city in Silesian Voivodeship with powiat rights of Poland located in Dabrowski Basin

Sosnowiec is a city in the Silesian Voivodeship of southern Poland, with a population of 189,178 in 2022. It's industrial, and part of the GZM metropolis centred on Katowice 10 km west.

Understand edit

Sosna means pine forests, and a series of small towns emerged in the woods of Upper Silesia in the 12th century and fortified themselves. They only grew and coalesced from the 18th century with industries based on wool, coal and iron: the shallow coal deposits were soon worked out so the miners had to dig down 1000 m, but the deeper seams were rich. Even richer grew the mill and colliery owners, so Sosnowiec was embellished by their fancy mansions, plus the occasional church to show off their spiritual wealth. These smokestack industries dwindled in the late 20th century but the heritage of mansions and churches survives.

Get in edit

By plane edit

Katowice-Pyrzowice airport (KTW IATA) is 24 km north of Sosnowiec in Pyrzowice. It has domestic and European flights plus holiday destinations around the Med & Red, plus the Gulf States. ZTM Bus M19 runs direct to Sosnowiec hourly round the clock.

Kraków John-Paul II Airport (KRK IATA) 70 km east has a far greater range of flights. Take the train or Bus 300 into Kraków and change, there's no direct transport to Sosnowiec.

By train edit

1 Sosnowiec Główny is the main railway station, in city centre.

Trains from Warsaw run every two hours (many starting from Gdańsk) and take 2 hr 30 min via Zawiercie. They continue to Katowice then to Gliwice, or to Bielsko-Biała, or via Ostrava and Olomouc to Prague or Vienna. From Poznań, Wrocław, Kraków or Berlin change at Katowice - altogether three trains an hour connect to Sosnowiec, taking 11 minutes.

From Częstochowa trains run hourly, taking 80 min via Zawiercie and Dabrowa Gornicza, and continue to Katowice and Gliwice.

From Kielce two or three trains a day take 1 hr 45 min via Zawiercie and Dabrowa Gornicza, and continue to Katowice.

From Sedziszow trains run every 2-3 hours on a slow line to Katowice, groaning to a halt at Sosnowiec Kazimierz, Dańdówka, and Południowy south side of the city. They don't stop at Sosnowiec Główny and you're unlikely to use these stations.

By bus edit

Flixbus runs overnight from Gdańsk via Toruń and Łódź (which has connections from Berlin and Warsaw) and Katowice Airport. It continues to Katowice town and Bielsko-Biała.

Bus M4 runs between Katowice and Sosnowiec every 20 min, taking 20 minutes. The bus station is opposite the railway station on 3 Maja.

By road edit

From Kraków take A4 west (90 km), and from Wrocław take A4 southeast (205 km). A4 has tolls.

From Warsaw take E67 southwest (300 km). From the Czech Republic follow A1 past Ostrava to join A4 near Gliwice then head east.

Sosnowiec has no Park & Ride or big car parks but there are many small car parks along the roads into city centre.

Get around edit

Sielecki Castle

ZTM is the transport combine for the Katowice conurbation, covering Sosnowiec, Gliwice, Będzin, Mysłowice, Chorzów, Dąbrowa Górnicza and others. Use their travel planner to reach outlying points such as Będzin Castle.

Rover Bike Share is available by registering online. You pay 10 złoty upfront, and hire via your mobile.

