Fun Things To Do In Katowice – Seemingly Boring City of Upper Silesia, Poland [Update 2023]

“Katowice? Come on, it’s nothing interesting. Just coal mines and heavy industry. It’s grey, nothing to look at. The air makes your throat itch, your eyes fill with tears and the dust turns your clothes grey and ugly!” a fellow long-distance bus passenger told me about my home city. I clenched my teeth. I know my city is not the most beautiful one. It’s far from perfect. But this opinion hurt me almost personally. “It’s not that bad, it’s clean, and there is less industry now”, I tried to convince her. “The city is changing…”

“I go to Katowice only when I have to and I will never go there otherwise!” my interlocutor finished the discussion.

It was eight years ago. And back then it was actually my local patriotism that made me defend Katowice.

But I was right – the city did change. And I can proudly boast about Katowice now and I enjoy proving the common opinion about it wrong 🙂

If you’re not Polish, chances are you have never heard of Katowice. Tourists visiting Poland go to see the highlights of Kraków or Wieliczka Salt Mine and are not aware there are other interesting cities within 100 km.

Is Katowice worth visiting?

Definitely! History enthusiasts, partygoers, concert attendees, people who like Poland – everyone will find something to their liking in the Capital of Silesia.

Let me show you the best things to do in Katowice, Poland.

Things to do in Katowice, Upper Silesia, Poland

Hotels in Katowice

There are many nice places to stay in Katowice. I researched some of the best options in the city to make your trip planning easier. They’re all highly rated among guests and each accommodation suits a different budget.

Hostel Katowice Centrum – one of the best hostels in Katowice. Located in the city center, close to the Main Train Station. Guests appreciate cleanliness and comfort, as well as speedy Internet and helpful staff.

KTW Spodek Apartment – located right next to Spodek, close to the city center. The apartment has been recently refurbished. Guests praise the view from the window (10th floor) and quiet area. The apartment is nice and clean and well-equipped.

B&B Hotel Katowice Centrum – one of the most popular hotels in Katowice. Situated close to the Main Square. Guests like the comfortable rooms, friendly staff and tasty buffet breakfast with a wide range of food to choose from.

Moxy Katowice Airport – the perfect option if you’re arriving late at night or your flight is early in the morning. Located within walking distance from the Katowice airport (only 5 minutes!), this hotel is famous for its stylish interior and quiet, comfortable rooms. Guests appreciate also the cleanliness and the restaurant open at night.


things to do in Katowice - Spodek

Spodek (literally “Saucer”) is an arena complex. It looks like a flying saucer which makes it a distinctive point of Katowice. It will be fifty years old soon. Concerts, trade fairs and sports events take place in Spodek – Metallica, Modern Talking, Rammstein, Pearl Jam and many other famous bands played here.

Congress Center

Katowice Congress Center

Currently, it’s the biggest congress center in Poland and one of the most interesting buildings in the city. I like to look at it, I think this project turned out outstandingly well 🙂 It relates to the coal mines widely present in the city’s history – it looks like a piece of coal underground. You can climb up the stairs to the viewing platform on the roof.

things to do in Katowice - congress center

You can rest there and enjoy the panorama of Katowice, overlook Spodek and the Culture Zone

NOSPR and the Culture Zone

places to see in Katowice - NOSPR

The congress center and the building of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) belong to the so-called Culture Zone. The Culture Zone was built on the area of an old coal mine – at the moment it is a beautiful terrain which will encourage you to take a walk 🙂

You can take a lift up the mineshaft – it is now a viewing platform.

Katowice - Culture zone

The Culture Zone amazes me every time I am there. A walk there is one of the best things to do in Katowice. I still remember how neglected this place was before – full of teenagers drinking cheap wine (oh, these memories of my first 😉 ). The Culture Zone for me is a symbol of how big and great are the changes in Katowice.

