17 Karlovy Vary sights recommended to visit
So, you have arrived in Karlovy Vary. What to see and where to go first? About this and not only – in our article.
Karlovy Vary is the second most visited city in the Czech Republic and carries the unofficial title of the “green jewel of the West Bohemian Triangle”. Its colonnades and geothermal springs make it one of the most attractive spa towns in Europe, and there are many other interesting sights that many tourists simply do not know about.
Hot Spring Colonnade
Hot Spring Colonnade.| Photo: wikimedia.
Vrzhidlo is the most famous of all the thermal springs of Karlovy Vary and also one of the hottest. The temperature of its water is 72 ° C and jets gush out of the ground under such great pressure that they reach a height of 12 meters, spewing 2,000 liters of water per minute.
The geyser is located inside the Geyser or Vřídelní kolonáda (Geyser Colonnade) – a 70’s Functionalist building with four other springs (totally free access).
If you taste the local water for the first time, you will probably be quite surprised – it takes some getting used to. We also recommend a visit to the underground colonnade to see how the center operates from the inside and also to find out how the famous aragonite crystals are formed.
Address: Vřídelní kolonáda, Divadelní nám. 2036/2, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
The Mill Colonnade.
The most striking architectural attraction in Karlovy Vary is without any doubt the Renaissance Mlynska Colonnade, built between 1871 and 1881, with as many as five mineral springs.
The balustrade of the upper terrace is decorated with statues symbolizing the months of the year, and inside the building itself you can see a small orchestra shell. Opposite the Mlina Colonnade is a magnificent building (reconstructed from old blueprints) with a restaurant and inn. It is believed that in 1711 Peter the Great himself stayed in this house during his visit to Karlovy Vary.
Address: Mlýnská kolonáda, Mlýnské nábř., 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
St. Mary Magdalene Church
St. Mary Magdalene Church. | Photo: ccdoh1 / Flickr.
The St. Mary Magdalene Church is the most important Catholic church in Karlovy Vary and one of the most grandiose Baroque buildings in the city.
This imposing church in the city’s central spa street was built by the renowned baroque master Kilian Dientzenhofer, architect of the Church of St. Nicholas in Prague’s Malá Strana. The construction was completed in the 1830s. The crypt has an underground altar and a crypt in which the ashes of those who were once buried in the 18th-century church cemetery that surrounded the church are buried.
Address: Kostel Maří Magdalény, nám. Svobody 1, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
The Garden Colonnade
The Garden Colonnade.
This elegant wrought-iron colonnade was built in 1880. It is the first to greet tourists at the entrance to the tourist promenade on the north side. The Garden Colonnade was designed by the Viennese architects Fellner & Helmer, who also worked on the Market Colonnade.
Address: Sadová kolonáda, Zahradní, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
This openwork neoclassical colonnade (the only one in the city made entirely of wood) appeared in Karlovy Vary in the 1880s as a result of the work of the legendary Viennese architectural firm Fellner & Helmer. The bronze plaque above the Charles IV spring shows the discovery of the hot springs by Emperor Charles in the 14th century.
Address: Tržní kolonáda, Tržiště, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
The boarding pavilion of the funicular Diana. | Photo: suchosch / Flickr.
A narrow alleyway north of the Grandhotel Pupp leads to the boarding pavilion of the Diana funicular, which rises 166 meters and offers tourists a magnificent view from the observation tower of the same name. Cable car leaves every 15 minutes. You can go back on foot through a picturesque forest.
Address: Lanovka Diana, Mariánská 1218/1, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
Diana Lookout Tower
Diana Lookout Tower.
The famous Diana Lookout Tower, built in 1914, is situated at the top of Friendship Hill. If you are in good physical shape, you can try to climb up to it on forest trails, the most convenient time for these hikes is spring, early summer and fall.
Another option is to take the special funicular, which leaves from Karlovy Vary every 15 minutes and takes about three minutes to ascend. The range of the view from the tower is 70 kilometers on a clear day. There is a restaurant and a mini zoo nearby. The Diana Observation Tower is regarded as one of the main sights in Karlovy Vary.