See edit

  • 1 Orthodox Church of Sts Vera, Nadia, Luba and their mother Zofia (Cerkiew Prawosławna pw św Wiery, Nadziei, Luby i matki ich Zofii), Jana Kilińskiego 39. Sa 09:00-13:00, 17:30-18:30, Su 07:30-14:00. This is the only remaining Orthodox church in Sosnowiec. It was built 1888/89 funded by wealthy industrialists keen to stay on good terms with Russia. Its patron saints Vera, Nadia and Luba - literally Faith, Hope and Love - were daughters of St Sophia of Rome (d 304 AD). Hagiographers disagree on whether it was Sophia herself or her daughters who were martyred, but Emperor Diocletian was out to get them all.    
  • 2 Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Bazylika katedralna Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Maryi Panny), Kościelna 1. Daily 08:00-18:30. Sturdy redbrick cathedral completed in 1899.    
  • 3 Oskar Schön's Palace   is nowadays a courthouse so you can only admire (or puzzle at) the exterior, at 1 Maja 19. Oskar Bruno Schön (1867-1905) was an industrialist who appears to have thrown a large wad of money at the designers and told them to include every major architecture style. He was shot during the 1905-07 uprising against Russian rule and harsh living conditions, and in 1919-21 the building was the headquarters of another uprising.
  • 4 Sielecki Castle, Zamkowa 2, +48 32 266 3842. M-F 08:00-19:00, Sa Su 15:00-19:00. The city's oldest building, incongruous in a district of shabby communist-era apartments. It probably dates from 15th century; it's been chopped and changed about but its defensive intent is still obvious. It's been owned by nobles and an industrial magnate, and now houses an art and cultural centre. Adult 12 zł, conc 8 zł, child 6 zł.    
Oskar Schön's Palace
  • Sielecki Park stretches south of the castle for almost a km. It's a bosky green space with a small canalised river running through, pleasant for strolling or jogging. It's open 24 hours and has multiple access points from 3 Maja the boulevard on its west flank.
  • 5 Środula Park starts one km northeast of the castle. It's extensive, with open and wooded areas. At its east corner is a sports complex including the football stadium, and a ski tow.
  • 6 Dietel Palace, Stefana Żeromskiego 2, +48 602 758451. May-Dec M-F 08:00-15:00. Redbrick mansion built in 1900 for Heinrich Dietel (1839-1911), who made his money from wool-spinning. It was trashed by the Soviets but restored, with a bling-baroque interior often used for cultural events. His spinning mill, once the largest in the country, is a ruin 200 m north. Adult 25 zł, conc or child 20 zł.    
  • 7 St Thomas Church is a redbrick neogothic structure at Mariacka 18, built 1904-11.
  • St John Evangelical Church (Parafia Ewangelicko-Augsburska), Stefana Żeromskiego 4 (opposite Dietel Palace). This Lutheran church was a hall within Dietel's spinning mill, adapted for church services for the workforce from 1886.    
  • Dietel Park is west of the Palace.
  • 8 Schön Palace Museum, Chemiczna 12, +48 32 363 4510. Tu-Sa 10:00-19:00, Su 10:00-18:00. Neo-Baroque mansion built in 1885 for Ernst Schön (1849-1919). He owned a spinning mill (eventually taken over by young Oskar Schön) and a coal mine. The mansion now houses a museum, the highlight is the glassware. In summer it's often a wedding venue. Adult 12 zł, conc or child 9 zł.    
  • Schön Park is north of the Palace Museum. Within it, Pałac Wilhelma is a neo-baroque mansion built in 1900. It suffered a fire in 2010 and has been closed for renovation ever since.
Środula Park

Further out edit

  • 10 Mysłowice 5 km south of Sosnowiec is a separate large city. If you're passing through, you might visit the medieval Farna Church, Holy Cross Church, the Jewish cemetery and the Museum of Firefighting.
  • 11 Three Emperors' Corner   at the south edge of Mysłowice is a former tripoint, at the confluence of the Black and White Przemsza rivers. (The Black is stained by flowing over outcrops of coal.) Poland was carved up by the Great Powers in 1772, and from 1871 to 1918 the three banks of the confluence lay in different empires: the German, the Russian Empire, and Austria-Hungary. Germany made a thing of this, erecting the Bismark Tower here and organising river cruises to admire it. All three empires collapsed at the end of the First World War and the spot lay within re-unified Poland, while the tower was neglected and fell down. There's a small monument but what would more improve the area is a footbridge, to re-unite a park that still feels partitioned.
  • 12 Będzin Castle, Zamkowa 1, Będzin, +48 32 267 4731. Tu-F 09:00-16:00, Sa Su 09:00-17:00. Completed in stone in 1348 over the site of a wooden castle, this guarded the western frontier of Poland. Later the frontier lay elsewhere so it lost its importance, and became tumbledown in spite of repairs. It was refurbished as a museum in 1956.  
  • Mieroszewski Palace, Gzichowska 15, Będzin (500 m west of Będzin Castle), +48 32 267 4461. Tu-F 09:00-16:00, Sa Su 09:00-17:00. Grand baroque mansion built from 1702 and now a museum.
  • 13 Tysiąclecia Park (Millennium Park) is a large woodland park at the west edge of town.

Do edit

Dietel Palace
  • Cinema City Sosnowiec Plaza, Sienkiewicza 2 (within Plaza shopping centre), +48 32 775 7575. Modern multiplex cinema with 6 screens.
  • Kino Helios, Modrzejowska 32 (north side of cathedral), +48 32 363 1414. Modern multiplex with four screens.
  • 1 Muza Concert Hall, Wawel 2, +48 32 266 0494. This is the performance hall of the School of Music.
  • Muse Art Cafe has rock and other live music. It's at Warsawska 2 next to the railway station.
  • 2 Stawiki Beach is on Stawicki lake, one of a series of lagoons and reservoirs west edge of the city. Wake Zone Stawicki is a wake-boarding centre here.
  • Football: Zagłębie Sosnowiec were relegated in 2024 and now play soccer in II Liga, the third tier. Their home ground Zagłębiowski Park (sponsored as ArcelorMittal Park, capacity 11,500) was completed in 2023. It's in Środula sports complex 3 km east of town centre, and occasionally hosts big games by other clubs whose regular stadium is too small.
  • Ice hockey: KH Zagłębie Sosnowiec play in Polska Hokej Liga, the top tier. Their home rink is within the sports complex.
  • Ski: Stok Środula is a ski tow at the north end of Środula park. The longest run is only 450 m. It relies on natural snowfall, there's no artificial surface.
  • 3 Poziom 450, Gabriela Narutowicza 51, +48 730 454 546. Daily 10:00-22:30. Climbing gym and wall.
  • 4 Autodrom Karting, Stawowa 4, +48 507 810058. M-F 14:00-22:00, Sa 11:00-23:00, Su 12:00-22:00. Go-kart track suitable for adults or older kids.
  • Fun Festival is held in June in Zagłębiowski Park.

