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Hradec Králové

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Hradec Králové's Old Town seen from the Great Square (Velké náměstí).

Hradec Králové [1] is a city located in East Bohemia in the Czech Republic. The eighth largest city in the republic, with a population of nearly 100,000 inhabitants, Hradec Králové stands as the capital of the Hradec Králové Region. The city is also a major center for higher education, business and transportation for much of East Bohemia. Due to their close proximity, Hradec Králové shares a deep-seated rivalry with neighboring Pardubice. Often overshadowed by popular destinations like Prague, Český Krumlov and Karlovy Vary, Hradec Králové remains largely undiscovered by foreign tourists.

Understand[edit]

Geography[edit]

Hradec Králové lies at the confluence of the Elbe and Orlice rivers. With the exception of the city's Old Town (Staré město), Hradec Králové is largely flat. Located nearly 50 km from the Czech-Polish border, the city stands in close proximity to the Table Mountains (Stolové hory), the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše) and the Bohemian Paradise (Český Ráj).

History[edit]

The area around the modern city has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Archaeological discoveries located just outside of the city, near Plotiště nad Labem, have yielded evidence of settlements ranging from the prehistoric era to Roman times. By the 10th century, a strong Slavic presence was established by the Slavník family, with a busy marketplace commandeering the trade route between Kraków and Prague in place. After the unification of the Slavic tribes under the Přemyslid dynasty in 995, Hradec became the seat of the Bohemian prince, making it the administrative center for a vast swath of northeastern Bohemia.

Under the reign of Ottokar I in 1225, the town, known as Hradec (Castle) became a free royal city. During the same century, a new Gothic royal castle was constructed, becoming one of the residences of Ottokar I, Wenceslaus I, Ottokar II, and Wenceslaus II. During the 14th century, Hradec became a royal dowry town for queens of the Bohemian monarchy, permanently affixing Králové (of the Queen) to the settlement's name. In particular, Queen Elizabeth Richeza of Poland, widowed to both Wenceslaus II and Rudolf I, left an indelible legacy for the city, initiating the foundation of the modern Holy Spirit Cathedral (Katedrála svatého Ducha). Throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, the city's trade and strategic location led it to grow extensively, becoming one of the most prominent population centers in Bohemia outside of Prague. At the same time, extensive fortifications were constructed around the contemporary Old Town.

During the Hussite Wars, Hradec Králové openly sided with Jan Žižka and his forces. After the wars' conclusion, George of Poděbrady (Jiří z Poděbrad) sought to royally invest in the city, confirming the city's royal rights, while also commissioning a large fountain in the city's square; the fountain remained until its demolition in 1782. George's legacy endures to the present day, with the letter "G" being held by the Bohemian royal lion within the city's coat of arms.

Former canons' apartments in the Old Town (Staré město).

Throughout the Renaissance, the city faced extensive reconstruction and expansion, with additional fortifications, schools, gates and municipal buildings being built, including the White Tower (Bílá věž) constructed next to the Holy Spirit Cathedral. The Thirty Years' War brought disaster to Hradec Králové. The combined arrival of the Jesuits, a forced conversion to Catholicism, and a brutal Swedish occupation, left the city devastated, forcing much of the Old Town to be rebuilt in baroque architecture. A further disaster struck in 1762 during the Seven Years' War, when a fire started by Prussian forces destroyed half of the city. Due to this, as well as a hostile Prussian border only 50 km from the city, Austrian Emperor Joseph II ordered a refortification of Hradec Králové with an extensive Austrian garrison, becoming part of a network of military outposts strung along the Austro-Prussian border. The construction of the extensive fortifications lasted from 1766 to 1789, displacing a large number of the city's residents. Due to this, suburbs were established outside of the city walls, becoming the modern-day areas of Nový Hradec Králové and Kukleny. Several remaining portions of the Austrian fortifications exist today.

