- Flight time from London: 1 hour 45 min
- Václav Havel Airport Prague: 166km from the city centre; transfer time about 1 hour 42 min
- Nearest railway station: Mariánské Lázně Station
- Currency: Czech Koruna
Mariánské Lázně was developed at the beginning of the 19th-century in a valley where many excellent healing streams spring from the ground.
When you walk through the town, it's almost impossible to miss eye-catching Lázenská Kolonáda, just off Skalníkovy sady. Recently restored to its former glory, this colonnade of cast iron and glass is adorned with ceiling frescoes and Corinthian columns. It was built in 1889, connects half a dozen major springs in the town centre and is the focal point of those partaking in an important ritual. Bring a cup to fill or, if you want to fit in with the thousands of guests who are serious about their spa water, buy one of the porcelain mugs with a built-in straw, which are available just about everywhere. You can wander the Kolonáda any time but water is distributed daily from 6am to noon and 4 to 6pm.
Located just next to the colonnade is the modern landmark of the city. A pool surrounding a flower sculpture of stainless steel and stone is known as The Singing Fountain and contains 250 water jets. When the clock strikes for every odd hour, between 7am and 9pm, and at 10pm, these jets spray in sync to music by different composers.
Don't let the name fool you, the food here is traditional Czech, not British, with a few surprises. A lively bar with a good selection of local and imported beer makes the Churchill one of the few fun places to be after dark in this quiet town. Try the Winston steak platter if you're really hungry.
The dining room has a hearty, rustic atmosphere that goes perfectly with the restaurant's signature dish, wild game. Check the daily menu to see what's new, or choose from the wide assortment of specialities from the grill, including wild boar and venison. The Koliba also has an excellent selection of Moravian wines that you can order with your meal or at its wine bar. The wine bar offers dancing to a Gypsy band from 7pm to midnight from Tuesday to Sunday.
© Fred. Olsen Travel.
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