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Gliwice is a city in the Silesian Voivodeship of southern Poland, with a population of 175,102 in 2021. It's part of Metropolis GZM centred on Katowice and is industrial. Nevertheless it has a well-restored old town and many historical sights.


The Slav particle gliw indicates a soggy bog, and the medieval town channeled its river to form a defensive moat. But the terrain can't have been too quaggy, as Gliwice lay on a trading route. Early industries were brewing and textiles, but the boom came in the 19th century with mining, steel-making and metal-bashing trades. The town was in a borderland and changed nationalities several times - for much of the last 200 years it was Gleiwitz in Prussia or Germany, and in a post-World War I referendum it voted to remain in Germany along with Zabrze and Bytom, while Katowice joined Poland. Community tensions festered, and Germany had ambitions to seize further territory. In August 1939 came the spark that ignited World War II, when Germany faked a Polish attack on the radio station as a pretext for invading. Being already in Germany in no way spared Gliwice from the horrors unleashed on invaded territories. Post-war Silesia was handed back to Poland; the town no longer makes steel but has large automobile and machine engineering sectors.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Katowice Airport (KTW IATA) is usually the most convenient, with budget flights across Europe. Bus M14 runs hourly direct from the airport to Gliwice, otherwise take the bus into Katowice and change.

Kraków John Paul II Airport (KRK IATA) has more flights but involves a longer transfer, changing in Kraków city centre and Katowice.

By train[edit]

Trains from Katowice run every 20 minutes and take 30 min via Chorzów and Zabrze. These may start from Częstochowa, Dąbrowa Górnicza, or all the way from Przemyśl on the Ukraine border via Kraków.

Trains from Wrocław run hourly and take two hours via Opole; one per day is direct from Berlin. Change at Katowice for Warsaw and other long-distance destinations.

1 Gliwice Railway Station is at the northwest edge of city centre. It's clean and modern.

By bus[edit]

Flixbus runs four times a day from Berlin, taking 7 hours via Berlin Airport (BER IATA), Wrocław, Brzeg and Opole, and heading for Katowice and Kraków.

They run one or twice a day from Vienna and Brno via Olomouc and Ostrava, and once from Prague, heading for Katowice and Kraków.

Gliwice bus station is Centrum Przesiadkowe just north of the railway station, and it too is clean and modern. The old site south of the railway station is still shown on some maps but has been demolished.

Get around[edit]

The central area is compact; further out, buses ply all the main streets. ZTM Metropolia run almost all buses and trams across the 40-some cities of Upper Silesian Metropolis, which straddles the Czech border. They have a unified ticket system: see Katowice#Get around for ticket options and where to buy them.


The radio tower sparked World War II
  • 1 Rynek is the market square in town centre. Here are the Town Hall (Ratusz), Neptune fountain and other townhouses - retro-restored but none the worse for that.
  • 2 Piast Castle, Pod Murami 2, +48 32 231 4494. Tu-F 10:00-16:00, Sa Su 11:00-16:00. This is a tower built in 1322 as part of the city walls, plus an armory building. It was probably never a seat of the Piast royal dynasty, whose power was ebbing by that date. It's now a branch of Gliwice Museum. Combi adult 15 zł, conc or child 7.50 zł. Gliwice Castle (Q837875) on Wikidata Gliwice Castle on Wikipedia
  • City walls and a moat surrounded medieval Gliwice. They were demolished in the 19th century and streets laid over the space. Only a few scraps remain, within the castle, at plac Rzeźniczy next to All Saints Church, and at ul Dolnych Wałów and ul Grodowa. They're hardly worth seeking out.
  • 3 Gliwice Cathedral, Jana Pawla II 5, +48 32 230 8945. Completed in 1900 as the Church of Sts Peter and Paul, this was promoted to cathedral in 1992 when Gliwice became a diocese. Free. Gliwice Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • 4 Holy Trinity Church at Mikołowska 8 is Armenian Catholic. It was completed in 1838 and is plain.
  • 5 All Saints Church (Kościół Wszystkich Świętych), Raciborska. Stout brick Gothic church built from 1250 and restored after a fire in 1711.
  • Black Gate (Brama Czarna, Brama Raciborska) was one of the four gates of the medieval city. It's a partly-reconstructed brick archway and adjoining wall below the present street level, in plac Rzeźniczy north side of All Saints.
  • 6 Villa Caro, Dolnych Wałów 8a, +48 32 231 08 54, . Tu-F 10:00-16:00, Sa Su 11:00-16:00. Mansion of the industrialist Oscar Caro built in the 1880s, now part of Gliwice Museum and visited on the same combi ticket as the castle. Combi adult 15 zł, conc or child 7.50 zł.
  • 7 St Barbara Church, built in 1859, was originally Lutheran, but handed over to the Roman Catholics after World War II.
  • 8 Palm House (Palmiarnia Miejska), Aleksandra Fredry 6 (within Fryderyk Chopin Park), +48 32 231 3239. Tu-F 09:00-18:00, Sa Su 10:00-18:00. 19th century Palm House with over 5600 specimens, some of them over 150 years old. Adult 15 zł, conc or child 9 zł. Municipal Palm House in Gliwice (Q2048206) on Wikidata
  • 9 Upper Silesian Jews House of Remembrance (Dom Pamięci Żydów Górnośląskich), Księcia Józefa Poniatowskiego 14. Su 10:00-15:00, Tu-F 10:00-16:00, Sa 11:00-17:00. This branch of the Municipal Museum tells the history of the Jewish people of Upper Silesia. The building was originally a funeral home next to the new Jewish cemetery, established in 1902–1903.
  • 10 Gliwice Radio Tower, Tarnogórska 129, +48 32 300 0404. F 10:00-16:00, Sa Su 11:00-16:00. A city icon, this 118 metre-high radio mast is the tallest wooden structure in Europe. Erected in 1934, it was the target of the "false flag" attack of 31 Aug 1939, the pretext for Germany to invade Poland. The SS dressed in Polish uniforms, stormed the transmitter and broadcast an anti-German message. Next morning German radio barked that Poland was invading but Seit 5 Uhr 45 wird jetzt zurückgeschossen! - "Since 05:45 we are returning fire!". Two days later Britain and France declared war against Germany. The mast still supports radio and mobile phone transmissions while the building is now part of Gliwice Museum, with old equipment and a film about the attack. Labelling is only in Polish. Gliwice Radio Tower (Q597596) on Wikidata Gliwice Radio Tower on Wikipedia
  • 11 St Bartholomew Church is redbrick neo-gothic, completed in 1911.
  • Old St Bartholomew 200 m west was the predecessor. This was built around 1276 in the village of Petersdorf or Szobiszowice, 2 km beyond the protection of Gliwice city walls so it had to be fortified. It became obsolete once the new church opened; services are still occasionally held here but it's falling into disrepair and seldom open.
  • 12 Artistic Foundry Museum (Muzeum Odlewnictwa Artystycznego), Bojkowska 37, +48 323 354 403. Tu W 10:00-15:00, Th F 10:00-16:00, Sa Su 11:00-16:00. A branch of the Municipal Museum, exhibiting artistic bronze and iron castings. It's in the engine room of a former coal mine. (Q592625) on Wikidata


