I believe Lower Silesia is the most interesting region of Poland and one of the most underrated areas in Europe. Located in the southwest part of the country, at the border with Germany and the Czech Republic, Lower Silesia offers something for each taste.
Beautiful places, stunning nature, or interesting history – Lower Silesia has it all, waiting for you to discover.
In the past few years, I’ve been visiting Lower Silesia frequently, each time spending up to one week there and still, my list of places to visit in Lower Silesia is rather long, I will need one more month or so to see them all.
But even if you have a few days only I wholeheartedly recommend visiting the region, I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I do!
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Reasons to visit Lower Silesia, Poland
And if you need a small push to go there, here are my top reasons to visit Lower Silesia.
Beautiful towns and cities
Lower Silesia is literally packed with beautiful cities and towns, often with a long history (some of the oldest towns in Poland are located here). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad-looking town there, even if the place is a bit neglected the central part with monuments always attracts visitors.
The most popular is of course Wroclaw, the capital of the region and one of the best places to visit in Poland. The city is beautiful, vibrant, and a bit quirky at times and offers numerous things to do that will keep you busy for a few days for sure.
But while everyone knows Wroclaw there are other cities and towns you shouldn’t miss in Lower Silesia. Of those I’ve seen, my favorite ones were Swidnica, Jelenia Gora, and Klodzko but literally every single town offers something interesting.
In Lower Silesia, you can find three places that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and they couldn’t be any different from each other.
The first one is Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, a real masterpiece of modernist architecture that opened in 1913. It was very innovative for that time, with the largest dome in the world (it has 65 meters span). Today the building is used for events and exhibitions and still impresses all fans of modern architecture.
Two other UNESCO sites in Lower Silesia were put on the list together. The so-called Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica were built after the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 (hence the name) and are the largest timber-framed religious buildings in Europe. Both are simply breathtaking, both outside and inside, and well worth a visit.
The southern part of Lower Silesia, along the border with the Czech Republic, is lined with mountains, with Karkonosze being the highest one. Still, these are not very high (the highest peak is Sniezka, 1603 meters above sea level) and rather easy to explore, making them a perfect destination for all mountain lovers.
There are a few mountain ranges here, each of them is beautiful, but the most picturesque ones are probably the Table Mountains with numerous rock formations.
Besides mountains, there are other beautiful natural places in the region: waterfalls, caves, lakes (including those with different colors), or rivers. It’s very easy to escape hustle and bustle of cities and enjoy nature in Lower Silesia.
Lower Silesia has a long and interesting history and you will find remnants of old times all over the region. From the 7th century, it has been under Slavic influence and eventually became part of Poland shortly after the country was established at the end of the 10th century (that’s why you will find some of the oldest Polish towns and cities in this area).
Over the years this region was under Polish, Czech, Habsburg or German rule and eventually was returned to Poland after World War 2.
The most interesting part of Lower Silesia history is the one from WW2 when Nazi Germany started building the so-called “Project Riese”, the network of underground structures that the purpose is still not really known of (the documents of the project were destroyed). They are located in the Owl Mountains are today you can visit some of them – I definitely recommend doing that!
Speaking of war, there are a few more interesting military objects in the region. The most spectacular ones are fortresses in Srebrna Gora and Klodzko. They were both built in the 18th century and played an important role when Napoleon’s troops invaded Prussia. Today they are fascinating places to visit, showing the military power of the past.
Castles and palaces
Lower Silesia has probably the highest number of castles and palaces in Poland. When traveling around you can be sure there is one of them nearby and some of the buildings are among the most beautiful in the country. Many of them are located near Jelenia Gora, in the so-called “valley of palaces and gardens”.
The most popular one is Ksiaz Castle, the third-largest castle in Poland (after Malbork Castle and Wawel Castle in Krakow). It is a really incredible building and definitely a must in your trip to Lower Silesia.
Many of the castles and palaces were renovated and transformed into hotels and restaurants. It’s definitely a unique experience staying overnight in one of them. I stayed in Karpniki Castle and I can definitely recommend it.
Lower Silesia has many spa towns and they are among the most beautiful and charming in Poland. Even if you are not in need of any healing treatments, you still should visit some of them, to feel the vibe and charm of the place and to slow down a bit.
My favorite Lower Silesia spa towns are Szczawno Zdroj, Swieradow Zdroj, Ladek Zdroj and Kudowa Zdroj but there are so many more of them!
If you like industrial places Lower Silesia offers some great attractions of that kind too. There is a really good railway museum in Jaworzyna Slaska or an excellent mine in Walbrzych (I enjoyed visiting it much more than the famous Wieliczka salt mine near Krakow), just to name a few places.
In Lower Silesia, you can also find the most beautiful railway line in Poland, from Walbrzych to Klodzko. There are a few trains per day running and along the way, you will pass the longest railway tunnel in Poland as well as old viaducts, not to mention lovely views you can admire.
You might also have heard recently about the old railway bridge in Pilchowice near Jelenia Gora that was planned to be blown up when filming another “Mission Impossible” movie. Fortunately, after the protests, the bridge was saved and you can now admire it too.
With the long and troublesome history and the location on the crossroads near the borders, the region has a kind of multicultural vibe. It’s not uncommon to see signs in three languages: Polish, German and Czech.
But the most visible are old German remnants (after all the area has been back in Poland for less than a hundred years). You can sometimes still see old German signs and there are numerous German graves near old churches.
This part of history, when the area changed its statehood, really fascinates me and might be the main reason why I keep visiting Lower Silesia since it is still clearly seen there.
Easy to get around
As a person who doesn’t drive and relies on public transport only, I’m always pleasantly surprised how decent connections in Lower Silesia are (unlike in many other parts of Poland). This is yet another good reason to visit the region, you can really see a lot even without a car.
Of course, when driving you can cover many more places or get to more remote locations but Lower Silesia is a perfect place to visit with each mode of transportation.
Final thoughts on visiting Lower Silesia
As you can see Lower Silesia really offers a variety of attractions and everyone should find something interesting there. This really is a beautiful and fascinating region and I know I will keep exploring it further as there are still so many places for me to see (or revisit).
And I definitely recommend you to visit Lower Silesia too, I’m sure you will fall under its charm as well.
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