Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary (also known as Karlsbad, its German name or Carlsbad, its English name) is a city in Bohemia, in the western Czech Republic.

Karlovy Vary


Karlovy Vary, meaning "Charles' Bath" was named after Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, who founded the city in 1370. It is famous for its hot springs and its colorful and whimsical architecture. For these reasons, it was a popular tourist destination in the 18th century with guests including Tsar Peter the Great, Emperor Franz Josef I, Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms, Tolstoy, and Marx. Tourism grounded to a halt during World War I and the city never regained its former glory. After WWII, the largely German speaking city was cleared of its original inhabitants and replaced with Czech settlers. Czech remains the major language today but the signs of German culture and heritage are still very evident.

The town, along with Prague, was the filming location of many scenes identified as being in Montenegro in the 2006 movie Casino Royale.

Get in

By bus

Student Agency operates hourly buses to/from Prague's Florenc and Dejvicka stations 05:00-20:00. The trip takes 2 hours and costs CZK155 for adults.

Other bus companies also run services from Prague's Florenc station but they are more expensive and not as comfortable as Student Agency's buses. Czechshuttle.comoffers daily transport between Karlovy Vary and Cesky Krumlov, among other places.

By train

Karlovy Vary has two train stations: Dolní Nádraží (lower station) located next to the bus station, and Horní Nádraží (upper station) located north of the city centre across the Ohře River. Horní Nádraží can be reached by a 10-minute walk or by taking buses 11, 12, or 13.

Trains from Prague leave Prague Main Station every 2 hours and arrive at Horní nádraží in Karlovy Vary 3¼ hours later. Regular fare is CZK306, second person pays CZK184, more people in a group pay CZK153, SporoTiket is CZK150-170.

The bus is a cheaper and more efficient method of travel from Prague to Karlovy Vary. However, rail enthusiasts may wish to make this journey by train, as, according to the Thomas Cook European rail guide, it is one of the most scenic train routes in the Czech Republic, with much of it meandering alongside rivers.

Hourly trains operate between Karlovy Vary and Loket (16km, 30 minutes, CZK29) and Cheb (52km, 52-63 minutes, CZK74).

Get around

The town can comfortably be covered on foot, but a car or motorcycle is useful for exploring the surrounding areas.


Mill colonnade has six springs






"Spa wafers" (Czech: lázeňské oplatky)

Karlovy Vary is famous for its spa wafers. They come in various flavors and are best when warm. The wafers are sold at street stands in Karlovy Vary, and can also be purchased at grocery stores throughout the Czech Republic.


Jan Becher invented the liquor that bears his name (Becherovka) in Karlovy Vary. However, it is an acquired taste.

Some establishments on the river charge twice the price of places 20m+ off the main drag so shop around for a place to drink.






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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, July 24, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.