Marianske Lazne: The less touristy alternative to spa town Karlovy Vary 16


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Just drink THIS and you’ll lose weight!!!

Does that sound like your typical weight-loss gimmick on the tv?  Well, apparently, people have been doing this for hundreds of years even without infomercials, network marketing groups and Facebook…

almost 700 years to be exact.

 

No, I’m not talking about the latest health shake, juicing or smoothie craze, I’m talking about the “healing” effects of thermal mineral waters and where else to give it a sip and slurp than in one of the originating sources of this idea: the Karlovy Vary region in the Czech Republic.

Skip touristy Karlovy Vary and head to Marianske Lazne for a great spa town

Spa Towns

Alright, so for me personally, I wasn’t looking to head to a fountain for eternal youth or immortality.  I wasn’t even looking for a spring that could help me shed a few pounds.  I just wanted a fun, relaxing spa weekend with my sister-in-law, Carrie.

She was living in Prague at the time and I’m in Germany, so meeting in the middle seemed to be the perfect meeting location and if there was pampering, good food and great beer also at that destination, well, then so be it!

 

Karlovy Vary is both a town and a region in the Czech Republic.  Just over the German border and less than two hours from Prague, you can still sense many German attributes, while obviously getting a good dose of Czech life with a flair of Russian extravagance (from all the Russian tourists that flock to the area).

While Karlovy Vary (town) is one of the most well-known places to go for it’s spas, that doesn’t mean it’s the only, or for that matter, some might even argue, best.

 

Marianske Lazne

Instead of going to the touristy Karlovy Vary, we instead headed to Marianske Lazne.  Still within the Karlovy Vary area and spa region, it is smaller, a little less touristy and had other activities that interested us.

Things To Do:

I won’t bore you with the typical things to do because, quite frankly, you can just look all that up on TripAdvisor.  There isn’t a ton to do in town and you can see most of what there is to see in a day, two at absolute tops.  So, of course, walk around the Colonnade, pause at the Singing Fountain (which displays at each odd hour) and stop into the casino.

Marianske Lazne Colonnade

Original Photo Credit: wikicommons

 

The town itself is quite small and walkable, so most of what there is to see or do can be found just by having a local map (pick up in town at the TI or at your hotel) and by wandering around.

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Planning a Spa Weekend in Marianske Lazne?

Research and book affordable activities on TripAdvisor and Hotels at Booking.com

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Drinking the Mineral Waters: Just next to the Colonnade is a pavilion where you can read up on all the different springs in the area and what ailments they cure.  Grab a dixie cup for a few cents and start guzzling away.  You might find that it tastes more like gargling pennies than water but oooh to cure that grout!  You’ll see locals and tourists alike coming in with their empty jugs to fill up on whatever particular spring water might help them out that day.

Drink in the "healing" mineral waters of the Karlovy Vary region in CZ: what ailments do you have?

 

Hiking: The term “hike” might be a little adventurous, but there are some magnificent walks through the woods and around the edges of town in the Bohemian hills.  As you wander the well-kept trails, the thermal springs that everyone flocks to the area for can be seen gurgling through the woods.  Supposedly, you can drink straight from these babbling brooks, but I wasn’t so bold.

Beautiful sites as you walk around the woods near Marianske Lazne

Beautiful sites as you walk around the woods near Marianske Lazne

Spas: Obviously people come to Karlovy Vary for the spas.  Carrie and I had a great morning exploring the hillsides and were ready to soak our weary bones in the thermal waters that would cure us of ALL our ailments (right??).  So, we headed into town…

Important Notes About the Spas:

– Many people go to Marianske Lazne to splurge on a spa weekend.  Therefore, they stay at one of the ritzier and fancier hotels in the middle of town.  Note that most of these have their own spa packages.

– Roman Baths: However, as the Economical Excursionist, we weren’t about ritzy and fancy (aka: expensive).  As we arrived at the baths, we were told that…..  (In hindsight, it might have been worth it to have paid a bit extra for a nicer hotel than our AirB&B accommodation and gotten access to the baths- this is something to strongly consider when looking for your own lodging)  I’m sure the Roman Baths were similar to other Roman Baths, such as the ones in Baden-Baden, but that doesn’t mean we probably shouldn’t have gotten over the few extra bucks and just enjoyed the experience here as well.

 

Beer Baths

Being frugal as hell but also knowing that the following day we were going to be going to a Beer Bath Spa, in nearby Chodovar, we decided that we didn’t need to spend the extra money on the Roman Baths.  Again, if you are going to the area for a spa experience, then don’t be cheap-o’s like us and just spend the few extra korufnas already!  But, as you all know, whatever money I save today means another girls trip in the future, so we pocketed the money and just enjoyed wandering and strolling through town instead.

 

Since beer is practically the national drink of the Czech republic, we decided that instead of thermal mineral waters to soak in, why not just bathe in a big ol’ tub of pivo!?

Chodovar Beer Bath Czech Republic

 

Chodovar is only about a 15 minute drive from Marianske Lazne, also has a spa as well as the famous BEER BATHS.  You can read all about that quirky experience here.