Muzeum Śląskie (Silesian Museum)

things to do in Katowice - silesian museum

Visit the new Silesian Museum, especially the part about the history of the region. You will learn about Silesia from Middle Ages until today. The exhibitions are modern and interesting. In the museum, you can also see an exhibition of Polish and sacral art, an exhibition of theatre costumes and many temporary exhibitions.

Silesian Insurgents’ Monument

Silesian insurgents monument

Another symbol of Katowice – three eagle wings, symbols of three Silesian uprisings from 1919-1921. Silesia was a part of Germany back then and people fought for the region to become Polish again. Between the wings, there is an eternal fire to commemorate the victims.

You will have a great view of Spodek from the monument. I spent a lot of time by the wings with my friends. There was no better place to talk about boys than there, looking at Spodek and busy traffic on the nearby roundabout 🙂

When you are next to the monument pay attention to the long, grey building on the other side of the street. It’s called Superjednostka” (a super-unit) and it’s one of the biggest residential buildings in Poland.

Things to do in Katowice: In the city center

The Main Square

Katowice - main square

The Main Square in Katowice has recently changed dramatically. Until 2012 it was an awful asphalt square and its only “attraction” was a tram stop in the middle with awful stands of flower sellers 🙂 Now you can spend time on the Main Square with pleasure and it definitely is one of the things to do in Katowice.

The square is divided into three parts. “Flower square” where you can relax on wooden benches, drink a coffee and – of course, buy flowers from a lovely stand 🙂

places to visit in Katowice - main square

The second part is a square for organizing events – food trucks and beer festivals, night markets, French markets, Silesian markets and many more. There is also a building of Aioli restaurant. And a toilet – the city spent over a million PLN (250 000 EUR) on it… 🙂

The last part of the Square is the most beautiful and surprising.

things to do in Katowice - main square

I’ve heard many names for it – California of Katowice, Buenos Aires, Riviera… What is it? An artificial river, a symbol of the river Rawa flowing below the Market Square. You can lie on sunbeds under… palm trees from Gliwice Palm House 🙂 Don’t miss this fun thing to do in Katowice!

Mariacka Street

Mariacka street

The Strip or Khao San Road of Katowice 🙂 It’s a perfect place to enjoy your evening beer or a drink. At times I feel like in Temple Bar district in Dublin 😉 You can find all kinds of bars and restaurants along the street – from “all drinks for 1 EUR” to a place brewing their own aromatic beer. In summer the street is full of people enjoying their drinks outside and on a winter Friday night, you need to be lucky to find a place in one of the bars. Highly recommended 🙂

Neo-Gothic building of Mickiewicz high school

Katowice - Mickiewicza high school

At first glance, it will seem to you that this neo-gothic building with its big rosette is a church or a museum. It’s not – it’s a high school I attended. But that’s not the factor which makes it interesting 😉 It’s beautiful and dates back to the XIXth century and currently, I love seeing it contrast with the modern building of the shopping mall Supersam.

Visiting Katowice: Interesting districts


things to do in Katowice - Bogucice

Probably the oldest district of Katowice, the oldest mentions of a village Bogucice date back to the XIVth century and the village itself was probably even older. It is not popular at all among tourists visiting Katowice. Pity… 🙂

things to do in Katowice - Bogucice

In Bogucice you will see numerous historical, traditional coal miners’ houses made of red brick called “familoki”. They are not as cute and well maintained as in a more famous district Nikiszowiec but it is more lively and “real” 🙂 Along Markiefki Street you will see many historical buildings. Now, I know that people living in Bogucice laugh at me for recommending you to see Markiefki. But I bet they haven’t seen the list of historical buildings of Markiefki, they would be surprised 🙂 It’s in Polish only but I’m sure you can figure it out!

Katowice - Bogucice buildings

Just one thing – go there when it’s bright, in the evenings and at night you can feel uncomfortable there. Even though I walked there after dark many times, it’s definitely not something I would recommend 😉

things to do in Katowice - Bogucice

At the end of Markiefki you will see a neo-gothic building of St. Stephen’s church. If you’re interested, go inside – it’s been beautifully renovated recently. You will see a painting of Our Lady of Bogucice coming from the XVth century.

