For a moment, for longer, for life – Katowice is always a YES! See why we adore this city and adore along with us.
Katowice isn’t only the location of our apartments or the address of our office. It’s the city where we live, work, spend our spare time, and where we’re delighted to return to from our travels. We’ve different reasons to appreciate it, but each of us can heartedly recommend Katowice to everyone who’s still of two minds about choosing this city for themselves.
1. It’s green!
How come? The center of the Silesia metropolis and we’re playing the green card right away? Katowice is the most forested city in Silesia and in the top 3 of green cities in Poland overall. Geographically speaking, as much as 42% of the city is forested. Southern Katowice is the home of the remnants of the Silesia Forest where you can wander among trees for hours.
Residents of the city center (that would be us) are happy to use two popular parks: The Kościuszki Park and Dolina Trzech Stawów. The former is a huge urban park with charming paths and a 16th-century wooden church. It’s walking distance from the center so you can feel you’re out of the city right away. The latter is also situated quite close to the center and it’s a favorite leisure spot of Katowice residents: there’s a long runway for rollerblading and biking, kayak rental, jogging, and a swimming area with a small beach. Summertime welcomes you with cozy open-air bars and concerts.
Neighbouring Katowice is one of the largest urban parks in Europe – Park Śląski. Although it’s situated within the city limits of Chorzów, it stretches along with the biggest Katowice neighborhood, Osiedle Tysiąclecia, and attracts crowds of its residents. And the tram line takes you to the city center in the wink of an eye. Indeed, whoever longs for greenery in the city will find Katowice a safe choice.
2. Development and Business Opportunities
Fast-growing Katowice provides more and more opportunities for education, work, and professional development. It’s work, after all, that can make you move from your hometown.
The cityscape is constantly growing with new office buildings and global companies opening branches here. The labor market is expanding along with the need for professional training. Katowice attracts not only the locals but the whole of Poland and the world as well. It’s increasingly common to hear foreign languages and we’re much more comfortable using them ourselves.
The development of the city is also a considerable challenge, but as its residents, we can observe many more advantages than disadvantages from this trend. More business means more income to the city budget which allows for new initiatives. It also encourages the development of the entire service sector and, due to the growing number of expats, broader social and cultural perspectives.
The expanding business potential results in an increasing range of business services: training and conference centers, co-working spaces. Observing the changes in Katowice over the past decade, there’s undoubtedly been a small revolution here.
It comes as no surprise that we’ve got a soft spot for Katowice architecture. We adore the historical, richly-decorated buildings of the 19th century as well as the modernist buildings.
Katowice is a post-industrial city and its current shape resulted from the past 150 years of industrial development. Although you won’t find a medieval market square with arcades or radiating narrow streets, it takes just a few steps to see a plethora of unique buildings in the city center.
Many of Katowice’s districts and neighborhoods have their own unique atmosphere. Without our mining history, there would be no famous Nikiszowiec or the equally charming green Giszowiec districts. There’re many fans of the star-shaped Gwiazdy and corn-cob Kukurydze sky-scrapers, as well as the less spectacular, but closer Koszutka neighborhood. Personally, we’re convinced that the historical urban architecture perfectly blends with the post-industrial buildings and makes Katowice one of a kind. We’ve expressed our admiration in this post.
Whether you like the almost four-meter high ceilings and the classical city-center buildings or the extraordinary look of large residential buildings, it’s all available in Katowice.
4. Shops & Services
Where there’s a client, there’s a product – goes the common market principle. Along with the business development, the consumer services sector has grown as well in the recent years.
As passionate foodies we’re happy to observe the restaurant scene of the city: authentic pizza places, truly Asian bars, original and high quality food spots. You can find a slow breakfast, a fast lunch, or a romantic dinner for two. The malcontents will always expect more, but we think it’s all looking really well and can’t wait for the inside dining to return. We long for the first spring coffee outside in the sunshine.
