The Upper Silesian urban area, whose capital city is Katowice, consists of 41 cities with a population of 2.5 million. Residents commute daily to work, to school, often crossing borders different cities. Thanks to an extensive road and railway network, a journey to cities located up to 50 km apart does not take longer than 30-40 minutes. Katowice is the central hub in this transport system. They are among the best-connected cities in Poland.
Until very recently, Katowice was considered a vibrant industrial centre. Today it is one of the most dynamically evolving cutural and scientific centres that is also undergoing major changes in urban space. One of the examples of the revitalisation of post-minng areas is one of the biggest shopping centres in Poland – Silesia City Center and the Culture Zone, located in the central part of the city in the area of a former “Katowice” Mine. Here, The International Congress Centre, the Silesian Museum and the seat of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra are located.
In 2015, Katowice was awarded the title of the UNESCO Creative City of Music, thus becoming the first UNESCO City of Music in Central and Eastern Europe.
The tour covers the excavations of two historical structures – the Queen Louise Mine and the Main Key Hereditary Adit – connecting Zabrze and Chorzów, which used to be excavated almost exclusively with the use of human muscles for 64 years. The adit is 14 km long and is the longest in Europe. It is the Europe’s only underground tourist route presenting the development of mining technology from the late 18th century to the present day.
It is a unique museum complex in Poland, located mostly underground, established on the premises of the former “Katowice” mine. It is a model example of creative transformation of post-industrial sites for cultural and tourism purposes.
The Silesian Museum’s unique attraction is the 40-metre high observation tower of the former mineshaft.
A true gem among the urban green oases is the 600-hectare Silesian Park in Chorzów. Poland’s largest city park and one of the largest city parks in Europe. To make the visitor’s stay even more comfortable, there is an aboveground cable car „Elka”. Of the Park’s numerous attractions, there are five that are most attractive to visitors.
The Southern part of the Silesian Province is covered by the Beskids. They cover three mountain ranges: Silesian Beskids, Żywiec Beskids, and the western part of Little Beskids. The Silesian Beskids are one of the most beautiful and popular mountain ranges in Poland.
These are exellent places for active tourists. From spring to autumn, tourists can explore marked hiking trails or Nordic walking trails, enjoy biking or horseback riding, and in winter they can indulge in a passion for skiing on numerous ski and cross-country trails.
It is the biggest and most popular castle among all the castles of the Cracow-Częstochowa Upland, and one of Poland’s most beautiful castles. It is located on the Trail of the Eagle’s Nests. The castle’s impressive ruins also serve as an open-air venue for various cultural events, as well as a setting for movies and music videos.