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Tour Options from Prague to Karlovy Vary

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How to Get from Prague to Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary is the beautiful spa town of western Bohemia, located 130 km west of Prague. It has been one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations for over a century. It is also known by its German name Karlsbad, after King Charles IV who founded the city in the 14th century. It was developed in the 19th century due to the natural thermal springs which, along with its gorgeous Habsburg architecture, remains the town’s primary attraction. It is also one of the best sites of famous Bohemian glass manufacture making it a perfect day trip from Prague.



Karlovy Vary


There are five ways to get a day trip to Karlovy Vary from Prague: A Welcome Pickups private day trip, an organised coach tour, an intercity bus, the national train or your own hired car.

Comparison of the options

Welcome Pickups €290 8 Hr 24/7 Private & Customisable with a Local English Speaking driver
Coach €70 10 Hr Variable Official Tour Guide
Bus €14 (per person) 3 Hr 15 Daily Comfortable
Train €24 (per person) 3 Hr 5 Daily Cheap Option
Car Hire €80+ 1 Hr 50 Min 24/7 Private

Welcome Pickups Tour to Karlovy Vary from Prague

Head out on an exclusive day tour to Karlovy Vary, the famous spa town of western Bohemia, a place that has attracted European nobility for centuries. Your day will begin with a pick up from your friendly, English-speaking driver-guide. After a brief introduction you will be on your way together through the verdant, rolling hills Czech countryside. You will travel by a modern, luxury vehicle with all the amenities you need on-board, including Wi-Fi. Your driver will tell you all the history of the country and the background about Karlovy Vary throughout the whole tour. They will also point out the best spots for photo opportunities. Your tour comes with a number of recommended stops.

Recommended Tour Stops

  • Karlovy Vary town center
  • Diana Tower
  • Grand Hotel Pupp
  • Moser Glass Factory

Alongside the recommended stops, you can choose to stop off at any location you would like to visit throughout the tour. The tour length is 8 hours and it is available for a group of between 1 and 8 people. 

How Much Does It Cost?

The price for this exclusive private tour to Karlovy Vary for a group of 1-4 people is €290. A larger group of 5-8 people costs €360. Please note that this does not include entrance fees to any attractions or meals.

Where Do I Get Picked Up from?

This trip to Karlovy Vary from Prague is exclusive to your group, so you will be picked up from the location in Prague that you choose, when you choose. This might be your accommodation or a nearby cafe or site of interest. When you book your day trip you can nominate a location and time to be picked up at the start. The same is the case for being dropped off. Throughout the entire tour you are in the safe hands of your driver-guide.


The whole experience of a Welcome Pickups full-day tour is designed to be the best tour possible. Your tour is in your control: you can be picked up when and where you like, and choose which of the recommended stops you visit and anywhere else you want to see. On board are all the things that you need to make any day trip complete. Throughout the day you have access to your private driver-guide, allowing you to see everywhere through the eyes of a local and experience Karlovy Vary in the most authentic way.

Editor’s Note

No Karlovy Vale tour would be complete without tasting the famous Becherovka herbal liqueur of the area. Ask your driver where to find the best sample.

Organised Coach Tour from Prague to Karlovy Vary

A popular way for tourists to travel from Prague to Karlovy Vary and some of the peripheral locations of the Czech Republic is to take an organised coach tour. Organised coach tours are an alternative way to visit Karlovy Vary with a group that is led by a tour guide. Coaches depart from Prague in the morning and the tour has scheduled visits to locations in Karlovy Vary. Some tours also have scheduled visits to other nearby places, such as Marianske Lazne.

Most companies offer their tours with guides that speak in a variety of languages, particularly English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian. They last approximately 10 hours.

How Much Does It Cost?

There is more than one company offering organised coach tours, so there is some variety in the price per ticket. The starting price is about €70 for an adult. There may be a discount for young children. It is advisable to book a tour well in advance, particularly if you are travelling in peak season, as prices may increase closer to the travel date.

How Often Do Coach Tours Run?

In the summer months tours run on a daily basis. In the quieter months of the year Karlovy Vary tours may run every other day or a couple of times per week. 


Travelling on a coach tour is a convenient way to see the town of Karlovy Vary and allows for a deep understanding as they include tour guides. The groups that accompany the tour can be quite large and this may limit your access to the guide. This may also restrict your freedom to explore and see all the places you want to in the time you would like. 

Editor’s Note

Organised bus tours are a great way to experience the city if you have a particularly large group or members of your group have specific language requirements. Make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Buses from Prague to Karlovy Vary

The intercity bus is an easy and surprisingly comfortable way to enjoy an excursion from the city of Prague to the outer towns such as Karlovy Vary using public transport. There are two bus operators travelling between Prague and Karlovy Vary: Flixbus and RegioJet (StudentAgency). They both run from the Florenc bus stop in Prague to the Terminal bus station in Karlovy Vary. 

How Much Do Tickets Cost?

