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Karlovy Vary

  | Czech Republic

A world-famous spa town. Grand streets lined with colonnades and beautifully restored buildings characterize Karlovy Vary. It's an elegant and peaceful city known for its thermal springs.


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Karlovy Vary Sights

Karlovy Vary, known as Carlsbad in German, is the largest and most renowned spa town in the Czech Republic. Located in a lush valley on the Tepla River near the German border, Karlovy Vary is about two hours by car from Prague. According to legend, Charles IV (the same Charles that Prague's iconic bridge is named after) discovered the hot springs in Karlovy Vary while hunting in the forest. People have come to Karlovy Vary for hundreds of years to enjoy the natural springs and the peaceful atmosphere. Visitors to Karlovy Vary can treat themselves to relaxing massages, whirlpool baths, warm wraps and other treatments in the many luxury hotel spas. More austere spa treatments are also available. A week at the spa is a frequent cure prescribed by Czech doctors.

Karlovy Vary Tourism

Karlovy Vary is the home of Moser, the famous glassmaker. It's also home to the Czech Republic's most famous liquor, Becherovka. Karlovy Vary is famous in the film industry as well. It hosts a summer film festival that attracts Hollywood's big names. Don't miss a funicular ride to the Diana Tower high above the town. This offers beautiful views over Karlovy Vary and the countryside. Be sure to purchase one of the unique porcelain souvenir cups. That way you can sample the famous and "flavorful" mineral water. And don't forget to see the Vridlo hot spring, which shoots 12 meters into the air.

JayWay Travel team was amazingly thorough in all the initial preplanning and planning for us from initial contact to the end. I would highly recommend JayWay Travel to anyone.  They were very professional, conscientious and attentive to all our needs in both the planning process and while we were abroad as well.

Bonnie and Steve

Bonnie and Steve


"The JayWay Travel planning and arrangements saved us a ton of time and mental focus, allowing us to fully enjoy our limited time. All the accommodations, excursions, and travel were top notch."




Where to stay in Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary's reputation as a spa town for the well-to-do is evident in the luxury hotels available to you. With room rates attractive compared to Prague, and the average stay here just a couple of nights, why not splash out and stay in style? Wed Anderson pinpointed Karlovy Vary and its grand hotels as inspiration for his masterpiece, Grand Hotel Budapest. Once we start preparing your customized itinerary we will present our recommended options for you to select from.

Things to do in Karlovy Vary

In Karlovy Vary we do not currently have any group excursions available but we are able to arrange private services such as a city tour or spa treatment. A majority of our guests visit Karlovy Vary as a day trip from Prague. For those who want to see the Czech Republic more extensively, Karlovy Vary should definitely be an overnight stop. Karlovy provides a romantic setting so is a good choice for couples. Each July the Karlovy Vary Film Festival comes to town for a week so if your travel dates correspond to the festival it is certainly worth a look although it does send hotel rates into the stratosphere. Otherwise Karlovy Vary is the ideal town for a stroll amongst its impressive white colonnades and don't forget to have a drink of the rejuvenating natural mineral water found around town. The Moser glass factory, less than a 10 minute drive from the town center is a must-see, the inexpensive museum and glassworks tour is well worth your time. One of our favorite things to do in Karlovy Vary when the weather cooperates is to go for a swim in the outdoor pool at the Communist-era Hotel Thermal. The deck there affords fantastic views of the town and because you're at Thermal you don't have it spoiling your view!

Central Europe Destination Manager

What I love about Karlovy Vary...

“If you would like to spend relaxing day and visit the most famous spa and treat yourself in a mineral water spa pool I suggest visiting Karlovy Vary. Its a beautiful small and lovely town surrounded by hills and mountains with a great Baroque promenade, geysers and mineral water springs all around. ”

Popular Tour Itineraries Featuring Karlovy Vary

Spend some time in Karlovy Vary on a tour that takes in other cities in Czech Republic and neighboring countries. Our vacation packages including Karlovy Vary and other destinations make traveling in Central & Eastern Europe hassle-free. We take care of getting you from place to place, accommodation, excursions and activities.

Czech Republic Tours

10 Days Exploring the Czech Republic

Most travelers don't get beyond Prague but there's more to the Czech Republic than the capital. This 10 day tour itinerary will show you what many are missing. Of course there's Cesky Krumlov, medieval Bohemian gem, but you'll also visit rising star Brno, reliving its late-Habsburg era heyday on the back of a tech boom. Last stop is Karlovy Vary, an ornate spa town founded by Charles IV, the 'Greatest Czech' that ever lived. read full itinerary

Karlovy Vary Photos

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Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary

Latest articles about Karlovy Vary from the JayWay Travel Blog   -   read more

The Best Spa Towns in Central and Eastern Europe

Some very relaxing news for visitors to Central and Eastern Europe: a new international project has united the best spa towns in Central and Eastern Europe in an effort to earn UNESCO more...

Visiting the Moser Glassworks

The Moser Glassworks in Karlovy Vary, in the west of the Czech Republic, produces some of the finest crystal glass in the world. If you're staying in Karlovy Vary it's an absolute more...

Get out of Town: A Trip to Karlovy Vary

Outside of Karlovy Vary's film festival there's plenty to see, even on a wet weekend like I spent there a week ago. Colonnades Karlovy Vary has been a spa town since its founding in more...

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