Katowice - Bogucice church

Moreover, on Markiefki Street Jerzy Kukuczka was born and lived and you can see his house there. He was famous and one of the best high-altitude climbers. He climbed all eight-thousanders, many of them in winter and established new routes. He died trying to climb the South Face of Lhotse and his body remains buried there in an icy crevasse until today.

We have an amazing mural of him in Bogucice too – I will show you later on.

Another interesting thing about Bogucice – if you were interested in Polish hip-hop music ( 🙂 ), you would hear about a famous band Paktofonika. Its singer, Piotr Łuszcz, also called “Magik” (The Magician) was born and lived in Bogucice. He is buried in a cemetery in Bogucice too – marked on a map here.


Katowice - Nikiszowiec buildings

Coal miners’ district full of traditional “familoki” buildings. Currently – one of the most popular tourist attractions and places to see in Katowice both among Polish and international tourists. Fellow blogger Amy visited Nikiszowiec too while she visited the attractions of Katowice – shame on me but living in the city most of my life, I’ve been to Nikiszowiec just twice, as far as I remember 😉

things to see in Katowice - Nikiszowiec

It’s a cute “postcard place”. It’s calm and pleasant during the day, you can take a casual stroll between the buildings. Their windows are painted red – but there’s no interesting tradition behind it. I heard that coal miners could get red paint for free at work… 🙂

Katowice attractions - Nikiszowiec

If you pass the buildings in Nikiszowiec, they all seem to be the same. But if you look closely – each of them is different. Architects designed them this way for a purpose. So that nobody gets confused, going home after a tough workday or a very fun party… 🙂


places to see in Katowice - Giszowiec

Another coal miners’ district but very different from Bogucice and Nikiszowiec. Coal miners living here came from villages – so for them, the city built a “garden district” full of traditional Upper Silesian village houses.

things to do in Katowice - Giszowiec

Walking there between the houses you can feel like in a village. Even though currently big blocks of flats surround the old part, you can still imagine what it was like here before.

Things to do in Katowice: Dolina Trzech Stawów, Kościuszki Park, Silesian Park

Katowice - parks

If you feel like spending time close to nature, you can find many suitable places in Katowice. Dolina Trzech Stawów (Three Ponds Valley) and Kościuszki Park are big green areas near the city center. They are perfect for a relaxing time after sightseeing.

If you want to spend more time close to nature, go to Park Śląski (Silesian Park). Even though it is in the city of Chorzów, all of Upper Silesia is proud of it 🙂 It’s one of the biggest city parks in Europe, bigger than Central Park in New York. You can spend the whole day in Silesian Park without getting bored.

Visiting Katowice: Street art

things to do in Katowice - street art

Every year in Katowice we have a Street Art Festival. Artists from all around the world come to the city and decorate it. One of the things to do in Katowice is – not to miss this impressive street art 🙂 I will show you the ones from Bogucice and Szopienice districts – for more, check this post about murals in Silesia. It’s in Polish only but the map and photos are clear enough 🙂 Karol shows some murals from the city center (Mariacka Tylna and 1 Maja Street) and many more.

The underground passage between Markiefki and Bogucicka Streets

Jerzy Kukuczka

Street art - Jerzy Kościuszko

Piotr Łuszcz, Magik

things to do in Katowice - street art

The passage is all painted and it’s truly impressive

Katowice - street art

Building on Markiefki Street

Update 2020: in this spot now you can see great new street art of Jerzy Kukuczka. I will soon go take a photo – but maybe you will be first? 🙂

Katowice - street art

Building at Siewna 9

things to do in Katowice - street art

Building at Wiosny Ludów 62

Katowice - street art

And from the other side

Katowice - street art

Building at Krakowska 148

Katowice - street art

There are many more murals in the city – keep your eyes open while visiting Katowice and you will see a lot 🙂

