8. From Prague: One day trip to Karlovy Vary
Legend says that Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) was founded by the Czech king and holy Roman emperor Charles IV in the 14th century. It is said that the ruler discovered a unique spring here while out hunting deer. Over the centuries a spa town has developed here whose fame has surpassed the borders of Bohemia, with Karlovy Vary becoming synonymous with charm and social standing. It has welcomed such figures as Goethe, Beethoven, Gogol, Paganini, Casanova, and Mozart, along with dozens of heads of state, while in recent times it has hosted many movie stars thanks to its film festival, which is one of Europe’s most important. You will experience a genuine spa atmosphere on pleasant walks through its enchanting historical core, which follows the Teplá stream. You will fill a spa jug from several of the local healing springs and stroll in the shadows of elegant colonnades, such as the Mlýnská and Tržní Colonnades. You will see the magnificent theatre, Císařské lázně and the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. The hottest of the springs – the Vřídlo – emerges from the ground nearby. But be carefult! The water has an incredible temperature of 72 degrees! You will make your day in the fairy tale town even more pleasant by visiting one of Karlovy Vary’s lookout spots - the Diana Tower, from which the town feels like it’s in the palm of your hand. And what kind of trip to Karlovy Vary would it be if you didn’t take home some local wares?! The best known include the products of the world famous Moser glassworks, Thun Karlovy Vary porcelain, or the excellent Becherovka herbal liqueur, which is often dubbed the town’s 13th spring.