Poland is a country with a rich and long history. There is not a single city here that does not have a centuries-old supply of legends and true stories about its long past. And even the relatively young city of Katowice, founded in the early 19th century, will be much older than its official age. After all, a settlement in these parts has existed since the 14th century, and already in the 18th century the first coal mine appeared here. In our time, Katowice, which has grown significantly, continues to be the center of the country’s coal industry, and the historical baggage accumulated by it interests tourists no less than boiling modernity. See JIBIN123 for Poland customs regulations and visa requirements.
How to get to Katowice
Katowice has the honorary status of the capital of Upper Silesia, and the main city of the region cannot do without its own airport. It is located 34 km north of the city and regularly receives flights from Polish and major foreign cities. Local flights are operated by LOT, the Warsaw-Katowice flight takes an hour. A bus runs from the airport to the city approximately every 30 minutes, the fare on it will cost 5 EUR, to go to the center – 50 minutes maximum.
You can also order a transfer to Katowice in this car company. Buses of the same company can easily reach all the surrounding cities of the region. The schedule of buses from other cities in Poland can be viewed here, and for certain directions you can immediately buy a ticket. When plotting your route, pay close attention to the distance between the starting point and the destination. For example, a bus trip from Warsaw will last about 6-7 hours and cost about 7-9 EUR, but from Krakow – only 1.5 hours and about 6-8 EUR.
The railway connects Katowice with major Polish and foreign cities. There are flights from the capital of Poland (about 14 trains a day, travel time 3 hours, cost 8-13 EUR), Krakow (trains depart approximately every hour, travel time 1.5 hours, 5-8 EUR), as well as Vienna, Bratislava, Kiev, Berlin, etc. Ticket prices vary depending on the length of the route, the selected carriage class and the type of train. You can check prices and timetables on this website.
It cannot be said that there is such an abundance of hotels in Katowice, but still there is plenty to choose from. At Jopi Hostel for 11-14 EUR per person you can rent a double room, which will have free access to Wi-Fi, and in the morning they will serve toast with jam and tea and coffee. The three-star Hotel Diament will ask its guests from 27-30 EUR per night, and the rooms in the four-star Best Western Premier Katowice Hotel will cost from 35 to 130 EUR per night. Up-to-date information about accommodation in Katowice can always be found on the city website. When researching accommodation, do not forget that during the holiday season there may be problems with places in hotels, while during the rest of the year you can not even book a hotel.
Cuisine and restaurants in Katowice
It may seem strange for an industrial city (where, it would seem, hearty and high-calorie food should be popular), but one of the most popular cafes in it is the Golden Ass vegetarian establishment. The unique spirit of the hippie movement hovers here to this day, and concerts and poetry evenings invariably gather a large audience here. However, the city does not experience a shortage of places serving delicious and hearty dishes of national cuisine. Karcma pod Strzechom and Marysin Dwór, decorated in an old rustic style that fits the name, are always welcome visitors. Fans of Italian cuisine will not pass by the La Grotta trattoria, located in the city center (on Wawelska Street), not far from the pedestrian part, and exotic lovers will undoubtedly be delighted to find Chinese Restauracja a Dong on Matejki Street. And do not forget about the surroundings of the city! For example, about Promienice, where delicious food is served in a restaurant in the forest.
Shopping and stores
It is impossible to be in the city and not walk through the local souvenir shops and shopping centers. We will not even try to do this (especially since in Katowice there are extremely pleasant low prices for many goods), but we will immediately inform you that real shopaholics need to remember these names: Katowice Gallery, Silesium City Center on Chozowska Street and Rawa Park near the city center. The Trzy Stawy shopping center is also quite good and deserves attention, as well as all kinds of shops in the pedestrian part of the city selling various souvenirs.
Entertainment and attractions in Katowice
30 km south of Katowice is the world-famous Auschwitz. You can get from the city to the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial complex by train, the tour is possible only as part of an organized group and costs 10 EUR maximum (if the guide tells a story not in Polish). Since visiting this mournful place makes a very strong and depressing impression, do not take children with you.
Katowice itself, despite all its modernity and industrialism, is an interesting city. The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (or Maryatsky Church, as the locals call it), made in the New Gothic style, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in the Baroque style and the wooden Church of St. Michael the Archangel are excellent examples of architecture of past centuries. Of the modern sights, one can single out the Spodek sports and entertainment center, a monument to the heroes of the three Silesian uprisings, and the monumental concert hall of Silesia. There are many museums in the city: archaeological, historical, museum of ancient interiors, and even an excellent planetarium and observatory – children especially like it.
Adults will certainly be interested in trips to the nearby towns of Gliwice, Racibórz, Sosnowiec, Zabrze, where you can admire the mountains and castles. And, of course, numerous festivals (theatrical, blues and metal, cinematic and folk) taking place in the city from spring to autumn. But all kinds of exhibitions and concerts are held here all year round, so it is very, very difficult to call Katowice dull.