mineral springs, woodsy strolling trails and loads of spas.

This journey information will show you how to plan your journey.

Elegant buildings in Karlovy Vary spa town
Stunning Karlovy Range – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Karlovy Range, Czechia – Day Journey From Prague

I can’t get sufficient of Czech spa cities, and Karlovy Range (also referred to as Carlsbad) is among the greatest, most glamorous spa cities in Europe.

As a spa skilled who has written about European spas for some fairly heavy-hitting publications just like the New York Put up, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Toronto Star (she says humbly), I can let you know Karlovy Range Spa makes an ideal day journey from Prague.

I’ve made a number of journeys right here, and whereas Marianske Lazne is my favourite Czech city for a long run spa trip, you’ll be able to’t beat vigorous Karlovy Range for a weekend or a day journey.

Take a look at a Full Day Karlovy Range Tour from Prague right here.

One Day in Karlovy Range

You possibly can simply go to Karlovy Range by yourself as you’ll be able to just about sightsee in a line from one finish of the pedestrian spa promenade to the opposite.

For a lot of that point you’ll be blinking in astonishment on the pastel-coloured villas and motels that stand up by the Tepla River valley like a pale rainbow confection.

The remainder of the time you’ll wish to comply with this issues to do in Karlovy Range information.

Panoramic view of Karlovy Vary
Dreamy Karlovy Range – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

A Transient Historical past of Karlovy Range

Karlovy Range was based within the Center Ages by Charles IV, the King of Bohemia and the Holy Roman Emperor. Supposedly he found the recent springs whereas out on a looking expedition.

Even in the present day, the spa city’s declare to fame is its mineral-rich thermal water that gushes up from some 79 totally different springs.

13 of those springs are used for ingesting cures and also you’ll discover fountains sprinkled throughout city.

Consuming Mineral Water

Right here’s the loopy factor about visiting Karlovy Range: Consuming mineral water turns into an journey as you progress from pavilion to pavilion sipping from the assorted springs.

It’s like a wine tasting …. with no wine! How enjoyable is that? Proper? Proper?

However again to the historical past of Karlovy Range. Within the 18th and nineteenth centuries the city turned the spa vacation spot of selection for lots of the European wealthy and aristocratic, internet hosting A-list guests corresponding to Beethoven, Tolstoy, Mozart, Kafka and Peter the Nice.

Don’t Diss the Karlovy Range Spa Treatment

Whereas many North Individuals scoff on the therapeutic energy of sizzling springs, the European mindset is totally different. Karlovy Range sizzling springs have been used for hundreds of years to deal with numerous well being issues corresponding to digestive points, gout, diabetes and arthritis.

There’s a big vary of wellness remedies accessible like thermal water baths, mud packs and even bizarre issues like gum irrigation.

(I gave gum irrigation a shot. It’s not a lot enjoyable, however it does get the circulation getting into your gums. If you realize, you want circulation in your gums.)

Therapeutic Water

The new springs in Karlovy Range and different Czech spa cities are thought-about so therapeutic that the Czech authorities usually subsidizes spa stays for its residents with sure medical situations.

And may I simply say, for the period of time I spend at Czech spas – and the fervour of my devotion to them – I must be granted honorary citizen standing so I can have backed spa cures too.

Staircase near the Karlovy Vary spa promenade
Strolling in Karlovy Range- Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Beginning Your Karlovy Range Tour

For this self-guided stroll we’ll begin on the north finish (the underside) of the spa zone and work our approach up (which is south).

And sure, north would logically imply up, however it doesn’t work that approach in Karlovy Range, however in some way is smart whenever you’re there.

If you happen to’re coming from the bus station cross the busy avenue and look or ask for instructions to the pedestrian avenue of Masaryka, a diagonal avenue that may lead you as much as the spa centre.

Don’t make the error I made the primary time I visited Karlovy Range:

I used to be too shy to ask instructions and ended up crossing the Tepla River and heading straight out of city. By the point I lastly discovered the spa quarter I used to be exhausted.

Want a personal tour? Take a look at this Personal Karlovy Range Tour from Prague right here.

Tepla River in Karlovy Vary in Czechia
A scenic stroll by Karlovy Range

Issues to Do in Karlovy Range

The second factor to do in Karlovy Range (we’ll get to the primary in a minute) is to stroll round and drink all of it in.

