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If you’re heading to the city of Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic and are looking to rent a car for your travels in the region, Sokolovska Street runs through the city near the river and is home to several local car hire firms. The city itself is a famous hot-spring spa resort set in the formerly Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, and was originally known as Karlsbad. Its 330 small and 13 major hot springs, as well as the warm Tepla River, still attract many thousands of visitors to its resorts and spas each year, and the town is easy to explore on foot, although car hire is best for daytrips around the region.
Who to Book With
The best way to book the car of your choice from a local supplier near Solokovska Street is via our price comparison online booking site. This gives you a choice of preferred models and the chance to make savings on your trip. Local car rental companies in Karlovy Vary include Zahradni Terma Travel and several others along Toaborska Street and at the Grand Hotel.
Best Time to Go
If you’re arriving for the ultimate hot spring spa experience, any time of year is a good time. For visits to ancient castles, chateaux, museums and tours around the countryside, May through September gives the best weather and a chance to join in various events held at major monuments. The spring months are cooler and the attractions are less crowded, but many are closed during the cold winter months. Hotels and car hire rental prices are more expensive during the peak summer months of July and August.
Need to Know Essentials
When collecting your hire car, the following documents must be submitted:
- Your UK or EU driver’s licence or an International Driving Permit
- Your passport or another valid photo ID card
- The credit card used for the original reservation
- A printed copy of your confirmed booking notification
Driving in the region is via first class roads, including expressways and motorways, second class roads linking districts and third class roads running between villages and small towns. Away from the major conurbations, traffic is generally light and driving is a pleasure, but the cities are mostly overburdened with vehicles at times of peak demand. Parking in the urban area is controlled by a local government scheme, with details available at the tourist office, and is strictly enforced. The historic spa zone of the city operates a limited vehicle access policy.
Read our Guide to driving in the Czech Republic here.
Public transport in the small, compact city with its historic centre is provided by local bus and taxi services, with bus services running half-hourly between 06:00 and 23:00. Tickets can be obtained at machines or from drivers, but it’s easy to see all there is to see on foot. Taxi travel, although convenient, is expensive here. Self-drive is the only practical way to get around the countryside or tour nearby towns.
The town has two train stations, Karlovy Vary Horni Nadrazi located off Jachrymovskaya Road and serving the Prague line, and Karlovy Vary Dolni Nadrazi Station on the opposite side of the river. Hourly local trains run to Loket and Cheb, taking 30 minutes and 1 hour, respectively, but there’s no train service within the town itself.
Buses in Karlovy Vary are operated by Autobus Karlovy and are comparatively easy to use, as well as the most economical way to get around. All buses leave from the town’s central market square, and the main train station links with the town centre via bus numbers 12 and 13. Sightseeing buses run between April and late September, taking in popular landmarks and famous spa resorts, and intercity buses give fast trips to most Czech towns and cities.
There are a good number of private taxi companies in Karlovy Vary, although it’s best to be careful that either a fare is agreed in advance or the meter is turned on as taxi drivers in the Czech Republic may try to rip off tourists, especially on journeys between airports, train stations and hotels.
The region around Karlovy Vary is known for its scenic beauty and its large number of heritage buildings, castles and the spectacular country homes of royalty and the wealthy. The countryside of Czech Bohemia is spectacular, with its ancient forests, many rivers and charming agricultural villages.
Prague - Taking around 1 hour, 30 minutes to reach on the E45 fast road, the route follows rivers through forests and across unspoilt natural vistas. A short detour brings you to the Posner Urquell brewery for a 1 hour, 30 minute tour of its traditional production line, and the city of Prague is a gem for its grand architecture and fascinating history.
Cesky Krumlov - A 3 hour, 30 minute scenic drive through lovely countryside on Route 20 brings you to UNESCO-listed Cesky Krumlov, home to two magnificent castles, one in the town itself and the other, Hluboka Castle, with its stunning interiors, just outside town. On the way you’ll pass through Marianske Lazne with its ancient stone bridge, and a detour from Cesky Krumlov in the direction of Prague gets you to yet more castles.
Dresden - Just 2 scenic hours’ drive away across the German border is the ancient city of Dresden, once home to Saxon royalty and still with many glorious architectural landmarks, including the famous Frauenkirche. The historic heart of the city is now fully restored, with its grand building standing as monuments proclaiming the need for peace between all nations.