Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide

Katowice

Katowice Coat of ArmsKatowice Travel and Tourist Guide – Katowice in south western Poland in the province of Slaskie. Katowice (pronounced Kah-to-vee-tseh) is to be found in the centre of an area known as the Upper Silesian Industrial District (Górnośląski Okręg Przemysłowy) in the south of Poland with a population of about 309,000 as of 2009. The city is located on two rivers, the Kłodnica and Rawa which are tributaries of the Oder and the Vistula rivers respectively. Katowice is in the Silesian Highlands and about 50 km (31 miles) north of the Silesian Beskids mountain range being part of the Carpathian Mountains and about 100 km (62 miles) south-east of the Sudetes Mountains.

Upper Silesian Industrial District (Górnośląski Okręg Przemysłowy)

The Upper Silesian Industrial District (Górnośląski Okręg Przemysłowy) includes 14 cities and a number of other smaller towns making a large conurbation with over 3 million people and is one of the largest industrial zones within Europe. Katowice was a product of the 19th century industrial boom and became a city in the period between the two world wars.

Much of the infrastructure of the industries found in the region are very outdated and capital from the European Union is being used to modernise the many processes, helping to reduce the chronic pollution that the area is known for.

This region use to produce about 70% of Poland’s coal and the country is the worlds 10th largest coal consumer with about 77 million tonnes per year. Since the 1990’s the coal industry has undergone many changes and has decreased in size with many mines having been closed. To-day, Poland imports more coal than it produces itself.

After WWII the Russians renamed the city Stalinogród after their leader but it reverted back to Katowice after, “comrade Joe” (Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin) died in 1953.

If you are looking to visit the city as a tourist you most likely will be disappointed with what it has to offer you as there are few historical attractions. The modern city is developing out of the old industrial past with a new heart and is now a significant commercial and culture centre. On my visit in November 2011 I witnessed many of the old grey buildings under reconstruction with some being pulled down.

Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide

Poland Travel Guide Information

This site is a travel and tourist guide about the country of Polska which is located in central Europe. You are very welcome to visit our site and we hope that you will enjoy the experience.

Our guide is easy to use as each village, town and city has it’s own page with useful information for the visitor. Not all sections appearing on the left of our guide, on this place may have information as this is an ongoing project.

It may be the case that this location has not yet been reviewed and written about so if you can contribute any information about this place to improve this guide please send it to Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide.

Accommodation in Katowice

You will find the full range of accommodation in this town from the most luxurious five star hotels with up to date and modern amenities to pensions (a type of guest house or boarding house) and rooms or apartments at very reasonable prices. Some of the larger towns and cities will also have hostels.

If you prefer to stay in a more rural location there are a number of “Agro” style of accommodation places on farms and in the countryside plus there may be camp sites nearby.

If you see something you like or wish to know more about please contact the accommodation directly as we do not take commission and we take the attitude that their own website will have more up to date details on what they offer than if we were to include it here.

If you wish to advertise your accommodation on Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide please contact us.

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Activities & Attractions in Katowice

Poland is a country with a large variety of landscapes, a place where you can experience all four seasons. This provides the visitor with many opportunities for adventure and different activities and visiting attractions, whether you enjoy the mountains, lakes, rivers or the beaches you will find something that suits you.

If you see something you like or wish to know more about the activity or attraction please contact the provider directly as we do not take commission and we take the attitude that their own website will have more up to date details on what they offer than if we were to include it here.

What ever activity or attraction you run, you can advertise it on Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide.

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Geography of Katowice

The city is located on two rivers, the Kłodnica and Rawa which are tributaries of the Oder and the Vistula rivers respectively. Katowice is in the Silesian Highlands and about 50 km (31 miles) north of the Silesian Beskids mountain range being part of the Carpathian Mountains and about 100 km (62 miles) south-east of the Sudetes Mountains.

History of Katowice

The capital of the region and of Upper Silesia has passed through different hands with these lands belonging to Poland, Czech, Austria, Prussia and Germany in the past. After Poland regained it’s independence in 1918 the region was influenced by no less than three Silesian uprisings and the plebiscite from 1919 to 1921.

Katowice gained city status in 1865 and owes it’s prominence to the coal deposits in the area which helped to create an industrial region.

Katowice developed at a pace during the twenties and thirties of the 20th century but this came to a halt when World War II started.

Museums in Katowice

Polska is full of history and the Polish are great lovers of knowledge of the past so you will find many museums in the country, whether it be a folk, military, science, skansen, transport or any other type.

Poland has a long history and has been an important trading route that has been invaded by many different groups over the past 1,000 years. Museums are a great way to explore the nations history about the inhabitants of the land in the past, their lives and customs.

Accept a free advert about your museum and include it below by writing an article about it here on Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide. Follow the link for the article. For the rest, if you see something you like or wish to know more about please contact the museum directly as we take the attitude that their own website will have more up to date details on what they offer than if we were to include it here.

What ever museum you run, if you wish to advertise it on Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide at no cost let us know.

Museums

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Places to Eat in Katowice

There are many restaurants covering the usual pizza to those offering local Polish traditional and regional cuisine.

If you see something you like or wish to know more about please contact the place to eat directly as we do not take commission and we take the attitude that their own website will have more up to date details on what they offer than if we were to include it here.

If you wish to advertise your cafe, restaurant or bar on Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide get in touch with us.