Address: Diana Tower, Vrch přátelství 5/1, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
Moser factory museum.
The Moser Glassworks Museum is situated on the western outskirts of Karlovy Vary. There are more than 2000 exhibits on display, which tell a rich history of the company. Tourists are offered to buy tours of the nearby glassworks. There is a store at the museum, but the prices are not very different from those that can be found in the city.
Address: Návštěvnické centrum Moser, Kpt. Jaroše 46/19, Dvory, 360 06 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
Karlovy Vary is the birthplace of Josef Becher, a 19th century pharmacist who developed his own medicinal tonic known as Becherovka. After Josef’s death his son Johann continued to develop the family business and began mass production of the drink, which later became the national treasure of the Czech Republic.
In the Jan Becher Museum you will see the original glassware and other interesting artifacts, as well as learn how Becherovka is brewed and stored. A visit to the museum involves tasting the drink, which is an additional motivating factor!
Jan Bechter Museum is rightly considered one of the main attractions of Karlovy Vary. You can find pictures and descriptions of the place on any tourist portal dedicated to the Czech Republic. Do not forget to buy a bottle of Becherovka for friends and relatives and for yourself.
Address: Jana Bechera Muzeum, Tomáše Garrigue Masaryka, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
Peter and Paul Church
Peter and Paul Church.
When visiting Karlovy Vary, be sure to visit the magnificent Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul from 1898. Although the church is located in an area known for its incredibly beautiful Art Nouveau villas, it manages to stand out for its tall golden domes and blue roof vaults.
The church was built at the expense of wealthy Russians who visited the resort. The external appearance borrowed typical design features of Russian churches of the XVII century, so the temple in section has the shape of a cross. The interior of the church is as attractive as its exterior: the bas-relief of Peter the Great, numerous frescos and the large wooden wall with icons and paintings are of particular interest.
Address: Chrám sv. apoštolů Petra a Pavla, Krále Jiřího 2c, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
Karlovy Vary Museum and Art Gallery
Karlovy Vary Museum and Art Gallery.
If you want to learn about the history of the city and the region, we recommend visiting the Karlovy Vary Museum. Its permanent collection offers an in-depth look at the development of the region as an important spa center, and you can learn more about the characteristics of the local waters and their therapeutic applications.
The museum also has an interesting library with many books related not only to balneology (study of mineral waters), but also to the art history of the region. It is also worth visiting the picture gallery with its beautiful collection of paintings and statues of famous Czech masters. There are also regular concerts and various theatrical performances.
Address: Galerie umění Karlovy Vary, Goethova stezka 1215/6, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
Only 13 kilometers from the center of Karlovy Vary lies the quaint little town of Loket with its main tourist attraction – the magnificent ancient 12th century castle high above the settlement. The castle of Loket is perfectly preserved and has undergone very few changes since its construction.
Its thick stone walls, used as a prison in the 18th and 20th centuries, earned Loket the reputation of the most impregnable fortress in Bohemia. If you can, try to coincide your visit with the annual opera festival held here every July, for the castle plays a major role and provides a wonderful backdrop for the Czech National Opera, which puts on open-air performances in the local amphitheatre.
Address: Hrad Loket, Zámecká 67, 357 33 Loket, Czech Republic.
Museum of motorcycles.
Motorcycle museum is located a few minutes drive from Karlovy Vary in a small village called Bečov nad Teplou. Here two-wheelers fans can see more than 40 well preserved models of old motorcycles and numerous moto artifacts, including engines and specialized paraphernalia.
All this splendor is housed neatly in an old 13th century building. You might also enjoy the small Toy Museum, which has exhibits from all over Bohemia, as well as a collection of cutlery and weapons. After a visit to the museum, be sure to wander the streets of this quiet village with its many fine old buildings (including even a castle) and superb coastal scenery.
Address: Muzeum historických motocyklů, náměstí 5. května, Bečov nad Teplou, Czech Republic.
