Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic


Karlovy Vary is located in the northwest corner of the Czech Republic, west of Prague and north of Pilsen. It is situated in the valley of the River Tepla surrounded by tree-covered hills.  The ornate buildings of the city seem to be perfectly placed between the river and the hills.

People have been coming to the city for a thousand years because of it’s numerous natural hot water springs which run 2000 feet below the earth’s surface.  Throughout Karlovy Vary there are 13 “officially recognized” natural springs with water rising from the earth at temperatures between 90 and 170 degrees. In one location the building was architecturally designed of glass towers to accommodate the frequent earth-splurting hot water fountains up to 150 feet, while other locations maintain a slow faucet drip!

It’s proclaimed that the water’s minerals have healing abilities consequently, people dip their special porcelain flask-shaped cups with a spout and visiting the many spas throughout the city.

Forget the healing waters…where’s the beer?

Pilsner Urquell is a very common and popular drink throughout the Czech Republic.  Brewed just fifty miles away in Plzen it remains the world’s best and first pilsner.  It is deep amber gold in color, 4.4% abv, and fully satisfying, especially on a warm autumn day sitting at a street-side cafe.

The surrounding hills are perfect for hiking, trails on all sides of the river for every level of adventure. We spent one morning making our way to the top on a switchback road with various peaks for fantastic visions of grandeur. As mid-day arrived we came across a hidden gem. A one hundred year old family owned hotel restaurant was open for lunch and beckoned a visit and well-deserved break from our hike. MYSLIVNA, featured Lobkowicz beer, or “pivo” as they say in Czech.  It was very smooth, creamy, and refreshing in the mouth with an easy hint of hop bitterness.  A great welcome lunch break basking in the sunshine, listening to falling chestnuts, and appreciating Czech Republic pivo! Excellent.

Now we’re nourished and motivated to complete the summit to the hilltop Diana.


Within a short stroll from our hotel we found U Svejka, a restaurant with some great atmosphere. It was easy to almost miss it because it was up an alley. Fortunately, they had a life-sized stuffed, wounded soldier sitting at a table outside. We knew we had to check it out!

They served local Czech dishes with lightning speed along with Pilsner Urquell and another local favorite Velkopopavecky Kozel, a dark dunkel. A beer far easier to drink than pronounce, the Kozel matched perfectly with the roasted pork and red cabbage as well as the smoked trout.


Karlovy Vary is a famous internationally renowned spa city, and we took advantage of that with a Pivni Koupel, in other words, A Beery Bath!  Yes, a beer bath. Hops, malt extracts, and vitamin B are added to the famous city mineral waters.  It calms and regenerates your skin on the outside while you sip on a beer to relax your insides. 

You get twenty minutes alone with your thoughts and hops before the Bath Maiden comes in and wraps you in a cool sheet and warm woolen blanket for a short snooze on a dry massage bed.


Krusovice pivo is the local favorite dark beer.  It is black in color, and only 3.8% abv, but very malty in flavor.  It pours with a nice tan head and goes down easy.

We made sure to enjoy a few of these along with a rooftop view of the many spa hotels before heading into Bavaria.

Leave a Reply