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Karlovy Vary travel guide – best places to visit in Carlsbad

When you think of Karlovy Vary, what’s the first thing that come to your mind? To be honest, before we’d visited this town, we didn’t know much about it. The only information we had is that it’s located in Czech Republic. When we started planning our road trip through Western Europe, we came across a Karlovy Vary travel guide. It was interesting enough that we decided to visit this town.

It was the best thing we could possibly do! Carlsbad is a lovely place, full of beautiful monuments, hiking trails, healing thermal waters and pretty awesome restaurants.

Karlovy Vary travel guide - best places to visit in Carlsbad

Getting there

Karlovy Vary is located in Western Czech Republic, close to the border with Germany.

You get get there:

  1. By car.

It is the fastest and the most convenient way to travel. Unfortunately, the parking fees in Carlsbad are ridiculously expensive. You will pay 175 CZK ($7) for 24 hours, which is crazy high for the small town like Karlovy Vary.

2. By bus.

This is the cheapest option. You can take a direct bus from Prague to Karlsbad. You will pay 160 CZK ($6,5) and be there in 2,5h.

3. By train.

There is a direct train from Prague to Karlovy Vary. The journey is long (more than 3,5h) and expensive 322CZK ($13,50).

4. By plane.

Karlovy Vary has one small international airport. It is possible to fly there from some places in the world (e.g. Moscow).


Karlovy Vary travel guide: top 10 places to see in Carlsbad

Jan Becher Museum

Becherovka is world’s famous alcohol with specific herbal taste. Only few know that it comes from Karlovy Vary and was invented by Jan Becher.

His museum is located in the town at Masaryka street. You can learn there a lot about the history of this liquor and even try it at the end!

We really loved the famous beton drink (Becherovka + tonic).

The museum is open daily from 9 am till 6 pm. 
The admission is 120 CZK ($5), including liquor tasting.


Hot Spring Colonnade

The main reason people are visiting Karlovy Vary is to drink the healing thermal waters. There are many springs in the heart of the town. What’s awesome, the water is for free. All you need to buy a mug or bring it from home.

The water is hot, so it is not recommended to pour it to the plastic bottle. Heated plastic releases toxic substances that may be harmful to your health.

An interesting fact is that the spring water is only healing when 
you drink it. There are not many pools with hot water in the town.


Grandhotel Pupp

The most famous and the one of the oldest hotels in Carlsbad. It hosts Karlovy Vary Film Festival festival every year.

The awesome fact is that the hotel appears in one of the best James Bond movies: Casino Royale (as Hotel Splendide in Montenegro).


Diana Lookout Tower & Friendship Hill

This is the best place to visit in Carlsbad! No wonder it is mentioned in every Karlovy Vary travel guide. In order to get to the tower, you need to take a cable car, which is located right next to the Grandhotel Pupp.

The admission is 80 CZK ($3.30) both ways. The tower is located on the top of the hill. You can either climb up 150 steps or take a free elevator.

The views from Diana Lookout Tower are absolutely breathtaking! There are two restaurants next to it, where you can have a lunch or drink a beer.

Diana Lookout Tower & Friendship Hill

Alzbetiny Lazne

It is the oldest spa complex in Karlovy Vary. It’s situated in the beautiful building from the beginning of 20th century.

The spa is still working, so you can go there to have a treatment. The other names from Alzbetiny Lazne are Elisabeth Baths and Spa 5.

alzbetiny lazne karlsbad

Mill Colonnade

Beautiful neo-renaissance structure that contains 5 thermal springs (Mill Spring, Rock Spring, Nymph Spring, Lybuse Spring and the strongest Prince Vaclav Spring)

It is one of the most picturesque places in Karlovy Vary!

Mill Colonnade Karlovy Vary

Stara & Nova Louka

These two main roads located on the both sides of the river, cannot be missed by any tourist visiting Carlsbad! They are more than beautiful.

Most places mentioned in this Karlovy Vary travel guide are located at the Stara or Nova Louka.


Church of St. Mary Magdalene

Baroque is our favourite architectural style, that is why we loved St Mary Magdalene church! It is huge and monumental. According to the Karlovy Vary travel guide that we found in the Internet, it is one of the most beautiful baroque monuments in Czech Republic.

It is worth to go inside the church the see the crypt.

Church of St. Mary Magdalene Karlovy Vary

Park Colonnade

If you are looking for the best place to relax in Karlovy Vary, you should go to Park Colonnade. It is a lovely and peaceful place. In the summer, you can sit in the grass and drink a beer to cool off (drinking in public is not forbidden in Czech Republic!).

Park Colonnade

Masaryka Street

It is the longest and the most famous street in Carlsbad, full of shops, banks and restaurant. There is even a cinema (Kino Cas) there!

Masaryk street Karlovy Vary

Where to eat?

There are many restaurants in Karlovy Vary that serve delicious food. What we’d like to recommend you is to try:

Traditional Karlovarske Oplatky

Thin, crispy, warm waffles with sweet filling inside. They are very cheap- you will pay 10CZK (40 cents) for one. Our favorite is cinnamon oplatek!

There are many Karlovarske Oplatky stores in the town. Here you can see the full list with addresses.


Babiccino’s desserts

Táboritská 3/913, Karlovy Vary

Karlovarske Trdlo Babiccino is the best cafe in Carlsbad. They are famous from warm, sweet, baked rolled dough (trdlo). They serve it with whipped cream, ice cream, strawberries, pistachio or chocolate. Yummy!

Karlovarske Trdlo Babiccino

Where to stay?

We were staying in 3 star Hotel Derby, located in the halfway between new and old part of the town. Here you can read the full review of the hotel.

If you prefer more luxurious places, you should definitely choose world’s famous Grandhotel Pupp which we are writing about in this post.

For the full list of best places to stay in Carlsbad click here.

If you like staying in apartments and feel like home, check out AirBnb.


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