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Katowice

Katowice is the largest city in Upper Silesia and Poland's main industrial centre. A rich cultural life with theatres, the Silesian Museum and Philharmonic Orchestras and the Spodek concert hall caters for a population of about 300,000 in the city and 2 million if the surrounding cities of the Upper-Silesian Metropolitan Union are taken into account. The Spodek concert hall is emblematic of the city, appearing in many postcards and other images.

Located in the very middle of Silesia on the banks of the small river Rawa, Katowice's mix of modern and historical architecture, easy access to the Beskids and other Silesian cities makes it a useful base for exploring Upper Silesia.

Spodek by night

Understand[edit]

Map of Katowice

The city is at the intersection of major road and rail routes connecting Poland to the rest of Europe in all directions, with Katowice International Airport in nearby Pyrzowice. In the 20th century, the dominant economic sectors in the Katowice region were mining, steel, electrical machinery, electronics, and chemicals. Because of the changing economy, heavy industry gave way to commerce and services.

History[edit]

The settlement of Kuźnica was founded here in 1397. Katowice was first mentioned as a village in the middle of dense forests in 1598. In the 18th century numerous work colonies sprang up here and around 1769-70 the Duke of Pless established an underground coal mine. The next industrial sites were the Hohenlohe steelworks in the village of Wełnowiec, founded in 1805, the Baildon steelworks in 1828 (named after their founder, a Scotsman), and the Wilhelmina zinc works in 1834.

Thanks to one of the first railway stations in the region, Katowice grew quickly and in 1873 it achieved the status of county town. In 1897 Katowice was formed into a separate urban district, which also included the suburban municipalities of Bogucice - Zawodzie, Dąb, Wełnowiec and Załęże. In 1889 one of the largest companies in Upper Silesia, the Kattowitzer Aktien-Gesellschaft, was set up with its headquarters in Katowice. As a result, major insurance companies and large-cap banks were attracted to the city. During the First World War, the steel industry continued to develop at a frenetic pace. Rail connections were also developed.

In the aftermath of the First World War and the three Silesian Uprisings, Katowice ended up within the borders of the Polish state. The Polish Government decided to give Silesia considerable autonomy with Katowice as a capital and home of the Silesian Parliament. It was the time of city's most intense growth (1922-1939). Second World War inflicted some light damage to the city: most of the pre-war architecture in the city center survived, through some of the more damaged buildings were replaced by new communist-era architecture.

In 1975 the neighbouring municipalities of Piotrowice, Ochojec, Panewniki, Kostuchna, Wełnowiec, Szopienice, Giszowiec, Dąbrówka Mała and Murcki were merged with Katowice. The main communications artery (al. W. Korfantego) was widened, old industrial buildings to the west of this road were demolished. To the east the historic Tiele-Winckler Palace was also demolished. On the market place, old buildings were replaced by communist-style shopping malls: "Zenit" and "Skarbek", and also the "Dom Prasy".

The construction of the Roundabout and the "Flying Saucer" (Spodek) Sports Hall (1962–71) had a significant impact. Other major constructions of the communist period include a number of outlying residential districts, such as Tysiąclecie district on the border of Katowice and Chorzów, the Paderewski district to the east of the city, the Południe district covering the suburbs of Kostuchna, Piotrowice, Ligota, and the Roździeński district.

In first decades of 21st century Katowice is going through another development phase. A new main train station connected to the modern shopping mall has built in the town center. The town square has been redeveloped, as has been the Roundabout area. A new Silesian Museum, National Radio Orchestra and a country's largest conference center were constructed near the town center in mid-2010s. Renovation of town center is still ongoing; the historic Old Train Station has been partially renovated as of 2019 and will likely be fully open to the public in mid-2020s as a new commercial center.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport serves the city. You can also fly to nearby Kraków or Wrocław. Somewhat further away are the airports of Warsaw. From all these cities depart trains and buses to Katowice.

