Karlovy Vary is an indispensable visit if you go to the Czech Republic. It is the second most visited city in the country and is known as the spa town, hosting a total of 12 springs with medicinal waters whose temperatures range from 40 to 72 ºC.
To get there you can go by train, car, bus or the best option, you can visit the city with an organized tour and learn all the details about its history. If you want to know more about each of the travel modalities, read on.
The best way to get there: an organized tour
The best way to get to Karlovy Vary is with an organized excursion, since you will be able to enjoy the trip comfortably, you will make the most of the time and you will know all the details of this destination that served as inspiration to artists like Beethoven, Chopin, Goethe or Freud.
The excursions to Karlovy Vary have an approximate duration of between nine and ten hours and leave from the center of Prague early in the morning, around 9 a.m., and end around 6 p.m., although you have to take into account that the trip takes approximately two hours one way and two hours back. In some modalities lunch is included and in others you are given time on your own to do it.
Throughout the visit, you will visit some of its places of interest such as the Imperial Spa, the thermal baths, the Orthodox Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Moser glassworks, the Thun porcelain store, the former headquarters of the Knights of Malta, the Mozart House, the Dvorak Park, the different colonnades of the city, the fountain of Charles IV... In the post what to see in Karlovy Vary you can learn about the most emblematic points of interest that you can not miss on your trip to the second city of the Czech Republic.
- Price... Around 110 €.
- Duration... Between 9 and 10 hours.
- Time... Departure takes place early in the morning, around 8-9 h.
An option that offers freedom, the tour includes transportation but not the visit.
Another option if you want to get to know the city of Karlovy Vary in a free and relaxed way, is to opt for an excursion that only includes the transfer to and from Prague. In this modality you will be able to enjoy the comfort of the transfer and, at the same time, you will have between 5 and 6 hours to visit the city and invest the time according to your preferences.
However, this modality is not very profitable in terms of price if we compare it with the organized tour, since the price of the organized tour is from 48 - 60 € depending on the time of the year and the company with which you do it, while simply the transfer is estimated between 40 - 45 €.
- Price... Between 40 - 45 €.
- Duration... Two hours each way and between 5 and 6 hours for the free city tour.
- Schedule... Around 9 a.m., but it depends on the time of the year and the company.
The cheapest option, the bus
The second most recommended option to get from Prague to Karlovy Vary is by bus. The journey time is about two hours - two hours and a quarter, so it is not much longer than in an organized tour or by car, and the price is very cheap, starting from 8 €. In addition, there is a wide range of trips throughout the day, from 6 - 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. depending on the day of the week and the time of the year.
Florenc, the main bus station in Prague, is the departure point for buses to Karlovy Vary. As for the arrival, it takes place in the area of Tržnice. On the other hand, it is also possible to make the journey directly from the Prague airport.
If you choose the bus option, I recommend that you buy your ticket in advance. To do this, you can visit the website Omio or Flixbus where you can see the different options available throughout the day, as well as prices.
- Price... From 8 € each way.
- Duration... Two hours - two and a quarter hours each way.
- Timetable... There is a wide range of journeys, almost one for every hour, from 6 - 7 am to 6 pm depending on the time of the year and the day of the week.
The option that offers the most freedom, the trip by car
To get to Karlovy Vary by car you have to take into account that a total of 127 kilometers separate you from the city of Prague. If you like driving it is an option, since you can make the stops you want, you have the freedom to make the trip when you prefer and if the city captivates you you have the possibility to spend the night in some of the hotels in the city. After all, it is the second most visited city in the Czech Republic after the capital, and the options for accommodation are numerous.
The shortest route from Prague is along the D6 E48 road and you will have a total of 40 kilometers by highway and around 90 kilometers by national road. The travel time is approximately two hours. Regarding the price you have, on the one hand, to add the cost of renting the car, which is approximately 20 € per day and the cost of gasoline each way, which is estimated depending on the vehicle model and type of fuel at approximately 20 - 25 €.
It is a good option if you are touring different European cities. In this case, keep in mind that Karlovy Vary is located near cities such as Nuremberg or Munich.
- Price... 20 € per day car rental + the cost of gasoline each way which can range from 20 to 25 €.
- Duration... Two hours each way.
- Timetable... Free timetable.
The least recommended option, the train
Another option for getting from Karlovy Vary to Prague is by train. The charm of traveling by train is a factor to take into account, but the journey is longer than if you do it by car. The estimated duration is between 3:15 h. and 3:45 h., as it makes several stops along the journey such as in Chomutov.
On the website of the national train company, České Dráhy or on LeoExpess, you can check the different prices and updated schedules. Even so, I advance you that the price per way is approximately between 7 - 15 € per way depending on the time and the train you take. Regarding the schedule, it starts early in the morning, between 5 - 6 h. in the morning, and the last one takes place between 19:30 and 23:30 h., depending on the time of year in which you make the trip.
To catch the three from Prague you have to go to the Central Station, Hlavní Nádřaží, which is located in the center of the city. The station in Karlovy Vary is called Carlsbad.
- Price... Between 7 - 15 € each way depending on the train and how far in advance the ticket is purchased.
- Duration... Between 3:15 h. and 3:45 h., since it is not a direct trip, but makes several stops.
- Schedule... Between 5 - 6 h. and 19:30 - 23:30 h. depending on whether the trip coincides with summer or winter days.
What is the distance from Prague to Karlovy Vary?
Karlovy Vary is located 127 kilometers from Prague. So after enjoying all the things to see and do in Prague, I recommend you to visit this city which is two hours - two and a quarter hours away if you do it by car or by bus. If you opt for the train, it will take you between three and four hours to get there, because the route is not direct, but has several stops along the way.
What is the best time of the year to travel to Karlovy Vary?
The summer season is undoubtedly the best time to travel to Karlovy Vary in terms of temperature, as the thermometer records a maximum temperature between 20 and 23 º C throughout the day and a minimum of 10-12 º C, while in winter the weather will not accompany you on your trip, as they record minimums between 0 and -2 º C and maximums of only 1 - 3 º C.
However, beyond the temperature, summer is the time of the year when there are more tourists. So, you can also opt for the spring season when temperatures are more moderate and the level of tourism is still low. On the other hand, in autumn, the city is beautiful because of the characteristic colors of this time of the year.
What is the best day of the week to travel to Karlovy Vary?
If you are hesitating on which day of the week to visit Karlovy Vary, I recommend a weekday, as there are fewer tourists and you will be able to visit the city more comfortably than on the weekend.
If you have a choice, do not choose Sunday for your visit: there are many tourists and the city will not leave you the same feeling as if you visit it on other days of the week; on the other hand, the Moser glass factory is closed, which is one of the visits you should not miss on your trip and, in addition, the stores are also closed.
Compare the different options
- Price: approximately 110 €.
- Duration: between 9 and 10 hours
- Price: from 8 €
- Duration: 2 - 2:15 hours
- Price: 20 € per day rental + the cost of gasoline
- Duration: 2 hours
- Price: Between 7 - 15 €.
- Duration: from 3:15 h. to 3:45 h.