Industrialization in the 19th century continued to alter the city. The railroad reached Hradec Králové in 1857, bringing with it new investments in sugar factories, gasworks, machine shops and banks. Businessman Václav František Červený founded the V. F. Červený company in Hradec Králové in 1842, with his factory producing brass musical instruments. Additionally, piano maker Antonín Petrof also made the city the base of the Petrof firm's operations in 1864, becoming one of the leading grand piano manufacturers in the Austrian Empire and in Europe. Both companies remain in operation to the present day. The short 1866 Austro-Prussian War, whose decisive action took place at the Battle of Königgrätz (Bitva u Hradce Králové), fought less than 10 km from the city in the village of Chlum, forced Austrian authorities to rethink the city's fortifications, now rendered useless by contemporary weaponry. By the 1890s, the land for much of the city's fortifications and bunkers had been sold and dismantled, opening the city for urban expansion. Under the active encouragement of Dr. František Ulrich, the city's mayor from 1895 to 1929, municipal authorities invited emerging Czech architects, including Jan Kotěra, to use freed space as fertile ground for modernist architecture.

The Great Square (Velké náměstí).

Following the independence of Czechoslovakia from the disintegrating Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, the city emerged as a symbol of the First Republic's ingenuity and confidence. With an increasing population and a burgeoning commercial industry after independence, celebrated Czech modernist architect Josef Gočár was tasked by municipal authorities to redesign vast portions of the city to be suitable for growing traffic and population demands. Beginning in 1926 and lasting for nearly a decade, Gočár executed a number of new squares, parks, apartment buildings and roads, which fundamentally altered the city's layout, particularly within the expanding New Town. Citizens were so impressed by Gočár's and his other fellow architects' improvements to the city that Hradec Králové quickly became known as the "Salon of the Republic" (Salón republiky), a nickname still widely used.

Urban development came to a halt with the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and World War II, though the city survived the conflict largely unscratched. Due to a population boom in the communist era, large apartment buildings were constructed to meet demand, particularly in the southeast and eastern portions of the city. The end of communism in 1989, along with the Czech Republic's inclusion into the European Union in 2004, has again made the city one of the commercial centers of the nation. Today, Hradec Králové is often cited by surveys as having one of the highest quality of life ratings in the entire Czech Republic. The city is also now well known for its vibrant student population, due in part to the local University of Hradec Králové, Charles University's Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, and the University of Defence, the Czech Republic's military academy. Architecturally, the city offers a highly eclectic panorama of historical buildings, ranging from Gothic, Baroque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Socialist.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Hradec Králové is connected to the D11 motorway, allowing a 70 minute drive to and from Prague. From Pardubice, the city is connected by expressway R37, and is nearly a 30 minute drive. Poděbrady is a 40 minute drive from the city, also connected by the D11 motorway. Travelers driving from Poland, coming from the direction of Kudowa-Zdrój, Kłodzko or Wrocław, can access the city by road 33, with a 50 minute drive from the Czech-Polish border. From Olomouc, the city is connected by road 35, with an average two hour driving time between both cities.

By plane[edit]

There is currently no commercial service to the city's small airport, Letiště Hradec Králové (ICAO: LKHK). There are limited flights to Pardubice, though any travelers arriving by air will likely arrive in Prague at Prague Václav Havel Airport.

By train[edit]

Hradec Králové is connected to the national rail network by Czech Railways (České dráhy) [2], with the city serving as a hub for East Bohemia (along with Pardubice). Most travelers by train arrive at the Art Deco Hradec Králové hlavní nádraží (Hradec Králové hl.n) near the entrance of the city's New Town.

  • Prague: 1¾ hours, depart hourly.
  • Pardubice: 20 minutes, depart every half hour.
  • Liberec: 2½ hours, depart bi-hourly.
Hradec Králové bus station (Terminál HD).