  • 1 Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport (KTW IATA) (in Pyrzowice, 34 km (21 mi) from Katowice). Katowice has ultra-low-cost flights to some European countries, to Israel and to the United Arab Emirates (updated May 2022). This airport has the fourth-biggest passenger flow in Poland. Operating airlines include: Katowice International Airport (Q1162558) on Wikidata Katowice International Airport on Wikipedia
Katowice Airport

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Domestic:

International:

Seasonal: Bourgas, Grenoble, Athens, Alghero, Batumi, Burgas, Chania, Corfu, Faro, Furertaventura, Heraklion, Malaga, Pama de Mallorca, Podgorica, Rhodes, Split, Tenerife-South, Zakynthos, Varna

Terminals[edit]

The airport features three passenger terminals A, B (departures) and C (arrivals) as well as a cargo terminal. Operations at terminal B, much bigger than A. Terminal A handles all non-Schengen flights, while Terminal B handles all Schengen flights. The longest airport observation deck in Poland can be found inside Terminal B.

From the airport to the city centre[edit]

These bus operators offer a ride:

  • ZTM - line Airport Bus (AP). It takes 49 min and stops at the train station and at the intercity bus station of Katowice. It costs 6 zł (90 min ticket). You can buy the paper ticket at the machine or inside the bus. The departures are every 30 min during daytime and hourly during the night. The timetable is inside Google Maps. This bus also serves the Sokolska bus station in the northwest of the city center and the Strefa Kultury bus stop in the east. In the city train station look for yellow-greenish signs stating 'bus station' where the bus departs underground from platform 10. (updated July 2022)
  • Matuszek. It takes 30-35 min and costs about 25 zł (July 2022). The city stop is near the train station at the plac Andrzeja. The timetables are inside the app of Google Maps, InfoBus and Busradar.
  • PKM Katowice - Shuttle buses from outside the terminal building dropping off near main railway station.

From the airport to other cities[edit]

ZTM goes to:

  • Bytom - lines 85, 53 (it costs 8 zł — you must buy two 4-zł tickets)
  • Mierzęcice - line 17
  • Sosnowiec - line Airport Bus.

PyrzowiceExpress goes to Kraków and Częstochowa.

And Matuszek also goes to Kraków.

From the Kraków-Balice Airport to Katowice[edit]

Buses run directly from this airport to Katowice, but they are infrequent and tend to stop operating in the early evening. Getting a local train from this airport to the main station in Krakow, and from there a bus to Katowice (the bus station is next door) may be a better option.

By train[edit]

  • 2 Katowice Main Railway Station (Katowice Central Train Station) (next to the town square in the city centre). Katowice Main Railway Station has cafes, and good signage. Underneath it is a bus depot that serves 10 routes. The train station is connected to a modern shopping mall (Galeria Katowicka). Katowice railway station (Q800992) on Wikidata Katowice railway station on Wikipedia
Katowice Central Train Station

Trains from all parts of Poland and other countries arrive at Central Station. There are 14 trains per day between Warsaw and Katowice and 28 trains per day between Kraków and Katowice during the day; the journey takes 180 minutes (from Warsaw and Wrocław) and 80 minutes (from Kraków). You can arrive by train directly from Vienna, Budapest, Kyiv, Berlin, Ostrava, Praha, Bohumin, Bratislava, Zilina, Český Těšín, Hamburg, Moscow, Minsk. On cross-border routes, look out for split-ticket deals.

The Main Railway Station has left luggage lockers. The station is an easy 2-minute walk from the Main Bus Station.

The trains within Poland are run by Polskie Koleje Państwowe (see PKP (in Polish)). In the last few years privatization has split PKP into a number of different, smaller companies.

The ticket prices based on location and train type vary from 35 zł to over 100 zł, so be careful while choosing the train.

There are several smaller, regional train stations in Katowice as well, but the Main (Central) Station, located in the City Center, is most often used by locals and tourists.

By bus[edit]

Long-distance bus services arrive at International Katowice Bus Station (in the city centre, close to Sadowa Street). The main operator is Eurolines.

Buses between Katowice and Kraków:

UNIBUS and Bus-Inter travel regularly (both operate twice per hour) throughout the day. The fare is 15 zł one way, and it is suggested that passengers book in advance, especially during Polish holidays and during peak commuting hours. unibus use large modern coaches suitable for passengers with a lot of luggage, while Bus-Inter uses modern minibuses which may struggle to take large luggage during busy periods. On the other hand Bus-Inter is generally more responsive to demand and puts on extra minibuses during peak periods. Both operators state the route takes approximately 80 minutes dependent on traffic.

