By Nourah Khan
Travel Writer, The Times Kuwait
Karlovy Vary, a picturesque spa town nestled in the western part of the Czech Republic, is renowned for its therapeutic hot springs and charming architecture. The city’s name, meaning ‘Charles’ Bath’, pays homage to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who allegedly discovered the springs in the 14th century.
People usually visit Karlovy Vary during the spring and summer to enjoy its nature and stunning views, but my experience was different, as I went there in winter to enjoy the city’s winter charms and its activities.
You can get to Karlovy Vary from the capital, Prague, either by train or by car, and When it comes to finding the perfect hotel in Karlovy Vary, there are plenty of options to choose from.
For those looking for a historical experience, the Hotel Thermal where I stayed is the perfect choice. The hotel offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, and has a range of amenities, including a spa, wellness center, and indoor and outdoor pools. The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, and the service is impeccable.
The Thermal Hotel has the advantage of direct access from the hotel to Saonia, which is the largest swimming pool with natural hot water spring, and swimming in the outdoor pool at minus 6 degrees temperature was an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
There are plenty of things to see and do in Karlovy Vary, whether you are interested in history, culture, or outdoor activities. Visitors usually flock to Karlovy Vary to indulge in the healing properties of its mineral-rich waters, which are said to alleviate various ailments.
One of the town’s most famous attractions is the Hot Spring Colonnade, which is home to several of the town’s mineral springs. You can take a sip of the water from the springs, which is said to have healing properties, and explore the beautiful architecture of the colonnade. Other colonnades, such as the Mill Colonnade and the Market Colonnade, showcase the town’s elegant spa architecture and provide the perfect backdrop for leisurely strolls.
At the Vřídlo Hot Spring, you can engage in.Karlovy Vary’s unique tradition of sipping mineral water from distinctively shaped cups called ‘křižáky’. The water, naturally warm and imbued with minerals, is believed to have therapeutic effects on digestion and overall well-being.
Another must-see attraction in town is the Diana Lookout Tower, which offers stunning views of the town and the surrounding countryside. You can take a cable car to the top of the tower and enjoy the panoramic views from up there.
The International Film Festival, hosted annually in Karlovy Vary, adds a cultural flair to the town, attracting filmmakers and cinephiles worldwide. This event has become a significant platform for showcasing both emerging talent and established cinematic achievements.
Exploring the historic heart of Karlovy Vary, one encounters landmarks like the Orthodox Church of Saint Peter and Paul. The lively atmosphere around the Teplá River, lined with vibrant houses, further enhances the town’s charm.
Visiting the Moser Glass Museum in Karlovy Vary promises an immersive journey into the world of exquisite glass craftsmanship. The museum showcases the legacy of Moser, a renowned glass-making company with a history dating back to 1857.
One of the highlights of the museum is the opportunity to witness skilled artisans in action, demonstrating the meticulous techniques involved in creating Moser’s signature pieces. This firsthand experience adds depth to your understanding of the artistry and craftsmanship behind each glass creation.
In conclusion, Karlovy Vary stands as a haven for those seeking a retreat into wellness, culture, and natural beauty. With its healing waters, architectural marvels, and cultural festivities, this charming town invites travelers to immerse themselves in a tapestry of experiences, leaving them with indelible memories and a renewed sense of tranquility.
Noura Khan, a travel influencer and content creator, is a Kuwaiti national, holds a degree in law from Kuwait University and has worked as a journalist prior to taking up a position in the government. In 2018 she started blogging on travel and visited more than 57 countries since. She has more than 54k followers on her blog post @nourajtraveller is well appreciated for content and travel information. Noura writes exclusively for The Times Kuwait on her travel visits.