 

Where Else to Go?

If you are in the area and are looking to make a little longer of a trip or weekend out of your getaway or don’t just want to spend your whole time in a spa (uuuh, what’s wrong with you?) There are several nearby towns that could be worth checking out:

Cheb: Especially if you are heading back to Germany, you can stop at this “Asian Dragon Market.”  Basically, if you want any cheap knock offs of fancy schmancy brands (think purses, leathers, clothes, etc) then stop at this huge outdoor market.

Karlovy Vary: Go to the the real Karlovy Vary town for some more spa time.

Pilsen: Haven’t had your fill of beer? Head to Pilsen, the home of the Pilsner style beer.  Take a tour of the brewery and, of course, enjoy some samples!

 

The Czech Republic is a relatively cheap country to visit in Europe.  Most people go straight to Prague, which is definitely a must-see city, but the country holds other gems as well, such as the intriguing Karlovy Vary region.

If you are looking for a weekend getaway to kick back, relax and cure some odd ailments, heading to Marianske Lazne could be well worth your time!

 

Unlike me, are you not a cheapskate?  Have you been INSIDE the Roman Baths at Karlovy Vary?  If so, tell me all about them so that I can think twice about going back!

 

 

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Skip touristy Karlovy Vary and head to Marianske Lazne for a great spa town

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LeAnna

Author and Creator at Economical Excursionists
Former teacher turned blogger turned mom turned full time travel addict, LeAnna has never been one to live life by the rules. Whether she is moving to a farm in Switzerland to learn to make cheese (Yes, CHEESE), jumping off a mountain to paraglide over Cinderella castles, or taking her baby all over the world with nothing but a backpack on their backs, LeAnna designs and defines her OWN life. LeAnna, her husband Andy, and kiddo, "Lil B" love to live a minimal lifestyle, not only for the "thrill" of pinching pennies but in order to save for traveling the world. Considering over 40 countries and 90+ cities have been explored, we'd say they are doing something right!

About LeAnna

Former teacher turned blogger turned mom turned full time travel addict, LeAnna has never been one to live life by the rules. Whether she is moving to a farm in Switzerland to learn to make cheese (Yes, CHEESE), jumping off a mountain to paraglide over Cinderella castles, or taking her baby all over the world with nothing but a backpack on their backs, LeAnna designs and defines her OWN life. LeAnna, her husband Andy, and kiddo, "Lil B" love to live a minimal lifestyle, not only for the "thrill" of pinching pennies but in order to save for traveling the world. Considering over 40 countries and 90+ cities have been explored, we'd say they are doing something right!

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16 thoughts on “Marianske Lazne: The less touristy alternative to spa town Karlovy Vary

  • Chris

    I love these Spa Towns. They are very relaxing. I went to one in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia. However, if i’m in Czech Republic specifically then I’m all about beer and beer baths!!!! lol. Great post.

    • LeAnna Post author

      Haha! I know, right!? There really are so many great, fun and unique things to do there. But best of all? It’s mega cheap in comparison to other European countries. Win-Win!

  • melody pittman

    What fun! I love going to spa’s and this one certainly delivers. Beer baths? Wth? Marianske Lazne looks fabulous, even just sightseeing and going to the casino. Thanks for introducing me to the area, I am going to be in Czech Republic in the spring and may try to do a day trip to this region.

  • Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

    Soaking in a bath full of Czech beer cannot be a bad way to go! I mean just look at those suds! I love Airbnb, but sometimes it does make sense to pay a bit more and have access to the perks hotels can offer. But as you put it, less money spent now means more girls trips in the future! Sounds completely logical to me!

  • MariaAbroad

    If I mention beer bath, I might just convince my husband to come with me to a spa. But I absolutely agree, I like to travel cheaply, but then splurge on the things that are important to me. If I don’t waste money on random stuff, I get to go on more trips 🙂

  • Veronika

    Nice that you are exploring my country – welcome to Czech Republic:) I agree with you that Marianske Lazne are so much better than Karlovy vary. The second city is full with Russians so does not feel like Czech. Funny that you did the beer bath!

    • LeAnna Post author

      My Sister In Law, who lived in Prague for 4 years was the one that gave me the heads up that Marianske Lazne was the better of the two. We love heading over to the CZ, so many great things to do!

  • Laura

    We just spent a day in Bath and we’re able to drink the thermal waters there and bathe in them too. I can’t say I noticed any healing affects but it was fun and relaxing!

  • Katja

    I have never heard of a beer bath before! Marianske Lazne looks like such a pretty town and given that i’m a sucker for anything that promises to make me feel younger / cure ailments / relax me, this is definitely my kind of town!

  • Megan

    Interesting. Didn’t know about Karlovy Vary. The architecture looks beautiful and I could definitely use some relaxing spa time. Thanks for sharing.

  • sagar

    Beer Bath, Simply Wowww!
    that will b really a fun and amazing experience for me, heard it for the first time.
    Bingo, will really visit this place for sure.