Buses are also operated by PKS Katowice, running something like once per each two hours: it takes about 2½ hours to get to Kraków, costs 16 zł one way, but if you go round trip, it costs just 22 zł (6 zł less than Unibus or Bus-Inter). These are normal service buses which stop at every village en route between the cities.

There are also a number of private minibuses which operate between Kraków and Katowice. These though are difficult for non Polish speakers to find and use. Prices are comparable to the large companies listed above, so are only recommended when in the area with a local.

Buses between Katowice and Wrocław: buses operated by PKS Katowice run on different times, but there are at least 3 each day, some of them start in the night. It takes about 4 hours and the tickets cost about 25 zł.

By car[edit]

The main approaches to Katowice are:

  • from Kraków on the A4-PL.svg motorway; Katowice is about 60 km westward of Kraków
  • from Wrocław on the A4-PL.svg motorway; Katowice is about 180 km eastward of Wroclaw
  • from Warsaw on the Tabliczka E67.svg European main road; Katowice is about 300 km south of Warsaw
  • from Cieszyn (on the southern border) on the Tabliczka E75.svg European main road; Katowice is about 70 km north of Cieszyn

All routes converge on the main crossroads (the A4-PL.svg and Tabliczka E75.svg) which lies near the city centre. Katowice has no big car parks system but there are many small car parks along the roads in the city center.

Get around[edit]

The city center of Katowice
Katowice, wider region

By public transport[edit]

All public bus and tram transport is supervised by ZTM Metropolia and the same tickets are used in 41 cities & communes that constitute Silesian Metropolis. 24-hr free phone information: 800 16 30 30.

By bus & tram[edit]

Many bus stations of the Passengers' Municipal Communication are situated in the core center of the city. At each bus-stop there is an information board with bus routes and where they go. The full map with bus routes is usually available in City Information Centre near Rynek (address: ul. Rynek 13; employees are multilingual).

There are also trams which transport passengers within the city and beyond the limits of the city. The dispatcher's office and information of the Municipal Tramway Enterprise are at the tram-stop in Rynek (the market square) in Katowice.

Most bus lines runs every 30 minutes at workdays and every 60 minutes at weekends. Lines 12, 115, 297 and 910 run more often. Trams usually run every 15 minutes. Take care that buses and trams may have the same line numbers and sometimes there are running from the same stop. Some daily tram lines operate also at night.

Tram passing in front of the Silesian Theatre in central Katowice.

The same ticket type is used in bus and tram. Katowice offers many different tickets. One-zone ticket is suitable for traveling in the city limits. Zone bus stations (overstepping it in a bus or a tram means that one must buy next one-zone ticket or continue traveling with ticket suitable for more zones) usually are placed at the border of cities. Consider, if it is better to use one-ride ticket, week-ticket or monthly ticket. In the bus or the tram only one kind of ticket is available for sale - for three or more zones, for 4.80 zł (or 2.40 zł with reduced rate). One-ride tickets can be bought even in grocery stores. Newspaper stands or newsagent's stores sometimes sell other kinds. The good way to buy tickets is downloading a mobile app, e.g. Skycash. Tickets in Skycash are cheaper than paper tickets. Ticket inspectors and bus/tram drivers often speak only Polish. When ticket inspector approaches you must show your ticket and proper document which allows the use of reduced rate.

One ride ticket price:

  • within one zone (or 20 minutes) 3.20 zł/1.60 zł (reduced rate)
  • within two zones (or 40 minutes) 3.80 zł/1.90 zł (reduced rate)
  • within three or more zones (or 90 minutes) 4.80 zł/2,40 zł (reduced rate)
  • for animal or extra luggage 3.20 zł

Transferable:

  • 1-day (paper ticket, valid on AP1-AP4 airport lines): normal rate 14 zł, reduced rate 7 zł
  • 7-day (electronic ticket for unpersonalised metropolitan card, not valid on AP1-AP4 airport lines): normal rate 44 zł, reduced rate 22 zł

By taxi[edit]

Taxi-stops are situated in several places in Katowice:

  • at the entrance of the railway station on the ground floor from 3 Maja St.
  • Plac Oddziałów Młodzieży Powstańczej
  • the Silesia Hotel
  • Skargi St.
  • the Katowice Hotel
  • Korfantego Av.
  • Dworcowa St.

