Drive from Prague: 1.5 hours (130 km appx.)
Train ride: 1.5 hours from Prague, Hlavni Nadrazi
Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), or the Monte Carlo of Czech Republic is famous, thanks to the Bond Movie Casino Royal being shot here. But, the Bohemian spa town is close to the heart for many because of its ornate colonnades, healing thermal hot springs and calm beauty.
We drove to Karlovy Vary from Prague, which is about 130 kilometers (appx 1.5 hours). It is an easy drive via E 48, R6 with a lot of tiny villages to drive through. The drive itself is quite quaint and scenic. We travelled with two kids and there were sufficient gas stations or tiny villages (I recommend Krusovice) to take a coffee break!
The town itself is quite small and we took a nice leisurely walk through it – a largely straight walk through the Colonnades and up to the park.
During the walk we stopped intermittently at hot thermal springs to fill our ‘sipper cups’ with mineral water. The water is available to everyone through various springs placed every few meters. The water is said to contain almost all elements of the Mendeleev’s periodic table and extremely good for health if consumed in a relaxed state at regular intervals.
The kids had fun running around and sipping warm water. The hot thermal springs, some of which shoot to almost 12 feet high were amazing as kids loved a warm leisurely spray of water as the wind blew.
We had a picnic lunch and then walked back towards the Grand Hotel Pupp for coffee and hot chocolate. On the way the kids could romp around on a floor piano by Richter Spielgerate on the street.
There’s a lot more to do in this tiny town, and I recommend staying for at least one night if you want to enjoy some spa treatment. For the more curious minds there is the Thun Porcelain Factory tour, the Butterfly House. The art inclined can pick between music concerts and exhibitions from time to time.
More info can be found in the official tourism website.
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