Katowice For Families & Kids | What to See & Do

07 May 2024

On first impression, Katowice may not seem like an obvious tourist destination for anyone, let alone families with young children. However, that couldn't be further from the truth. Several of the city's essential tourist sites will appeal to kids, and when the sun is out there is no shortage of fun places for families to explore.

Fun with the kids outside the Silesian Museum. Photo by Michał Jędrzejowski.

Katowice boasts some of Poland's biggest, best urban parks, and there's simply no shortage of things to do in warm weather. If you're feeling a bit oppressed by the somewhat drab architecture of the downtown, escape into one of the city's many green spaces, like The Valley of Three Ponds, Katowice Forest Park, Kościuszko Park or Silesia Park - the latter of which is absolutely full of family attractions. Check out some of our kid-friendly suggestions below, and follow the links for more info.

Don't Skip the Silesian Museum

Quite often, the first step to having a great family day out is to accept that what you want to do, and what your kids want to do are hardly one and the same. But that doesn't have to be the case with the Silesian Museum - one of Katowice's star attractions. Industrial heritage and Upper Silesia go hand-in-hand, but this superb, super-modern museum makes a visit to a former coal mine way more fun and interesting than it sounds. The multimedia exhibits here will keep kids just as interested in the complex story of the region as adults. This fantastic museum should be on everyone's itinerary - and the fact they've kept kids in mind when designing the exhibits is great news for families.

Interactive, hands-on exhibits make the Silesian Museum interesting for all ages.

Explore the Valley of Three Ponds

Located just south of the centre, the Valley of 3 Ponds in Katowice's most popular summer recreation area and full of lounging locals when the weather's nice, thanks to an artificial beach, a plethora of seasonal bars, food trucks and more within the park's vast natural surroundings. Families will find plenty of potential activities for their kids; the park features a free water park, several playgrounds, a labyrinth and water equipment rental (kayaks, SUP, pedal boats), plus plenty of sports courts and facilities, including a disc golf course. With plenty of food trucks, the entire area is ideal for picnicking, and a great place to let the kids run free while parents relax in the shade with a coffee or cold drink.

Taking it easy at the Valley of Three Ponds.​​

Silesia Park for the Win!

For a more activity-packed day outdoors, head to Silesia Park. Although technically in Chorzów, the park is easily accessed by tram, bus, or even bicycle - the latter of which will also come in quite handy for exploring the enormous 620-hectare (1,532-acre!) park to its fullest. Packed with attractions, you could spend days here alone, so plan your time and don't expect to do it all.

Legendia is basically a park within the park, and you'll have a hard time staying away if the kids find out about this one.

In the park's southeast corner you'll find Legendia - Silesia's oldest amusement park, today filled with a charming mix of modern and classic rides. Legendia has its own admission and hours, as does the wonderful Zoo next door, which happens to be Poland's largest at 50 hectares. If your kids are dinosaur fanatics, note that the Zoo also includes Dinosaur Valley - home to 16 large-scale dinosaur sculptures from the 1970s.

Dinosaur Valley is it's own attraction, inside the Silesia Zoo, inside Silesia Park!

This corner of the park also includes a third attraction in the form of the Elka Cableway, which offers sky-high views and trans-park transportation. A great way to get to the western side of the park, as well as get a sense of its sheer enormity, the cableway connects Legendia and the Zoo to historic Silesia Stadium and the Ethnographic Park - two more attractions worth considering, as well as to the Planetarium via a brand-new line.

The cross-park cableway has both open and closed carriages that offer great views over Silesian Park.

Sports buffs can take tours of Silesia Stadium, which was once the country's largest, and home to numerous national football triumphs and huge concerts by acts like U2 and the Rolling Stones. The neighbouring open-air Ethnographic Park is an excellent option for families, showcasing how rural life once looked in the region, with reconstructed houses, churches and windmills; one of the farms even has animals (goats, sheep and horses), which the kids will love.

Feeding sheep at the Upper Silesian Ethnographic Park.

