- Area: 164.67 km² (63.6 sq mi)
- Calling Code: +4832
- Currency: Złoty (PLN)
- Population (EST): 308,724
- Official language: Polish
- Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)
Katowice – Overview
The city of Katowice is located in Southern Poland, on the banks of the Klodnika and Rawa Rivers, some 250km south of Warsaw. The city is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination and boasts a number of activities to keep all ages entertained.
Katowice has become one of the cultural capitals of Poland, with over 8 museums and galleries showcasing important artifacts and artworks. Music has also become a central part of the city and live music performances can be found almost every day of the week in intimate venues across the city, while the enormous Spodek hall puts on concerts from international superstars. The summer months bring exiting indoor and outdoor festivals such as Metalmania, OFF fest and Solidarność. Visitors can find an eclectic mix of nightlife all year round, with most bars and clubs centered around the pedestrianized Ulica Stawowa area. Krakow city centre is located under 70 miles away and easily accessible by bus or train, making it great place to go for a day trip.
The city has a range of dining options to accommodate even the most fussiest of eaters. Polish food is influenced by a mixture of Eastern European traditions and usually includes fresh meat (chicken or pork), along with fresh seasonal vegetables. Visitors wishing to sample some authentic Polish cuisine should try dishes such as golumupki (stuffed cabbage leaves), pierogi (filled dumplings) or kotlet schabowy (a breaded pork chop served with potatoes and cabbage). Poles have a sweet-tooth and enjoy a number of home baked deserts such as the popular and delicious sernik cheesecake. International cuisine is also available and visitors will find that most restaurants are great value for money. A number of fast food chains can be found in downtown Katowice, particularly on the main high street.
Visitors will find accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets, from elaborate 4 star establishments, to quaint family run guesthouses. For a romantic option, the modern Angelo Hotel Katowice provides boutique rooms in a convenient central location. Several camping and caravan sites are located in the outskirts of the city.
Katowice is affected by a continental climate from the east and a maritime climate from the west, which can produce changeable weather conditions throughout the year. Summer generally lasts from May to September, with long hours of sunlight and temperatures that hover around the late twenties. The winters are mild and snowfall is rare, although it can occur in January and February. Rainfall occurs all year round, so pack an umbrella just in case!
Visitors wishing to change foreign currency into the Polish zloty can find bureau de change booths located inside of the arrivals terminal at the Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport, alternatively there are a few currency changing booths located in downtown Katowice. Several 24 hour ATM machines are dotted throughout the city and the major banks can change travellers checks. The city also has its own Tourist Information Centre, where helpful staff are happy to give out free maps and guides.