Basecamp is a place offering high standards and can be rented by students. It is something between a residence, an apartment and a hotel. Katowice is another city where a new Basecamp dormitory will soon be opened. After the successful launch of the Basecamp dormitory in Łódź, it is time to expand the chain to Katowice, Poland. Why Katowice?
Is this city interesting?
The capital of Silesia in the south of Poland – Katowice may not be as famous as other cities in Poland, but it is the largest city in the Silesian Metropolitan District. Katowice has a population of over 300,000 residents. What attractions await the tourists in Katowice? TripAdvisor has many reviews of very interesting places to see and visit in Katowice. Here are some of the best ones.
In addition to these top places, it is worth just strolling through the streets and districts of Katowice. Although there is no old town here, so typical of Kraków or Wrocław, there are many beautifully decorated old tenement houses, as well as numerous interesting modernist buildings. All this is mixed with industrial elements – mines, tracks, cables on the top of the buildings giving them a loft-like look. Katowice in Poland is also known for its impressive murals on buildings.
First impressions. What to do first in Katowice?
Is this your first time in Katowice? Prepare a list of things to do in Katowice! Where to begin? Silesia is best known for mining, and the entire region has developed around this industry. So in order to have some knowledge about it, it is worth visiting the Silesian Museum first. People rate this place as wonderful, interesting and really impressive. In addition, online reviews about Katowice (TripAdvisor) recommend Nikiszowiec, Spodek and the green areas. Check what is so interesting about these places that they are worth visiting!
Silesian Museum in Katowice
The Silesian Museum in Katowice was established in 1929 and operated until the outbreak of World War II in 1939. It resumed operations only in 1984. Since 2015, the museum has been operating in the new headquarters – it is a complex of modern buildings located at ul. Tadeusza Dobrowolskiego 1. The most valuable collections of the museum are paintings from before 1945 and post-war works. Here, we can admire the works of, among others, Józef Chełmoński, Artur Grottger, Jacek Malczewski, Jan Matejko and Stanisław Wyspiański. In addition, there are collections of artistic and documentary photography of non-professional art, Polish posters, stage art and a very rich ethnographic collection.
On the lower level of the museum there is an exhibition recommended by many visitors – “The Light of History”, which is very interactive, plays with light and sound, and stimulates the senses and creativity. It also includes realistic reconstructions of rooms. A lot of emphasis is placed on the war, but you can also find out what the work in the mine looked like in the past and what life was like in Silesia during the communist times. Workers’ hotels are also presented – Katowice was a place to which people from all over Poland flocked after the war to work in the mines. Thanks to interactive installations, we can see how life carried on in these hotels in Katowice, as well as on the streets and in houses, how people worked, prepared meals, how they prayed, how mines and steam engines functioned, what was smuggled after the war. In a nutshell, the museum has lots of attractions and it takes a few hours to properly see everything it has to offer.
Viewpoint at the museum
The Silesian Museum in Katowice in Poland is an absolute must-see in this city. In addition to the exhibition itself, we also recommend reaching the viewpoint by elevator from the former Warsaw II shaft. From the terrace at a height of 47 meters, there is a wonderful view of the entire city, including Spodek, and in good weather you can even see the mountains!
The capital of the Silesian region in southern Poland has a unique industrial charm, which is best seen in the Nikiszowiec district. It is a former working class district with many old, but well-preserved tenement houses from the 19th century. Nikiszowiec, or Nikisz, takes us back over 100 years thanks to the characteristic, intriguing buildings made of red brick. The construction style is somewhat reminiscent of old English workers’ towns. The neighbourhood was created for miners and their families. Apart from houses, shops, schools, churches and other service points were opened there, which made it possible to run errands in Nikisz without the need to move to the city centre. In the centre of Nikiszowiec there is a market square with charming cafes.
Spodek or the “saucer”
In Katowice, Spodek is a legendary place. The symbol of the city due to the unique shape resembling a UFO. Spodek is a multipurpose arena complex that can accommodate 7,776 visitors. Built in the years 1964-1971, it is owned by the city itself, but it is managed by PTWP Event Centre. It was one of the first buildings with a tensegrity roof – the steel structure weighing 300 tonnes is connected by 120 ropes to an outer steel ring. Of course, there is a stadium in Katowice, but it is Spodek where many major events are held, from conferences, fairs, events, concerts, to circus performances, ice shows, sports events such as basketball, volleyball and hockey matches.
The Silesian Park is the second largest city park in Europe, after the one in Dublin. It has a larger area than the famous New York Central Park – it is as much as 620 hectares. In the park, apart from the rich greenery, there is a Planetarium, Zoo, Ethnographic Park, Amusement Park and the Silesian Stadium. We can admire the Park from a height thanks to the gondola lift.
Valley of the Three Ponds
Another green corner in Katowice, located in the city centre. It is a true oasis among the urban space. There are many bicycle and jogging paths, as well as a volleyball court, an urban beach, and a bicycle rental point. In summer, many events are held here, including the Tauron Nowa Muzyka Katowice festival. There are food trucks and even a campsite with bathrooms installed.