TOP 10 attractions in Karlovy Vary
- Hot Spring, Hot Spring Colonnade, underground thermal springs
- Mill Colonnade
- Diana observation tower
- Becherovka and Jan Becher museum
- Thermal spa and spa procedures
- Museum and tour of Moser glassworks
- Spa forests
- Postal Court
- Sports arena
- Karlovy Vary souvenirs
1.) Hot Spring, Hot Spring Colonnade and a tour of the Hot Spring underground
The richest and warmest spring in Karlovy Vary - the Hot Spring can be found in the heart of the spa area. The Hot Spring can spurt up to the height of 12 m and in 1 minute can shoot up to 2.000 litres of thermal mineral water at the temperature of 72 °C and 5.000 litres of carbon dioxide.
The Hot Spring Colonnade
The Hot Spring is surrounded by the Hot Spring Colonnade, which was built in 1975. When visiting the esplanade hall, which is open daily from 6 AM to 7 PM, you can find not only the hot spring fountain, but also other five spring outputs. From these you can select the hot spring water in the cup either in its natural temperature of 72 °C, or cooled. The premises of the Hot Spring Colonnade also contain several market stalls with souvenirs, jewellery, glass and porcelain. But you can also buy Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) wafers, get refreshments at a restaurant, or you can go to a restroom.
Hot Spring Underground
The Hot Spring water from the underground colonnade is supplied to the spa hotels, which are using it both for bathing, as well as for drinking cures. The old section of the thermal underground is open to the tours of Hot Spring Underground. Apart from the underground vents, you can also see the process of petrifying the Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) souvenirs, you can see rare minerals and other interesting things.
Underground thermal spring opening hours
Tickets can be purchased at the stall in the lobby of the Hot Spring Colonnade.
More about the Hot Spring, Hot Spring Colonnade and Hot Spring underground »
2.) Mill Colonnade
Karlovy Vary is known as the town of colonnades. Their main purpose is to provide the spa patients with comfort during treatments with the prescribed curative springs. All five colonnades are located not far from each other. If you walk away from the Hotel Thermal against the stream of river Teplá, you will soon come to the Park Colonnade. The largest spa structure in this town, the Mill Colonnade was built a few steps down the road, during the years 1871–1881.
The Mill Colonnade walls are decorated with allegorical reliefs. Looking down from the roof are 12 statues, each representing one month of the year. Among the columns you will also find the orchestra stage, a memorial dedicated to Josef Zítek, the architect of this structure, or a plaque with the “Ode to the Hot Spring” by Bohuslav Hasištejnský von Lobkowicz.
Five springs are flowing among the 124 Corinthian columns. The sixth spring is located in the area in front of the colonnade, facing the orchestra stage.
- Rock Spring 53 °C
- Libuše Spring 62 °C
- Prince Wenceslas I Spring 65 °C
- Prince Wenceslas II Spring 58 °C
- Mill Spring 56 °C
- Rusalka Spring 60 °C
If you have the urge to try some of the springs, you can buy the original Karlsbad cup in the nearby stalls. But if you have to “go” after the ingestion of mineral water, you can use one of the public toilets which are located directly at the colonnade.
If you will continue against the river stream, you will reach the Market, Castle and Hot Spring Colonnade. All are just a few meters apart. Along the way you will pass around many shops with souvenirs and luxury goods.
3.) The Diana Observation Tower
The stone Diana Observation Tower rises 547 meters in the spa forests above the Grandhotele Pupp. It has been standing there since the year 1914 and offers a wonderful view of the entire Karlovy Vary and its surroundings.
The tower can be reached by walking on the spa trails or you can get there by the funicular. The ride, including a stopover at the “Deer Leap” (Jelení skok) station in the middle takes three and a half minutes and the ride is available four times every hour. Tickets can be purchased at the cashier for 22 CZK (it will take you to the Deer Leap), or for 40 CZK (up to the tower) or you can buy the round-trip ticket for 70 CZK.
Observation tower, funicular and restaurant opening hours
|Opening hours||Funicular, observation tower||Forest restaurant and café|
|February, March, November, December||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM||11:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|April, May, October||9:00 AM – 6:00 PM||11:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|June-September||9:00 AM – 7:00 PM||11:00 AM – 7:00 PM|
But before you can look at the Karlovy Vary from this height, you will have to climb 150 stepsor you must take a lift. Admission to the observation tower is FREE. Next to the tower is a forest restaurant where you can enjoy sitting while having a cup of good coffee.
If you want to continue in the pleasant trip, we recommend going for a walk around some of the forest roads. Information board at the base of the tower will help you to find your way through the network of spa trails. You can use these trails to find other Karlovy Vary observation towers. The trails are colour-coded according to difficulty.
