I’ve already told you about my adventures through Czechia with my American friend in my previous articles:
This time we were exploring the beautiful city of Karlovy Vary. There is plenty to do in Karlovy Vary so I’m gonna divide it by the days we spend there. Here is what happened in Karlovy Vary day one -Night in the city.
All of our explorations occurred by trains. One of my favorite moments of the whole week of exploration was how astonished my American friend was with the prices. Everything was so cheap for him. Once we sat on a 3-hour long train ride to Karlovy Vary he finally understood.
Price equals quality.
I’m used to it by now but to the outsider is a very memorable experience.
Old. Smelly. Rusty. Noisy. Broken for most of the part. Super uncomfortable. Always late.
But I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I’ve been traveling by buses or trains for over 8 years now regularly and it’s terrible every time but I have the greatest, most bizarre stories to tell from my travels.
Traveling by public transportation comes naturally with station visits.
For me personally, stations are associated as a really scary place. No matter the number of people on the station or the number of policemen around, creepy guys just seems to be magically attracted to me. Stations are really dark places for me and I’m trying to avoid them for my own good as much as possible.
That’s why Karlovy Varys train station came as a huge surprise for me.
When we got out of our poor old train we found ourselves at the most beautiful, cleanest train station I ever saw. Everything was plain white color and it looked almost sterile. Seriously I’ve been to hospitals who were not as clean as this train station.
Plenty of places to sit, informative boards everywhere and even though it was not as big in size, it made it up with the quality.
During the whole of our trips, we were met with incredibly nice people willing to help us. The same goes for Karlovy Vary.
We were kind of lost with how are we gonna get to our hotel from the station.
The easiest option would be to take a cab but that one is not very adventurous. Instead, we found our how the public transportation works, got the cheapest ticket and asked the nearby security guard for directions.
There is like a main public transportation station where most of the city buses head and you can get pretty much everywhere from there. It’s just one bus stop from the train station and it’s quite easy to maneuver even though we were there for the first time. The signs are very big so it’s impossible to miss it. And if somehow you do get lost just ask someone. Trust me they are super friendly.
By the time we arrived, it was already dark, around 8 in the evening and the temperatures were crazy low.
Our plan was to check-in the hotel, leave our bags and head to the city for late dinner and we did just that.
We were staying at Hotel Marttel we found on booking. Our request was pretty simple. Good location in the center, breakfast and cheap price. Hotel Marttel met our demands perfectly. Great for one night we were staying there. We literally spend just slept, showered and ate breakfast there. Even though we checked out in the morning they were kind enough to keep our bags at the hotel for the time of our Karlovy Varys explorations
Continuing with nice people the receptionist recommended us some closest restaurants but we went much further anyway. Most of the Karlovy Vary is on a hill. Our hotel was almost at the top so the walk down was pretty great but the way back not so much. The whole place is full of twists and turns so the car or bus ride might take even longer that simple walk because of the slow, careful traffic.
People living in Karlovy Vary must have crazy good physical condition walking those hills every day.
Another great surprise that followed was the empty city center. It was around 9 in the evening and most of the stores were already closed! I mean, it was just a Wednesday evening and it was early October but still, I expected such a huge touristy place to have a more active nightlife.
We were in a mood for pizza so we went to Ristorante-Pizzeria Palermo that has great TripAdvisor recommendations and we can only add 5 stars. I found it hilarious that the very friendly staff were talking in Czech with me but English with Kevin. A little break from translating for me.
After we were finally full and happy with great pizza, we went out to the cold weather and explored the mostly empty streets of Karlovy Vary.
We wanted to visit some famous spas the next day when they open so we went on a search for some.
The closest and most recommended for tourists are Elizabeth’s spas.
The convenient location in the basic center is very favorable for the tourists.
Even though it was closed by the time we arrived the sight of the outside of it was still something special.
The whole city was something special, to be fair.
I’m a sucker for that neoclassical architectural style. Perfectly lit city on a calm night with no other tourists was so magical. I guess most of the tourists were somewhere inside as we found one, let’s call it a disco for older people, and oh boy do they know how to party. We were only watching them from the window but we were losing it.
Karlovy Varys streets remind me of my trip to the Netherlands with those beautiful buildings but with some extra luxurious style added.
Karlovy Vary is full of Spas Colonnades that are basically a place where the famous thermal water is erupting from the ground. The buildings surrounding the colonnades are just spectacular. A truly breathtaking sight.
You can take the healing water with you for free just take some bottle or something to pour it in. The water is safe for drinking but oh boy it’s so disgusting. It tastes like sulfur and tastes just the same. Not that I ever tasted pure sulfur but that’s’ how I imagine it tastes like.
Kevin did pour water from one stream we found to a plastic bottle, but he poured it out the next day as it’s too gross to drink and the bottle could be used for normal drinkable water instead.
The first impression of Karlovy Vary for me was that it’s a beautiful calm city. I’m so glad we got the chance to have such a peaceful night walk over the town cuz the next day was super busy. But all about that in the next part coming out soon.