By bus[edit]

The city's sleek and modern bus station, Terminál HD (Terminál hromadné dopravy) also serves as a major stopping point and gateway to the region's highly integrated bus network, and is located a 3 minute walk away from the train station behind the ČEZ building. Multiple connections to Prague are readily available, with buses arriving and departing nearly every thirty minutes. The average bus connection time between the two cities is usually 90 minutes to two hours, depending on the route or flow of traffic. From Hradec Králové, more connections to East Bohemia's cities and towns, as well as to other cities within the Czech Republic, are possible.

  • Student Agency [3] runs a bus line from Hradec Králové to Prague's Černý Most station. The company's buses offer coffee and free wifi. Buses leave hourly, with an average one hour and fifteen minute drive. However, tickets must be purchased in advance via the Internet or through a Student Agency office.
  • Other bus companies, including ČSAD, Veolia, P-transport and CDS operate lines to Prague's Florenc and Černý Most stations and to other destinations in East Bohemia. Comfort, wifi availability, and route plans vary from firm to firm, though all companies are part of the IREDO tariff system, meaning that transfers between different companies and buses using a single fare for a selected destination are allowed. Tickets can be purchased directly when boarding the bus, by passengers saying the destination name to the driver.

Get around[edit]

Bus[edit]

The city's mass transportation system is run by Dopravní podnik města Hradce Králové [5] (DP). DP buses are easily distinguished from others by being colored after the city's white, yellow and red flag, with its fleet consisting of motor and trolley buses. Most buses depart from Terminál HD or at the foot of the train station. DP offers extensive service across all parts of the city and suburbs. Fares within zones I or II are 18 CZK (a paper ticket bought before boarding the bus at the newsagent) or 20 CZK (ticket bought when boarding the bus). A 24-hour ticket is 65 CZK. Tickets can be purchased when boarding the bus or at the newsagent. The ticket bought by the newsagent must be validated when boarding the bus.

A standard DP bus in the city.

Car[edit]

The city's ring road, encircling both the Old and New towns, consists of roads 11, 21 and 35. The route greatly eases traffic congestion in the city, though parking in the New Town can be, at times, difficult. Many of the cobblestone streets in the Old Town are one-way and narrow, and it is advised for drivers to proceed slowly. In the New Town, several streets are blocked to traffic and are considered as pedestrian zones except for local businesses, especially around the vicinity of Masaryk (Masarykovo náměstí) and Baťkovo (Baťkovo náměstí) squares. Several of the city's main thoroughfares, including Gočárova třída, třída Karla IV, and Pospíšilova, can be especially busy during commute times.

Taxi[edit]

Several taxi companies operate in the city, including TAXI Sprint [6] and Express Taxi [7].

Walking[edit]

Due to the city's compact nature and marked walking paths, Hradec Králové is best accessed by foot. Walking through both the Old and New Town areas easily allows visitors to view the architectural charms and history of the city.

Cycling[edit]

Thanks to the combination of the city's flat geography and its abundance of marked routes, Hradec Králové is an ideal location for bicyclists. Many shops and hotels offer bicycle rentals to visitors. The municipality's website offers a listing of bicycle rental locations here: [8].

See[edit][add listing]

With most areas of interest lying within the Old and New Towns, most sites can be easily accessed by foot. As the city is largely unknown to foreign tourists, most areas are relatively free of waiting lines or large crowds.

White Tower (Bílá věž).

Old Town (Staré město)[edit]

