Sunday, 20 January 2008

What to see and do in Karlovy Vary

Last week I wondered about Karlovy Vary’s popularity among foreign tourists and what I must have been missing. The only suggestion was spa treatment programs, but of course, all Czech spa resorts offer treatment programs, (and with shorter waiting lists and lower prices) so I’m still none the wiser about what makes Karlovy Vary so special.

Even the “what not to miss!” list on the Karlovy Vary city website fails to offer any ground breaking insights. Their top ten are

  1. be astonished with the vehemence of the Thermal Spring
  2. go for a walk on the Mill Colonnade
  3. look around from the top of Diana
  4. taste the Becher liqueur
  5. enjoy some of the many spa procedures
  6. visit the permanent exposition of the Regional Museum
  7. go for a walk on spa paths
  8. visit the renowned restaurants of Karlovy Vary
  9. practice sports
  10. buy Karlovy Vary souvenirs

A couple of walks, a hit of golf and some souvenir shopping. Not exactly going to make you drop what you’re doing and jump on the beaten path to Karlovy Vary is it? Still, you perhaps shouldn’t let me discourage you if you’re planning a visit. There were a several things that I quite enjoyed and I’ve listed some of them for you here.

Elizabeth’s Spa (Alžbětiny lázně-Spa 5) Smetanovy Sady 1, Phone 353 222536
If you’ve come to Karlovy Vary hoping to relax with a spa treatment but weren’t aware that you should have reserved a place weeks ahead, Elizabeth spa may be your saviour. With heated pools, a steam room and saunas… Read More

Becherovka Museum, T.G.Masaryka 57, Phone 359 578156
It’s often said that the 13th spring of Karlovy Vary is it’s most popular, and that spring is Becherovka. You’ll no doubt come into contact with Becherovka very soon after you enter the country. It’s the cinnamony herbal liquor that…Read More

Moser glass factory and museum, Kapitan Jaroše 19, Phone 353 449455
The Moser glass factory is my favourite place to visit in Karlovy Vary. The Czech lands have a centuries-long tradition of glass and crystal making and this is the ideal place to learn about it. There are two parts to visiting…Read More

Restaurant U Křížovníků, Moravská 2ª, Phone 353 169500
Restaurant U Křížovníků is in the cellar of the Aura palace hotel just across from the church of Mary Magdalene and serves the best value meals that I could find in the spa-end of Karlovy Vary. There are bales of hay…Read More

Restaurant Bulvar, Bělehradská 9, Phone 353 585199
Tucked into a brick cellar beneath one of the townhouses on Bělehradská Ulice, Bulvar is a favourite among the locals. I like the food, the decoration and the handy location just around the corner from the main bus station…Read More

Café Elefant, Stará Louka 30, Phone 353 222544
Café Elefant is an elegant café in the Viennese style halfway along of the boulevard that runs beside the river through the spa-end of town. If you’ve come to Karlovy Vary seeking opulence and stylish escapism this is…Read More

Rotes Berlin Jaltská 7, Phone 353 233792
If you’ve been wondering where all the young people are in Karlovy Vary, Rotes Berlin may well be your answer. It’s a daytime café/nighttime bar/weekend music-venue behind an unassuming facade on Jaltska Ul, not far from…Read More

I hope some of you find those suggestions helpful. In return, I’d just like to ask that if you do visit Karlovy Vary and find the secret to it’s popularity, please let me know…It’s a mystery I’d really love to solve! Thanks.

1 comment:

Michael said...

I've got to admit, that vehemence was pretty astonishing ;)
I like Karlovy Vary, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it. It's not just that you can get everything on that list somewhere else, but that everywhere else they'll be half as expensive.