When you take a taxi always ask for the price beforehand unless you are willing to pay anything. Different types of taxis can charge very different prices which can vary up to 5 times the regular fare depending on location and time. You can also use Uber or download one of several local taxi application (Tele Taxi Katowice, Echo Taxi Katowice, City Taxi Katowice). If you use an app the chances are much better you can see and confirm the price before the ride and that the driver won't add any extra changers.

See[edit]

Church of St. Michael the Archangel
Mural by Belgian artist ROA in Mariacka Tylna street

The finest examples of Modernism (International Style inspired architecture (see suggested official map for a quick tour option) can be easily found in the city downtown. Central Katowice also contain a many Art Nouveau (Secesja) buildings along with the Communist-era giants such as Spodek multipurpose arena complex or Superjednostka housing block. The city is also developing a large number of transient street art projects, such as murals.

  • 1 St. Michel Archangel. A small wooden church in the Kościuszko Park. One of the oldest buildings in the town. Dating to 1510, it formerly stood on a nearby village. St. Michael's church, Katowice (Q772730) on Wikidata Church of St. Michael the Archangel, Katowice on Wikipedia
  • 2 Cathedral of Christ the King (Archikatedra Chrystusa Króla), ul. Plebiscytowa 49a. Constructed in the mid-20th century, it is the largest archcathedral in Poland. Cathedral of Christ the King (Q1083927) on Wikidata Cathedral of Christ the King, Katowice on Wikipedia
  • 3 Jewish cemetery, ul. Kozielska 16. 06:00—19:00. Small Jewish cemetery within a larger communal cemetery, one of the few relics of the Jewish history in the town. Jewish Cemetery in Katowice (Q1716790) on Wikidata
  • 4 Franciscan Monastery in Panewniki and Basilica (Klasztor i Bazylika Franciszkanów w Panewnikach), ul. Panewnicka 76, . Church and monastery from early 20th century. Surrounding it a park with small Catholiic shrines (a calvary). Franciscan Monastery in Panewniki (Q11739786) on Wikidata
  • 5 Nikiszowiec. Part of the administrative district of Janów-Nikiszowiec, built between 1908 and 1912 to house workers in the backyard of their place of employment – Giesche (now Wieczorek) coal mine. Nikiszowiec is de facto an entire city district on its own, with a distinct architectural style, and one of the must-see locations. It hosts several museums and galleries, and an occasional festival. Nikiszowiec (Q1990266) on Wikidata Nikiszowiec on Wikipedia
  • 6 Giszowiec. Another historical district of the town, similar to Nikiszowiec and nearby. Giszowiec (Q956999) on Wikidata Giszowiec on Wikipedia
  • 7 St. Mary's Church (Kościół Mariacki w Katowicach). A neogothic church in the city centre. St. Mary's Church, Katowice (Q7590173) on Wikidata St. Mary's Church, Katowice on Wikipedia
  • 8 Goldstein Palace (Goldstein Villa). A neo-Renaissance palace, which was built by two brothers, Abraham and Joseph Goldstein. The palace is representative for the building style of second part of the 1870s. Front elevations and interior staircases are decorated in typical neo-Renaissance ornamentation. The opulent use of marble and sandstone testifies of the owner's wealth. It has two floors. It is owned by the city, which uses it as a marriage hall, and it can be accessed by the public. Goldstein Palace (Q5580350) on Wikidata Goldstein Palace on Wikipedia
  • 9 Former Municipal Bathhouse (Budynek Łaźni Miejskiej w Katowicach, Städtisches Badehaus). The oldest still surviving municipal office in the city, dating to late 19th century. Municipal Bath building in Katowice (Q9181588) on Wikidata
  • 10 Church of the Resurrection (Kościół Zmartwychwstania Pańskiego). A neo-Roman Evangelical-Augsburg church in the Śródmieście district, built in 1856–1858, the first masonry church in Katowice. It is also one of the relatively few non-Catholic churches in this predominantly Catholic country. Cathedral of the Resurrection (Q759622) on Wikidata Church of the Resurrection, Katowice on Wikipedia
  • 11 Silesian Insurgents' Monument. A characteristic monument from 1967 to those who took part in the three Silesian Uprisings of 1919, 1920 and 1921. The wings symbolize the three uprisings, and the names of places where battles were fought are etched on the vertical slopes. Silesian Insurgents' Monument (Q7514824) on Wikidata Silesian Insurgents' Monument on Wikipedia