  • Holy Spirit Cathedral (Katedrála svatého Ducha) [9]. Founded in the early 14th century, this red brick, late-Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral stands as one of the symbols of the city. Destroyed and rebuilt several times between the 15th and 17th centuries, the cathedral was looted by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years' War. More recently, the cathedral was visited by Pope John Paul II during a papal tour in 1997. Entrance into the cathedral is free.
  • White Tower (Bílá věž) [10]. Standing 72 m (236 ft) high and directly next to the Holy Spirit Cathedral, the White Tower is among the highest points in the city. Constructed in 1572, visitors can ascend up its 233 steps to its vista level, offering a complete panorama of the entire city and the region beyond. The tower's impressive bell, named Augustin, has chimed the hours since 1581. It is the second largest bell in Bohemia, after the Zikmund Bell in St. Vitus Cathedral within Prague Castle. The entrance fee is 30 CZK.
  • Great Square (Velké náměstí). A central location in the Old Town, crowned with the city's Marian Column (Mariánský sloup) at its center, this area is a central meeting point for residents and tourists alike. Usually a parking lot for automobiles during most days and nights, the square is cleared during open air festivals in the summer and autumn. Restaurants, cafes, shops, banks and centuries-old apartments line the sides of the square.
  • Žižka Gardens (Žižkovy sady). Located just north of the Old Town's former walls, the Žižka Gardens are a relaxing place in the heart of the city, offering views upwards towards the craggy rocks and preserved foundations of the city's former defenses.
  • Publico Bono. This steep stairwell cuts through the original fortress' foundations, connecting the Great Square to Komenského street below the Old Town. The stairwell provides access to the remains of the city's former walls, many of which have been revitalized and turned into public gardens.

New Town (Nové město)[edit]

  • Jez Hučák [11]. This remarkably preserved art nouveau hydroelectric power station, built between 1908 through 1911, sits on the banks of the Elbe river. Its locks allocating water flow along the Elbe are still in use today.
  • East Bohemian Museum (Muzeum východních Čech) [12]. Built by famed architect Jan Kotěra in 1908, the museum stands as a testimony to early modernist architecture, designed to appear like an urban temple. The interior of the museum, also designed by Kotěra, are designed in a functionalist style. Entrance fees for visitors is 50 CZK.
  • Jirásek Gardens (Jiráskovy sady) A pleasant park sitting where the Elbe and the Orlice rivers split, this location is popular with families and students alike during all seasons.
Masaryk Square (Masarykovo náměstí).
  • Masaryk Square (Masarykovo náměstí). Designed by Josef Gočár in 1922, Masaryk Square serves as a central location in the city's New Town. Named after Czechoslovakia's beloved first president and philosopher, Tomáš G. Masaryk, the square stands in the heart of a wide pedestrian zone, lined with shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.
  • Giant aquarium (Obří akvárium), Baarova 1663, phone: +420 495 534 555, [13]. It is the first public akvarium in central and eastern Europe. You can see fresh water fishes mostly from central and southern America. The entrance fee is 120 CZK for adults and 80 CZK for children.


Further afield[edit]

  • 1866 Battlefield [14]. Located less than 10 km away near the village of Chlum, the Battle of Königgrätz (known also as Sadowa, Sadová, or Hradec Králové) was fought on 3 July 1866 between the allied forces of Austria and Saxony against the invading Prussian army. The pivotal engagement of the Austro-Prussian War, the battle fundamentally changed the course of Central European history, with Prussian units crushing Austria and its Saxon allies, claiming nearly 52,000 casualties in a single day. The overwhelming losses forced Austria to sue for peace a month later, leaving Prussia to assert dominance over the Germanies and eventually to the unification of a united German Empire in 1871. Austria-Hungary, meanwhile, faced decaying influence and eventual outright collapse. Today, the large battlefield is a collection of rolling fields, solemn monuments and lonely graveyards. The battlefield can be accessed by road 325 via road 35. An informative and interactive visitor center describing the political and military events of 1866 is located just outside of Chlum.

Do[edit][add listing]

Aside from the standard tourist fare of historical sights, Hradec Králové boasts a number of cultural events throughout the year, fit for all ages, genres of music, and interests with Czech culture.

Races[edit]

The Hradec Králové Grand Prix is the city's largest bicycle race, attracting foreign and domestic racing teams as competitors race through the city's streets. More unconventional and amusing, the city hosts the European Pedal Go-Cart Championship [15] in mid-July.