We’re fans of all the independent businesses, such as the small shops and boutiques. And there a few that have truly grown into the atmosphere of our city: Biksa, Geszeft, Zmysły&Co. and more. They offer hand-crafted items, produce from local manufactures, value quality over quantity, and are an unmatched treasury of gift ideas. Let there be more places like them.
Besides the typical supermarket and grocery store chains, you can go shopping at a local market. Our favorite one is on Miarki Square and it’s about to be flush with all the spring colors again! At the site of the former Baildon Steelworks, there’s an eco market spot. Twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays), it gathers local suppliers and small businesses.
The enthusiasts of classical shopping can choose from several options: the largest Silesia City Center, the newest Libero (in the Brynów district), Trzy Stawy Shopping Center, Galeria Katowicka, and SuperSam – right at hand. Despite the voices saying there are too many shopping centers around, we’re adamant: it’s good to finally have a choice, it’s as simple as that!
As in any large city, Katowice offers a range of theaters, museums, libraries, and art galleries. A lot’s going on including in the alternative cultural scene.
The annual events calendar has included fantastic music festivals: the Off Festival and Tauron Nowa Muzyka. Our NOSPR music hall attracts the most prominent artists from all over the world, while the Spodek hall and The Silesian Stadium host some of the largest sporting events and mass concerts.
Fans of quieter entertainment can choose from three arthouse cinemas in Katowice: Światowid, Kosmos, and Rialto, and unconventional museums or art galleries situated in unique post-industrial sites. Katowice art hits the streets as well – having a regular stroll you’ll come across interesting murals, neon signs, and the previously mentioned architectural gems. Take your time to discover them all, preferably assisted by our Katowice guides which you can find here.
6. Easy Transportation
Globally and locally, Katowice’s location is great. Two airports within less than one hour drive offer numerous air connections, direct flights included. Two motorways: the A4 and A1 will give you fast and easy access to Wrocław, Kraków, Łódź, Warsaw, and Gdańsk. It takes only a few hours to reach important European cities such as Berlin, Vienna, Prague, and Bratislava. Also by train!
The local transportation system of Katowice, the heart of Silesia, is equally efficient. The metropolitan area can be traveled by Koleje Śląskie trains, trams (they will take you to Chorzów, Bytom, Zabrze, Sosnowiec), buses, and trolley buses. All this by the means of one metropolitan ticket.
Recent months have seen the launch of three new transfer centers which facilitate local and long-distance commutes and limit car traffic in the center. Katowice has no requirement that you own a car at all.
7. Close To The Mountains
What to do with a sunny weekend or an extra day off? Take a hike, best in the mountains of course! The snowy winter, the sunny summer, the golden Polish autumn – every mountain season is beautiful and worth a visit. Whether you’re an eager skier, a relentless jogger, or a fan of gentle mountain strolls, our Beskidy mountains are the place to be.
Depending on location, it’ll take a little over one hour to get there from Katowice. There are direct railway connections to Wisła, Ustroń, and Zwardoń. You can also connect from Bielsko-Biała and take a bus to Szyndzielnia nearby. If you’ve got a car, the possibilities of reaching smaller towns and less traveled routes are endless. The chance of organizing a day trip in nature, especially with all the restrictions still in force, seems very tempting indeed. Skiers should obviously hurry up! We offer our winter guide to the best skiing resorts and centers in the Beskidy mountains.
8. Silesian Identity
Thinking of Katowice, we must mention our Silesian identity. Silesia isn’t only a region on the map; it’s the tradition and the growing pride of belonging to this community and land.
And there’s a lot to be proud of: our industrial history and mining origins have left beautiful architecture as well as unique customs and attitude. We’ve developed a high regard for local traditions and are becoming skillful at merging them with modern elements. Proud of speaking (or just understanding) our Silesian dialect, we parade the city wearing t-shirts and hoodies that feature Silesian words. We process coal into everyday objects and transform the post-mining areas into sites for new impressive venues (just take a delighted look at The Silesian Museum and the entire Culture Zone).
As Silesians, we’re perceived as hospitable, friendly, and family folk, free of complexes (at last).
Could anyone doubt they would like Katowice anymore? 😉