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Tourist Information in Katowice

Poland Travel Guide will eventually have tourist information on most of the places in Polska. Being a web site you will be able to access the information on most digital platforms, including your laptop, personal computer or a mobile phone.

Tourist organisations are welcome to contact us for details on how to display their information on Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide.

PTTK – Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society is a non-profit organisation that you will find in many places in Poland.

It is one of the oldest tourist societies in Europe and was was created by the merger of two societies: Polish Tatry Society (1873) and Polish Country Lovers Society (1906).

Official Tourist Information Centres in Poland are divided into 1*, 2*, 3* and 4* Certified and Non-Certified. All Certified Tourist Centres provide information in one or more foreign languages and have an expanded range of services as compared to the Non-Certified.

Tourist Information

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Katowice Rynek 13, 40-098 Katowice (+48) 32 259 38 08 City Tourist Office

Transport in Katowice

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Transport

Katowice Airport

The location where Śląskie regional airport, Katowice International Airport is at Pyrzowice, through which thousands of airline passengers now pass each year was first used by the military. In 1940, the German Luftwaffe started the construction of a field airport in the meadows around Pyrzowice. The Germans created three bituminous and concrete runway strips with lengths of 1000 to 1500 metres, each 50 metres wide. The airport was used for the transshipment of military materials from planes flying from inside the Germain Reich to aeroplanes taking supplies to troops on the Eastern Front.

In the final stage of the Second World War, Messerschmitt 163 Komet rocket-powered aircraft were tested at the airfield.

From 1945 to 1951, Red Army soldiers were stationed at the airport and in the early 1950s, the Soviets handed over the airport to the Polish Army. It was then used by the 39th Fighter Regiment, created on April 17th, 1951. The airport in Pyrzowice was first made available for passenger traffic on October 6th, 1966 , when the first LOT Polish Airlines aeroplane took off for Warsaw. At that time, passenger plane pilots used military navigation aids and were guided by army aerospace controllers. The first investments in civil infrastructure were made when passenger flights started to depart from Pyrzowice. By the end of 1969 a small passenger terminal was built (550 m2), together with taxiways and an apron in front of the airport.

Passenger traffic was small and ended on October 28th, 1990, after the last PLL LOT regular flight departed for Warsaw. A period of none activity ensued, caused by the political transformation in Poland and throughout the former Soviet block.

The new authorities decided that Upper Silesia had to be connected by air to the rest of the country and to the wider world, so the Voivodeship proposed that a company be established in order to build the air industry, being important for the on going development of the region. In the first quarter of 1991, Górnośląskie Towarzystwo Lotnicze S.A. (Upper Silesian Aviation Group, joint stock company) was created.

Thanks to the efforts of the management of GTL S.A., on July 2nd, 1992, PLL LOT re-established the air connection to Warsaw, and on March 27th, 1993 the German carrier Lufthansa flew to Frankfurt, thus inaugurating the first international connection in 54 years.

Traffic began to increase gradually and works commenced on developing the civil infrastructure, as the airport was still shared with the military at the time. These works greatly accelerated when the airport was handed over on May 1st, 1994, to be managed by Górnośląskie Towarzystwo Lotnicze S.A. On October 7th, 1994, when the modernised passenger terminal was officially opened.

In August 1996, the construction of cargo halls commenced and opened in February 1997. The second stage of construction was concluded in September 1998. In 2000, the first stage of works started with the aim of extending the aprons, the taxiways and the runway strip. The extension of the runway strip by 420 metres was concluded in July 2001 and the present strip is currently 2800 metres long.

In 2004, the Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air started flying from Pyrzowice and in the August, the extension of the passenger terminal was concluded. Its surface area was increased to 7600 m2, helping to increase its passenger numbers to 1.7 million. The big increase of passenger traffic at Katowice Arport, came about due to Poland’s accession to the European Union and the arrival of a number of low-cost air carriers to Poland. This brought about the necessity of intensifying works to develop the airport infrastructure further. One of the most important issues was the improvement of the road network to connect the airport to the centre of the Silesian conurbation. The S1 expressway was built for this purpose. It was put into operation on November 20th, 2006, connecting the airport in Pyrzowice to the Podwarpie interchange, and ensuring easy, fast and comfortable access to the airport.

Passenger Terminal B was constructed and officially put into operation on July 30th, 2007, and has been the biggest investment so far during the 16 years of operation of Górnośląskie Towarzystwo Lotnicze S.A. It has enabled increased handling up to 3.6 million passengers annually in modern comfortable surroundings.

The International Airport of Katowice is constantly developing. In the near future further extension of the aprons is planned, as well as the construction of a third passenger terminal and a new runway strip.

Printed by kind permission of Katowice International Airport

Name Type URL
e-podroznik.pl Bus & Train Timetables www.e-podroznik.pl
Katowice Airport Airport www.katowice-airport.com
Przewozy Regionalne Railways www.przewozyregionalne.pl

Websites of Katowice

If you have a website that is an official one linked to this town, or you administer a local community or an important trade site please contact us here at Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide as we may be interested in including it.

Websites

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Urząd Miasta Katowice 40-098 Katowice, ul. Młyńska 4 Official Site

Regional Links

Province

The Slaskie Voivodship was created in 1999 and is located in the south of Poland.

Province

 

Places in Province

The cities, towns and villages of the region of Slaskie.

Places in Province

Map of Katowice

 

Katowice Travel and Tourist Guide – Slaskie – Poland Travel Guide

Tatra Mountains in southern Poland