Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary, or Carlsbad, are the largest and best known spa town in the Czech Republic. About 50 000 patients from 80 countries and some 2 million short-term visitors come to Karlovy Vary every year. The town is situated on the confluence of the Tepla and Ohre rivers, 400 m above sea level. It is surrounded by three mountain ranges and a large part of the town area is wooded. There are about 130 km of promenade paths in the woods.

The town was founded by Bohemian King and Holly Roman Emperor Charles IV in the mid-14th century. The development of Karlovy Vary has always been connected inseparably with the soothing curative effects of its warm mineral springs. These springs have attracted many great personalities from all over the world who have been treated here. The history of the town has also been a rather dramatic one. Karlovy Vary was hit by natural disasters several times – by fires in 1604 and in 1759, and by floods in 1582, 1821 and 1890. Each time it recovered and regained its former beauty. The present appearance of the town is marked particularly by architecture from the end of the 19th century, i.e. by historicism and Art Nouveau.

Apart from the mineral springs, Karlovy Vary is well know for its film festival which takes place in early July each year, for the glassworks Moser and for the Becherovka, a bitter-sweet liqueur produced here since 1807.

During the walk around the town we will see several spa houses and beautiful colonnades, out of which the Mill colonnade is the most impressive and best known. The Neo-Renaissance building with a nave, two aisles and numerous columns is 132 m long and 13 m wide and houses several mineral springs. The Mill Spring is the most often recommended by doctors to their patients. In the Sprudel Colonnade, a modern building from 1975, we will see the most famous of all mineral springs in Karlovy Vary – the Sprudel, which is 72°-73°C hot and spouts from a depth of about 2000 meters. There will be many gorgeous hotels (the Grandhotel Pupp) and houses which certainly will make an impression on you. Two great churches are worth visiting: the Baroque Church of Mary Magdalena and the Russian-Orthodox Church of St. Peter and Paul. The Town Theater is one of the most remarkable structures of Karlovy Vary. It was built in the 1880s by two Vienesse architects, Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer, and the interiors were decorated by Gustav Klimt, Ernst Klimt and Franz Matsch of Vienna.

We can take a cable car to the top of the Heights of Friendship with its Diana Viewing Tower, from which we can enjoy a wonderful view of the town and its surroundings. Similarly, a breathtaking view of Karlovy Vary is offered from the top terrace of the Thermal Sanatorium. Here you can also take a bath in the open-air swimming pool filled with thermal water. The Thermal Spa Sanatorium, a modern building from the 1970s, hosts the International Film Festival every year.

As you stroll around the town you will feel the relaxing spa atmosphere, you can sit down in one of many charming restaurants and cafes or shop in numerous glass or souvenir shops.

Karlovy Vary is accessible by public bus. However, it is more comfortable and time-saving to hire a car or a bus.

Duration: 10 hours

Group size (price per group)
1-2 3-6 7 and more
Guiding 4000 CZK 4400 CZK 4800 CZK
Private transport 3800 CZK 4200 CZK 6300 CZK
Public transport 260 CZK per person

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Terms and conditions

Moser Museum and glass works:
180 CZK (adults) | 100 CZK (students)
Jan Becher Museum:
120 CZK (adults) | 60 CZK (students)