Many people head to Karlovy Vary for the spas. Here, the treatments are best for those with digestive, motor systém or metabolic disorders. Note – most of the spas here are more medical in nature than relaxing. Be sure to ask some questions regarding procedures before signing up. Many people spend up to three weeks, aided by doctors, therapeutic treatments and mineral water, to cure what ails them. If you are looking purely to indulge, look for “wellness programs” that offer saunas, whirlpools, steam baths, wraps and massages. Medical tourism has taken off in the Czech Republic in recent years thanks to the high quality of surgeons combined with comparatively low costs. Private clinics for a variety of cosmetic and dental procedures can be found in Karlovy Vary.
Non-spa people can see a variety of other interesting sites here. The famous “spa wafers” hail from Karlovy Vary; as does the Czech spirit Becherovka (museum at T.G.M. 57, 353 17 01 77, www.becherovka.cz), Mattoni drinking water and glassmaker Moser. Tours can be taken of the Moser glass factory and you can discover everything you never wanted to know about Becherovka at the Jan Becher Museum. Other important sites to snap for your photo album include the Thermal Spring Colonnade whose geyser shoots out 2000 litres of mineral water a minute, and is the only spring used for baths. Karlovy Vary is an easy walking city, with most attractions located in the “spa centre.” The Mill Colonnade is the largest and offers six springs. Colonnades were historically built to offer people a pleasing spot to stroll while drinking the restorative waters. Go ahead and stick a cup into the fountain and sip like the locals! You can also buy a souvenir sipping cup from one the many stands set-up all along the colonnades. Take a climb in the nearby forest to the Diana lookout tower. Located 547 meters above sea level, you’ll get a grand view of the countryside. Or be lazy and take the cable car up the hill. Marked trails mean you can enjoy the crisp autumn air and beautiful forests easily on foot.
Lázeňská 1, Karlovy Vary, 355 32 11 76 (Open 09:00 - 17:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00).