Karlovy Vary is a gorgeous spa town located in Western Bohemia of Czech Republic, it is also where the annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is held. With pastel-colored buildings, winding river and boutique shops, there’s everything to love about this immaculate town set at the foot of the hill. I like the sound of it too because every time I say it, it reminds me of lovey dovey.
With hundreds of hot springs in Karlovy Vary, the spas and wellness treatments are therapeutic because the spring water is extremely rich in minerals.
There’s also an alternative to mineral spa – The Genuine Beer Spa ! On top of that, unlimited consumption of beer is provided! How awesome is that? We had only planned a day in Karlovy Vary, so we hadn’t had much time for spa. If I had known about this beer spa earlier, I would have totally planned another night for it.
Spa is not the only way to enjoy hot spring in Karlovy Vary. You could also taste the hot springs, either using a cup you’ve brought or buy a small cup that is specifically designed for this purpose. The cups may look like a normal cup, but notice that the handle seems a bit different as the handle is hollow and you could drink out of the handle.
Hot springs are everywhere in this town. Hundreds of them. Many are housed in magnificent colonnades while some are just basking in open air. The colonnades were originally built to shelter awaiting patients
The Park Colonnade built in cast-iron is one fine example built by the Viennese architects, Fellner and Helmer.
All the springs are indicated with a number, a name and the temperature. The very first spring we encountered was No. 15, the “Snake Spring” (Hadi Pramen) in Park Colonnade that’s 30 °C. It is the most unique in terms of flavor. It’s warm with a taste of iron, and the most amazing part is, it tastes like sparkling water ! A scientific reason for that would probably because of the carbon dioxide content, but for a second I thought that can’t be right and confirmed with my friend to see if she tasted the same thing.
One of the outdoor springs, No.8, 58°C, “Vaclav II”, or Prince Wenceslas II Spring.
I find that except for the Snake Spring, most of the other hot springs we tried tasted quite similar, with the temperature and intensity of iron flavor being the difference.
The Market Colonnade.
Do also look out for these Karlovy Vary wafers made with spring water and a bit of salt. The strong iron flavor from the spring water is no longer evident in this thin wafer that’s fragile and airy-light.
Karlovy Vary can be visited easily as a day trip from Prague by bus or train. Bus would be the faster way to go (2.5 hours) and you can check out the transport information here at czech-transport.com.