Kielce is a city located in central Poland, almost halfway between Warsaw and Krakow. Although it’s not on many travellers’ radars, it really should be – you’ll find Interesting monuments, lots of nature and interesting surroundings.
With a population of just under 200,000 residents, Kielce is just the right size, not too big or too small. Plan to visit Kielce with an open mind and let yourself be surprised by all it has to offer.
There are three attractions that I recommend visitors take the time to see, along with a couple of the parks in the section below.
If I were to choose the best museum in Kielce, it would definitely be the Geoeducation Centre in Wietrznia. The museum and surrounding nature reserve show the geological history of the world and region. The exhibitions are interactive and you’ll feel like you’re been transported to the past.
Castle Hill is in the centre of Kielce includes the Palace of the Kraków Bishops and the Cathedral. The surrounding nature reserve is lovely during the day time, however Castle Hill is especially lovely in the evening.
You must also visit the former Palace of Krakow Bishops, which was built in the 17th Century as a summer residence for the bishops from the Krakow. The building currently houses the National Museum, and the palace rooms are impressive.
The Kielce History Museum is relatively small, but will give you a full picture of the city’s history, showing you what happened in Kielce and how it became what it is today.
Built in the 1980s, Kielce Bus Station has been designed to look like a UFO. It looks a bit neglected now, but it’s still iconic building and is well worth visiting while you’re in town.
When it comes to good food, you also have a lot to choose from.
Most places worth visiting are located on the Market Square and the Solna Promenada on the Silnica River. The best sushi in Poland is also located in Kielce - the Sushiya restaurant – which has been acclaimed many times by chefs and customers from all over the country.
It is also worth visiting traditional bakeries in Kielce and sampling food from Bakery Bodzentyńska, Rynek or Piekiełko should be on your itinerary. Polish bread has a distinctive flavour and texture, and trying the traditional bread is a must when you’re in the city. If, on the other hand, you feel like eating something sweet, then Zygmunt Pańszczyk's confectionery at Mała street will surprise you with its taste and traditional production methods.
Nightlife in Kielce is not particularly rich. In the Market Square you will find the Maska club, which has some decent parties.
Finally, nature is always just a few steps away in Kielce. There are five nature reserves in the city. Four of them are former quarries, and the last - Karczówka - is a beautiful hill with a monastery at the top. Just visiting these places will take a full day.
Kadzielnia Reserve is one of the old quarries and is now an enchanting park with interesting geological formations, an amphitheatre, underground cave tracks and other monuments. It's easily one of the top 10 places to visit in Kielce.
There are many more parks in the city too, in the centre and the surrounding forest. From the city centre, you can also reach the forest in just a few minutes by car. These places are perfect for a walk, mushroom picking or a family picnic.