Karlovy Vary (or Carlsbad) is approximately a 2 hour drive west of Prague. It’s known as a spa town and I’d seen pretty pictures of that town so that was enough to get me to book a day trip out. I went with Prague Sightseeing Tour (booked through Viator) for the 10 hour day trip.
It’s a scenic drive out of Prague past hops plantations and fields of green and forest on each side. We passed through the Moser glass factory to learn about glass blowing before setting foot in the Old Town of Karlovy Vary.
One of the first things you will notice is that there are small kiosks selling really weird looking cups where you drink from the handle. With the town sitting on a number of hot springs, there are drinking fountains across the town where you can use your new niche cup to taste the assorted mineral water flowing from each tap.
Incase you had forgotten, let me remind you that mineral water contains more minerals than the average drinking water from the tap so let’s just say there were a lot of faces to suggest that the mineral water did not have a nice taste. Perhaps, it’s an acquired taste.
Unlike the mineral water, I quickly fell in love with the town’s architecture and pastel buildings and is a telling of how rich this town could become as a holiday spot for Europe’s aristocracy and celebrities from the late 17th century.
Other things that originate from Karlovy Vary are the Czech liqueur Becherovka and the Carlsbad wafer (Karlovarské oplatky). I have not tried the liqueur but you can buy it there (or any liqueur store in Prague) but I can tell you about the wafer. You can find them in boxes being sold on the promenade, you won’t miss it. Just look for the hoards of people infront of boxes. You can also buy them individually to eat straight away if you want to taste it first. Personally, I would get flavoured ones unless you like plain original flavours. It IS just a wafer. You have been warned. I would also stock up on it because since returning (a whole 24 hours ago), I have tried to see if I could find it in the local supermarket but have been unsuccessful. If anyone knows where to get them from in the city centre, let me know!
The town is very picturesque and I would recommend it. Personally, unless you want a spa treatment, the one day trip of the Old Town is ample to get a snap shot of Karlovy Vary.