4.) Becherovka and Jan Becher Museum
To enjoy Karlovy Vary with all your senses, you must not miss the tasting of the traditional herbal liqueur Becherovka, which is produced only here.
Becherovka was produced the first time in 1807 in a drugstore owned by the chemist Josef Becher. Initially he was selling in bottles as the stomach medication drops. As the drink gained in popularity, the size of bottles in which the liqueur was supplied under the original name the “Karlsbader Bitter” started to be bigger. Becherovka started to be bottled in the typical flat bottles approximately seventy years after the creation of the formula. The Czech name “Becherovka” has been used since the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. the stomach medication drops. As the drink gained in popularity, the size of bottles in which the liqueur was supplied under the original name the “Karlsbader Bitter” started to be bigger. Becherovka started to be bottled in the typical flat bottles approximately seventy years after the creation of the formula. The Czech name “Becherovka” has been used since the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918.
The manufacture of this liquor has been shrouded in mystery for 200 years. The exact ratio of ingredients was passed as a family secret from father to son. These days the recipe for Becherovka is known only by two people who are preparing a mixture of spices and herbs once a week. The specific taste is also influenced by two weeks of aging in oak barrels and reportedly also by the environment of Karlovy Vary.
You can taste Becherovka practically in every Karlovy Vary pub, restaurant or bar. It is served either chilled in a liquor glass, or in the mixed drinks, of which the most popular is “Beton” (Becherovka and tonic).
Jan Becher Museum
Becherovka is an essential part of Karlovy Vary. Therefore you also find its museum here. The exhibition is located in the historic building where the liquor was manufactured for 150 years. During the tour of the museum you will see a short film about Becherovka, the original cellars where the Becherovka was aged, a variety of historical items associated with the liquor (original labels, bottles and imitations ...) and other attractions. The museum also has a shop and bar where you will be served the Becherovka that is well chilled.
|JAN BECHER MUSEUM||Opening Hours||Admission CZK|
|T.G.M. 57, Karlovy Vary
Tel.: +420 359 578 142
|Mon – Sun
9:00 AM –5:00 PM
|Adults: 120,- (price includes tasting of 3 products)
Students and Seniors: 60,- (price includes tasting of 3 products).
Children under 18 years: 30,- (without tasting).
Family ticket: 240,- (2 adults + 2 children under 18 years)
5.) Thermal baths and spa treatments
Relaxing massages, whirlpool baths in thermal water, pleasant warm compresses and wraps that are available not only to the spa patients. Even you can treat yourself for a while. Treat yourself to a qualified care verified by millions of visitors.
How did it all start...?
The beginnings of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) spa treatments go back all the way to the 14th century. The first documented “patient” was the Emperor Charles IV, who used the water from the hot spring to heal his wounds. The Karlovy Vary spa treatments have since evolved to its present form. Among the doctors, who have significantly helped the development and optimization of spa therapy, were Jan Becher and Jean de Carro.
Enjoy the relaxation...
The spa houses and hotels offer both the traditional spa treatments, as well as many variations of wellness and beauty programs. You can indulge in one procedure, or you can purchase a “package”. It's an entirely up to you. The ladies may prefer cosmetic wraps and anti-cellulite treatments, while men may go for a massage and thermal baths.
To get a better idea of what you can enjoy in Karlovy Vary, see the description of procedures. To obtain detailed information on specific programs and prices, visit the websites of individual spa houses and hotels..
6.) The Moser Museum and the Moser glassworks
Moser is the brand name of the highest quality glass products known throughout the world. A unique insight into the history and present times of this glass factory is provided by the new Moser visitor centre.
The glass museum exhibition in the newly designed modern interior offers a captivating tour tracking more than 150 years of this glass factory history, it introduces the famous owners of the luxury Moser glass and introduces the oldest glass creations up to the current collection with more than 2,000 exhibited pieces. The exhibition is accompanied by 7 documentaries in 6 languages.
We definitely recommend that you participate in the tour of glassworks. During the tour you will see the molten glass turning into unique products. Learn about the production of glass and watch the interesting work of master glassblowers. After the tour you can buy the finished products in the Moser factory shop.
You can reserve your place in the excursion with expert commentary in the Czech, English, German and Russian language by telephone or by e-mail. .
|The Moser Visitor Centre||Opening Hours|
|Kpt. Jaroše 46/19, Karlovy Vary
Tel.: +420 353 416 112
|Shop: Mon - Sun 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Museum: Mon - Sun 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Glassworks: Mon - Sun 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
7.) Spa forests
In addition to walks on colonnades and esplanades, your steps should be also directed to the pleasant surroundings of the spa forests. For your walking tours, as well as for bicycle trips you can use 180 kilometres of walkways, trails and paths. All trails are well maintained and marked. Most of them are named after famous Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) guests.
