Katowice, Poland, in 28 Hours

View from the Europe Cafe, Katowice, Poland

The capital of the Silesian Voivodeship (or province), Katowice is a city of about 310,000 located in south central Poland in the heart of what’s known as the Silesian Metropolis, a larger territorial entity that is home to a population of two million.

Primarily industrial and blue collar since its inception, Katowice isn’t generally considered a tourist destination –which was to me its primary attraction.

Architecturally it’s a gritty and picturesque mix of gradually fading pre-WWI and inter-war structures and massive monuments to concrete from the Cold War era. Currently there’s a massive facelift underway with renovation and urban renewal projects everywhere in and near the city center.

The images here represent what I would consider as ‘typical’ Katowice, based solely on frank recommendations by two taxi drivers and observations made during a self-guided six hour on-foot tour.





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All images © Bob Ramsak. All rights reserved.
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Note: Initial images taken in June 2014. Galleries updated regularly as needed. Click on image for additional information.



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  1. Syd says

    Great photos. And absolutely PRIME mohawk on that first dude. That thing must take work. I can’t imagine. And he must have to duck to walk through a normal doorway.

    1. Bob R says

      Indeed – definitely takes a lot of work. 🙂

  2. Chaitanya Shah says

    Poland has forever been one of my muses! You’ve got some really nice photos Bob! My favourite is the stairs photo.

    1. Bob R says

      Thanks – I’m looking forward to seeing much more.

  3. Dave Cole says

    Pretty impressive gallery from some local recs and a self-guided tour! You certainly have some lovely captures here. I particularly like the variety of lights in the stairwell shot.

    1. Bob R says

      Two-thirds of the self-guided portion included a map as well. 🙂

  4. col says

    My favourite is the b&w picture, it evokes such a story also love the stairs. Poland intrigues me as a country and you have captured a diverse edge here, interesting stuff.

  5. Calli says

    Beautiful photos Bob! I really love that first one, shot through the window with the brick building across the street. There’s a lot going on but it’s beautifully composed, definitely an attention grabber!

    1. Bob R says

      Thanks – yes, scoping out and waiting for that one was fun.

  6. Milosz Zak says

    As a Pole from Wroclaw, not far from Katowice, I have to say you’ve hit the nail on the head. Poland is still transitioning, and you’ve captured that ‘lost’ period in your photos. The new Poland is far more similar to that of Berlin, Munich, Hanover, or Frankfurt, and we will soon see the two worlds in ever greater contrast. I’ve said to myself, I’m never going to sell my flat in Poland, because it will no longer give me a reason to go there. Eastern Europe is a fantastic place, and I’ll definitely revisit your page for more updates.

    1. Bob R says

      Thanks, Milosz. Those contrasts are what really interest me. I’ve been based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, for the past ten years and see them every day. It’s a kind of living, breathing history lesson.

  7. Elena says

    It´s a part of Poland I always wanted to visit, still don´t understand how I never went. I love your photos of the town!

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