Welcome to charming Mariánské Lázně – one of Czech Republic’s most romantic and picturesque towns. Frequented by J.W. von Goethe, Mark Twain and Bedřich Smetana in their lifetimes, the town in the west of Czech Republic is renowned for its mineral springs and its many picturesque viewpoints. Located in the Karlovy Vary region of Czechia, Mariánské Lázně is well worth a day trip from Prague or the neighboring spa town of Karlovy Vary.
Although the town – and the region of Karlovy Vary – is best known for its health treatments, spas and mineral springs, Marianske Lazne offers plenty of other activities during your stay.
We spent a magical day exploring the town near Slavkovský forest and found the best places to see, stay at and explore. Here is why YOU should visit this competitor for a spot in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
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How to get to Marianske Lazne from Prague
Organized Tours: Get to explore not only one but two spa towns in one day! Leaving from Prague, this tour will first take you to Karlovy Vary and then to Mariánské Lázně, lets you suck in the fresh breeze and get a taste of the high in calcium water the area offers.
On your own: Getting to Mariánské Lázně from Prague is exceptionally facile. Simply hop on a 2.5 hours long train going directly to the spa town. If you want to make this a one-day trip, make sure to catch an early train.
Our preferred way to get to Mariánské Lázně is Czech Railways. They have comfortable seats, provide Wi-Fi, have a refreshment compartment available and because you don’t get stuck in a traffic jam with trains, you’ll get to your destination in time. Tickets for a round trip start at $ 20.00. Direct trains leave every odd hour from the main train station.
Things to Do in Marianske Lazne
Listen to the Singing Fountain
What’s more romantic than sitting by a beautiful fountain with floral carvings? That’s right: Sitting by a beautiful, singing fountain! 250 nozzles, a circular pool and a lot of engineering make this special sight in town sing to its visitors. Every odd hour, the fountain with its floral stone centerpiece, springs to life and puts on a show like none of its kind has before.
Between classics like Smetana, Mozart or Bocelli, modern songs like Celine Dion’s ‘My heart will go on’ are included in its repertoire, too. Find the music schedule here, to find the perfect hour for you to pay the fountain a visit.
The fountain sings to you every odd hour from 7 am until 10 pm between April 30th and October 31st.
Things to Do in Mariánské Lázně – Marvel at the Colonnades
Next to the singing water piece lies a blossoming garden patch leading to a white, Romanesque building. It’s the Karolinina Kolonáda. Opposite the marble white monument resides the Main Colonnade, Mariánské Lázně’s most instantly recognizable monument.
Colonnades used to be a common thing in Czech Spa Towns in the past – but only a few of them have survived up until this day. They were either destroyed or deteriorated. Not so the Mariánské Lázně Colonnades. The beautiful buildings still shine like new.
Visit Mariánské Lázně’s Parks & Springs
The Karlovy Vary region is well known for its springs that spit water with a high amount of minerals to the surface. In Marienbad, 40 springs in the center of town, will strengthen your health with each drop. Each spring is sheltered by a beautiful pavilion or colonnade, inviting you to take a breath and enjoy the health boost from nature. Due to their chemical composition, it’s said that the waters have healing powers for all kinds of ailments. Every spring has its own special power and can boost the health of different parts of your body.
The small town also appears much greener than others in the country, due to its high density of parks. And this is for a reason: Mariánské Lázně is a Spa and Cure town. People who would visit back in the 19th and 20th century, not solemnly came for the water – but more so to take a break from their everyday life and instead focus on relaxation and cure of diseases. Part of this program was and is promenading and walking a lot.
So, while in Marienbad, we set out to find the 40 springs in the many parks of Mariánské Lázně. Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll through Central Park – with a Jewish Memorial and sculptures – or Skalníkovy Sady with its marvelous ponds and gardens: The spa town offers lots of green walking paths and sights to marvel at.
If you are up for a little further exploring, you should head up to the Forest Spring Park. Not only do you get your fix of sulfuric deliciousness up here, you are also rewarded with a picturesque view as well as the Goethe and Muse sculpture. The best part? The pavilion turns into a café with music in summer, making it a perfect place to relax and unwind.
We start our search for the health elixir right next to the singing fountain: Křížový Pramen. The first sip of the curing water tastes a little weird – but we quickly develop a gusto for the sulfuric, irony and acidic taste of the liquid. Out front, we discover a monument that tells us about the different chemical compositions of the many springs in town.
Climb Up the Hamelika and Unwind Where Goethe did
Having a higher viewpoint helps with orientation. This is the exact reason why we climb up the 100 steps of 20 meters tall Hamelika, standing on the highest hill in town. From up here, we not only get to marvel at the town with its romantic buildings, but also of the surroundings: Slavkovský Les is one of the most beautiful forests in Czechia – and if we squint a little bit, we are almost sure that we can see all the way over to Germany.