Where to eat in Katowice?

where to eat in katowice

Silesian and Polish food

Chata z Zalipia, Wojewódzka 15: My favorite place to eat traditional Polish food. I love their “gołąbki” so much… 🙂

Żurownia, Ligonia 16: If you want to try a traditional Polish soup żurek – this is the place to go. You can eat it from a plate or order the soup in a mug and drink it. In Żurownia you can also eat a few interesting main dishes. I recommend you to try “kulebele” – traditional Silesian dumplings filled with meat and cabbage 🙂

Vegetarian and vegan

Złoty Osioł, Mariacka 1: One of the most popular places on a gastro-map of Katowice. It’s for a reason – their food is delicious and cheap. Book a table if you plan to go there at lunch/dinner time (which in Poland can be anywhere between 1 pm and 5 pm 🙂 )

Dobra Karma, Świętego Jacka 1: They feed you well in Dobra Karma and they follow the Five Elements Theory of Chinese cooking. Tasty and cute place 🙂

International cuisine

Thali House, Mariacka 4: Nice Indian cuisine. Make sure to book your table, it gets busy!

Biała Małpa Mexico, 3 Maja 38: Great place with Mexican food. And it is connected with a multi-tap. What else could you possibly need? 🙂


Mr Fox Pub & Resto, Dyrekcyjna 3: Mr Fox appeared recently in Katowice and they stole many hearts (and stomachs) with their roasted beetroot soup 🙂 You can also get a good pizza, pasta, quesadilla and others. They also have the cheapest Aperol Spritz in the city (correct me if you know I’m wrong!)… 🙂

Absurdalna, ul. Dworcowa 3: Absurdalna with its ridiculous decorations is more a bar than a restaurant – but if you feel like eating in a relaxed atmosphere with a good beer, it’s the place to go. They have great quesadillas, burgers, fried cheese, Belgian fries and others.

Where to drink a beer in Katowice?

where to go for a drink in Katowice

Mariacka Street I mentioned before is the place where most locals will go 🙂 If the amount of pubs along Mariacka overwhelms you – I’ll tell you my favorites:

Amnezja (Mariacka 18A. They have fresh 14-day Tyskie right from the brewery 🙂 ), Lorneta z Meduzą (Mariacka 5), Kato (Mariacka 13). I also like Mały Kredens on Stanisława Street, super close to Mariacka or Katofonia on Mielęckiego 6.

If you feel like tasting Polish craft beers, my favorite multitaps in Katowice are Upojeni (świętego Jana 10), Kontynuacja (Staromiejska 8), Absurdalna (Dworcowa 3, I mentioned it before). There is also Biała Małpa (3 Maja 38), the first multitap in Katowice which started the “beer revolution” here. But I must admit I haven’t been there for quite a while.

Namaste (Sobieskiego 27) – great pub and “travellers club”. Travel presentations often take place here so if you want to visit, check their fanpage and make sure there aren’t any 🙂 The owner loves mountains, he spent a lot of time in Nepal. Place made with passion and you can feel it.

Fanaberia Tea Garden (Wita Stwosza 6) – even though you can grab a beer there too, Fanaberia is more of a tea or coffee place. You can also smoke shisha there. I recommend it to couples mostly – the atmosphere is quite romantic 🙂

Katowice nightlife

These days, Katowice is famous for its discos. Clubs are brimming with partygoers from all parts of Poland. If you’re looking for a good party, Katowice city is the right place for you.

There are many nice clubs to party so I’ve chosen several best places according to my own private list 🙂

Orange Club Katowice (Mickiewicza 4) – located in Katowice city center. One of the most popular clubs. There are 3 dance floors, each with different music. It’s best to come after opening at 9 PM because it gets a bit crowded after midnight.

MegaClub Katowice (Sławika i Antalla 1) – located in Katowice International Conference Centre. there are fantastic concerts organized almost every weekend. Great atmosphere, and a nice choice of beers.

