Karlovy Vary, also often known as Carlsbad, is a spa smaller town located in Western Bohemian region of the Czech Republic.
Although not being huge by size, it is a common destination for many tourists, especially due to its architectonic beauty and spa history and tradition.
This small city belongs to top attractions especially for tourists from Russia – Russian visitors can’t seem to stop enjoying the exclusive healing spa treatments (just as the Tsar Peter the Great did back in the 18th century).
The spa architecture, stunning colonnades and curative sulphurous waters are some of the signature things from Karlovy Vary.
The history of the city dates back to 1350 when Charles IV established (at that time only a simple) spa in the area of today’s Karlovy Vary during one of his expeditions.
The biggest boom in the popularity came after the fall of the Soviet Union and end of the Communist Era in Czechoslovakia in 1989 – mostly thanks to the Russian visitors.
For Czech, Karlovy Vary is mostly known for being the host of annual film even called Karlovy Vary International Film Festival – one of the oldest events of such kind in the world.
Karlovy Vary Colonnades
Undisputable must see in Karlovy Vary, colonnades from the 19th century will leave you speechless.
Five Colonnades (The Mill Colonnade – said to be the most beautiful one of them all, Market Colonnade, Park Colonnade, Chateau Colonnade and the Hot Spring Colonnade) and the main reason behind flocks of tourists coming to explore the city every year.
The impressive Mill Colonnade is a 132 metres long, fascinating stretch of five hot springs.
The Hot Spring Colonnade is for instance a place to drink the curative water, but it also represents the symbol of the entire city – the fountain reaching 14 metres in height.
Diana observation tower
One hundred and fifty steps is what divides you and one hell of a spectacular view. The 35 metres tall Diana observation tower is located on the Friendship Hill, right behind the famous Grandhotel Pupp.
It is surrounded by beautiful forest walking trails, making it a wonderful adventure to reach the tower.
If you dare to climb up the top of the hill and then the tower (dating back to 1914) itself, you will be rewarded by a gorgeous view over the city and surrounding nature.
Spa forest – Information
The Spa forest is another great addition to the colonnades and all the pleasurable treatments you can enjoy while being in the city.
The Spa forest is a fascinating surrounding full of walking paths, bicycle trails.. all nicely marked and maintained.
The total of 180 kilometres of walkways will please your desire for nature to the fullest.
Becherovka is traditional and the most famous liqueur originated in the Czech Republic.
This herbal liqueur of golder colour and specific taste and scent has a history stretching more than 200 years back.
Becherovka Museum is dedicated to this liquid gold of Czechs, allowing visitors to discover its production.
Apart from the production process and manufacturing, the museum also offers a chance to taste, buy samples and other souvenirs connected to Becherovka and its history.
The Hot Spring is the warmest, as well as the richest spring in the city of Karlovy Vary.
Spurting mineral water up to 12 metres in height and having temperature of about 72°C, it is the most popular spot for spa visitors.
The Hot Spring discovered in 16th century is situated in the spa centre.
Apart from the Hot Spring itself, the surrounding Hot Spring Colonnade and the Hot Spring Underground are also a big attraction.
Moser Glassworks museum
The Czech Republic is mostly know for two things – beer and crystal glass. If you want to discover the second mentioned, Karlovy Vary is a great place to do so!
Moser Glassworks is a museum presenting the luxury crystal glass produced by the Moser brand, its history and creation.
The museum is showing the atmosphere of the art which has been living more than 150 years.
You can see some of the oldest examples of historical glasswork, watch a movie about this craft and experience the atmosphere of this hand made jewel.
The church of St Mary Magdalene
The baroque style Roman Catholic Cathedral dating back to 1736 is a striking monument located in the very centre of Karlovy Vary, in the close distance to the hot spring.
Initially Gothic Church has gone through several reconstructions during 16th and 18th century when the famous Czech architect Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer designed its current look.
It is one of the national monuments with beautiful interior with stunning altarpiece and sculptures and astonishing underground crypt.
Orthodox Church of St. Peter and Paul
A beautiful reminiscence of the Russian presence in a form of an impressive building – that and much more is the Orthodox Church of St.
Peter and Paul erected in 1898. The Russian Orthodox Church is a simple example of Byzantine style.
Presenting itself by blue roof and golden cupolas, it is no surprise that the construction was sponsored by wealthy Russian clientele – the most common visitors of the spa.