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Exploring Karlovy Vary: A Two-Day Journey Through Czech Republic's Hidden Gem


Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of the Czech Republic, Karlovy Vary emerges as a timeless gem, enchanting visitors with its rich history, natural beauty, and therapeutic spa culture. Renowned for its elegant architecture, mineral-rich thermal springs, and vibrant atmosphere, this charming spa town captivates travelers from around the globe. Whether strolling along the cobblestone streets lined with pastel-colored buildings, indulging in the healing properties of its famed thermal baths, or savoring the flavors of traditional Czech cuisine, Karlovy Vary promises an unforgettable experience that seamlessly intertwines relaxation, culture, and exploration.


Karlovy Vary Official Website:


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Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

We drove from Prague, which is about an hour and a half drive. No issues at all, just be warned, you'll be driving through the countryside mostly. I'd fill your gas and such before heading too far outside of the city!


One of the major attractions, other than the well-known spa culture, is the Grandhotel Pupp! The hotel dates back to the 18th century, and is known for its stunning architecture, opulent interiors, and impeccable service, catering to the needs of discerning travelers with unparalleled attention to detail. It therefore attracts prestigious clientele, including royalty and celebrities (you can see photos of prominent people who have visited throughout). It's even been used in films such as James Bond's Casino Royal and Queen Latifa's Last Holiday. Moreover, its prime location overlooking the picturesque Teplá River and proximity to Karlovy Vary's renowned thermal springs further elevate its appeal, offering guests a truly immersive experience in the heart of this enchanting spa town.


See my most recent blog post for more info on the Grandhotel Pupp.


Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

We purchased our iconic sippy cups at the hotel front desk, and decided to explore Karlovy Vary's famous healings waters first.


Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

Never seen this style of cup before?


Unlike the child sippy cups we are used to, these are unique vessels designed specifically for the consumption of the town's mineral-rich thermal waters. These cups, often made of porcelain or glass, feature a spout-like opening (handle) that allows sippers to drink the warm, healing waters directly from the town's many thermal springs. Each cup is carefully crafted and serves as both a practical tool for enjoying the waters and a cherished souvenir of the experience. Visitors to Karlovy Vary can purchase these cups from local vendors and use them to partake in the centuries-old tradition of "taking the waters," believed to offer various health benefits due to the minerals found in the springs.



The fountains that have been built are easily found throughout the area.


However, if you are feeling a little lost, here are links from the main website that you might find helpful!


List & Description of Hot Springs


Map of Karlovy Vary


Enjoy the quick little video below. ⬇️


Now I’ve got to admit… We tried three different waters from three different colonnades/fountains and… NOPE! Nooppeeee! I’m good. I’ll stick with my regular filtered water. They all had different mineral characteristics, and the last one was so metallic it took forever to get that taste out of my mouth! After that last one, we decided to call it quits.


I’m a big proponent of always trying new things, so I’m glad we at least got to experience it, whether it was good or not!


I’m assuming all of the people there that were going from fountain to founding drinking the waters are accustomed to the practice and tastes.



You don’t have to find the water palatable to appreciate the beauty of the colonnades.


What is a colonnade?


The colonnades in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, are elegant structures lining the spa town's streets, known for their architectural beauty and therapeutic mineral springs. They typically feature rows of columns supporting a roof, creating covered walkways where visitors can stroll and sample the various mineral waters believed to have healing properties. Each colonnade has its own unique design and history.


There are a total of five colonnades and two arbors to explore! We failed and only did three.


The Vřídelní kolonáda (Hot Spring Colonnade) isn’t picture above because it’s actually a rather ugly glass and concrete structure (IMO). The two that are pictured above are the Tržní kolonáda (Market Colonnade) and Mlýnská kolonáda (Mill Colonnade).


Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

What else is there to do in Karlovy Vary?


If you missed the Beer Spa Experience in Prague, they have a couple here too!


Beer Spa Beerland


Beer Spa Bierbad


Other options also include:


Exploring the Architecture

Take a leisurely stroll through the town to admire its stunning architecture, including colorful buildings, ornate facades, and historic landmarks like the Diana Observation Tower.


Explore the famous Moser Glassworks to see exquisite glassware being crafted and learn about the town's glassmaking heritage.


Hiking and Nature Walks

Discover the beautiful surrounding countryside with scenic hiking trails and nature walks, offering picturesque views of forests, hills, and the Ohře River. Suggested spots are the Jelení skok (Deer Jump Lookout), Vyhlídka Tři kříže (Three Crosses Outlook) and Svatý Linhart (Wildlife Park).


Local Cuisine and Dining

Indulge in traditional Czech cuisine at local restaurants and cafes, sampling specialties like spa wafers, Becherovka liqueur, and hearty goulash.


Cultural Events and Festivals

Check out cultural events and festivals that take place throughout the year, celebrating music, film, and traditional Czech culture.


Shopping

Explore the town's shops and boutiques, browsing for souvenirs, handicrafts, and locally-made products such as herbal remedies and spa-related items.


Golfing

If you're a golf enthusiast, enjoy a round of golf at one of Karlovy Vary's golf courses, surrounded by scenic landscapes.


Relaxing Spa Treatments

While not quite the same as soaking in the hot springs, you can still indulge in relaxing spa treatments and massages offered at various wellness centers and hotels in the town.


Museums, Galleries, & Exhibitions


The Grandhotel Pupp even has a special event calendar, so if you’re going to stay there maybe check that out when planning!


Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

No matter where you go, you’ll find beauty all around.


Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

Beautiful and vibrant houses and décor.


Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

The river that flows through the city gives it that extra bit of charm.

Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

I had someone recently ask me if they should take their family here. She said someone recommended it. Just keep in mind, it’s primarily a spa town. However, the main website does have a great guide and suggestions for family activities!


Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

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Czechia Central Europe Bohemian Castles Beer Pilsner Czech cuisine UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moravian region Prague Castle Gothic architecture Spa town Mineral springs Colonnades Czech Republic Thermal baths Wellness tourism Architecture Film festival Bohemian region Health retreat

Thank you for being here.

Happy adventures!

❤️ Allie

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