Museums[edit]

  • 12 History of Katowice Museum (Muzeum Historii Katowic), ul. Szafranka 9. Medium-sized museum containing exhibits relating to the local history. History Museum of Katowice (Q11786994) on Wikidata
  • 13 Silesian Museum - Old Site (Muzeum Śląskie), al. Korfantego 3 (next to the city square). The old site of the museum is a relatively small building with few exhibition rooms. Don't expect to spend more than half an hour there at most. Go the new much larger and better new site which is within easy walking distance. Silesian Museum (Q2239241) on Wikidata Silesian Museum on Wikipedia
  • 14 Silesian Museum - New Site (Muzeum Śląskie), ul. Dobrowolskiego 1. The new museum is a very large complex with world-class display of how people in Silesia lived through the times, plus a number of more traditional sections (paintings, sculptures, etc.) The museum complex stands on the grounds of an old mining complex, re-purposed for the museum. Silesian Museum (Q2239241) on Wikidata Silesian Museum (Katowice) on Wikipedia
  • 15 Archdiocesan Museum, 39 Jordana St. Small church museum. Archdiocesan Museum in Katowice (Q11786910) on Wikidata
  • 16 Silesian Pipe Organ Museum. University collection of pipe organs. (Q19400775) on Wikidata
  • 17 Wujek Coal Mine Memorial Museum. Small museum dedicated to one of the local coal mines, focusing on the major anti-communist demonstration from the 1980s, part of the Solidarity labour movement. Wujek Coal Mine Museum (Q15846174) on Wikidata
  • 18 Katowice Neon Museum. A small museum of neon advertising signs. (Q56338359) on Wikidata
  • 19 Katowice Museum of Computers. Has over 3,000 different computers in its collections. Muzeum Historii Komputerów i Informatyki (Q16579900) on Wikidata
  • 20 Walcownia - Museum of Zinc Production. A museum dedicated to one of local industries: zinc extraction and production. Zinc rolling mill in Katowice (Q29905579) on Wikidata
  • 21 Polish Radio Katowice Chamber Museum. A small museum dedicated to the history of local radio stations. Polish Radio Katowice Chamber Museum (Q19400774) on Wikidata

Galleries[edit]

  • 22 Rondo Sztuki (The Roundabout of Art), Rondo im. Gen. Jerzego Ziętka 1 (in the middle of a roundabout, close to Spodek hall). Two galleries and a cafeteria with concerts and parties. (Q9265592) on Wikidata
  • 23 Gallery "Szyb Wilson", 1 Oswobodzenia St. Motto: Before swallow us the fires - about spirituality of our factories. The gallery is inside the historical buildings that used to be part of the local coal mine. Galeria Szyb Wilson (Q9265616) on Wikidata
  • 24 BWA Contemporary Art Gallery Katowice, 6 w. Korfantego. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej BWA Katowice (Q9265610) on Wikidata
  • 25 Parnas Contemporary Art Gallery (Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej Parnas), 10 Kochanowskiego St. (Q11699304) on Wikidata

Nature[edit]

  • Katowice has several large parks, and some small forests in the city and nearby.
  • 26 Katowice Forest Park. Large park and forest complex, the largest green area in the city. Popular site for walking and biking. Katowice Forest Park (Q11737465) on Wikidata Katowice Forest Park on Wikipedia
  • 27 Valley of Three Ponds (Dolina Trzech Stawów). Part of the Katowice Forest Park. Valley of Three Ponds (Q1235597) on Wikidata Valley of Three Ponds on Wikipedia
  • 28 Kościuszko Park (Park im. Tadeusza Kościuszki w Katowicach). A large park near the town centre. Kościuszko Park (Q6435625) on Wikidata Kościuszko Park on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