Festivals[edit]

A number of music festivals have set up shop both within and just outside of the city. Held in early July, Rock for People [16], one of the largest music festivals in the Czech Republic, has attracted some of the biggest names in alternative music since its inception in 1994, and has since 2007 been hosted at Věkoše Airport, located just outside of the city. Beginning in 2004, Hip Hop Kemp [17] has steadily become one of the largest European hip hop festivals, taking place every year in August also at Věkoše Airport. Another festival, Jazz Goes to Town [18], is held every October, attracting a large number of jazz enthusiasts.

The Queen Eliška Festival [19], celebrating the arrival of Polish queen consort Elizabeth Richeza in Hradec Králové in the 14th century, is celebrated at the end of August and the beginning of September. The Great Square transforms back to the medieval era, with jousting knights, jugglers, theatrical performances, fairs and fireworks.

The International Embankment of Lovers of Steam Engines [20] meets in the city in August, as steam engine enthusiasts gather to showcase their collections, including steam boats traversing up the Orlice and Elbe rivers.

Professional sports[edit]

As one of the principal cities of the Czech Republic, the city is home to several sports teams.

  • FC Hradec Králové, Úprkova 473, +420 495 515 531 (, fax: +420 495 511 485), [21]. FC Hradec Králové is the city's football club, and is currently part of the Czech Republic's top Gambrinus liga. The team plays home games at Všesportovní stadion.  edit
  • Mountfield HK, Komenského 1214, +420 495 512 202 (, fax: +420 495 512 202), [22]. The city's primary hockey team is part of the Czech Extraliga (Extraliga ledního hokeje), the country's highest hockey league.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

With the city's abundance of small shops, selling everything from antiques, books, furniture and clothing, there is no shortage of purchasing options in Hradec Králové. Despite not processing the number of enormous shopping malls found in Prague or Brno, Hradec Králové does contain several large consumer options.

