At the intersection of three Czech rivers – Rolava, Ohře and Telpa, there is, perhaps, one of the most famous resorts not only in the Czech Republic, but throughout Europe – Karlovy Vary. Surrounded by mountains and dense forest, the famous hospital is located, which over the years of its existence has cured not thousands, but millions of patients.
This city was presented to us by Charles IV, the Czech king. The year 1350 is considered to be the founding date of the city. There is a beautiful legend about how King Charles learned about the magical properties of thermal springs. During the hunt, the royal retinue wounded a deer, which managed to escape, but after a while, they saw a deer jump out from behind the bushes surrounding the spring – alive and well. Taking an interest, the king decided to bathe in the spring himself, and after a few minutes the headache that tormented him was gone. After that, it was decided to found the city on these extraordinary sources, but modern tourists are attracted not only by them. Karlovy Vary attractions:
Castle tower – the only object that has survived from the time of King Charles.
Colonnades– galleries built to protect sources and their visitors. Each of them is made in its own style and named after its location: Market, Sadovaya, Melnichnaya, Zamkovaya. Or, as in the case of the Geyser Gallery, in honor of the source on which it was built.
Church of St. Magdalene– a Catholic church, in the basement of which there are the remains of a closed cemetery. There is also an Orthodox church in Karlovy Vary – in honor of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Peter and Paul.
Becherovka Museum – dedicated to the history of the emergence of the drink.
Moser Museum – here you can see the process of making the famous Czech glass and its best examples.
Numerous observation decks and parks also attract tourists, because the Czech Republic is a very picturesque country with beautiful nature.
Many tourists going on a trip are interested in what the weather is in Karlovy Vary, because a trip there involves a long stay in the fresh air: sightseeing, visiting drinking galleries. Winters are European here – the average temperature is -3 degrees, but it can drop to serious marks -15 or even -20 degrees Celsius. Summer in Karlovy Vary is warm and rainy, but cloudy days are just as good for relaxation as sunny ones.
What to see and where is treated in Karlovy Vary
The question of what to do in Karlovy Vary does not arise, here every house is an architectural monument. In addition to the standard program of visiting museums and walks through the colonnades, you can become a participant in interesting events that are annually held here:
- Every April a meeting of European aristocrats takes place in the city.
- In June, there is a festival dedicated to Mozart and his music.
- In autumn, Dvořák’s music and real jazz sound.
- Karlovy Vary hosts an international film festival, as well as a festival of young filmmakers who are just starting their career.
Many residents of our country take Karlovy Vary treatment first of all. The reason for this is healing springs, of which there are 79 in the city. 13 of them have been mastered – around each there is a colonnade or a gazebo, drinking fountains and recreation areas are equipped. Each spring has its own name, it is believed that each of them is suitable for treatment. The thermal waters of Karlovy Vary have collected many legends around them. For example, it is believed that if you drink water from the source number 7, also called “Mermaid”, it will help not only women’s health, but also her fate – she will soon find happiness in her personal life.
The main chemical composition of the waters in the springs is approximately the same – they contain only different concentrations of carbon dioxide and a whole list of healthy trace elements and minerals. Although mineral water is mainly used for drinking, there is a place in Karlovy Vary where you can also swim in it. On the territory of the Spa Hotel Thermal there is a thermal pool with warm water – they try to keep the temperature around 30 degrees. Moreover, you can swim in it, both in summer and in winter. The entrance to the pool is open not only for hotel guests, but also for everyone and costs about 150 CZK. The pool is supplied with water from the Virglo spring.
You can get to Karlovy Vary directly from Prague. The road takes about 2 hours, the distance between cities is only 120 kilometers. During the move, you will have magnificent views of the Czech forests and mountains, you can enjoy equally the nature and architecture of the country – the road passes through two small towns Rakovnik and Kladno
There are several options to get to the resort:
- You buy a guided tour, and you are taken to the city on a tourist bus. The downside here is that you will be limited in time and see only what will be included in the excursion program.
- The most convenient way to get there is public transport. A country bus leaves from Prague from the Florence bus station, buses leave every hour, each of them has comfortable seats, a toilet, Wi-Fi. Tickets can be purchased both through the online service and at the bus station itself or directly from the driver.
- If you travel around the Czech Republic by car (for example, rented), then you will have several options – routes D6, D7 and road No. 16 lead to Karlovy Vary from Prague. If in your plans it is faster to get to your destination, and not to see the surroundings, then the expensive option No. 16 is preferable.
- You can get to Karlovy Vary by rail and even by plane, but it will take a little longer.
If you have not come to the city for a one-day excursion, then the question will certainly arise before you – where to live. The best hotels in Karlovy Vary usually have their own swimming pools and offer guests not only comfortable rooms, but also treatment. The most popular in recent years have become:
- Sanatoriums of the Bristol group. There are several of them in the city and they are all connected by underground passages.
- You can stay in the luxurious Carlsbad Plaza, but the rest there will not be cheap, this hotel has not just earned 5 stars.
- For lovers of silence and European chic, the Richmond Hotel with its own English courtyard for walking is suitable.
- Many regular guests of the resort prefer to stay at the Colonnade sanatorium.
There is always an option that is more economical and suitable for those who love freedom – to rent an apartment in the private sector, visit a doctor and get medical treatment on their own, all the more so all drinking springs are free.
What to see in Karlovy Vary besides the famous springs? You should definitely visit the Elephant cafe, which was glorified by Soviet cinema. According to one of the “cinematic” legends, it was in this cafe that the famous meeting of Stirlitz and his wife was filmed. Throughout the city, there are cafes and restaurants of various levels, where you can always eat deliciously and taste national dishes. In many shops you can buy cosmetics based on thermal water.
Of course, a classic set of Czech souvenirs is presented in Karlovy Vary – pomegranates, puppets, absinthe and Becherovka (there was even a monument to her in Karlovy Vary). All guests of the city must buy and then take with them ceramic drinking cups depicting the views of the city.
If, after all the extensive program, you still enter a request – what to visit in Karlovy Vary, then you definitely need to go on excursions to the castles. The Czech Republic is often called the “Land of Castles” – how many fairy-tale films have been filmed here. Karlovy Vary castles are examples of architecture from several cultural eras – from Gothic to Classicism:
Kynzhvart – the castle in the style of classicism is located in the Slavkovsky forest reserve. It was built on the site of an old fortress and served as a shelter for the Austrian Metternich family, one of which was Chancellor Clement. He turned it into a residence for receiving distinguished guests. Here you can simply walk in the luxurious park, or visit the museum, which displays household items and paintings belonging to the family.
Loket – Gothic castle, built during the Romanesque period, but changed in the 14th century. It was the royal residence for many years, but after certain events, the castle was turned into a prison. Now it is a museum complex of 9 parts; it has its own armory and archeology hall.
Bečov nad Teploi – the Bečov nad Tepla fortress was built in the 14th century on the Tepla River, from where it got its name. The main purpose of this building was to collect customs payments. In the 18th century, a baroque castle with the same name was built. The chapel of the Apparition of the Virgin Mary is located here, and the relics of St. Mauritius are kept in the castle, so the trip will be of interest to believers.
After a trip in a folder on your computer called “Karlovy Vary photos of sights” there will be magnificent views of castles and their surroundings, delightful Czech architecture and picturesque landscapes. For a long time, these photos will awaken warm feelings and desire to return to this magical land.