Katowice travel guide

Katowice Tourism | Katowice Guide

You're Going to Love Katowice

One of the most vibrant cities in Poland, Katowice is the gateway to Silesia and has no shortage of enticing attractions.

If you are interested in industry, the museums of Katowice will fascinate, but with great shopping malls, fine food, and superb galleries as well, there's plenty to keep everyone occupied.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Katowice

1. An Engaging Industrial Heritage

Katowice has been an industrial center for centuries. Find out about its history at attractions like the Nikiszowiec miners' estate and the Museum of Katowice History.

2. Art and Architecture Spanning Centuries

You can get your fill of artistic wonders at the Silesian Museum (hosting Polish masters like Stanisław Wyspiański) or the Archdiocesan Museum, which focuses on sacred artworks.

3. Beautiful Parks and Gardens

Relax in between museums at gorgeous spots like Kosciuszko Park and the Silesian Zoological Garden, which hosts 2,500 animals and a colony of dinosaur models as well.

4. Explore the Silesian Countryside

With a rental car, you can easily reach historical sights like Jasna Góra (home to a famous Black Madonna statue) or formidable castles like Zamek Ogrodzieniec.

5. Music Events for Everyone

Katowice hosts popular events like the Jazz and Beyond Festival and Metalmania, while the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra regularly performs in town.

What to do in Katowice

1. Everyday Life, Exhibited Brilliantly

Located in the suburb of Nikiszowiec, around 3 miles from the city center, this is a great example of how medium sized cities should showcase their history. For one thing, the setting is intriguing - a 1910s planned industrial suburb. But the collections inside are the real star. Exhibits give a vivid idea of what everyday life was like in Katowice from the 1200s to today, and there are special collections dedicated to famous locals like the artist Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz.

2. Spellbinding Silesian Stories

More centrally located, just north of Rynek (the main square), the Silesian Museum has some amazing stories to tell. For instance, it houses 35,000 photographs, some of which are over 130 years old and capture key moments like the Polish resistance against Nazism. Other galleries provide a panorama of Polish painting, while there's an absorbing section on the history of Silesian industry which, after all, is what made the area so sought after by kings, emperors, and fuhrers, for so long.

3. A Saucer-Full Of Sporting And Cultural Delights

Built in 1971, Spodek is one of the most recognizable sporting and musical arenas in Europe. Shaped like an upturned flying saucer (well, it was the 1970s), it has a capacity of 11,500 people, and hosts everything from ice hockey fixtures to heavy metal artists like Metallica, who played a famous gig there in 1987. In fact, there's a good chance that something worth seeing will be on during anyone's stay in Katowice, whether you're into electronic gaming competitions, ice skating (there's a public rink in the complex), basketball, or volleyball.

4. Living History, And Historical Refreshments

The name may sound a little uninspiring, but the content of this huge outdoor museum is anything but. Located in the Provincial Park of Culture and Recreation around 2 miles north of the center, it's basically a lovingly reconstructed Silesian village, albeit one with structures dating from the 1100s to the 19th century. With 100 buildings in all, and staff on site to explain what everything means (usually in English), the museum even has a working karczma (tavern) to round off the trip with a beer. Not many museums can match that kind of service.

5. A Dramatic Center For The Polish Stage

Silesia's largest theater dominates Rynek Square, and also plays an oversized role in the city's cultural life. Housed in an elegant modernist structure, it was actually built by a German team (and the first performance was Schiller's "William Tell"). But the theater's golden age of the 50s and 60s saw it become a mainstay of the Polish stage, and most of the country's greatest actors trod the boards there at some point. These days, performances come thick and fast, as Shakespeare rubs shoulders with Polish newcomers. Even if the dialogue washes over you, it's an enchanting place to catch some drama.

1. Everyday Life, Exhibited Brilliantly

Located in the suburb of Nikiszowiec, around 3 miles from the city center, this is a great example of how medium sized cities should showcase their history. For one thing, the setting is intriguing - a 1910s planned industrial suburb. But the collections inside are the real star. Exhibits give a vivid idea of what everyday life was like in Katowice from the 1200s to today, and there are special collections dedicated to famous locals like the artist Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz.

2. Spellbinding Silesian Stories

More centrally located, just north of Rynek (the main square), the Silesian Museum has some amazing stories to tell. For instance, it houses 35,000 photographs, some of which are over 130 years old and capture key moments like the Polish resistance against Nazism. Other galleries provide a panorama of Polish painting, while there's an absorbing section on the history of Silesian industry which, after all, is what made the area so sought after by kings, emperors, and fuhrers, for so long.