  • OC Atrium [23]. Located along Dukelská třída in the heart of the New Town, the OC Atrium showcases several large British, German and Czech brands, including Tesco, Deichmann and KiK.
  • OC Futurum [24] Further field along Brněnská street, in the southeastern Malšovice part of the city, this large mall offers some of the best brand-name shopping options in the entire Hradec Králové Region. Large American and European brands, including H&M, New Yorker, Pietro Filipi, Tommy Hilfiger, Yves Rocher and Terranova, can be found here.
Hradec Králové in the winter.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Atlanta, Švehlova 504/16, +420 495 515 431 (), [25]. Located in the heart of the New Town adjoining Masaryk Square, Restaurace Atlanta offers Czech and Italian themed dishes.  edit
  • Cafe Popular, Mostecká 279/1, +420 737 888 941, [26]. Standing next to the busy Prague Bridge (Pražský most) where the Old and New Towns meet, Cafe Popular offers a rich diversity of food, ranging from Italian fare to Japanese cuisine. The restaurant's cozy and stylish interior is also inviting.  edit
  • Černý kůň, Malé náměstí 117/10, +420 491 611 575 (), [27]. The Černý kůň (Black Horse), situated next to the sedate Little Square (Malé náměstí) in the Old Town, serves modern interpretations of Czech cuisine, as well as offering some Italian dishes in a stately, yet lively atmosphere.  edit
  • Escobara, třída Karla IV. 612/8, +420 608 140 741 (), [28]. Sitting in the New Town, Escobara's out of the way, art deco location offers visitors meals with Czech, Mexican and Italian specialties.  edit
  • Everest, Špitálská 183 (Located directly adjacent to the Boromeum Residence), +420 606 647 667, [29]. Tucked within the tangle of one-way cobblestone streets in the Old Town, Everest stands as one of the city's principal Indian restaurants. Visitors who do not like lingering cigarette smoke found in many restaurants will enjoy Everest's keen no smoking policy.  edit
  • Mexita, Velké náměstí 148, +420 608 140 741 (), [30]. As the name suggests, Mexita serves a combination of Mexican and Italian cuisine. The restaurant is located along the Great Square in the Old Town.  edit
  • Na Hradě, Špitálská 175/5, +420 603 873 667 (), [31]. A favorite among locals in the Old Town, Na Hradě is a smokey and earthy pub, offering an unpretentious Slavic atmosphere. Most dishes specialize in Czech and regional gastronomic staples.  edit
  • Pizzeria Santa Maria, třída Karla IV. 430/26, +420 495 215 851 (), [32]. Located along the bustling třída Karla IV in the New Town, the Pizzeria Santa Maria is one of Hradec Králové's pizza capitals, cooking its namesake dishes, as well as Czech-inspired steaks and fish.  edit
  • Potrefená husa, Československé armády 300/22, +420 495 511 787, [33]. Part of the Staropramen chain of restaurants, Potrefená husa is located at the foot of the Old Town's former walls, serving a mixture of American, Mexican, European and Czech-inspired food, good to go with a cold beer.  edit
  • Satchmo, Dlouhá 96, +420 777 838 767 (), [34]. Named after Louis Armstrong's immortal nickname, Satchmo sits in close proximity to the city's main performing arts theatre in the Old Town. The restaurant offers modern interpretations of Czech and other assorted Slavic specialties, as well as doubling as an intimate jazz club at night.  edit
  • Šatlava, Dlouhá 101/13, +420 776 817 856, [35]. Discreetly located within a former prison complex on a backstreet in the Old Town, the Šatlava offers fine Czech cuisine and an upscale atmosphere. The restuarant also overlooks the Žižka Gardens below, giving visiting patrons a wide view of what was formerly the city walls.  edit
  • Sport Cafe, Velké náměstí 151/10, +420 773 400 600 (), [36]. A popular bar and restaurant, sitting in the Old Town off the Great Square, serves a mixture of pastas, pizzas, and local Czech delicacies. With its emphasis on sports, complete with multiple TV screens inside, the Sport Cafe is a popular venue to watch sporting events, and is especially popular with Hradec Králové's small expat community.  edit
  • U Růže, Pražská 71/123, +420 495 535 527 (), [37]. This unpretentious restaurant, situated away from the city center in the working class Kukleny area, serves up traditional Czech cuisine at extremely reasonable prices.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Thanks to its high concentration of university students, Hradec Králové is not short of entertaining cafes, bars and pubs to slip into during most hours of the day.