Spa Hotel Thermal
Spa Hotel Thermal. | Photo: whereisemil / Flickr.
This building doesn’t really fit in with the look of Karlovy Vary, but that’s what makes it special. The Spa Hotel Thermal is a 10-story complex from the 1970s that dates back to Soviet times, and its appearance stands in stark contrast to the sophisticated architecture of the Old Town.
Although it wasn’t a popular place to begin with, today it’s one of the city’s main landmarks. Thermal offers the only outdoor public swimming pool in the city center. In early July it hosts the annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the region’s leading cinematic event, which turned half a century old in 2015.
Address: Spa Hotel Thermal, Ivana Petroviče Pavlova 2001/11, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
Grand Hotel Pupp
Grand Hotel Pupp.
This majestic hotel with 228 rooms and more than 300 years of history is located on the hillside and offers its guests stunning views of Karlovy Vary. It was named after Johann Georg Pupp, the local confectioner who founded the hotel.
Over the centuries, Pupp’s descendants expanded and transformed the hotel, and by the early 20th century its building acquired the neo-baroque look that we can see today. The rich and famous from all over the world love to stay in this oasis of affluence, and film buffs know the hotel from the 2006 James Bond movie ‘Casino Royale’.
Address: Grandhotel Pupp, Mírové náměstí, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
Stara Loka Street
The Stara Louka Street.
Stará Louka is the central and the most picturesque street in Karlovy Vary: old town houses on the northern bank of the river Teplá, surrounded by evergreen hills of Slavkovský Forest, will not leave you indifferent.
Along the street are lined with cozy boutiques, cafes and restaurants. This is an ideal place for quiet walks on weekends and friendly conversations on one of the terraces by the river with a cup of fragrant coffee. Nowa Louka street stretches along the opposite bank of the river, on which the theater named after Vítězslav Nezval is located.
Address: Stará Louka, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
The renowned postal yard is situated in the mountains south of the town. Originally it was a stable for postal horses, which soon became a popular staging post for travelers and locals.
After a while, a restaurant opened here, where the local aristocracy and nobility held noisy parties “for their own”. In this neoclassical building you will see many state rooms with two spectacular pavilions, decorated in the French style. The ballroom with a covered terrace stands out among all the rooms.
Address: Poštovní Dvůr, Slovenská 309/2, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
Karlovy Vary sights
Bristol Theatre Square Theatre Square Loket Castle Peter the Great House Peter the Great Monument City theater Karl Marx monument
This website contains a list of sights in Karlovy Vary – photos, descriptions, and tips for travelers. The list is based on popular guidebooks and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you can find answers to questions: what to see in Karlovy Vary, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places of Karlovy Vary.
Bristol is a complex of sanatoriums and hotels located in the center of Karlovy Vary, not far from Mlynska Colonnade and the embankment of the river Teplá. There are a number of mineral springs here, thanks to which the sanatoriums offer a wide range of health and prophylactic programs for their visitors.
The hotel complex includes six institutions: five-star Livia and four-star: Kralovska Villa, Palace, Bristol, Theresa, Georgi House. Holidaymakers in the Bristol complex can enjoy nature in the magnificent cozy park Skalnikovy Sady, which is located nearby.
Coordinates : 50.22590400,12.87904100
Theater Square is located in the spa center in Karlovy Vary, so it is always full of tourists. The square is a small square, which was formed at the beginning of the 20th century by tearing down several houses.
During the Communist rule in the Czech Republic, the square was named after V.V. Lenin. Nowadays, the square is named after the old city theater named after Vítězslav Nezval. Vitezslav Nezval, which was built at the end of the 19th century. The theater building is the dominant landmark of the square, because it was created in the spirit of the best Viennese architectural traditions.
Not far from the square the main “Vřídel Colonnade” and the famous “Geyser” spring are situated.
