It may not be Poland’s best known city, but southern Poland’s Katowice is anything but a dull, industrial ghost town. Often overlooked as a place to wait for your next transport connection, this modern city is jam-packed full of historical nooks and crannies that are guaranteed to light up your camera lens. Stumble across impressive parks, quirky monuments and astonishing architecture around every corner. Here’s seven of the most picture-perfect spots in Katowice.
Located in the central Srodmiescie district, Saint Mary’s Street is the main nightlife hub in the city and boasts some of the best selfie spots in town. All packed into a few hundred metres, visit one of the many taverns, restaurants, bistros and nightclubs lining the historic street bookended by the famous Saint Mary’s Church. Just a five minute walk from the Rynek (main square), the area is a hive of activity at night and the perfect place to snap your holiday pictures during the day. Pose beside one of the thirty cherry trees that are planted along the stretch or stand beneath the guitar player suspended above the walkway on a high wire.
Presented to the city in 1967, the Insurgent’s Monuments is a memorial to those who took part in the Silesian Uprisings of 1919, 1920 and 1921, in support of Upper Silesia to joining the new Polish State. The colossal structure weighs a total of 61 tons and stands beside the Silesian Museum and Spodek arena, in the centre of town. Regarded as the symbol of the city, each wing represents one of the uprisings while the details of the battle are embedded on the panels underneath. Built by Kazimierz Gustaw Zemla, this is definitely one to add to your list of the most picture perfect spots in Katowice.
A short stroll across the footbridge, take your camera to the streets of the Nikiszowiec district. A unique piece of Polish heritage, the district was built for miners at the Giesche quarry. Consisting of a series of interconnected apartments linked by arcades on the ground floor, it’s as if time stood still here. Wander round the beautiful brick buildings home to shops, a police station, swimming pool, school, church, hotel and bakeries and breathe in the historic atmosphere that engulfs this area. A popular destination for film shoots, be sure to get some shots of the authentic Polish streets and colourful mosaics that adorn some of the red brick houses.
Right in the centre of the Upper-Silesian Metropolis, Silesia Park sits on the border of Katowice and Chorzow. The park spans for 620 hectares and is almost twice the size of New York’s Central Park. With so much to see and do in this monstrous green space, you can easily spend the whole day pottering around the planetarium, Legendia amusement park, Silesian Stadium and skate park. Work up an appetite and settle down to a meal at one of the park’s many cafes and restaurants. Just a short tram ride from the centre of the city, the park is a welcome oasis from the rush of everyday life.
You can’t fail to miss the colossal cathedral that has been part of the city since 1927. The largest of its kind in Poland, the Cathedral of Christ the King features a 40 metre high dome and intricate portico that makes for the ultimate photo opportunity. A modern building with a classical façade, the structure is made from reinforced concrete and covered with dolomite extracted from the nearby Imielin quarries. Fitted with stained glass windows and an impressive front staircase, sit on a step and smile for the perfect selfie.
Reinstated in 1984 after surviving an attack by the Nazis, the museum is a great place to learn more about the city’s history and art. Visit exhibitions about the area’s archaeology, its collection of Polish paintings by greats such as Olga Boznanska and Stanislaw Wyspianski, as well as a 35,000 picture photography display. Not one to miss out on, the museum is a real sight for sore eyes both inside and out.
One of the most recognisable palaces in Katowice, the Goldstein Villa was built during the 19th century by brothers Abraham and Joseph Goldstein. Located in the west end of the city, on the corner of Jan Matejko Street and Plac Wolnosci, head inside and snap away at the stunning golden staircase, hall and ornate ceilings. Serving as a theatre and commerce chamber among other things, nowadays the building operates as a civil registry and is open to the public.
Heading to Katowice soon? Be sure to tag us in your photos of the best places to take pictures in Katowice by using the hashtag #ryanairstories to be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed.
Flights to Katowice
- Lucy Norris