Most people come here to stroll the grounds and take a drinking cure by sipping mineral water from the various springs using a spouted, porcelain sipping cup (called a lázeňský pohárek). The town website (www.marianskelazne.cz) has information in English on the properties of the various springs. Dozens of hotels and resorts offer various spa treatments for guests and occasionally walk-ins, though often these are more of the medical (and not the pampering) variety.
Outside the spa area, there are hundreds of kilometres of marked hiking trails that spread out in all directions.
Mariánské Lázně is surrounded by dense forest, with dozens of trails winding through the woods and past pavilions and springs. The Town Information Centre hands out a free map – 'Mariánské Lázně a okolí' – that traces four of the shorter and more popular hikes. The longest and most satisfying of these is the 6km-long Edward Trail (Edwardova cesta), which is marked in blue and begins from behind the Hotel Nové Lázně. It climbs quickly to the Hotel Panorama and circles around the southern end of the spa all the way out to the Royal Golf Club of Mariánské Lázně.
Another worthwhile path, the 5km-long Metternich Trail (Metternichova cesta), marked in green, covers the lesser-explored western side of the spa area and takes in several springs. Find it at the southern end of the spa area, just near the Public Swimming Pool. It wends northwards and returns you to the far northern end of spa, near the top of Hlavní třída.
But these are just the tip of the iceberg. Beyond the immediate spa region, trails link Mariánské Lázně to further-flung locales such as Františkovy Lázně and the monastery at Teplá. The Tourist Information Centre sells hiking maps of the region.