Buy edit

Będzin Castle
  • Supermarkets: lots of medium-sized stores in town centre, Żabka and Biedronka are the main chains.
  • 1 Plaza shopping centre, Henryka Sienkiewicza 2. Daily 09:00-21:00. Good selection of shops on two levels, plus Cinema City. It's on both sides of Sienkiewicza, linked by subway.
  • 2 Plejada shopping centre, Stanisława Staszica 8B. M-Sa 09:00-21:00. Retail park with Carrefour hypermarket. The crumbling brick tower outside was an elevator lifting trucks laden with foundry slag to tip their load onto a slag heap. That heap is now the shopping centre.
  • Designer Outlet Sosnowiec or Jęzor Centrum is 10 km south beyond Mysłowice, at the junction of S1 south and Highway 79 east.

Eat edit

  • Habib Kebab, 3 Maja 13 (by railway station), +48 729 489431. Su-Th 11:00-00:00, F Sa 11:00-03:00. Good inexpensive kebabs.
  • Bar Mleczny serves inexpensive trad fare at Warszawska 3 opposite the station. Their delivery service is useless but sit-down meals are okay. They're open daily 08:00-17:00.
  • Restauracja Warszawska, Warszawska 18 (within Hotel Centrum), +48 32 256 7094. M-Sa 14:00-21:00, Su 12:00-20:00. The hotel serves non-residents, decent food and prices.
  • 1 Kaprys, Stanisława Małachowskiego 2, +48 792 781398. M-Th 10:00-21:00, F Sa 10:00-22:00, Su 12:00-21:00. Light bites and European cuisine near the station.
  • 2 Bistro Pi'Stacja, Modrzejowska 33, +48 604 249527. M-F 09:00-17:00, Sa 09:00-15:00. Dumplings and other hearty Silesian food. In fine weather eat in the garden.
  • 3 Pezzo Pizza, Kościelna 48, +48 505 543020. Tu-F 14:00-22:00, Sa Su 13:00-22:00. Italian pizza baked in a wood burning stove, mostly good reviews.
  • 4 Bombaj Tandoori, Partyzantów 5, +48 32 266 83 48. Su-Th 12:00-21:00, F Sa 12:00-22:00. Mostly South Indian style, very mixed reviews.

Drink edit

The main pub strip is Małachowskiego, which courses south off 3 Maja near the railway station. Don't get too ratted, as trams hurtle along it.
  • 1 Księgarnia, Stanisława Małachowskiego 22, +48 888 605759. Su-Th 10:00-00:00, F Sa 10:00-02:00. Friendly modern place with trendy music and craft beer.
  • Chicago is a retro US diner and bar next to Księgarnia at Małachowskiego 26, open daily to 23:00.
  • Nora Bar at Małachowskiego 28 is open Th-Su 17:00-00:00.
  • Ministerstwo Śledzia i Wódki at at Małachowskiego 32 calls itself a gastropub but has limited food. It's open Su-Th 16:00-00:00, F Sa 16:00-02:00.
  • Dekada Klub, Sienkiewicza 3 (within Plaza shopping centre), +48 666 667774. Su-Th 16:00-23:00, F Sa 16:00-03:00. This is a pool and billiards club.

Sleep edit

Hotel Centrum is opposite the railway station
  • Hotel Centrum, Modrzejowska 3 (opposite main railway station), +48 32 266 9723. Venerable building, some rooms miniscule, no air con. Very central by the station but this means street noise. B&B double 300 zł.
  • 1 Boutique Hotel, Partyzantów 11, +48 512 209030. It will just about do for an overnight stop, but the rooms are tatty with cardboard-thin walls. B&B double 250 zł.
  • 2 Hotel Orion, Przyjaciół Żołnierza 5A, +48 32 266 1897. Basic hotel in a quiet neighbourhood, cleaning erratic, small rooms, and possibly the worst breakfast in Sosnowiec. B&B double 250 zł.
  • 3 M Hotel, Wojska Polskiego 199, +48 323 636300. East edge of town near Highway S1 and Dańdówka railway station, comfy enough for a short stay. B&B double 250 zł.

Learn edit

Connect edit

As of March 2024, Sosnowiec and its approach highways have 5G from all Polish carriers.

Go next edit

  • Katowice 10 km west is the regional capital and transport hub with much industrial heritage.
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau 33 km southeast is two of the many concentration, labour and extermination camps established by the Nazis during the Second World War.
  • Bielsko-Biała 80 km south has a cosy old town and many beautiful buildings from Austro-Hungarian times.
  • "Eagle Nest Castle Ruins" stand in the Jura in Ogrodzieniec, Olsztyn, Rudno, Mirów and Ojców.
  • Częstochowa: the monastery of Jasna Góra is a major pilgrimage site, displaying the icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa, the "Black Madonna".

This city travel guide to Sosnowiec is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.