"Water Tasting and Water Cups" Top 5 Page for this destination Karlovy Vary Local Custom Tip by Kathrin_E
Karlovy Vary Local Customs: 22 reviews and 34 photos
The typical pastime in Karlsbad is promenading the spa quarter and sipping the healing waters, watching people and being watched. The springs are out in the open and the water is free to take.
To do this, a water cup is a must-have accessoire. These cups are on sale everywhere. They have a long beak which also serves as handle. You drink from the beak, not from the large opening of the cup, for two reasons: because the water from some springs is very hot, and in order not to spill water all over you while you are walking.
Refill the cup whereever you like. My recommendation is, however: don't fill it to the rim but just a bit. The taste varies from spring to spring and some are not that enjoyable (although I had expected worse). Besides, these waters can have effects on your health and unless you know what you are doing, i.e. have a doctor's prescription to drink so-and-so-many cups per day, it is better to limit your intake.
The common designs are kitschy at best, ultra-tacky-kitschy at worst. But somehow this style fits into Karlovy Vary's belle epoque appearance. There are a few modern designs and some with funny figures, just in case you really really can't become friends with the usual style.
The prices for the smallest cups start just below 100 czk, larger ones cost 150-200, very big ones more. My blue one was 145 czk. Prices are more or less the same at all stalls.
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