  • Batalion U Draků, V Kopečku 163/19, +420 775 944 026, [38]. This underground bar, located downhill from the Great Square, is popular with the city's alternative music and heavy metal scenes, offering a slew of drinks and pulsating music.  edit
  • Bazar Café - Café, Eliščino nábřeží 304, +420 495 513 902, [39]. Situated along the riverfront near the East Bohemian Museum, the Bazar offers a cozy atmosphere with standard cafe specialties and pastries.  edit
  • Cuba Libre, Tomkova 139/22, +420 732 682 748, [40]. A small and intimate bar with a Latin Caribbean theme, Cuba Libre is located in the heart of the Old Town. With limited space, do not be surprised if it's hard to find a place to sit.  edit
  • Paradise Bar, Velké náměstí 157/8, +420 495 512 331 (), [41]. A popular hangout for many of the city's students and twenty-somethings, the Paradise Bar is located off the Great Square in the Old Town, serving an assortment of beers, cocktails, and non-alcoholic drinks.  edit
  • Salieri café, Švehlova 452 (Directly next to the Atlanta), +420 495 582 156, [42]. Humorously named after the fictional Salieri crime family from the Mafia video game series, the Salieri cafe is a relaxed establishment situated near Masaryk Square. The location is particularly popular in the summer, when the cafe opens up outside terraces in the pedestrian zone.  edit
  • X-Treme Bar, Mostecká 303 (Directly across the street from Cafe Popular), +420 495 582 156 (), [43]. Adorned with sleek paint and decorations, the X-Treme Bar, standing next to the Prague Bridge, offers a wide selection of mixed drinks and cocktails.  edit
The White Tower. Holy Spirit Cathedral, and Prague Bridge.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Boromeum Residence, Špitálská 183/2 (Directly adjacent to the Everest Indian restaurant), +420 608 041 261 (), [44]. Originally a 19th century boys seminary, this comfortable hotel and apartment building, located in the middle of the Old Town, offers spacious apartment-style accommodation to guests, along with easy access to much of the city. 1350-3100 CZK.  edit
  • Hotel Černigov, Riegrovo náměstí 1494, +420 495 814 266 (, fax: +420 495 814 290), [45]. Looming over the city's train station, the communist-relic Hotel Černigov is among the first buildings visitors see when emerging from their trains. The selection of rooms are comfortable, yet remain basic. 1000-2200 CZK.  edit
  • Hotel Grand, Československé armády 295/23, +420 491 614 750 (, fax: +420 491 619 106), [46]. Located next to the East Bohemian Museum near the riverfront, the Hotel Grand doubles as a hotel and conference center. An architectural jewel from the early 20th century, the hotel was renovated and reopened in 2009. 1750-2900 CZK.  edit
  • Hotel Okresni dům, Palackého 409, +420 495 054 300 (, fax: +420 495 054 301), [47]. Also located near the East Bohemian Museum near the riverfront, the Hotel Okresni dům is an upscale hotel, conveniently located between the Old and New Towns. 1420-4900 CZK.  edit
  • Nové Adalbertinum, Velké náměstí 32, +420 495 063 111 (, fax: +420 495 063 405), [48]. A large former Jesuit monastery dating back to the 17th century, the Nové Adalbertinum today serves as a hotel, restaurant and convention center, only a stones throw away from the Great Square. 1350-2190 CZK.  edit
  • Penzion Amátka, Malé náměstí 120/12, +420 606 776 795 (), [49]. Sitting in the Little Square, the affordable Amátka offers comfortable rooms, with shared and individual WCs. 500-850 CZK.  edit
  • Hotel U královny Elišky, Malé náměstí 117, +420 495 518 052 (), [50]. Situated in the Little Square of the Old Town and painted green, the U královny Elišky acts as a hotel, restaurant and wellness center. 1800-3300 CZK.  edit

Contact[edit]

Despite being a relatively unknown foreign tourist destination, the city's municipal website [51] offers information and guides to visitors. Hotels will often offer guides to the city.

Safety[edit]

Hradec Králové is often considered one of the most safe cities in the republic with a low crime rate. However, visitors should be advised to continue to keep their wits. At the often crowded hlavní nádraží and Terminál HD, it is advisable to always keep your bags close. Also, do not give unknown persons money. There have been reported incidents of individuals, many of them Romani (Gypsy), scamming people near the Terminál HD or around the New Town near currency exchange offices, politely asking for a little money to help their families, then proceeding to aggressively demand more money upon discovering that the victim is either a foreigner or has extra cash to give. Most locals completely ignore these individuals, and it is advisable that tourists should do the same if confronted in such a situation.

Like many places in the Czech Republic, tensions between Czechs and Romani are highly visible. The Romani bitterly complain of social injustice and outright racism towards their population, while many Czechs believe the Romanis chronic unemployment, high birth rates, and unwillingness to integrate, are burdens to the state. It is not uncommon for Czechs to glare disapprovingly at large and loud Romani families in squares or markets, as well as to tell travelers privately their bitterness towards the Romani. In recent years, Czech right-wing extremists have capitalized on this discontent, and have made ideological inroads with their views. It is advisable for tourists to remain neutral, as this is a deeply sensitive and highly complex issue for both parties.

Should there be any problems, tourists should contact the municipal police force (Městská policie) [52] or, for more serious crimes, the national police (Policie České republiky) [53].

Get out[edit]

There are frequent buses and trains out of the city to neighboring locations.




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