Energy 2000 (Plebiscytowa 3) – 3 dance floors. Friendly staff, a wide selection of cocktails and great visual effects.

Klub Prime (Mielęckiego 10) – 1 dance floor but the music is fantastic. It’s very clean, the staff is helpful. There’s a separate smoking area so I didn’t have to inhale the smoke.

Seasonal attractions in Katowice

Every year one month before Christmas, you can find a Christmas market on Katowice’s main square. And every year it gets better and better with more attractions for both big and small visitors. 🙂

In the summer you can find a “night market”, called Gastrofajer near Spodek and Congress Centre. It is a place where you can eat good food, have a nice drink and lie on the grass, enjoy the weather. There are also concerts and a summer cinema. Great place to be on summer weekends 🙂

Things to do in Katowice – indoor attractions

things to do in Katowice - indoor

If the weather isn’t very favourable, check the places below – I like to spend rainy afternoons there 🙂

Escape Rooms: here is the ranking of the best rooms in the city

Trampoline Park Jump City

Billiard, snooker and bowling at Garage Club

Korez Theatre – that’s for Polish speakers obviously 🙂 But it’s the best theatre I know, all plays are great – funny but also thought-provoking. Check the Polish version of this post for more info 🙂

things to do in Katowice

Where to stay in Katowice?

I found three interesting and different options to consider for your stay in Katowice. Choose the one meeting your needs best 🙂

Hostel Katowice Centrum – a great hostel in the city centre, located close to the railway station and to the most famous street with pubs and bars – Mariacka. They offer single beds in collective rooms or private double rooms.

KTW Spodek Apartment – perfect if you’d like to stay close to Spodek. Located on the 10th floor, the apartment provides a beautiful city panorama. Newly refurbished, clean and well-equipped.

B&B Hotel Katowice – comfortable and modernly designed hotel close to the train station. Breakfast is included – and it’s diversified and tasty 🙂

Moxy Katowice Airport – ideal if you wish to stay close to Katowice airport – no need to take a taxi. Funky design, quiet and comfy rooms.

Here you will find a comparison of all best accommodations in Katowice (in Polish, sorry! 😉 )

I hope I showed you that Katowice is not as scary as some say. That there is more than coal mines and heavy industry. That it’s not grey. It is modern and interesting, there are many things to do in Katowice and it’s worth visiting. Not only if you have to 🙂

While in Katowice, consider also visiting Auschwitz concentration camp located nearby. It’s a difficult trip – but everybody should experience such a place once in their life. Another advantage of Katowice is how close to the mountains it is – you can hike many trails during a day trip. Take a look at the most beautiful trails in Polish mountains 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Fun Things To Do In Katowice – Seemingly Boring City of Upper Silesia, Poland [Update 2023]

  • Reply NN May 8, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Thank you! There are some secession buildings. I remember I visited some historical hairdresser in a secession style. You are not writing about modern art museums (There should be at least one near Nikishowiec, as I v heard).
    I ve been to Ktw many times, but have never heard about the 3 lakes park (May be it’s too far??). A good place to visit outside Ktw is Pszyna – palace/castle,+park with bisons + Daisy story. For those who are travelling by car. You also did not mention brewery in Tychy, I took a tour once.

    • Reply Dorota May 9, 2019 at 10:23 am

      Hi, thank you for your comment 🙂 You’re right, I haven’t mentioned the modern art museum because I’ve never visited it and I wasn’t even aware we have one – and I’ve been living in and around Katowice my whole life, I’m definitely going to check it out! 🙂 And you’re right, Pszczynaand brewery in Tychy are great places to see around Katowice, as well as Guido coal mine in Zabrze.

  • Reply Peter Whittam March 27, 2022 at 10:21 am

    I love your blog. We have just moved to Katowice and want to get to know the city and everything around us. We just came from Kyiv and are trying to make sense of everything that has and is happening.

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