Katowice is the capital of one of the largest and fastest-growing agglomerations in Europe. The vast urbanized area, comprising 41 municipalities in the Upper Silesian-Zagłębie metropolitan area, is home to less than 2.5 million inhabitants. It is a truly European city, where modernity creatively relies on and intertwines with tradition.
For many years Katowice was on the one hand strongly connected with the heavy industry, and on the other – with the organization of world-class sport events and concerts. The “Spodek” Arena, or the Silesian Arena (located just few kilometers from the city center) are still one of the most recognizable landmarks in Poland. At present, Katowice is very focused on the culture and meetings industry. Over the last few years, a huge metamorphosis has taken place in the very center of the city. There was a completely new part of the city was created on the area of the the former “Katowice” coal mine – the Katowice “Zone of Culture”. Next to the modernized “Spodek” Arena there are the concert hall of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR), the International Congress Center and the mostly underground located Silesian Museum over there. The International Congress Center and the “Spodek” Arena form the largest covered meeting place in Central Europe.
A great tourist attraction of Katowice are also the two present districts of Katowice built for miners and their families in the early twentieth century by the group “Georg von Giesche’s Erben” – Nikiszowiec and Giszowiec. Giszowiec was the first example in the continental Europe of the British idea of the “garden city”. Nikiszowiec, located only two kilometers away, unlike the loose one-storey building of Giszowiec is characterized by three-storey brick blocks that form quadrangles with internal courtyards. As a result, nine such blocks connected by ties were built here. There are many other tourist attractions in the vicinity of Katowice, including the historic Guido coal mine in Zabrze, the palace in Pszczyna, the Tyskie Browarium or the UNESCO-listed silver mine and drift in Tarnowskie Góry.
The city of Katowice is also the capital of the Silesian Voivodship with over 4.5 million inhabitants, one of the most important economic and scientific centers in Poland. Nearly 15% of Gross Domestic Product is produced here. Same Katowice is a vibrant academic center, which educates about 80,000 students in more than twenty universities. Over 48,000 companies are registered in the city and the unemployment rate is below 3%. Due to the good business background, qualified staff and attractive investment areas Katowice is one of the best places to work and invest in Poland.
Katowice is very easy to get to while using the most important means of transport. The city has a direct connection to the A4 motorway and a very easy access to the A1 motorway. A convenient communication with other cities of the agglomeration is provided by the DTŚ road. The most important Inter City and international trains stop at the newly renovated railway station, providing connection e.g. with Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Travel to Warsaw takes less than 2.5 hours. The air transport should also be mentioned – within one hour drive from the city center there are as many as three international airports – Katowice International Airport in Pyrzowice, as well as airports in the neighboring Balice (Krakow) and Ostrava.