Home to less than 200,000 people, Gliwice is a small city in southern Poland. The town is about 100 km from Krakow and 350 km from Warsaw. It may surprise you to know that Gliwice is home to the tallest wooden structure in Europe. Another interesting fact is that the creator of the popular Nivea brand products, Oskar Troplowitz, is a native of Gliwice.
Though Gliwice is a lesser-known tourist destination in Poland, there are lots of cool things to see and do here. From the Palm House brimming with colorful plants to the gorgeous Old Town with breathtaking sights and attractions, Gliwice will leave you stuck in awe. What’s more, you’ll find fewer tourists and enjoy the opportunity of exploring the authentic, unspoiled side of the city. Check out the list of the 10 top things to do here.
1. Wander Round the Old Town Square
If you’re in Gliwice, the Old Town Square is not to be missed. The Market Square (Rynek) is brimming with cafes, restaurants, shops, tourist information boards, and perfect for people watching.
Great place to see and learn about the authentic local side of Gliwice. Right in the center of the Old Town Square is the City Hall, which hosts the meetings of the city Council and sometimes used for wedding ceremonies.
Besides, you’ll find the Neptune Fountain here. Take a stroll around the small yet charming Old Town to discover its hidden treasures.
2. Gliwice Radio Tower
Gliwice Radio Tower is a gorgeous sight to behold in the city. Many tourists jokingly compare this tall wooden radio tower with the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but the truth is it’s nowhere near.
However, this communications tower played a crucial role in shaping the history of Gliwice. It is an iconic symbol in the city, thanks in part to the role it played in the Second World War.
Standing at about 118 meters from ground level, it is the tallest wooden structure in Europe. The wooden transmission tower is supposedly the only radio tower made of wood in the world today.
3. Palm House
The Palm House, located in Chopin Park, has five pavilions with colorful plants, aquariums, and ponds with beautiful marine creatures. Take a leisure stroll around the Palm House to explore the wonders within.
Relax on one of the benches, enjoy the cool breeze, admire the palm trees, exotic plants, and banana trees that call this place home, and listen to the sounds of chirping birds.
If you seek a spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Palm House is the place to be. Regardless of the time of year, the Palm House is always an exciting spot to visit.
4. Piast Castle Museum
There’s an old saying which says you don’t judge a book by its cover. The same applies to the Piast Castle. The castle is one of the city’s oldest buildings dating back to the 14th century.
On the outside, the castle is not as impressive compared to others in Poland, but on the inside is an incredible museum with loads of captivating exhibits.
The best part is that it is one of the free things to do in Gliwice. Access to the museum is free. The museum features ancient vessels, a mammoth skeleton, and many more.
If you’d like to see how the city looked like in the time of old, the Piast Castle Museum will take you back in time with its old photographs, folk costumes and lots more. Add this to your list of things to do if you’re on a budget.
5. Church of All Saints
Located in the Old Town is the Church of All Saints, which dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Standing at about 63 meters high, the church is another beautiful symbol of the Gliwice skyline.
You can see it from the Market Square. Much of the interior decors date back to the 15th century. In the church is the main altar beautifully designed with sculptures and an image of Mary surrounded by saints. Cathedrals’ architecture will captivate everyone.
Polar 123 Wikimedia Commons
Home to the famous Palm House, Chopin Park, has several interesting things to do that will keep you busy for a few more hours. The park is home to beautiful sculptures of Lying Lions designed by renowned sculpture Johann Gottfried Schadow.
Here, you will also find a monument made of white marble dedicated to Frederic Chopin. Rest on the benches and enjoy relaxing time in the midst of nature.
7. Cathedral of St’s Peter and Paul
Just within proximity to the Old Town and the Piast Castle Museum is the impressive Cathedral Church of St’s. Peter and Paul. This church is a must-see for everyone. The cathedral was built in the early 18th century and is home to one of the finest organs in the world.
Make sure your visit coincides with the concerts and events held here so that you can appreciate the church even more. Right next to the cathedral is the beautiful fountain with the sculpture ‘Boy with Swan’ designed by Theodore Kalide. You can always visit the fountain after time exploring the cathedral.
Pumba45 Wikimedia Commons
8. Culture and Recreation Park
Within a few distances away from the Old Town is a forest with wildlife including hares, deer, and boars. Stretched across 200 hectares, the Culture and Recreation Park is indeed a significant woodland that was first discovered in the Middle Ages.
As development enveloped Gliwice, the forest was preserved and protected. This is another interesting spot where you can spend time with Mother Nature.
9. New Jewish Cemetery
Built-in 1902, the Jewish Cemetery is home to more than 600 well-preserved tombstones. It also has a monument built-in 1932.
The cemetery is built in honor of the Jewish soldiers who lost their lives during World War I. Visit the cemetery to pay your respect to the lost souls.
10. Guido Coal Mine
If you think you have seen it all in Gliwice and still have more time, then consider taking an underground adventure to Guido Coal Mine. Located in Zabrze, 10 km from Gliwice, the Guido Coal Mine is the oldest in the region and worth visiting.
It has two mining levels at 170 and 320 meters below the surface. You’ll get there with the aid of an elevator. The experience at both levels is out of this world.
To get the most out of your trip to the coal mine, you need a knowledgeable tour guide. Here, you will learn many things about mining and see some of the hazards that miners face. Also, there are lots of interesting sights here, including the beautifully designed St. Barbara’s chapel.