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The second most important of the spa towns that form the so-called West Bohemian Spa Triangle (the others being Karlovy Vary and Františkovy Lázně), Marienbad (Mariánské Lázně in Czech) was once one of the places to be seen among the 19th-century European spa glitterati. Chopin, Edison, Freud, Strauss, Wagner and Mark Twain all took the cure here, and Goethe famously wooed his teenage girlfriend here; but it was British king and international bon viveur Edward VII who really brought the party to its pre-WWI crescendo. Making almost one visit per year of his reign (nine in all) his greatest legacy is the Marienbad Royal Golf Course which he ...

The second most important of the spa towns that form the so-called West Bohemian Spa Triangle (the others being Karlovy Vary and Františkovy Lázně), Marienbad (Mariánské Lázně in Czech) was once one of the places to be seen among the 19th-century European spa glitterati. Chopin, Edison, Freud, Strauss, Wagner and Mark Twain all took the cure here, and Goethe famously wooed his teenage girlfriend here; but it was British king and international bon viveur Edward VII who really brought the party to its pre-WWI crescendo. Making almost one visit per year of his reign (nine in all) his greatest legacy is the Marienbad Royal Golf Course which he founded in 1905, making it the oldest in the Czech Republic. While crowned heads and celebrities are thin on the ground these days, Marienbad is still one of the pleasantest places to unwind in the country. Between sips of the local mineral water you can wander the streets of grand spa houses, admire an eclectic collection of churches, amble out into the surrounding forests and indulge in a little central European cafe culture, all minus the crowds of bigger, brasher Carlsbad.

Marc Di Duca
About the Expert

Marc Di Duca has written and updated more than 40 guides, mainly for Lonely Planet but also for AA, Thomas Cook, Berlitz and Bradt. Having spent the last 20 years exploring the former communist world, his main field of expertise is Eastern Europe and Siberia.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A spa town in southeastern Bohemia, in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic.
  • Language: Czech
  • Currency: Czech Koruna
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late spring, early autumn