Kielce is a relatively large city and is the most visited city in the province of Swietokrzyskie in terms of tourism. Much of this is owing to its religious significance as one of the most heavily affected Jewish centres in the Second World War. The Jewish population has very few living inhabitants from that era owing to old age and the holocaust. From the end of the nineteenth century, the Jews which had previously been persecuted and lived in poverty took control of the city’s industrial development.

The city is seen as a strong industrial centre between Krakow and Warsaw, the success of which is owing to the minerals and iron mined from the Holy Cross Mountains. The development was moulded by religion and mining therefore and led to the gradual movement from churches to municipal buildings that took place throughout the Middle Ages. Despite the impact of the Second World War the Old Town retains an official feel mixed with some interesting architecture.

The surrounding woodland and mountains were home to much of the Polish resistance and partisan fighting, but are now more popular for outdoor pursuits such as walking and skiing. The records of the area are of it being a meeting point for the trade of locally caught game for other produce, hunting is still popular in the region and various tour operators run trips into the wilderness.


Cycling – The city itself is built among the Holy Cross Mountains and has several smaller peaks within its walls. The highest is Telegraf Hill at 409 metres and makes up the most exerting leg of the city’s many different [ cycle routes]. Bicycles can be hired easily in the city, most hostels or tour operators will be able to point you in the right direction. Ensure you get a helmet included in the hire as driving is on the right and the drivers are not always as considerate as they should be towards cyclists.

Skiing – There are six major resorts nearby to Kielce, each offering hire, lessons and such like, [ Widelki] being one of the most popular. Snow cannons are used to create artificial ski runs, but the conditions are said to be some of the best in central Poland. The mountain ranges of Oblegorski, Tumlinski, Maslowski and Lysogorski can also be explored by foot and there are around 30 different routes starting in the city. Some can be explored without expensive equipment although the more challenging climbs can be dangerous.

National Museum in Bishop's Palace – The Bishop’s Palace is one the most famous galleries of Polish paintings and is surrounded by meticulously kept gardens. The collection includes treasured works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as well as some interesting furniture, tapestry and a separate collection of military artefacts.

[ Homo Homini Monument] – The monument, unveiled on 11th September 2006 commemorates those who died in the New York terrorist attacks five years earlier. It is unusual in that the structure depicts the event itself, shying away from the common symbolism that is often employed for such installations. The city saw one third of its Jewish population murdered at the Treblinka death camp and subsequent “Kielce Pogrom” that saw 40 holocaust survivors murdered at the hands of the Polish police in 1946. It is for these reasons that the city feels particular sympathy for the events of 2001.


The brightly decorated buildings of Sienkiewicza street make up the main shopping parade and include various department stores and boutique outlets. The Wersal Hotel has been converted to a mall style building and holds various fashion and electronic shops and a few restaurants. Pasaz Swietokrzyski is set to be the prize of the region, set to open in December 2006 it will be home to all manner of retail outlets and modern entertainment centres.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Kielce mainly offers simple traditional cuisine, which is unlikely to leave you massively excited. The dishes are on the whole fairly bland and consist of little more than some combination of meat, potatoes or something dough-based. The eatery behind the palace is a straight forward example of this but the atmosphere is usually decent and the staff very good. Most of the larger hotels have restaurants which serve interesting interpretations of European dishes. [ Kielce Cultural Centre] holds concerts, plays and ballets and operas. There is a revolving stage and seating for nearly a thousand, making this one the city’s most popular venues and is certainly the place to go for a dose of culture. More upbeat nightlife spots are Manefesto and Siodme Niebo, the latter having dancers as well as a DJ. Club Hormon is the largest venue and has decent house and techno djs performing regularly. The crowd is generally friendly and the bouncers operate “face control” to keep out the riff raff, it is probably best to wear something smart therefore. A number of the hotels also have discos, although the clientele tends to fairly seedy and are not really of much interest if you’re planning a night out on the town.

Tourist Information

Tourist Information CentreRynek 1, Kielce, 25-303

  • Telphone:+48 041 367 6436


[ Lodz Airport] is the nearest international airport to Kielce and offers flights to major tourist destinations across Europe, many of which are provided by budget airlines. Lodz is reachable by train or road although the journey takes over 3 hours at the best. Once in Lodz there are public buses which link the city and the “Kaliska” train station to the airport, you must take a taxi from the “Fabryczna” station. [ Warsaw Frederick Chopin Airport] serves far more destinations and can be reached far quicker as the train only takes half an hour from Kielce and regular buses connect central Warsaw to the airport.