Kudowa-Zdrój  [kuˈdɔva ˈzdruj] (German: Bad Kudowa, Czech: Chudoba) is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. Positioned next to the Czech-Polish border and near Stołowe Mountains National Park, the town is a well-known tourist attraction in Poland, famous for its outstanding rugged countryside and historic spa facilities. The population of Kudowa-Zdrój stands at nearly 10,000.
Kudowa-Zdrój is situated in the heavily forested foothills of the Table Mountains (Gory Stołowe) in Poland's southwestern Silesian region, in Kłodzko County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, and is around 400 m above sea level. The town is located along the Czech-Polish border, just across from the neighboring Czech town of Náchod, and some 40 km west of Kłodzko. Hradec Králové, the largest Czech city in the region, is 50 km southwest, while the largest Polish city, Wałbrzych, is 60 km north.
One of the oldest spa resorts in both Poland and Europe, the earliest recorded mention of the town dates to 1354 by Henry the Older, son of the Hussite Czech king George of Podebrady (Jiří z Poděbrad). Originally named Chudoba, the village was located within ethnic Czech lands throughout the Middle Ages. The first record of the town's mineral waters dates to 1580 from the chronicles of Louis of Náchod, under the name Čermenské Lazne. In 1625 (or, as some sources say, as early as 1621), G. Aelurius, a Protestant Lutheran monk, wrote in his work Glaciografia about the exceptional taste of the village's mineral water, describing how healthy the water's chemical composition was for wine making. Crude, wooden-made devices for healing baths were in place in the town as early as 1630.
With Slavic influence waning in the 18th and 19th centuries due to Austrian and later Prussian annexations, the town, now known by its German name Bad Kudowa, became an important Prussian spa center, and became one of the first major health resorts for medical patients in Germany. Guests during the German period included Prussian field marshal Helmut von Moltke and future wartime British prime minister Winston Churchill. The noted German physician and anarcho-socialist Raphael Friedeberg also spent considerable time as a resident doctor in the town in the early 20th century. Additional investment arrived with the town's connection to the railroad in 1905.
After World War II's conclusion, the majority of the town's ethnic German population was forcibly expelled, replaced by Polish settlers with the region's inclusion into Poland in 1945. The town, now known as Kudowa-Zdrój, received city rights for the first time in its history under the Polish state.
Today, the town is an important tourist center in Poland, attracting large numbers of Polish, Czech and German holidaymakers, seeking Kudowa's spa facilities, relaxed town center, and its central location close to the scenic Table Mountains.
Kudowa-Zdrój is connected by highway DK8 (E67), allowing a 40 minute drive to Kłodzko and a two hour drive to Wrocław. Provincial highway DW387 connects the town to smaller communities and natural history sites in the surrounding Table Mountains. On the Czech side of the border, Kudowa-Zdrój is connected to Náchod, Jaroměř and Hradec Králové by road 33. Due to Kudowa-Zdrój's border location, the town is along a busy trade route for a large number of Czech and Polish-bound trucks. Since their inclusion into the Schengen Agreement in 2007, there are no border controls between Poland and the Czech Republic.
Provincial rail operator Koleje Dolnośląskie provides passenger service from the town's small train station. Passenger trains from Kudowa traverse to Kłodzko Główne, where travelers can transfer to the rest of Poland's regional and national rail network. On the Czech side of the border, the current closest rail station is in Náchod, with service provided by ČD. There are currently no rail connections between Kudowa-Zdrój and Náchod.
Kudowa-Zdrój is connected to neighboring towns on both sides of the border through the region's integrated bus network. Czech line CDS operates frequent routes between the town and neighboring Náchod, with a journey time usually less than ten minutes. Polish bus service PKS w Kłodzku  connects Kudowa with daily service to neighboring Kłodzko and Náchod, as well as offering lines to further cities Wrocław and Prague. Additional bus companies frequently stop in the town due to its border location. Most buses stop at the outdoor dworzec autobusowy, a small bus station near 1 Maja street in the town's center.
The town's compactness and marked pedestrian ways makes the town ideal for walking. All attractions and activities within the town are in walking distance. Bicycling is also a popular activity, helped by several large bicycle lanes reserved for riders, along with a variety of bike trails stretching around the town.
Standing as one of Poland's prime centers for relaxation, many visitors come to Kudowa-Zdrój to rest in its various spas and baths. Despite its well-earned reputation, Kudowa is not strictly limited to spas. The town is also an excellent starting location to explore Stołowe Mountains National Park (Polish: Park Narodowy Gór Stołowych) , a wide area of stunning views, weathered prehistoric rock formations, and wildlife watching. Various hiking trails cross through the town also, including the red, blue and green trails, traversing through the Czech-Polish borderlands. Closer to the town is the Wodny Świat Aqua Park, a large aquatic play and fitness center that draws in large numbers of local Polish and Czech residents.
Kudowa-Zdrój's long history as a spa center means that the town is never short of places to stay at.
Kudowa-Zdrój is only a five minute drive to the Czech-Polish border, ensuring an easy way to explore the neighboring Czech Republic. Hradec Králové, the closest large Czech city, is a 45 minute drive to the west, while Prague is a further two and a half hour. On the Polish side of the border, Kłodzko is 30 minutes away by car and bus, and can also be accessed by train. Further afield, Wrocław is two hours away to the north, while Kraków is four hours distant.