  • 1 Multipurpose Arena Complex The Spodek (Spodek), 35 W. Korfantego Ave (next the roundabout). A very characteristic building, shaped like a flying saucer. Hosts wide variety of concerts, performances and sports events. Spodek (Q1051683) on Wikidata Spodek on Wikipedia
  • 2 International Congress Centre (Międzynarodowe Centrum Kongresowe), Plac Sławika i Antalla 1 (next to the Roundabout and Spodek near the city centre). Poland's largest conference center, built in mid-2010s. International Conference Centre (Q20032692) on Wikidata
  • 3 Silesian Library (Biblioteka Śląska), plac Rady Europy 1. Large modern regional library. Silesian Library (Q2239193) on Wikidata Silesian Library on Wikipedia
  • for board gaming, collectible card gaming, and similar pursuits, get in touch with the 4 Silesian Fantasy Club, visit the 5 "Ludiversum" board gaming cafe or the 6 "Flamberg" store.

Cinema[edit]

Katowice has several new, multi-screen cinemas and some surviving old, traditional ones. Check if films are shown dubbed or sub-titled.

  • 7 Światowid, 7 3-rd Maja Street. The primary place for art-house film in the city centre. Cinema Światowid, Katowice (Q11739414) on Wikidata
  • 8 Rialto, 24 St Jana St. An artist-run venue which specializes in more experimental film and music and has a lovely café too. Kinoteatr Rialto (Q11739417) on Wikidata
  • 9 Cinema City - Punkt 44, 44 Gliwicka St. Modern multiplex cinema with approx 13 screens and IMAX 3-D system. (Q11831751) on Wikidata
  • 10 Cinema City - Silesia City Center, 107 Chorzowska St (inside Silesia City Center). Modern multiplex cinema with 13 screens. Silesia City Center (Q2286005) on Wikidata Silesia City Center on Wikipedia
  • 11 Centrum Sztuki Filmowej - Kino Kosmos, 66 Sokolska Pl. For art-house films. Kino Kosmos (Q11739365) on Wikidata

Theater[edit]

  • 12 Silesian Theatre (Teatr Śląski im. Stanisława Wyspiańskiego), 2 Main Market. Katowice's main repertory theatre, the largest theatre in Silesia, dedicated to Stanisław Wyspiański. Silesian Theatre (Q162909) on Wikidata Silesian Theatre on Wikipedia
  • 13 Theatre Korez, 2 Main Market. 2 Plac Sejmu Slaskiego. Well known for being involved in some of the most cutting-edge theatre in the city. (Q9356050) on Wikidata
  • 14 Theatre A Part. A contemporary visual and physical theatre group, formed by Marcin Herich, actor, director and organizer of theatre events. They are also organizers of A Part Theater Festival
  • 15 Silesian Theatre of Doll and Actor Ateneum, 10 Sw. Jana St. One of the oldest doll's bands in Poland. They are organizers of International Festival of Doll Theaters Katowice - For Children. Teatr Ateneum (Q9356009) on Wikidata
  • 16 Teatr 'Gry i ludzie' ('Games and People' Theater), 2 Niepodległości Av. Experimental and mainly outdoor theatrical group having their scene in the old railway station. Teatr Gry i Ludzie (Q9356037) on Wikidata
  • 17 Teatr Żelazny Katowice, Armii Krajowej 40 40­ 698, +48 577-380-377, . US$15.

Music[edit]

Events[edit]

There is a lot of cultural events in Katowice. Exhibitions, concerts, festivals, spectacles and so on - they all happen in galleries, clubs and theaters. It is impossible to mention here all of them as they appear without any regular schedule. To get information on 'what's on', have a look at up-to-date Internet releases of conventional press like Ultramaryna or Gazeta Wyborcza: Co jest grane bringing cultural news for whole agglomeration. Below there is a list of events that happen at regular schedule.

