Taking you straight back to medieval times, the Old Town of Hradec Kralove offers an ageless charm with its historical architecture and narrow streets. As you pass through squares and by cafes, it’s likely you’ll hear live music, because Hradec Kralove is not only a major centre for classical and traditional Czech music, but also for hip-hop and jazz.
Things to do
The most important tourist site in Hradec Kralove is the vast, brick built basilica, the Gothic-style Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. The cathedral dates from the early 14th century, though there was an earlier church on the same site, founded by Teutonic Knights. Various Queens of Bavaria and Pomerania paid for the cathedral’s decoration, and you will see them depicted in stone busts and stained glass windows inside.
You can find the best views of the Old Town from the top of the White Tower, Hradec Kralove’s highest landmark. The views are most dramatic at sunrise, while night tours are an interesting way to explore the area. On the climb up, you’ll also see a glass model of the White Tower and the original city bell that was made in 1509.
If you’re interested in learning about the local history and culture, be sure to visit the Museum of East Bohemia. Behind the striking Art Nouveau facade is a well-planned series of permanent exhibitions, drawn from a collection of 3 million items. The religious relics and early musical manuscripts are particularly precious, and there are also some important archaeological finds.
Distinctive yellow and red and red city buses serve all parts of Hradec Kralove, making it easy to get around. Several streets around the Masaryk and Batkovo Squares are pedestrianised and therefore can only be explored on foot or by bike.