Jelenia Góra (German: Hirschberg in Riesengebirge) is a major city of nearly 100.000 inhabitants in Lower Silesian Voivodship in Poland. It is the portal to the Giant Mountains (Karkonosze Pol., (Riesengebirge, Ger.) and a tourist attraction itself, with a historic old town and the Cieplice (Warmbrünn) spa now included in the city as well.
As with all of Lower Silesia, control over Jelenia Góra alternated between Polish- and German-speaking lands throughout its history. As of the end of WWII the city became Polish again and its German population was expelled. Both the Polish and German names for the town, as well as their translations to Latin and other languages, have the same meaning being roughly "deer mountain". The deer features prominently in the city's coat of arms and is referenced in many ways in the city today.
PKS Jelenia Góra  runs daily from Wrocław.
Be aware that on Fridays during the academic year getting a place on a bus to Jelenia Góra may be a problem. Buy the ticket in advance.
By public transport
MZK  connects all major areas of the town.
- 1 Karkonosze Museum, ul. Matejki 28. With large collections of glass work and artifacts from the region's past.
Cieplice - a spa district of Jelenia Góra with its park, the Schaffgotsch palace, Spa Theatre, Museum of Natural History , Church of St John the Baptist and Church of the Saviour.
- Chojnik Castle (Nearby Sobieszów, a suburb of Jelenia Góra). A walk to the castle takes approximately 1.5 hour return.
- Gerhart Hauptmann House. The house of the German dramatist and novelist who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1912. He lived in the House from 1901 until his death in 1946. The House is in Jagniątków, now a suburb of Jelenia Góra and hosts a museum in his memory. Open daily except for Mondays. Website in Polish and German only.
- Go for a swim in Termy Cieplickie.
- Karkonosze's Light Festival - Cieplice's festival of lights where science and technology meet art and education; each year in January.
- International Film Festival ZOOM - ZBLIŻENIA - in February, independent film art festival, features screenings, workshop, prizes.
- Wandering Theatres Festival - continuation of the Street Theatres Festival; takes place in August in various towns in the region including Jelenia Góra, Gryfów Śląski, Lubań, Lwówek Śląski, Wleń.
- Jeleniogórski September (Wrzesień Jeleniogórski) - each year in September, features series of workshops, concerts, exhibitions, theatre performances, presentations, competitions, markets and other events.
- Festival "Silesia Sonans" - takes place in September; the organ music festival.
There are various shops located in the centre of Jelenia Góra and its suburb, Cieplice.
Two major shopping centres are Tesco and Echo. To get to the Tesco shopping centre you can just take a walk from the town centre. There is also a bus 'TES' running from Zabobrze to the shopping centre. To get to the Echo shopping centre take a bus no. 6, 7 or 27.
Various restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets etc. are located in the vicinity of the Town Hall Square and 1 May Street in the city centre. You will also find restaurants and pubs in Cieplice around the Piastowski Square.
To get a bit of the old communistic feeling, head to restaurant Relaks on Ulica 1 Maja near Hotel Europa.
For a bit of old and rusty grandeur, try restaurant Bosman on Ulica Pocztowa opposite the main post office or perhaps the theater restaurant at the intersection Sudecka / Wojska Polskiego.
The most popular fast food in this region is pizza. There is a Pizza Hut on Ulica 1 Maja but better try one of the local pizzerias and don't forget to add the local novelty to it - sos czosnkowy (garlic sauce).
To eat freshly grilled fish in a nice outdoor setting with a beautiful view towards the mountain, go to Cieplice and then further on 1 kilometer towards Karpacz. This fish restaurant is next to a man-made lake with a helicopter randomly placed on one of the islands. This restaurant is surprisingly expensive for being Poland.
There are numerous bars around the town square with flexible closing hours and locals having a Żywiec or a Zubrowka all days of the week. Next to Hotel Baron is the "Irish" pub Belfast, allowing both Protestants and Catholics. Opposite Belfast is the larger and newer Warka. Further up the town square is the posher Metafora. Up pedestrian street Ulica 1 Maja is Play-ta where it is possible to play pool.
Several bars, incl. Belfast and Play-ta, show all the important football games.
The younger clientèle usually end the night at the Atrappa Club, which is in sort of a small park along Ulica Podwale just above the bus stop. It is open until at least 3.00. Opposite the same bus stop is a 24h night shop.
There is also a club/bar for the slightly older crowd on a side street from Ulica 1 Maja in between Ulica Pocztowa and the church. This place is called The Street.
Try some hot spring water from Cieplice spa. The spa's history dates back to XIII century and since then it has been used for various ailments. Among the notable visitors were Polish Queen Marysieńka, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and American president John Quincy Adams.
You will often find the locals displaying signs usually in Polish and German ("pokoje/Zimmer") to advertise rooms available for short-term stays. However, note that you will mostly see them along the main roads and not in the city centre or residential areas.
There are also many hotels, especially in Cieplice as its hot spring water is popular with visitors.
- 1 Mercure Jelenia Góra, ul. Sudecka 63, 58-500 Jelenia Góra (on the road no. 367 towards Karpacz), ☏ , email@example.com. This leftover from times gone by is located a bit outside of town, towards Karpacz. The hotel has a swimming pool but no air conditioning in the rooms. The furniture and fittings have fallen far behind the times, but on balance the hotel provides good free WiFi. Nowadays, it is mostly used as a stopover points for package tours of German pensioners. Rooms starting at PLN 120.
- Jawor - with its UNESCO Heritage-listed Church of Peace
- Karpacz - a tourist resort in Karkonosze, the highest mountain range nearby. From here numerous walking tracks start. You can hike just a few hours, the whole day or even stay overnight in the mountains in one of the hostels. The Wang Church [dead link] is a popular attraction. A skiing destination in winter.
- Rudawski Landscape Park - landmarks include Krzyżna Mountain, Skalnik Mountain, mountain hut Szwajcarka. Good for leisurely hikes; also popular with climbers.
- Szklarska Poręba - a tourist resort in Karkonosze. Many walking tracks start from here and will take you into the mountains. In winter you can do some downhill and cross-country skiing. Famous for its international cross-country skiing competition Bieg Piastów.
- Świdnica - with its UNESCO Heritage-listed Peace Church.
- Uranium mines in Kowary: open daily except 1.01, Easter Sunday, 01.11, Christmas Day, sightseeing only with a guide, tours can be in Polish, German or English; time needed: 1 hour. It takes 20–30 minutes to get there from Jelenia Góra by bus PKS . During public holidays it might get very busy around the midday so it might be a good idea to pick a different time slot.