3. A Saucer-Full Of Sporting And Cultural Delights

Built in 1971, Spodek is one of the most recognizable sporting and musical arenas in Europe. Shaped like an upturned flying saucer (well, it was the 1970s), it has a capacity of 11,500 people, and hosts everything from ice hockey fixtures to heavy metal artists like Metallica, who played a famous gig there in 1987. In fact, there's a good chance that something worth seeing will be on during anyone's stay in Katowice, whether you're into electronic gaming competitions, ice skating (there's a public rink in the complex), basketball, or volleyball.

4. Living History, And Historical Refreshments

The name may sound a little uninspiring, but the content of this huge outdoor museum is anything but. Located in the Provincial Park of Culture and Recreation around 2 miles north of the center, it's basically a lovingly reconstructed Silesian village, albeit one with structures dating from the 1100s to the 19th century. With 100 buildings in all, and staff on site to explain what everything means (usually in English), the museum even has a working karczma (tavern) to round off the trip with a beer. Not many museums can match that kind of service.

5. A Dramatic Center For The Polish Stage

Silesia's largest theater dominates Rynek Square, and also plays an oversized role in the city's cultural life. Housed in an elegant modernist structure, it was actually built by a German team (and the first performance was Schiller's "William Tell"). But the theater's golden age of the 50s and 60s saw it become a mainstay of the Polish stage, and most of the country's greatest actors trod the boards there at some point. These days, performances come thick and fast, as Shakespeare rubs shoulders with Polish newcomers. Even if the dialogue washes over you, it's an enchanting place to catch some drama.

Where to Eat in Katowice

If you want superb pierogi and other Polish delicacies, try Patio-Park, Stare i Nowe, or Tatiana. Other cuisines are well represented too, including Hungarian, Italian, and Japanese and prices are reasonable, at around zł35 in high-end restaurants.

When to visit Katowice

Katowice in October
Estimated hotel price
$65
1 night at 3-star hotel
Katowice in October
Estimated hotel price
$65
1 night at 3-star hotel

Travel between June and August for the best weather, although fall is a good time for music lovers, with the Jazz and Beyond Festival in town.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Katowice

Plane

Katowice International Airport (KTW) has plenty of connections via low-cost carriers. To reach the city, take the PKM Katowice shuttle (‎zł27).

Train

You can reach Katowice Dworzec PKP station from Krakow and Warsaw, as well as other eastern European and German cities. It's in the city center, so finding your hotel should be simple.

Car

Those driving from Krakow should take the A4, while if you are coming from Warsaw, you'll need to take the E67 then the E75.

Bus

Unibus, PolskiBus, and Bus-Inter all run intercity buses into Dworzec Autobusowy Katowice bus station, with connections to all major Polish cities.

Airports near Katowice

Airlines serving Katowice

United Airlines
Good (2,640 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (1,799 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,106 reviews)
KLM
Good (314 reviews)
Air France
Good (361 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,182 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,159 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,836 reviews)
SWISS
Good (417 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,012 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (765 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (246 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (454 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (242 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (84 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,416 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (394 reviews)
Finnair
Good (587 reviews)
LOT
Good (296 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (117 reviews)
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Where to stay in Katowice

Ulica Mariacka - the city's main thoroughfare, Ulica Mariacka is a magnet for diners, theater-goers, and sightseers thanks to the beautiful Church of St. Mary.

Popular Neighborhoods in Katowice

Rynek - the central market square, Rynek features an incongruous palm grove, cycle rental facilities, and is lined with elegant 18th-century buildings.

Park Slaski - Katowice's largest green space, this park is home to the Silesian Zoo and a planetarium, and is next to the Stadion Slaski, the city's main pop concert and soccer venue.

Where to stay in popular areas of Katowice

Most booked hotels in Katowice

Novotel Katowice Centrum
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
$65+
Park Hotel Diament Katowice
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
$63+
Economy Silesian Hotel
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
$51+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Katowice

Public Transportation

Buses and trams are run by KZK GOP, and a single zone ticket (all you'll need most of the time) costs zł3.20.

Taxi

Taxi fares vary by time and area, but will usually come out at around zł7.50 for the meter drop, then zł4 per mile.

Car

Rental companies include National and Europcar, and rates can be as low as zł45 per day.

Car hire agencies in Katowice

Sixt

Sixt
Find car hire in Katowice

The Cost of Living in Katowice

Shopping Streets

Silesia City Center is Katowice's retail hub, hosting major global brand names, but check out craft stores like Geszeft as well for distinctive gifts.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets in the city include Tesco, Auchan, and Netto. As a guide, expect a gallon of milk to cost around zł8.

Cheap meal
$7.58
A pair of jeans
$82.58
Single public transport ticket
$1.34
Cappuccino
$2.42