Visit a centuries-old spa town in Bohemia that is lauded for its mineral waters, spa treatments and a popular liqueur.
For hundreds of years, people have been coming to the spa town of Karlovy Vary for its hot mineral springs and curative waters. Drink from the healing springs dotted around the town and treat yourself to a beauty treatment in a luxury spa. After pampering your body, get in touch with the town's history by exploring its old buildings.
There are 13 mineral springs in Karlovy Vary, and six of them can be found at the Mill Colonnade, a 19th-century neo-Renaissance pillared hall. Stroll among its many Corinthian columns and try some of the water.
Unwind with an exotic treatment at Elizabeth’s Spa. There are 60 different treatment options in this relaxing retreat, which is set in a grand neo-Baroque building. Stroll around the picturesque paths of the surrounding Smetana Park.
Once you are refreshed and rejuvenated, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the town, which was founded in the middle of the 14th century. Go to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, an 18th-century church built on the site of its medieval Gothic predecessor. Admire the beautiful Baroque altar and venture into the underground crypt.
Climb up to the observation deck at the top of the Diana Lookout Tower. The stone structure rises above the surrounding forests and offers dramatic views over the town and out to the Ore Mountains and Slavkov Forest.
Karlovy Vary has another big claim to fame in addition to its mineral waters, and that is Becherovka. This bittersweet liqueur has been manufactured here since the first decade of the 19th century. Learn about the history of the popular beverage and savor a sample when you visit the Jan Becher Museum.
For your evening’s entertainment, reserve a seat for a concert or play at the Karlovy Vary Municipal Theater.
Karlovy Vary is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) west of Prague. Get here by car, train or bus from the Czech capital’s Florenc bus station. Then relax as you enjoy the curative treatments, history and architecture of this beautiful old spa town.