  • Polish Directors' Art Festival "Interpretacje". Festival of theatres and TV drama - it's a competition of directors for "Konrad Prize".
  • "A Part" Theatre Festival. International review of alternative and experimental "OFF" theatres rather than classic ones.
  • Summer Theater Garden. "LOT" are summertime outdoor every weekend theatre meetings with comedy and cabaret spectacles. It is organised by Korez theatre.
  • ARTerie young art festival. Annual festival of students of art universities and faculties that take place in the autumn.
  • Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors. Prestigious open competition for conductors of all nationalities.
  • International Students' Festival of Folklore. Annual festival of folkloristic music and dance takes place at the end of August and the beginning of September in Katowice and in many other places in the region. It is organised by the Silesian University.
  • Mayday. Polish edition of international technoparty in "Spodek".
  • OFF Festival. First weekend of August. Possibly the most important new music festival in Poland.
  • "Rawa Blues" Festival. The biggest indoor blues festival in the world. It has happened every year since 1981, from the beginning Rawa Blues is led by the bluesman Irek Dudek.
  • Tauron Festival. Techno and dance rave that takes place in the Industrial Museum Complex, during August, not far from Spodek.

Learn[edit]

Buy[edit]

Katowice has several large supermarkets, from general to specialized (electronics, home equipment), department stores (malls), and a wide variety of smaller shops. The largest, very modern department store include the shopping malls 1 Silesia City Center (near the Roundabout) and 2 Galeria Katowicka (in the city centre connected to the Main Train Station).

For local handcrafts, gifts and such, ask or google for "Cepelia" stores. There are also several stores at the Katowice Airport, through selection is a bit smaller than what you'll find at the Krakow or Warsaw airports. The airport stores will carry more of the international tourist-oriented items; Cepelia stores will have some rarer items.

Eat[edit]

There are many restaurants in Katowice, including international chains such as McDonald's, Burger King or Pizza Hut. Like elsewhere in Poland, majority of restaurants in Katowice represent European-style cuisine, in particular, Polish one, with a number of Silesian regional dishes. It is not uncommon for a restaurant menu to have an English description; similarly, younger staff may speak passable English.

In addition to restaurants accessible from the streets, there are also some to be found in large malls and shopping centers.

Budget[edit]

City center[edit]

  • 1 Złoty Osioł (Golden Donkey), Ul. Mariacka 1. Vegetarian bar having unusual atmosphere and events like poet meetings or concerts.
  • 2 Talerz Szklanka, Staromiejska 12. The best milk bar in Katowice, delicious homemade Silesian food, perfectly seasoned. Silesian dumplings fluffy like a cloud.
  • 3 Mój Kaprys, Kochanowskiego 10. Great place with tasty homemade style food, generous portions and good coffee. Nice atmosphere inside and friendly service.
  • 4 Okiem i Brzuchem, Kościuszki 18. If you're looking for local Silesian cuisine on the map of Katowice. Selection is "10". Great decor, delicious food, great service. Unique atmosphere.
  • 5 Mekong, Słowackiego 21. A small bar run by a very nice owner that has been serving the best Vietnamese food in Katowice for several years. Mekong is one of the first, if not the first bar in Katowice, whose chef is a native Vietnamese, cooking according to the secrets of local cuisine.
  • 6 Tradycyjne ZAPIEKANKI, Mariacka 1. Good casserole, simple and not fancy. Lots of flavors, with two sauces and a cucumber to each.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 7 Żurownia, Ligonia 16, 40-036 Katowice. Traditional Silesian specialties & beer offered in a restaurant located in a former tenant-style appartment.
  • 8 Patio, ul. Stawowa 3. Lengthy menu of Silesian and Polish specialties from a family with 70 years in the business. Always high quality and served with a smile.
  • 9 Pierogi Świata, Jagiellońska 4, 40-035, +48 32 505 277 981. The name means 'Dumplings of the World' and indeed, the menu has several dozen of flavors and types, from traditional Polish to fusion mixes to exotic versions like Mexican or African ones.
  • 10 U Babuni, Ul. Kilińskiego 16. Rustic, wooden interior, traditional meals.
  • 11 Dobra Karma, Ul. św. Jacka 1. Healthy food (breakfasts, pizzas, soups, pastas), nice interiors, children welcome.
  • 12 CityRock, Ul. Chorzowska 9B. Kitschy American-style. The names of meals are in English.
  • 13 Fantasmagoria, ul. Gliwicka 51, +48 32 253 00 59. Polish and Ukrainian cuisine. Bright interior and a terrace in summer.
  • 14 Zaklęty Czardasz, Ul. Kopernika 9. Hungarian restaurant and a winery in the cellar.
  • 15 Wiejska Chatka, Plac Grunwaldzki 4, +48 32 350 30 10. 10:00-22:00. Traditional Silesian cuisine.
  • 16 Buddha, Ul. Drzymały 9. Indian restaurant. Vegetarian and carnivore options.
  • 17 Carlos Burger&Lunch, Jagiellońska 11, 40-036 Katowice. One of many burger joints in Katowice; large burgers, decent price, friendly staff, the usual.
  • 18 Hurry Curry, ul. Stanisława 1. Indian and Southeast Asian food, some vegetarian and vegan options available

