Framed by the emerald forests of West Bohemia, Karlovy Vary is the Czech Republic’s most famous spa town. Its grand 19th-century architecture and hot thermal springs complement pastel-colored cathedrals and fairy-tale castles.
Things to do in Carlsbad
Sample the sulfurous waters and inhale the healing vapors at the Hot Spring Colonnade. Built in 1975, this modern Functionalist-style building features floor-to-ceiling glass windows and houses the city’s most popular geyser, which spurts water 12 meters high.
Marvel at the colossal Mill Colonnade, a masterpiece of Pseudo-Renaissance architecture built in 1881. The sandstone promenade houses five springs that were once visited by Peter the Great. For a more intimate bathing experience, visit the Market Colonnade, a beautiful Swiss-style building with an intricately carved wooden entrance.
For spectacular views over Karlovy Vary and the surrounding countryside, take the funicular up to Diana Observation Tower. At 166 meters tall, the tower offers a unique vantage point to view this historic town. Enjoy a pleasant walk down the hill or challenge yourself on a Nordic trail.
A fantastic way to soak up the beauty of the aristocratic town is to relax in one of the many cafes along Stara Louka, a colorful shopping street overlooking the Tepla River. If you love architecture, don’t miss the Orthodox Church of Saints Peter and Paul. This beautiful Byzantine-style church is one of the grandest buildings in Karlovy Vary and features gold-plated onion domes.
Getting around Carlsbad
Located just 130 kilometers west of Prague, Karlovy Vary is accessible by intercity buses and trains. Karlovy Vary is a 10-minute taxi ride from Karlovy Vary Airport or via trains from Václav Havel Airport. Local buses and cable cars make exploring Karlovy Vary easy.