It was my second visit to Western Bohemia. I should’ve known better than to ask the waitress if the restaurant offered anything that “wasn’t so heavy”.
“Everything in Czech Republic is heavy!” came the curt reply.
It was Easter and we were in Františkovy Lázně, a small spa town just past the German border, in the Karlovy Vary region.
Even Goethe himself described this town as “heaven on earth”. And driving through its historical center, you can see why.
In the 1700’s, Austrian Emperor Franz I (after whom the town is named) founded it. And at the height of its popularity, musicians Beethoven and Johann Strauss visited. At the time, the Kingdom of Bohemia was well known for its mineral springs and mud baths.
But even today, travelers arriving from neighboring Germany come for the many wellness resorts and therapeutic treatments in the Czech Republic.
Here are some photos of Františkovy Lázně, courtesy of Czech Tourism.
Through tried-and-proven Booking.com, we found Penzion U Námořníka, a fun marine-themed BnB
Besides a huge dining hall and outdoor pub, the pension offered families a garden playground with a mini lighthouse and pirate ship. The kids loved the on-site petting zoo with ponies and geese.
The next day, we headed for the Aqua Forum, the town’s popular indoor swimming pool.
The legendary thermal waters filled the indoor and outdoor pools. And although it wasn’t as huge or exciting as other water-parks in Europe, its 80-meter-long toboggan slide was thrilling enough for our 6-year-old to enjoy a thousand times.
By evening, I’d succumbed up to the fact that a holiday in the Czech Republic meant one must throw out all dietary preferences.
Our hearty, heavyweight meals were often giant slabs of juicy roasted or stewed meat. The plated pork or beef came with a pile of knedlík (dumplings, similar to the German knödel) and cream.
The kids loved Palacinky, sweet crepes filled with Nutella and topped with ice-cream.
So if you’re going to the Czech Republic, go to eat.
You will eat a lot, not just because the food is delicious, but because the cost, in general, is quite affordable. The family meal pictured above cost only 20 euros, beer and wine included. As we say in the Philippines, “Good for five!”
Next Stop: Pulled over by the police in Budvar City (České Budějovice) and tour of the Budweiser Budvar Czech Brewery!
Recommended Family Budget BnB:
Penzion U Námořníka (Cost: €60 a night for four, incl. Breakfast buffet)
(Družstevní 203/5 a 202/7, Františkovy Lázně, 351 01, Czech Republic)
What to do in Františkovy Lázně:
Swimming/Spa in the Aqua Forum
(5. května 19, 351 01 Františkovy Lázně)
+420 354 206 500