After I drink it in, I imply each the water and the lavish Artwork Nouveau and Baroque structure, with a sprinkling of communist concrete to combine it up.

All alongside the pedestrianized spa zone you’ll discover stunning colonnades and gushing fountains simply ready so that you can cease, sip and savour … or make a face since you suppose the steaming barely sulphurous water is disgusting.

(Until you’re like me, and discover ingesting spring water as thrilling as a very good Bordeaux.)

The First Factor to Do in Karlovy Range – Purchase a Porcelain Cup

Fancy porcelain cups with built-in ingesting spouts are the normal solution to sip spring water in Czech spa cities.

You possibly can decide up a cup from any memento store or kiosk on the road. Go all out and get a gold-rimmed designer cup you’ll treasure endlessly, or get the most cost effective one you could find.

Why Purchase a Spa Cup?

  1. Sampling the mineral water is the predominant exercise in Karlovy Range and also you wish to get with this system.
  2. As a result of among the thermal springs are so sizzling a plastic water bottle is at risk of 1) melting and a couple of) releasing all these BPA toxins into your therapeutic water, which defeats the aim of ingesting it within the first place.
Porcelain spa cups with drinking spouts
You name it sightseeing, I name it sip-seeing

Go By the Spa Lodge Thermal

Armed along with your memento spa cup, amble alongside the spa zone that follows the Tepla River. You’ll know you’re going the proper approach whenever you’ll move the concrete Spa Lodge Thermal.

Guidebooks like to name the Spa Lodge Thermal ugly (and it’s), however it’s truly a wonderful instance of Socialist Brutalist Structure.

If you wish to soak, it’s additionally the place they’ve an outside mineral pool. 

Karlovy Range Worldwide Movie Competition

The Thermal Lodge is the hub of the glamorous Karlovy Range Worldwide Movie Competition held every July. It’s one of many oldest movie festivals round. (Learn extra in regards to the Lodge Thermal’s intriguing historical past.)

Dvorak Park with many green trees
Dvorak Park- Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Verify Out Dvořák Park

Reverse the Spa Lodge Thermal you’ll discover Dvořák Park, named for the composer Antonín Dvořák.

It’s a stunning stretch of inexperienced with weeping bushes and a scenic pond, and is an efficient place to loll round, calm down or hunt up the statue of Dvořák himself.

Park Colonnade in Karlovy Vary
Park Colonnade – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Stroll By the Park Colonnade

Subsequent you come to the Park Colonnade, an ornate little bit of Viennese ironwork from the nineteenth century. 

The pavilion that when surrounded it’s lengthy gone, however when you wander all the way down to the top, you’ll be able to pattern your first style of spa water on the Snake Spring.

The water of the Snake Spring pours out of a sculpted snake spout at a temperature of 30C (86F).

I’ve heard the spring is known as for the grass snakes that used to hold across the colonnade. Wait – did I say snakes? Don’t fear, I’ve been assured they’re not there anymore.

A Be aware Concerning the Spa Water of Karlovy Range

The mineral make-up of every spring could be very related, however the temperatures differ significantly, which suggests there are totally different ranges of dissolved salts and minerals in every spring.

That’s why they style totally different, too.

Snake spout fountain
Snake Spring in Karlovy Range – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Cease on the Spectacular Mill Colonnade

The subsequent main colonnade you’ll see is the Mill Colonnade. You possibly can’t miss it. It’s an extended arcade of sturdy Corinthian columns that lend a specific amount of gravitas to the artwork of ingesting spa water.

You possibly can pattern the water from the 5 fountains right here, however be warned: the spa water is piping sizzling.

(That is when your plastic water bottle will warp and also you’ll actually want you’d purchased that spa cup like I informed you to.)

Mill Colonnade with pillars
The imposing Mill Colonnade – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Historical past of the Mill Colonnade

The Neo-Renaissance Mill Colonnade wasn’t well-liked when it was constructed within the late Eighties. Possibly it was too stately for the spa-goers’ style.

Now it’s one of many predominant landmarks on the town, though with all these fountains it’s not a lot a landmark as a water mark if you concentrate on it.

Don’t Drink Too A lot Water

It’s at this level, often, that I begin to really feel like I’m drowning from the within as a result of I’ve drunk an excessive amount of thermal water.