Unbelievably, it doesn't stop there. For kids bursting with energy, you can wear them out with a trip to the Silesian Rope Park. In recent years a beautiful Japanese Garden has been added to the park, and the historic Planetarium has also been modernised into Europe's best observatory and one of the region's best attractions. Located deep in the heart of the park, star shows are projected on the largest spherical screen in Central Europe and high-tech flight simulators take you up to the International Space Station; visit the Planetarium website to plan your visit.

Katowice's other 'Spodek' (flying saucer) - the Silesian Planetarium, in Silesian Park.

With so much to do, you really should consider how you want to plan your time, and also how you intend to get around the park so you don't exhaust yourself hoofing it on a hot day. You'll be glad to know that when it is time for a break there are plenty of cafes and restaurants around the park where you can relax and refuel. All told, Silesia Park is the most kid-pleasing place in the region, so if you want them reporting back to their classmates about what a great time they had in Katowice, bring them here.

What to do on a Rainy Day Indoors in Katowice

If the weather's absolutely dreadful, and you've already crossed the Silesian Museum and Planetarium off your list, well, there are plenty of indoor attractions around the area aimed directly at kids (and the pocketbooks of their parents). You might want to keep this knowledge to yourself, but Katowice also has a laser tag arena (Laserhouse), a trampoline park (Jump City),  a wind tunnel for simulated skydiving (Flyspot), and several entertainment centres with bowling and other fun activities for kids and adults.

See all of Katowice's Indoor Attractions here.

Older kids will love the chance to feel the adrenaline rush of skydiving, and parents will rest easy seeing them do it at Flyspot.

More Great Sites for Kids & Families Near Katowice

Gliwice's Kolejkowo is a great family attraction, the main drawback of which is it's location 27km west of Katowice...in a shopping mall. However, if you can overlook that unfortunate setting, you're in for a real treat. This model train experience features dozens of trains chugging along at 1:25 scale through a highly-detailed and humourous version of Silesia filled with figurines in amusing situations, local landmarks and scenes of Silesian history. More than just model trains, Kolejkowo is a fully multi-sensory experience, featuring moving cars, a sailing ship, electric lights, interactive buttons and a 9min day/night cycle. A real joy for kids, hobbyists and rail buffs, the level of detail, craftsmanship and humour on display here is truly delightful.

One hour north of Katowice you'll find one of the most picturesque castle ruins in Poland, Ogrodzieniec Castle, whose profile was raised by its usage as a filming location for Netflix's popular fantasy television series, The Witcher. Today it attracts hikers, rock climbers, cavers and tourists drawn to its impressive limestone cliffs and ghostly medieval aura. Anyone looking to insert themselves into the age of knights, mages and magicians will be well rewarded by this impressive ruin, combined with the neighbouring Birów Stronghold - a reconstructed medieval hill fortress and archaeological park. Check online for special events happening on weekends, including ghost tours, knight tournaments and historical reenactments.

Medieval reenactments at Ogrodzieniec Castle.

Although industrial heritage sounds exclusively like the special interest of old men and academics, Silesia is of course rife with tourism experiences that will surprise and delight families. One such place is the Guido Mineshaft in Zabrze, where you can go 355m underground, see how miners have worked throughout the centuries, and even try your hand at being a miner by using the very same equipment.

Take a family outing to the Queen Louise Adit in Zabrze.

In some cases, you can also travel through mine complexes by boat along underground rivers such as in the Black Trout Adit and the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Historic Silver Mines, both of which are in Tarnowskie Góry. A similar boat trip can be experienced in the Queen Louise Adit in Zabrze, however, here there is also a child-friendly zone where the kids can learn about the history of the mines in a multimedia and fun focused manner. Not only are these unique places to visit, the kids, and you, will certainly have fun, while at the same time learning about the complexities of the mining industry, and how important it is to Silesia and its culture. Check out our Industrial Tourism section for more details.

In & Around Katowice: The Best Places for Kids & Families


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