soaking in the spas and history of Karlovy Vary

soaking in the spas and history of Karlovy Vary


Admire the architecture while soothed by waters

Not content with wowing us with waters, Karlovy Vary is also an incredibly beautiful city. The architecture is grand, intriguing, and non-uniform – with buildings in various styles next to each other creating this very unique layout.

Most of the architecture in the city is either neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance, and the historic centre is compact to explore by foot – mainly following the Tepla river which flows down the centre of the pedestrianised area – with colonnades providing cover from the elements if needed.

The gardens in-front of the Elizabeth Bath

The gardens in-front of the Elizabeth Bath

Many of the most beautiful buildings are not surprisingly spa-hotels or thermal pools.

Be sure to step inside the baroque Church of St. Mary Magdalene, impressive in and out with domed spires.

The Mill Colonnade is perhaps the city’s most famous, with the spring underneath here seemingly popular with the locals. However, my interest was more in the Market Colonnade, carved from wooden in Swiss-style, and the Park Colonnade crafted from cast-iron, transformed from a concert hall.

Speaking of concerts, the Karlovy Vary theatre which opened in the late 1800s is stunning, inside and out (especially in some of the entrance hall areas) so try and snag tickets for a performance, or pop your head in.

The Tepla river running through Karlovy Vary

The Tepla River running through Karlovy Vary

Visit the city centre Spas

If you decide to opt for a hotel that doesn’t have its own spa facilities or simply want to try a different spot, you have various options in the city centre.

The Elizabeth Bath is perhaps the one to visit, the grand building is over one-hundred years old, and offers many wellness treatments alongside the hot-spring waters.

Further along, and an imposing concrete (almost brutalist looking) building with the Thermal Pool overhanging the city might be a nice photo spot in summer, just don’t look behind you at the eye-sore.



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