The 19th century’s industrial revolution transformed Katowice from a placid village into a booming capital of the Silesian Province. Over the years, the city has broken its stereotyped image of coal mines and steel mills with a thriving art scene, modern architecture and buzzing nightlife.
Being one of Poland’s cultural hubs, this city is thronged with visitors all year round. You can experience how the Silesian Theatre – dedicated to Stanisław Wyspiański, a versatile Polish dramatist and painter – encompasses Katowice's cultural heritage. You can enjoy a live performance at the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, a premier musical institution, or head to Spodek, a saucer-shaped multipurpose arena that serves as a venue for concerts, events and sports. If art and history pique your interest, you’ll find a visit to the Silesian Museum worthwhile. Located on the premises of a former coal mine, the museum traces the history of Katowice through paintings, photographs and exhibits. For some respite from the bustling streets of the city, stroll through the Katowice Forest Park, carved with scenic trails and dotted with ponds.
On your trip to Katowice, you’ll notice its contrasting architecture – from the neo-Renaissance-style Goldstein Palace to contemporary stadiums and exhibition centres. Walk around Nikiszowiec quarter to see the brick buildings made for miners and workers during the period of industrialisation. To admire a fine example of classical architecture and squeeze in a quiet moment of prayer and reflection, visit the Cathedral of Christ the King.