Splurge[edit]

  • 19 Patio-Park, Kosciuszki 101. The slightly more upscale cousin of Patio. Wonderful Polish cuisine, including a new seasonal tasting menu. Beautiful setting.
  • 20 Karcma pod Strzechom, Ul. Grzyśki 13. Polish mountain style cottage in the area of blocks of flats. They serve folk dishes mainly.
  • 21 Marysin Dwór, Ul. Pukowca 17a. It is styled as countryside noble residence from old days and located in industrial area.
  • 22 Koku Sushi, Gliwicka 57, 40-853, +48530381381. A sushi place with a very large selection of dishes, also serving some related side dishes, such as Asian fried or steamed dumplings.

Drink[edit]

Clubs[edit]

  • 1 Hipnoza Jazz Club, Pl. Sejmu Śląskiego 2, +48 660 476 156. One of the most active places in Katowice. A lot of concerts, drinks and interesting dishes. Jazzy music and spacious interior.

Mariacka Street has the highest density of drinking establishments, among others:

  • 2 Cooler Club & Lounge, ul. Mariacka 20.
  • 3 KATO, ul. Mariacka 13. Local patriots, bar is in a constant state of being built.
  • 4 Katofonia, Mielęckiego 6. Live rock, blues concerts.
  • 5 Lorneta z Meduzą, Mariacka 5. A bar inspired by bistros from the 1920s. Open 24/7. Every drink costs 4 zł, every snack - 8 zł. Full of bums and hipsters.
  • 6 Pub Śruba, Mariacka 16. Students' place.

Rather common discos[edit]

  • 7 Mega club, Plac Sławika i Antalla 1.
  • 8 Spiż, Ul. Opolska 22. A club with its own small brewery.

Sleep[edit]

There is a medium number of hotels and guest houses in the area. There are also some couchsurfing and similar hosts in the area.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 School Youth Hostel Ślązaczek, ul. Sokolska 26, +48 32 35 11 956. Check-in: 18:00, check-out: 10:00. In the centre of the city in building of technical high school. Special rules apply as this is a school youth hostel. 25 - 35 zł + 8 for linen.
  • 2 Jopi Hostel, ul. Plebiscytowa 23, +48 32 204-34-32. Check-in: 3PM-8PM, check-out: Noon. 28 beds in 2-, 4-, 6-person rooms. Six bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. There is also good shared kitchen and free tee. 41 - 54 zł.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 3 Hotel Zaleze, ul. Gliwicka 106. In a secure, but a little miners' area 2 km west of the railway station and downtown
  • 4 Hotel Jantor, ul. Nałkowskiej 10 (in old mining estate Nikiszowiec). Not modern but clean and cheap 2-bed rooms. The hotel has a free guarded car park and a restaurant.

Splurge[edit]

Connect[edit]

  • Katowice's area code (for landline numbers) is 32 when dialled from within Poland or +4832 from outside Poland.

Stay safe[edit]

Katowice is a generally safe city to stay in. Beware of the usual nuisance of petty theft (especially at Railway Station).

  • Important phone numbers: police: 997, fire department: 998, ambulance: 999, all three at common, universal number 112
  • Municipal guard: +48 32 986
  • Watch out for pickpockets in public transport and busy places.
  • Park your car in safe place, on a guarded parking if possible.
  • It is better to avoid walking through Szopienice and Załęże districts without a particular reason, especially after sunset. These are the most dangerous parts of the city.
  • Most long-distance trains have compartments; choose the occupied ones so you don't ride alone. Also, during night, make sure that at least one person is not asleep.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Katowice 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.