Serving as the capital of the Silesian Voivodeship, Katowice is a former coal-mining town that has blossomed into a cultural hub. During World War II, it was occupied by Nazi Germany before being restored to Poland in 1945. Katowice has been named a UNESCO City of Music and hosts several award-winning music festivals throughout the year.
Things to do in Katowice
One of Katowice’s most popular attractions is the Silesian Museum, which occupies a former coal mine that houses galleries dedicated to art, ethnography and archaeology. Learn about the history of Upper Silesia and its relationship with Germany, as well as its role in arms production during the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum also features an impressive collection of Polish art that includes works by Jan Matejko and Jozef Chełmonski.
Purpose-built as a coal miners’ settlement in the early 20th century, the town of Nikiszowiec has now been absorbed as part of Katowice. It is dominated by interconnected houses linked by ground-floor arcades that are occupied by specialty boutiques and cafes. Wander through Nikiszowiec’s atmospheric streets while admiring its beautiful brick buildings, which are protected as Historic Monuments.
South of Katowice is Kosciuszko Park, a popular green space named after one of Poland’s national heroes. It features exotic trees and formal flowerbeds that include a fragrant avenue of roses. Don’t miss the 40-metre-high parachute training tower, which played an important role in defending the city against the Wehrmacht in 1939.
Getting around Katowice
Katowice Wojciech Korfanty Airport is a 30-minute drive from the city centre and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect to the Katowice railway station while buses, trams and trolleybuses travel throughout the city. The centre of Katowice can easily be explored on foot.