Tickets typically cost €7 each way per person, although some cost a little less. This means a round trip will cost €14 per person. Tickets can be bought online or from the bus station

How Often Do They Run?

Buses run all day, at least one per hour. They begin running at 06:30 and finish at 21:30. Buses run one per hour on the way back, with the last one at 20:00. Check online for schedules.


There are many buses running throughout the day and they are the cheapest travel option. They take just over two hours and drop you off right in the centre of the city. Tickets can be purchased in advance, ensuring a seat for your whole group. This option does mean that you won’t be able to visit any sights outside of the town. You will also need to hire a guide separately if you are interested. 

Editor’s Note

Most things are equal but the RegioJet trains also offer free coffee or tea on board, as well as a newspaper. It is worth choosing tickets for this network if you can get them for the day and time you want.

National Train from Prague to Karlovy Vary

The national train network in the Czech Republic is known as the Ceske Drahy. There are direct trains from Prague to Karlovy Vary, as well as a number of trains with changes along the way. Trains are an alternative to the bus, although they take around 3 hours each way. 

How Much Does It Cost?

Ticket prices vary depending on which time you travel. They can cost as little as €7 (CZK 169) but the typical price is closer to €12 (CZK 300) there. Return trips cost €18 (CZK 459) per person. Tickets can be booked online or from the train station.

How Often Do They Leave?

There are around 5 direct trains per day to Karlovy Vary from Prague and a few more trains with changes. There are 8 returning direct trains with a few more trains with changes. The schedule can be found online for the day you are leaving.


A train is often an enjoyable way to travel the countryside from town to town and see the sights along the way. The train from Prague to Karlovy Vary is also pleasant and enjoyable, but the journey takes a lot longer than any other mode of transport. It also leaves quite infrequently and is more expensive than the bus, making it an inferior choice for most people. 

Editor’s Note

You could make an entire day out of taking the train to Karlovy Vary and visit other towns such as Plzen and Cheb along the way.

Private Car Hire from Prague to Karlovy Vary

A privately hired car gives you freedom and flexibility to visit Karlovy Vary and the surrounding area for as long as you like, and to leave from Prague when you want. Hiring a car is quite easy in Prague as there are lots of rental agencies around. Many of the major brand names including Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, Avis, Budget, ACE and more operate in the city. The roads are fairly accessible, making driving in the Czech Republic fairly pleasant.

How Much Does a Car Cost?

The typical cost of a car at its baseline is €40 (CZK 966) for the day. Of course there are other factors influencing the price, such as the number of days you will hire the car, the vehicle you choose, the company you are renting from, how far in advance you book and others. On top of this you will have to pay petrol and parking fees, making a total of €80 (CZK 1932) a likely minimum spend. As this option just covers your transfer, you will have to pay for entrance to all attractions and hire your own guide if you want one.

What Do I Require to Drive in the Czech Republic?

You must have a valid driving licence that you have held for at least 2 years. This must also be an EU licence, or else you need to have a relevant driving permit with it. You must be at least 21 years old and have with you your passport or EU identity card. 


Having your own rented vehicle can be an excellent choice in terms of cost and flexibility, particularly if you are a family or a 5 person group. A rented car requires a fair degree of personal responsibility and prior planning to make sure you make the most of your day.

Editor’s Note

Double check the car park availability around the city before you set off to find the best place, particularly during peak season. Karlovy Vary is a very walkable city so you may not need to park directly in the centre of town.

Frequently asked questions

How do I get from Prague to Karlovy Vary?

There are five ways to get from Prague to Karlovy Vary: a public bus, the national train, an organised coach tour, your own hired car or an exclusive, private tour with Welcome Pickups.

Is there a train to Karlovy Vary?

There are direct trains from Prague to Karlovy Vary, as well as a number of trains with changes along the way. Trains are an alternative to the bus, although they take around 3 hours each way.

Is Karlovy Vary worth visiting?

Karlovy Vary is a beautiful town with a number of thermal spas and a famous glass manufacturing factory. If you are interested in history, culture or relaxation then it is well worth visiting.

How far is Karlovy Vary from Prague?

Karlovy Vary is located 130 km west of Prague and it takes about 1 hout and 55 minutes to get there by car.

What can you do in Karlovy Vary in one day?

In one day in Karlovy Vary you can visit a thermal spa, ascend the Diana Tower, see the Moser glass factory and enjoy the local cuisine.

What is Karlovy Vary famous for?

Karlovy Vary is famous as a spa town that was first used to treat European aristocrats in the 19th century. It is also home to Moser glass, the only one to rival Venetian glass.

What airlines fly to Karlovy Vary?

There isn’t an airport at Karlovy Vary, but it is very accessible from Prague airport. Airlines include Aegean, British Airways, Easyjet, CSA Czech Airlines, Germanwings, Iberia, Lufthansa, Norwegian and Wizz Air.

What does Karlovy Vary mean?

Karlovy Vary means Charles’s Bath as it was named after King Charles IV of Bohemia and has been known since the bronze age for its thermal springs.

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