Marianske Lazne is an ideal starting point for many excursions in western Bohemia. Famous thermal towns, picturesque villages, impressive forests and parks, create a beautiful setting for excursions in the country or even in neighboring countries, such as Germany (Bavaria) and Austria.
At a distance of 57.61 km from Marianske Lazne, at the Teplá river valley, near the border with Germany, is where Karlovy Vary is located. The city was founded in the 14th century and some of the attractions that stand out, include the Imperial Sanatorium, the Theater, the ornate arcades and the cloisters, the famous Pupp hotel, (where part of a James Bond film was shot), the Russian church and the natural geyser Vridlo that reaches a height of 15 m. Try to find some time to visit the magical world of Bohemian crystal, by stopping at the Moser Glass factory or learn about the Becherovka liqueur which is produced with herbs and thermal water by visiting the Jan Becher Museum. Leaving Karlovy Vary behind, we head towards the birthplace of the famous beer Pilsen, the Plzeň, located 75.94 km away from Marianske Lazne. The city is built on the confluence of four rivers (Radbuza, Mze, Uhlava and Uslava), and on the Gold trade Path, the trade routes linking the Czech Republic to Nuremberg and Regensburg, Germany. A location that ensured a rapid and high economic growth, making it by the 14th century the third largest town in the country after Prague and Kutna Hora.
The Cultural Capital of Europe for 2015, hosts the third largest synagogue in the world, which now serves as an exhibition and conference center, and the tallest tower in the Czech Republic (103 m) that is part of a Gothic church. It is also the center of many cultural events and international festivals, with the Beer Festival being the most popular.
The local beer Plzeňský Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell) definitely tastes better in the town which created it! Visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery and the Brewery Museum in the town center, and discover the history of the beer from the Middle Ages until today. The process of the fermentation adapted by the town breweries in 1842, is nowadays applied worldwide. In the southern outskirts of Plzeň, math lovers and physics will be impressed by and enjoy themselves at the modern, interactive center Techmania Science Centre.
One of the most picturesque places in the Czech Republic is the medieval village of Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage. Český Krumlov hosts the second largest fortress complex of the country, with more than 30 historic buildings, which have been well preserved exuding the atmosphere of the Bohemian Kingdom. The tour includes a visit to the castle Hluboká nad Vltavou, one of the most romantic and impressive medieval castles in the Czech Republic.
Another interesting region is the Chodsko province that maintains strong traditional elements, in architecture, handmade pottery and local cuisine. The center of the province is Domažlice (70 km. away from Mariánské Lázně), famous for its arched square, and the 56 m tall and inclined at 60 cm tower. Local celebrations and festivals echo the sounds of bagpipes, as there are so many bagpipe players, they could compete with Scotland. The annual folk festival takes place in August, the day of the celebration of St. Lawrence, or the first weekend after.
Tours in Austria and Bavaria
Having reached very close to the borders with Austria and Bavaria, you can choose two more distant excursions. You can, for example, visit nearby Vienna (in a distance of 329.85 km.), which is the imperial capital of Austria, where among other attractions, you will get to see the impressive palaces of Hofburg, Belvedere and Shoenbrunn, the square of Saint Stephen with the homonymous Cathedral, the State Opera, the Museums of Natural History and Albertina.
Fairytale castles of Bavaria are also not far from Marianske Lazne. Seize the opportunity to wander into one of the most famous, the Neuschwanstein Castle of King Ludwig the 2nd, built in the Bavarian Alps (386 km away from Marianske Lazne), which inspired Tchaikovsky to compose its masterpiece “Swan Lake”.