The history of Poděbrady reaches back to medieval times. A long-distance trade route running from Prague to eastern Bohemia and then on to Silesia and Poland passed through the then forested landscape interwoven with a dense network of river branches. This important communication intersected the River Labe to the west of the present town, at a place called Na Vinici.
An ancient community and a small fortress originated near the ford. It is most likely that the position of this community is reflected in the present name of the town: Poděbrady – "pode brody" = below the ford.
Near Podebrady, there is a longwave transmitter used for transmitting meteorological reports. It uses a T-antenna mounted on two 150 m-tall guyed masts. The local golf course is located on the site of the transmitter.
The mineral water that was found in the early 1900s is better known as Poděbradka. The water contains iron deposits; if left over the course of a few days a rust-like deposit will settle at the bottom and will stain plastic bottles. There are four free public taps where people are able to obtain Poděbradka. There is also a refined version of Poděbradka that is not as heavy with the iron deposits that can be purchased from most stores in the Czech Republic.