On our way up to the top of the hill, we encounter a monument with a German poem engraved in it. A humble, wooden bench sits quietly next to it. This is Goethe’s Retreat and the poem – of course – written by him. The chirping of the birds and the green environment makes us want to sit where Goethe used to ponder life.
Explore the Royal Trail
Mariánské Lázně offers plenty of walking paths around town, since visitors that come for the health aspect should have exercise with their water treatment. We decide to follow the royal steps and head up into the forest located right next to the Colonnade and Křížový Pramen.
Our first stop is a beautiful wooden monument that overlooks the spa town. It’s Mescery’s Belvedere, which was erected in 1850 in honor of the Bohemian Governor, Baron of Mescenery. As we follow the path slightly uphill, several memorial statues and a marvelous pavilion with an even better view of the town crosses our path.
Things to Do in Mariánské Lázně – See Czechia in 1 Hour at Boheminium Park
Don’t have much to time to explore Czech Republic? No problem at all! Mariánské Lázně is home to Boheminium Park, located on the Eastern edge of the town. Here, we get to walk through the Czech Republic in less than 2 hours and see all historically & culturally significant buildings of the Republic – such as Karlštejn Castle – in miniature.
Once we leave the little wonderland, we spot a couple of sandstone sculptures – one of it the Rübenau, the savior and warden of the area – in the adjacent park. Intrigued, we move closer and get to observe with how much flair and love for detail the statues are made by the sculptors on site.
Pamper Yourself in a Spa
What good is a stay in Mariánské Lázně if you’re not going to treat yourself to a visit in one of the many spas around town? Beer treatments, mineral water pools or mud baths – accompanied by lots of water drinking and Kolonádas (the spa wafers meant to be eaten with the water), this town knows how to make you feel good.
The centrally located Spa Hotel Bohemia not only offers a fountain right out front the door, but also excellent spa and health treatments like inhalations of the local waters and massages to help you unwind and relax to the fullest.
If you are an avid spa goer than this is probably the number one thing to do in Marianske Lazne!
Cycle to Kynžvart Castle & Kynžvart Rock
If you want to stay active during your visit, consider renting a bike and set out for an excellent cycling trip to one of Karlovy Vary’s most sought after castles: Kynžvart.
The bright, neo-classical building erected in the 13th century, changed owners over 29 times until the Thirty Years War. The castle park surrounding the monument is stunning and well worth a stroll.
On the 2 hours long, easy cycling trail leading through Slavkovský Forest, you will also encounter Kynžvart Rock, which is different from all its fellow stones in other forests. The simple granite block was declared a natural monument because of the geological phenomenon it showed.
The stone was carved by heavy rainwater, shaping it conically. With time and persistency, this phenomenon could develop and make the former core mass move to the outside of the stone, shielding it against weather. Kynžvart Rock is not the only of its kind on your trail. Several rounded stones will cross your path, showing the same phenomenon.
Seasonal Activities in Mariánské Lázně:
- Skiing in Mariánské Lázně: If you are planning to stay in Mariánské Lázně in winter, make sure to check out their ski area, which is only a stone’s throw away from the center.
- Chopin Festival: Every year in the third week of August, this popular festival beckons visitors to the Spa town to enjoy Chopin’s tunes being revived. The Chopin Festival is the fifth oldest musical festival in Europe.
- Explore Cheb in Summer: Cheb is a romantic little town along the river Ohře with a stunning castle, only a 30 minutes train ride away from the spa town. Hike up to the medieval monument and gorge yourself on a beautiful view.
Where to stay in Mariánské Lázně
Danubius Health Spa Hvězda
If you want to pamper yourself, you should book yourself into one of Danubius’s Health Spa Hotels. Danubius not only accommodates its guests in highest fashion but also has several health spas and hotels around town. All of them are very accessible from the center and close to the town’s sights.
If you’re a real gourmet, you might want to opt out for Villa Patriot, which is well-known for its internationally high cooking level. The hotel is exceptionally known for its gastronomy and yet maintains a private and cozy atmosphere because it is small and comfortably furnished.
Apartments Central Park Marienbad
Do you enjoy the intimacy of staying in a smaller establishment? The Apartment Central Park Marienbad is the right choice for you, then. The 14 newly furnished apartments (some of them with a balcony and view over the colonnade and the singing fountain) make for a cozy place to stay at. You can park your car for free and nature is very accessible from the apartment.
Most Hotel bookings come with a free pass to the (in-house) Health Spa. Make sure you check out the deals before booking to get the most out of your stay.
And there you have it folks, yet another memorable day trip from Prague! We hope you enjoy your stay, and as always travel well friends! We’ll see you on the road!
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