Please be extra wise and restrained about ingesting thermal water than I’m. It will possibly trigger digestive points when you overdo it.

The place are the Bathrooms in Karlovy Range?

With all this water ingesting you’ll must discover a lavatory sooner or later. You may be happy to know there are public bogs at one finish of the Mill Colonnade – carry change as a result of there’s a small payment.

Historic Peter House in Karlovy Vary
Peter Home- Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Look on the Peter Home

When you’re on the Mill Colonnade look throughout the river and also you’ll see the Peter Home. This half-timbered constructing is among the older buildings on the town.

Constructed between 1706 and 1709, it’s now a pizza restaurant, which appears an enormous ignoble for a heritage constructing however perhaps it’s actually good pizza.

A plaque outdoors is devoted to Peter the Nice, who, in a typical present of manly prowess, helped construct by hand a home throughout the highway.

White Market Colonnade
Cease scratching your head and get out of my shot of the Market Colonnade – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Don’t Miss the Market Colonnade

By now chances are you’ll be getting drained of viewing fountains and colonnades however there are two extra watery issues to see in Karlovy Range. One is the frothy-looking Market Colonnade. 

Inside is the Charles IV Spring. That is stated to be the unique spring that Charles IV soothed his ailing legs in again within the 14th century when it was nothing greater than a steaming pool within the forest.

The white wood constructing is so darn fairly it’s not possible to not {photograph}.

You may, nevertheless, get the urge to begin elbowing different selfie-happy vacationers out of the way in which as a result of they hold wandering into your shot. Relax. Loosen up. Have a drink of water.

Market Colonnade in Karlovy Vary
One other view of the Market Colonnade- Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Attempt Some Becherovka

If the crowds are actually attending to you, look out for a sales space formed like an enormous inexperienced bottle and purchase a shot of Becherovka.

This well-known natural liqueur produced in Karlovy Range acts as a digestive help and is as a lot part of the ‘Karlovy Range ingesting treatment’ as mineral water.

I used to take a bottle again with me to Canada and have a wee sip each evening, hopeful (however not very) that it might carry me good well being.

Tepla River with pastel buildings
The Tepla River – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

See the Church of St Mary Magdalene

Close to the Market Colonnade is the Baroque Church of St Mary Magdalene inbuilt 1737. If it’s open you’ll be able to peek inside to see the ornate altar and a Gothic statue of Mary.

Church of St Mary Magdalene
Church of St Mary Magdalene – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Orthodox Church of Saint Peter and Paul (A Facet Journey)

Journey tip: A little bit off the Karlovy Range sightseeing path, within the slightly-faded however very gracious district of Westend is one other beautiful church price seeing, the Orthodox Church of Saint Peter and Paul.

Hot Spring Colonnade in Karlovy Vary
Scorching Spring heaven within the Scorching Spring Colonnade – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Go Into the Scorching Spring Colonnade – A Main Landmark

Throughout the Market Colonnade is brusque-looking Scorching Spring Colonnade. Right here you’ll get a way of the Czechia’s communist previous by its geometric concrete-loving structure.

Discover the Scorching Spring Geyser

Contained in the Market Colonnade there are a variety of fountains to drink from. The spring you’re right here to see is among the most well-known Karlovy Range sights, the Scorching Spring Geyser.

A burst of thermal water that may leap as much as 12 metres excessive, the Scorching Spring Geyser is Karlovy Range’s reply to Yellowstone’s Outdated Trustworthy.

It’s the most popular spring in Karlovy Range at a mind-boiling 72 °C (162 F). 

Hot spring fountain
Exterior the Scorching Spring Colonnade – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Take a Espresso Break on the Elegant Café Elefant

It could appear, at this level, that the one factor to do in Karlovy Range is to drink. That’s a legitimate level, however at the very least on the historic Café Elefant you’ll be able to have cake, too. 

Opened in 1715, this pretty café is situated at Stará Louka 30. Suppose chandeliers, white columns and gold mouldings … if it was adequate for Beethoven it’s adequate for you.


Karlovy Range spa city has loads of boutiques so you’ll be able to spend quite a lot of time … spending.

In search of a memento? Pink porcelain and Bohemian crystal are two of the principle issues to purchase in Karlovy Range.

Eat Spa Wafers Scorching Off the Grill

In all honesty, I don’t discover spa wafers all that thrilling, however in Karlovy Range they’re a practice.

