Karlovy Vary can be reached by direct Czech Airlines flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg, by train from the Russian capital, or by planes, trains and buses, but through Prague. Check TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA to learn more about Czech Republic.
Of course, the first option is the most convenient, but also the most expensive (about 3 hours in flight). Karlovy Vary Airport is quite large, it also accepts planes from many cities in Germany, Austria and, of course, Prague. A connecting ticket through the Czech capital, by the way, may cost less, but the travel time must be multiplied by at least two: the duration of the connection can be up to 8 hours.
From the airport, it is most convenient to get to the resort by taxi (about 25 EUR, 15-20 minutes on the way) or by bus number 8. Buses run from about 7:00 to 20:00-21:00, the final stop is “Market” (Trznice), where you can transfer to another bus, catch a taxi or walk to the hotel.
Direct trains from Moscow to Karlovy Vary depart, as a rule, once a week from the Belorussky railway station (the final one is Cheb). On the road 1 day and 7 hours. From the station to the resort center can be reached by taxi or buses No. 12 and 13.
Keep in mind that there are two stations in Karlovy Vary: Upper, where trains arrive from Prague, Moscow and go further to Cheb, bordering Germany; and Lower, from which the trains go to Marianske Lazne and to the German Zwickau.
How to get to Karlovy Vary from Prague
It would be strange to come to the Czech Republic and not visit one of the most beautiful European cities – Prague. Therefore, many consider the most logical and budgetary way through the Czech capital, fortunately, Prague Airport daily receives direct flights from many cities in Russia. The fastest and easiest way to get from there “to the waters” is by renting a car. Travelers are waiting for a comfortable route 120 km long, 1.5-2 hours on the way, focusing on the E48 highway. Otherwise, you will first have to get to the center of Prague, and from there choose a train or bus.
Direct buses depart from the Florence bus station, located next to the metro station of the same name. The fare is from 180 CZK, the journey takes about 2.5 hours (exact timetable). From the bus station to the resort center can be reached by bus number 4 or on foot in 10-15 minutes.
You can also get there by rail from the Hlavni Nadrazi station, but the trains go in a roundabout way, and therefore the route is extended to 230 km (about 3.5-4 hours on the way). Tickets are an order of magnitude more expensive, trains rarely depart, in a word, this method can only be chosen if there is absolutely nothing to do and you want to enjoy the views from the window measuredly.
If you look at Karlovy Vary from the air, you can clearly see that the Ohře River and its tributary Tepla have clearly drawn the letter “T” in the landscape of the resort. The upper “cap” of the letter is Ohře, everything above it is a new city with sleeping areas of little interest to tourists.
To the south of the riverbed, the spa Karlovy Vary begins, and they start correctly: from the railway and bus stations. Right there, exactly in the middle of the city, the Tepla River flows almost strictly down, on both banks of which stands the same Karlsbad, known to us since the 19th century.
The main public transport in Karlovy Vary is buses, most of which one way or another stop at Trznice (translated into Russian as “Market”, the business part of the city). The schedule is available at stops, tickets can be bought at kiosks or from the driver (a little more expensive). The fare is 20 CZK, there are travel cards for a day for 80 CZK and for a week for 200 CZK. In addition to about 20 regular routes, night routes also run around the city: from 23:00 to 5:00.
The best routes for travelers: No. 2 from Theater Square through Imperial Lazne I and up the serpentine, from where a magnificent view of the city opens; No. 6, following along the Ohře River to the Svatoshkin Rocks of the Loket Fortress. Buses No. 91 and 92 are officially called “tourist” buses and run only from April to the end of October.
Taxis in Karlovy Vary can be stopped on the street, called by phone or found in the parking lot. The fare is on average from 30 to 35 CZK per kilometer, waiting – 5-6 CZK per minute. Many drivers know Russian (or, moreover, are from the CIS).
At the Main Post Office there is an official parking lot for horse-drawn carriages carrying tourists. Expensive, but damn good.
Funiculars are a favorite tourist transport, there are two of them in the resort: “Diana”, which leads from the Pupp hotel to the observation tower of the same name, and “Imperial” – to the Imperial hotel. The first one is a favorite, not only is it already officially recognized as an important landmark of Karlovy Vary (erected in 1912), it also gives its passengers amazing views.
Here are a couple more arguments in favor of the Diana funicular: the observation tower at the top is free, inside there is an elevator, and at its foot there is a nice restaurant.
“Imperial” trailers run every day with an interval of 15-25 minutes from 5:30 to 21:10 on weekdays and from 6:45 to 21:10 on weekends. The fare is the same as on buses – 20 CZK.
“Diana” is open depending on the season: from November to March from 9:00 to 17:00, in April, May and October – from 9:00 to 18:00, and from June to September – from 9:00 to 19:00. Cost: 60 CZK.
Rent a Car
Renting a car in Karlovy Vary will be relevant if you come here not for treatment, but for relaxation. Since in the first case there will be especially no time to roll around the sights – there would be time to run around the resort beauties. Well, if the purpose of the trip is to combine business with pleasure, a car can be very useful: Marienbad, Pilsen, Czech castles, and Germany with a lot of old towns, outlets and amusement parks are nearby. The rental price is from 35 EUR, depending on the class of car and the duration of the rental, there are offices of both local and large international companies in the city.
With parking at the resort, it is strict: you must get up only in permitted places and do not forget to pay for parking. So it’s better to find a hotel or apartment with its own parking, or buy a parking card (they will tell you at the reception), or leave the car in a paid underground parking near the Thermal Hotel – quickly, conveniently and without unnecessary headaches with parking meters.