During your walks you will surely come across several bowers, lodges and other small structures that were built to provide a rest, a shelter from rain, or just for the pleasure of the tourists’ eyes.
If you will want to take off for some specific destinations, you will be informed whether you are on the right track by many signposts, road signs, signs and roadmaps. Trails are marked with three colours:
- Minor difficulty – green colour
- Medium difficulty – blue colour
- Great difficulty – red colour
The most frequent destinations of Karlovy Vary visitors tend to be restaurants or outlooks. We recommend that you take a walk to the Charles IV Outlook or to the Deer Leap (Jelení skok). Both places can be reached from the Friendship Hill, where the Diana Observation Tower is standing.
8.) The Postal Court Restaurant
The Postal Court Restaurant has been standing on the edge of the spa zone for over 200 years. The Court originally served as a stall for postal horses, but soon it became the scene of important social, cultural, as well as political events. It became a place for the gatherings of the spa elite.
The building originates from the end of the 18th century. Its neoclassical exterior and romantic interior gives the place an unforgettable atmosphere. The most spectacular room in the building is surely the Labitzky hall, decorated with frescoes by Master Kramolín.
The restaurant offers a rich menu, which includes the Czech and international specialties and it has a large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It is suitable for afternoon sitting or a romantic dinner. The ceremonial halls can hold wedding banquets or seminars and the dance pavilion can be used for corporate parties and similar events. But if you come across the Postal Court while wandering through the spa trails, you are welcome to visit even if it is only for a coffee.
9.) The renowned Karlovy Vary sports grounds
Whether you are a fan of an active or passive sport, Karlovy Vary has something to offer you. In addition to regular sports grounds, there are golf courses, tennis courts, the hockey extra league matches or horse races.
The spa elite were the first in the area of Bohemia that could play golf already in the year 1904. Nowadays Karlovy Vary has three golf courses and another seven in the vicinity. It is entirely up to you which one you will choose for your training.
The fact that tennis was popular among the Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) residents and patients can be attested by the Hotel Geyser, which was built already in 1905 and which included six tennis courts and modern facilities. These sports grounds have been gradually expanded. Today there are 2 indoor and 14 outdoor courts. Tennis courts can also be rented in the newly reconstructed Sportcentrum Imperial.
The horse racing could be seen in Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) - Dvory already before the World War I. But the racing was not just a thrilling sport full of beautiful horses. Each race was also an important social event. Ladies arrived in gowns, which were often complemented by the original hat. Gentlemen tried their luck during betting and were cheering their favourites. The today's races have a specific atmosphere as well. Come and enjoy it at the Karlovy Vary race track. You can get there by the public transit buses, such as bus No. 1, 9 and 10. The racetrack also features a golf club, hotel and restaurant.
Karlovy Vary has its own extra league hockey team. The ice hockey fans will certainly like to visit the KV Arena with the ice surface which hosts the home matches of the HC Energie.
10.) Karlovy Vary souvenirs
When you are going to pack your luggage, you should also include a few things which are typical for Karlovy Vary. These can remain with you as a souvenir, or can serve as a gift for your loved ones.
For your Dad
You will certainly make him happy with a bottle of Becherovka. It is available in bottles from 5 cl to 3 l and some bottles can be purchased in the gift packaging at the Jan Becher Museum. Becherovka is one of the few alcoholic drinks whose consumption can be blamed on stomach problems.
For your Mom
You will certainly make her happy with drinking glasses from the Moser factory, which has been producing the world famous glass for more than 150 years. The original design and quality of drinking and decorative glass had won numerous awards.
For your Grandma
With the availability of raw materials needed to produce the porcelain material, the porcelain factories started to be built around the Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) area already during the 18th century. The selection produced by these factories included luxury dining sets and ordinary tableware.
Porcelain decorations as well as tea and dinner sets are available in the factory shops and many shops in the spa zone.
For your friends
Another traditional souvenir is the Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) wafers. During your strolls through the historic centre you must have seen many tourists who were carrying several boxes of this sweet delicacy in their handbags. The wafers come in various flavours and can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea.
As a reminder
The days you had spent in Karlovy Vary will surely come back to you when you will be looking at the objects made of sinter or if you will see the traditional Karlovy Vary cup with the picture of the town.
Choose from a wide selection of accommodation in Karlovy Vary »
Virtuální infocentrum Karlovy Vary
363 01 Ostrov
Tel.: +420 773 378 559