Things to do in Karlovy Vary
In this post I want to tell you about interesting things to do in Karlovy Vary 🙂
I will start with the obvious reason to visit this city – SPA and mineral water springs. You might say that is all there is to it and it is entertainment for grandparents, but I will try to change your mind. Read the post further, please!
Hot water springs
I have created a sketchy map for you to have a plan of the town of springs in your hand 🙂 But before we go through all the springs, you will need a small jug or special cup with a straw for mineral water. Good news there are tons of small shops with these jugs for all tastes and colors.
1. Pramen Vřídlo
Spring Vřídlo (which actually means “spring” in Czech) is placed in the Hot Spring Colonnade. It is the spring with the hottest water (73,4°C), rising to a height of almost 12 metres!
2. Pramen Karla IV.
Spring of Karl IV. is placed in the wooden Market Colonnade which is on the Tržiště street. Legend has it that King Karl IV. treated his ailments with its waters.
Read more about Pramen Karla IV.
3. Pramen Dolní Zámecký
Spring Dolní Zámecký (Lower Castle) is also placed in the Market Colonnade.
4. Pramen Horní Zámecký
Spring Horní Zámecký (Upper Castle) is located in the Castle Colonnade which is nearby the Market Colonnade.
5. Pramen Tržní
Spring Tržní (Market) is placed in the Market Colonnade as well. The spring was discovered during construction works in the area of the historical marketplace under the Castle Tower
6. Pramen Mlýnský
Spring Mlýnský (Mill) is located in the Mill Colonnade. The spring was named after the nearby mill on the Teplá River, which stood here until the end of the 18th century.
7. Pramen Rusalka
Spring Rusalka, as well as Springs Knížete Václava, Libuše and Skalní can also be found in the Mill Colonnade.
8. Pramen Knížete Václava
This spring has two exits and two vases respectively. One vase is in the colonnade and the other is a few meters from the colonnade on the bridge over the Teplá River.
9. Pramen Libuše
The water was fed into the Libuše spring vase from four small springs.
10. Pramen Skalní
Skalní spring (Rock Spring) emerges from the bowels of Bernard’s Rock through several boreholes up to 30 meters deep.
11. Pramen Svoboda
Spring Svoboda (Freedom Spring ) is located in a small pavilion next to the Mill Colonnade.
12. Pramen Sadový
Sadový spring (Park Spring) vase is accessed via the Park Colonnade in Dvořák Garden. However, the main source of the spring gathers in the courtyard of the Vojenský lázeňský ústav.
14. Pramen Štěpánka
Spring Štěpánka is placed in the pavilion Aloise Kleina and it was named in honor of Austrian Archduchess Stephanie.
15. Pramen Hadí
Spring Hadí (Snake Spring) is located in the Park Colonnade as well. The name of this Spring comes from the snakes that lived behind the colonnades.
Spring Železnatý (Ferrous Spring) is located in Ferrous Spring Colonnade (I have not added it to the map because for some reason I have not visited this colonnade yet!).
You may notice that I skipped Spring 13. There is indeed a Spring number 13 in the Dorotka Pavilion – Pramen Dorotka but it is currently unavailable, so I have not added it to the map. And as many locals like to say, Spring number 13 is Becherovka, Czech herbal liqueur. Jan Becher was an inventor of this drink and he lived and worked in Karlovy Vary. There is big museum of Becherovka where you can try to find out the secret recipe (no one has succeeded so far) and taste different kinds of liquor.
By the way, here is my sticker of small liquor bottle from Karlovy Vary. Check it out! 🙂
Other things to do in Karlovy Vary – Museums
Speaking of museums. There are many other museums in Karlovy Vary besides Becherovka Museum. Here are some of them: Butterfly House, Christmas House, Glass Works and Museum Moser, various art galleries and religious buildings.
Last time I visited Underground of St. Mary Magdalene Church and Underground of the Thermal Spring Colonnade.
Views from the top
There are so many hiking trails that lead to viewpoints with amazing views of the city. Below are just a few of them and my photos from these spots.
- Jelení skok (Deer Jump Lookout)
- Vyhlídka Petrova výšina (Peter’s Height Lookout)
- Vyhlídka Karla IV. (Lookout of Charles IV)
- Rozhledna Goethova vyhlídka (Goethe’s Lookout)
- Do not forget your sketchbook or travel book to put travel stamp from Goethe tower!
- Rozhledna Diana (Diana Observation Tower)
- A cable car leads up to the tower. I suggest taking the cable car up to the top and walking down through the picturesque forests.
I have a small sketch and some pictures of another cable car that takes you to the Imperial Hotel. This is the oldest cable car in Karlovy Vary and was put into operation in 1907. Its length is 127m.
As you can see, Karlovy Vary has so many beautiful places to visit. The good news is that photographer Olga @ph.grl is making a special offer for a Photo walk! Take advantage of this offer and you will get amazing photos in this beautiful city!
Legendary pubs and pastry shops
Last but not least – there are so many places with tasty food, amazing coffee and deserts. A couple of recommendation from me:
- Cafe Elephant
- Goethova Pivnice (Goethe’s Beer House)
- Mad Rabbit macaron bar – Pavlova dessert from this place comes highly recommended!
- Republica Coffee
I hope this post will inspire you to visit Karlovy Vary and check out all these places. I will definitely go to this city again, because many places have not been visited yet 🙂 Please tell me in the comments about the places that I missed and that are a “must see” on my travel list. Thank you!