My favourites are the hazelnut and it looks like a ritual to purchase them at U Jachyma at 34 Stará Louka simply earlier than you come to the Grandhotel Pupp.

Grand Hotel Pupp
Grandhotel Pupp – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Gaze on the Grandhotel Pupp

On the finish of the spa zone is the legendary Grandhotel Pupp. This lavish 5-star property was the mannequin for the lodge within the film the Grand Budapest Lodge. 

It’s additionally featured within the James Bond flick On line casino Royale and the comedy Final Vacation starring Queen Latifah.  

With a historical past that dates again to the 1700s, the Grandhotel Pupp is probably the most luxe lodge in Karlovy Range, and sure, the proper pronunciation sounds a bit like ‘poop.’ Simply let it go.

Head into the hills – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Take the Funicular to the Diana Tower Lookout

It’s possible you’ll suppose your tour is over, however the most effective is but to return. If you happen to stroll to the proper of the Grandhotel Pupp you’ll discover a funicular to take you as much as the Diana Lookout Tower within the fantastic Slavkov Forest.

On the high you’ll be able to climb the 150 steps (or take the elevator) up the watchtower for some spectacular views.

If you happen to like climbing you can stroll as much as the Diana Watchtower from city. There are such a lot of trails and fascinating issues to see within the hills round Karlovy Range, I can’t start to explain them.

Oh, wait. I already did. Learn my Karlovy Range Deer Leaping Stroll article to examine that journey.

Different Karlovy Range Sights

That’s it for the strolling portion of this ‘issues to do in Karlovy Range’ journey information, however when you’re spending greater than a day right here otherwise you nonetheless have vitality to spare, there are many different issues to do in Karlovy Range.

Jan Becher Museum
Becherovka!  – Picture Credit score: Carol Perehudoff

Tour the Becherovka Guests Middle

One of the crucial well-liked locations to go to in Karlovy Range is the interactive Jan Becher Museum, now referred to as the Becherovka Guests Middle.

Why go to? As a result of lastly you’ll be able to drink one thing stronger than water.

Keep in mind the liqueur Becherovka we had been speaking about earlier? The Guests Middle is devoted to this legendary natural elixir.

What Can You Do on the Becherovka Museum?

  • Tour the previous cellars
  • Find out how the historical past of Becherovka is entwined with the historical past of the spa city
  • Do a Becherovka tasting (everybody’s favorite half)

The Jan Becher Museum is situated within the authentic manufacturing facility at T.G.Masaryka 57. Basically that is again the place we began from. Go to the web site for more information.

Clear glass at Moser Glass Factory
Moser glass within the making

A Karlovy Range Custom – The Moser Glass Manufacturing facility

If shopping for a porcelain cup with a spout isn’t sufficient of a breakable memento for you, tour the Moser Glass Manufacturing facility.

It was again within the 1800s that Ludwig Moser opened a glass workshop in Karlovy Range, and his celebrated Bohemian crystal quickly turned the toast of the Austrian Hungarian monarchy.

What Can You Do on the Moser Glass Manufacturing facility?

  • Hear in regards to the historical past of Moser Glass and study in regards to the wonderful artwork of glassblowing
  • Watch grasp craftsmen and their apprentices remodel molten glass into gleaming bowls and vases
  • Store for wonderful crystal souvenirs

FYI: You’ll be cruising previous some fairly sizzling furnaces so now that I give it some thought, you may wish to go to the glass manufacturing facility earlier than you do your Becherovka tasting.

Verify the Moser Glass web site for tour instances and costs. It’s situated at Kapitana Jarose 46/19. You possibly can take Bus No. 1, 2 or 22 from the bus cease Tržnice (Market corridor) within the metropolis centre.

Karlovy Range Spa Remedies

A Karlovy Range spa remedy is a part of the enjoyable. Historically, spa holidays listed below are full packages that run for every week to 3 weeks, however as Karlovy Range tourism will increase, there are extra choices for day spas.

Many motels supply some form of spa remedy choices and, as a spa fanatic, I believe delving into the normal world of Czech spas is among the best possible issues to do in Karlovy Range.

It’s not for everybody although. Remedies are far more scientific than in North America, and your bare physique isn’t at all times fastidiously hidden from the therapist’s view.