Coordinates : 50.22203300,12.88275700
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The Theatre Square in Karlovy Vary is a popular tourist attraction not so much for its unique location at the crossroads of sightseeing routes across the city, but rather for the Vítězslav Nezval Theatre, which was built between 1884 and 1886 on the site of the old city theater.
The theater was built in the best architectural traditions of the Viennese craftsmen and is a dominant feature of the square and sets the whole concept of the spa architecture. A small shady square near the theater completes the architectural ensemble.
Another popular place often visited by tourists in front of the theater is the Central Hotel, built in the second half of the 20th century with a Cubist ornament on the facade, where in 1936 writer Alexei Tolstoy stayed when he came to Karlovy Vary for treatment.
The “Hot Spring” and the main colonnade of Karlovy Vary – “Vřídelní kolonáda” (Thermal Spring) are situated nearby.
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The rugged Loket Castle is one of the oldest castles in the Czech Republic. Although no one will tell you the exact date of construction, we can safely say that the former residence of kings and a masterpiece of the Middle Ages is more than eight hundred years old.
The name Loket comes from the word “elbow”. The fact is that the bend of the Ohře River, on which the castle stands, is shaped like a bent human hand. During its history the castle had many functions – it was a frontier post, an administrative center and even a prison.
Since 1968 the castle Loket is a national monument. Everyone can wander through the cold stone cells of the castle and check the veracity of the many legends, try himself as a prisoner, and even witness a staged public execution.
Peter the Great House
House of Peter the Great, fully restored according to the drawings of 1706, attracts all tourists because it was here when Peter the Great visited the city in 1712.
The very building of the house of the Russian Tsar was built in the 18th century, and Peter the Great helped stonemasons, as evidenced by a plaque on the wall of the house.
Now the house is a hotel “Peter”, which owns three buildings. The house is situated on the bank of the Teplá River, in the center of the spa area of Karlovy Vary, opposite the Mlynská Colonnade with its famous healing springs, for which many tourists, including celebrities, come here.
The building also houses a restaurant with a capacity of 40 people where all visitors can enjoy traditional Czech cuisine.
Coordinates : 50.22568400,12.88215600
Monument to Peter I
There is a monument to the Russian Tsar Peter I in Karlovy Vary, which was established in honor of the visit of the Russian Tsar to the spa town in 1711. The statue is in the form of a bust that dominates the entire town.
The monument to the Russian tsar was installed there because he often went there to pray. From Peter’s Mountain there is a beautiful view of the city, and next to it there is a fountain with the famous thermal spring. Not far from this place is a church in honor of St. Peter and St. Paul, which was built on the initiative of Peter I. Also in this area there is a sanatorium, where Peter I was treated, and later on his example the nobles came here.
You can climb the mountain where the monument to the Russian Tsar has been erected by funicular railway or on foot.
The Karlovy Vary Municipal Theater, situated on Theater Square, is a magnificent piece of architecture.
It was built between 1884 and 1886 according to the design of Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. In the facade and the interior of the theater the architects skillfully managed to combine elements of very different styles: Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque and Art Nouveau. Today the theater offers an extensive repertoire of opera, operetta, symphonic music and ballet. There are regular performances and guided tours through the theater building.
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Monument to Karl Marx
The monument to Karl Marx is situated in the most fashionable district of Kalovy Vary, and it is there for a reason: Marx was treated in Karlovy Vary three times (in 1874, 1875 and 1876). In 1870, Friedrich Engels insistently, but in vain, recommended him to be treated here. The great theorist came here only after his daughter Eleanor became seriously ill. Marx took great pleasure in driving and walking in the vicinity of the resort.
The monument to Marx is in the shade of the trees on Peter the Great Street. It is the spot by the monument that is the meeting point for tourists departing from uptown on sightseeing tours.
Card Marx is depicted on the sculpture in a seated pose. His majestic gaze seems to encompass the entire city and tells everyone about the presence of the great creator of Capital.
Coordinates : 50.22447600,12.87597700
The most popular sights in Karlovy Vary with descriptions and pictures for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places of Karlovy Vary on our website.
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