Karlovy Vary, the hidden gem of Czech Republic

By | March 23, 2014

Karlovy VaryDespite its amazing beauty, Karlovy Vary is very little known. What if I tell you that the James Bond movie Casino Royale was filmed there? Indeed, with its splendid setting in a nice valley, one of the hotels in this town was used to film some scenes in the movie.

Karlovy Vary is also known by its German name Karlsbad (or Carlsbad), which means Charles’ Bath. It is located in a valley along a small river on the western side of Czech Republic. It is very close to the German border, which is why it is very popular among German tourists. Karlovy Vary is surrounded by mountains, which makes it look very beautiful and ensures the fresh air.

The main attractions in Karlovy Vary are its hot springs and spa locations. There are a few big hotels running huge spa centers. There are many hot springs in the town, with water that you can drink and which is supposed ot have beneficial effects on your body. The taste is not always the best one, but you can find some springs which taste quite OK. It is common to visit a doctor at your arrival, who will recommend the springs which are best for you.

The spring water is extremely hot, that’s why people drink it from ceramic mugs. You can find them in tens of shapes and colors at the local stores.

Another local speciality are some wafers with various fillings. They are called Oblaten and you can find them everywhere. Shop around because prices differ. A box with six pieces costs about 1 – 2 euros.

The buildings have a very beautiful architecture. One of the most popular place is the Mill Colonade, right in the city center. There are many cafes, restaurants and shopts nearby. Another place you should see is the Diana Tower, which gives you a nice view of the city and the valley. If you are brave enough you can walk up by foot, although it takes a few hours. You can also use the funicular, which is about 3 euros return.