Katowice, Poland, is one of the best cities to visit as there is so much to offer. If you’re thinking of visiting Katowice, then check out these 15 Katowice facts that you need to know in order to help enhance your visit!
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Is Katowice worth visiting?
Is Katowice worth visiting? Yes! Katowice is a great place in Poland to visit for plenty of reasons. There is plenty of history in Katowice, so if you’re a history lover, then you will love exploring the museums and looking at the architecture.
What’s more, is that although Katowice is a city, there is also lots of nature and parks that surround it – and it truly has something for everyone. There are plenty of shops and shopping centres that are cheap and have lots on offer for whatever you’re looking for.
Katowice is also worth staying at if you want to stay somewhere cheaper than Krakow, as many hotels are less than £25 per night! It is also very easy to get to wherever you would like as there are lots of amazing transport options, such as trams, trains and also an airport. Tickets from Katowice to Warsaw can cost as little as £3 on the train. It is also a great location to stay in if you would like to visit Auschwitz, as it is only about an hour away.
The History of Katowice:
Katowice has a very rich history, so much so that you could spend days reading up about it all. It first started as a small farming and industrial village in the 13th century, which is a bit unbelievable if you see the size of it now!
It was annexed by Prussia in the mid-18th century, and Prussia had hoped that Katowice would be the centre of the Germanization of Silesia. In March 1921, over 85% of the city’s population voted to remain in Germany, while the population in the surrounding rural district voted 56% in favour of Poland, and the allies couldn’t decide on where the new border should be.
In 1939, it was annexed by Germany, meaning many of the historical monuments were destroyed, the Polish language was banned, and many of the street names were changed to German names. In 1941, most of the Polish and Jewish populations were expelled. It was finally liberated by the Red Army in 1945.
How to get to Katowice:
How do you get to Katowice? Fortunately, Katowice is very easy to access. It is located in the South of Poland, about an hour from Krakow and about 40 minutes from the border of Czechia by car.
Katowice has an airport, simply called Katowice Airport (KWT). It’s located 30 minutes away from Katowice by car, but there are other ways to access it, such as by bus, tram, or shuttle.
There is also a train station located in the centre. There are links to so many places, such as Warsaw, Vienna, Berlin, Prague, Moscow and Minsk – so what’s holding you back from visiting?!
15 Katowice Facts you NEED to know!
Here are the 15 must-know Katowice facts that will help you learn about this interesting city:
1. Katowice is the 11th biggest city in Poland. It currently has a population of 287,000 people – which is a lot! In fact, Katowice is one of the most diverse cities in Poland. In the 2011 census, 26% were a different nationality other than Polish, and the most common other nationality was Ukranian and German.
2. In 1953, the Polish communist government renamed it ‘Stalinogród‘, which means ‘Stalin Town’ in English. However, the community never accepted it (pretty obvious why), and the name Katowice returned in 1956.
3. 82% of people living in Katowice declared themselves Catholic. This may seem like a huge amount, however Poland is one of the most Catholic countries in the world.
4. Katowice has one of the strongest job markets in the whole of Poland. Only 1.8% of the working population is unemployed, which is such an impressive amount.
5. In 2015, Katowice gained the status of UNESCO City of Music. This is because of its long and rich history of music. For instance, it is home to the world renowned Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music, which is a music school who has had lots of famous alumni attend – which is one of the best Katowice facts for music lovers. Katowice was one of the first cities in Central and Eastern Europe to gain this title.
6. The Silesian Museum (also known as Muzeum Slaskie) is the biggest museum in Katowice. Here you will find lots of exhibitions all about life in Silesia and Poland. There are also lots of works of art on display, such as work from Jan Cybis, Henryk Derczynski, Józef Mehoffer and more.
7. Every year, Katowice holds many different festivals. Some of the most popular festivals that Katowice holds is:
8. In total, Katowice has around 80 highschools – which is plenty to choose from if you’re looking to move to the area.
9. Legendia Silesian Amusement Park is one of the best things to do in Katowice. There are often lots of events on throughout the year, and it’s great value for money too! So, if you like amusement parks, definitely check it out.
10. One of the most well-known sites in Katowice is the Spodek. This is Polish for Saucer, and is called this because it looks like a giant UFO! It opened in 1971, and today holds lots of events, such as the ones mentioned earlier.
11. Katowice is made up of about 42% forests, which is one of the best Katowice facts to know if you;re a nature lover. There’s plenty of greenery to get lost in and enjoy yourself – whatever the season.
12. There are so many amazing restaurants in Katowice, so if you are visiting, make sure to make the most of your time by doing a Traditional Polish Food Tour. You will be amazed at all the delicious food that Katowice has to offer, and you’ll definitely be back for more.
13. During World War 2, Katowice was abandoned by the Polish Armed Forces, as they had to situate themselves around Krakow. However, Katowice was defended by the locals who weren’t going to give up their city without a fight.
14. The name Katowice was first mentioned in 1598. It is pronounced like ‘Kat-o-ve-cheh’.
15. Apart from the war, one of the most significant events that happened in Katowice was in 1981 during the pacification of Wujek Coal Mine. 21 protesters were wounded, and 9, unfortunately, passed away. The strike was a prominent milestone towards the collapse of the authoritarian system in Poland and is very important to learn about.
Hopefully, after reading this post, you’ve learnt about some of the best Katowice facts! What was your favourite Katowice fact that you’ve learnt? Do you know any Katowice facts that deserve to be on the list? Let me know by commenting down below! If you liked this post, then you might also like:
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Katowice is a city in Poland. However, it did used to be occupied by the Germans during World War 2.
Katowice is 881km from the Ukraine border.
Yes, most people in Katowice can speak English – however, younger people are usually the most fluent.
Katowice is generally much cheaper than Krakow, as it is a less visited destination. Therefore, if you’re looking to go to Poland – visit Katowice if you’d like to save some money.
The official language spoken in Katowice is Polish, as Katowice is a city in Poland.
Katowice is around 287 miles from Berlin. There are trains to and from Berlin and Katowice daily for a relatively cheap price.
* Some of these links are affiliates, meaning that if you buy something through them – then I get a commission at no extra cost to you 😉