Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps
The two concentration camps are located 50 kilometers west of Central Cracow, and are infamous for being the site of extermination of
upwards of 1.1 million people during World War II. Today, it is a museum in memorial of "the martyrdom of the Polish nation and other nations in Oswiecim".
A visit to eye-opening the museum should be a must for every adult during their lifetime.
It costs 45 zł [10.4 EUR] to enter the park. This entrance fee includes a guide in English. The park is about 40 minutes away by car
or about 50 minutes away by public transport. To get there by public transport, you must first take a train
to Oświęcim, and then take a short walk
to the site. The journey will cost you 6 zł [1.4 EUR] each way.
If you haven't yet been to Auschwitz-Birkenau, please go. In my opinion, every adult
should visit the camp at least once to pay respect and ensure this never happens again.
road entrance to Auschwitz
rail entrance to Auschwitz
prisoners' confiscated belongings
is Poland's most popular city, and for good reason. It has incredibly rich history, and is, in a way,
the opposite of Katowice. While Katowice is a city focused on its industrial architecture and atmosphere, Cracow
emphasizes the medieval and renaissance. Cracow
's most notable buildings and areas include the Main Square, Wawel Castle,
and Kazimierz Jewish District. In truth, if you have a spare day in Katowice and have not yet been to Cracow
, you really, really should go.
It takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes to go to Central Cracow from Central Katowice by car
(it's a motorway all the way there). Alternatively, you can take the train
which takes a bit under 2 hours and costs as little as 12 zł [2.8 EUR].
Częstochowa is a major city north of Katowice with two main things going for it - the monastery of Jasna Góra, to which thousands
flock in pursuit of pilgrimage, and the Cracow-Częstochowa Upland, which is remarkable for its ruins, beautiful terrain, stone formations,
and flora. What is more, Częstochowa is a must-visit for any dedicated Roman Catholic, or for anyone looking to experience at least one more city
It takes around 1 hour minutes to go from Central Katowice to Central Częstochowa by car
. Alternatively, you can take the train
which takes a bit under 2 hours and costs 26 zł [6.1 EUR] for an Intercity Train ticket
Jasna Góra Monastery
Though this goes against the premise of our website, we can't help but recommend taking a trip to Ostrava if you have a spare day in Katowice
and would like to explore a new city or country. Ostrava is the third biggest city in the Czech Republic and a truly industrial powerhouse of the past,
which is now being converted into a paradise of hip restaurants, cafes, and open areas.
It takes about 1 hour to go to Ostrava from Katowice by car
, with a motorway all the way there. Though a bit troublesome,
it's also possible to go by train
- there is a direct Intercity connection which takes 2 hours and 15 minutes and costs
Ostrava from above
Ojcowski National Park
A small national park located 20 kilometers northwest of Central Cracow, known for its boulders and odd stone structures. It's the perfect place for a picnic, trekking,
and photography. The nature in the park is truly breathtaking, and so are the ruins of Ojców Castle. Apart from flora, it is also known for its fauna, and especially
the hundreds of types of birds and hundreds of bats living in the park's caves - but also deer, polecats, hares, and boards.
Ojcowski National Park is best accessible via Ojców, which is reachable by car
in 1 hour and 5 minutes. You can also first go to Cracow
(see how above) and then take a Unibus bus
from Kraków Nowy Kleparz/Prądnicka station, which takes
35 minutes, departs roughly every 4 hours, and costs 10 zł [2.3 EUR].
Ojców castle ruins
Oddly enough, Poland has a desert, and it is located just northeast of Katowice. It is an area of 32 square kilometers,
with sands reaching up to 70 meters of depth. Apart from having been a training ground for German troops awaiting deployment
in Africa during WWII, it is a fantastic experience if you have never been to a desert before. The desert can be
walked across for free, of course.
It takes about 35 minutes to drive
to the desert from Central Katowice (which is crazy). It's quite hard to get there by public transport,
but, if you are determined to, the best option is to go to the town of Klucze, which is a good access point for the desert. To do so, you must
take a bus
from the bus station near Silesia Shopping Centre to the town of Olkusz - this takes 50 minutes - and then take another bus
from Olkusz to Klucze - this takes 10 minutes.
The total cost of this trip is 10 zł [2.3 EUR] each way.