Getty Images/iStockphoto


Katowice (kah-to-vee-tseh) is the largest constituent of the so-called Upper Silesian Urban Area, a vast conurbation with a population approaching three million. Built on coal wealth, the rural village that once snoozed here exploded into a modern industrial city in the 19th century.

While Katowice today is a product of that 19th-century industrial boom, it only became a city in the interwar period. After WWII, at the height of the Stalinist cult craze, it was renamed Stalinogród, but reverted to its old name soon after Old Whiskers died in 1953. A major commercial and cultural centre, Katowice isn't pretty, but its museums, restaurants and urban buzz are easily enough to justify a stopover.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Katowice.