Town Hall in Market Square
  • Football: Piast Gliwice play soccer in Ekstraklasa, Poland's top tier. Their home ground is Piotra Wieczorka Municipal Stadium, capacity 9900, 2 km northeast of town centre.
  • Teatr Miejski is at Nowy Świat 55, 500 m southwest of the cathedral.
  • Cinema: Amok is near Rynek, at Dolnych Wałów 3. Cinema City is in Forum Centre just north of the railway station.
  • 1 Arena Gliwice (PreZero Arena), Akademicka 50. Large multi-purpose venue for music and sports. Gliwice Arena (Q16556780) on Wikidata Gliwice Arena on Wikipedia


  • Lots of convenience stores in town centre, Biedronka is the main chain.
  • Kaufland is the closest big supermarket to the centre, on Pszczyńska 500 m east of the cathedral. It's open M Tu 06:00-22:00, W-F 06:00-23:00, Sa 06:00-13:00.
  • Forum is a shopping centre just north of the railway station, open M-Sa 09:00-21:00.


  • Momo at Rynek 1 is a restaurant and wine bar open M-Sa 12:00-23:00, Su 12:00-22:00.
  • Desa Gastro Bar at Rynek 22 is open Su-Th 09:30-22:30, F Sa 09:30-00:00.
  • Dobra Kasza Nasza, Rynek 3, +48 531 629 685, . Daily 12:00-22:00. Trad Polish and other East European food on market square.
  • Club Hemingway on Rynek serves steaks and suchlike. It's open M-Th 09:00-01:00, F Sa 09:00-16:00, Su 10:00-01:00.
  • Plado has an offbeat menu. It's at Górnych Wałów 42 a block west of Rynek, open M-F 12:00-21:00, Sa 13:00-21:00.
  • Moja Gruzja is a Georgian restaurant at Grodowa 5 just off Rynek, open Su-Th 12:00-21:00, F Sa 12:00-22:00.
  • TitoTito is an Italian at Plebańska 7, north of Rynek and open Su-Th 12:00-22:00, F Sa 12:00-23:00.
  • Pattaya serves Thai food and sushi at Bankowa 5, off south corner of Rynek. It's open M-Th 12:00-22:00, F Sa 12:00-23:00.
  • Nowa Prowincja, Dolnych Wałów 8 (behind Qubus Hotel), +48 535 765 571. Daily 12:00-23:00. Stylish relaxing cafe.


Old St Bartholomew was fortified


  • 1 Hostel Gliwice, Jana Siemińskiego 22, +48 506 448104. Dingy, more like a workers' flop-house.
  • 2 Hotel Silvia Gold, Studzienna 8, +48 32 701 1200. Clean and friendly, though rooms in the roof space are tiny. B&B double 370 zł.
  • 3 Qubus Hotel, Dworcowa 27, +48 32 300 1100. Clean, modern and central, small rooms. B&B double 500 zł.
  • 4 Hotel Royal, Jana Matejki 10, +48 32 400 0000. Smart place near Rynek with spacious rooms. B&B double 460 zł.
  • 5 Hotel Diament Plaza, Zwycięstwa 30, +48 32 721 7000. Midway between Rynek and station, comfy enough but small rooms. B&B double 400 zł.
  • Hotel Diament Economy is nearer the station at Zwycięstwa 42. Not much difference in price or quality.


As of March 2024, Gliwice and its approach roads have 5G from all Polish carriers.

Go next[edit]

  • Katowice at the centre of the metropolis is grubby and industrial but with lots of 19th / 20th century heritage.
  • Częstochowa is a pilgrimage site for Jasna Góra monastery, with the icon of the Black Madonna.
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau is the chilling monument to hatred multiplied by modern industrial efficiency. Yes, it has a good train service.
  • Kraków is must-see for its wonderful walled city and Wawel citadel.

This city travel guide to Gliwice is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.