The place to Spa in Karlovy Range

If you happen to’re staying at a lodge, it will doubtless have an onsite spa the place you’ll be able to attempt a thermal water bathtub or get a therapeutic massage. If not, you might have a couple of different choices.

Spa tip: Within the Czech Republic it’s not conventional to wash in public sizzling springs swimming pools, however quite to ebook a personal bathtub at one of many spas.

Elizabeth V Day Spa – Spa 5

One place I like for its conventional healing spa environment – although once more, it would too scientific for some – is the Elizabeth V Spa.

A minimum of it used to be referred to as the Elizabeth V Spa, named for the Austrian Empress Sissi, however now it appears to be referred to as Spa 5. And generally the Elizabeth Baths.

Situated firstly of the spa zone, even earlier than the Spa Lodge Thermal, Spa 5 is a white Neo-Baroque constructing on the foot of flowery Smetana Park and really grand trying from the skin, although sparser inside. 

In order for you an genuine Czech spa expertise, it’s a very good Karlovy Range day spa to attempt.

The Elizabeth Baths provides remedies corresponding to thermal water baths, massages and inhalations of thermal water (good for respiratory points).

Additionally they have a pool, however it’s common water not mineral springs. In order for you the thermal water, go for a mineral bathtub.

Spa 5, a beautiful spa building
Elizabeth V

Soak in an Outside Scorching Springs Pool

One place you’ll be able to soak in an outside thermal pool is on the Saunia Thermal Resort on the Spa Lodge Thermal. (Keep in mind that lodge with the Brutalist structure?)

Saunia additionally has an intensive vary of saunas and provides spa remedies. Test it out right here.

You possibly can’t beat the placement, and even when the lodge is ugly I spent every week there and am fairly keen on it.

Attending to Karlovy Range From Prague

By Prepare

There are two prepare stations on the town. If you happen to’re taking the prepare to Karlovy Range from Prague, and also you in all probability received’t be because it’s a 3.5 hour journey every approach, you’ll find yourself on the Horní Nádraží Station.

From there you can take a bus or a taxi to the spa zone.

If you happen to’re taking the prepare to Karlovy Range from Marianske Lazne, you’ll find yourself at Dolní Nádraží Station, which is nearer.

Prague to Karlovy Range by Bus

If you happen to’re taking the bus from Prague, it’s best to arrive on the Dolní Nádraží Station.

Cross Zapadni Avenue and look or ask for instructions to the pedestrian avenue of Masaryka, a diagonal avenue that may take you in the direction of the spa centre.

By Automotive

If you happen to’re travelling from Prague to Karlovy Range by automobile or bus it takes about 2 hours.

Vacationer Data: There are two vacationer data centres in Karlovy Range. One is at T.G. Masaryka 53, not removed from the bus station. The opposite is within the centre of the spa zone at Lázeňská 14.

Motels in Karlovy Range

There are various motels in Karlovy Range and one thing for each price range.

On the high finish of the spectrum is the Grandhotel Pupp. I liked my keep right here. Who wouldn’t?

I’ve additionally heard good issues in regards to the Quisisana Palace, a Neo-Baroque constructing that dates again to the nineteenth century.

In order for you a real conventional Czech spa expertise, individuals have advisable the Dvořák Spa Lodge.

The three motels I’ve stayed at are the Spa Lodge Thermal, the Grandhotel Pupp and the Lodge Imperial – I discuss extra about them on this Karlovy Range lodge article.

Day Journeys From Karlovy Range

If you happen to’re in search of locations to see outdoors Karlovy Range, take into consideration visiting the historic city of Loket, lower than a half an hour away.

Marianske Lazne (Marienbad) might be the spa city closest to my coronary heart and you are able to do it as a day journey from Karlovy Range by prepare. Take a look at this Spa in Marianske Lazne weblog submit to study extra about it.

Is Karlovy Range Price It?

Even you probably have little interest in spas, Karlovy Range is definitely worth the journey as a result of it’s one of many prettiest European cities you’ll ever see. If you happen to like thermal water you’ll be in waterlogged heaven.

Hopefully this journey information will show you how to plan your keep, whether or not you’re spending sooner or later in Karlovy Range, a weekend, or settling in for an extended keep.

For more information on Europe learn Prime Locations in Europe or go to my Europe Journey class web page.

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