As the capital of the Świętokrzyskie Province, Kielce is the region’s center of commerce and culture. The city has several monuments, churches, and other landmarks that travelers can enjoy when visiting Poland. Kielce sits on the Silnica riverbanks and is surrounded by forests. It has five nature reserves and plenty of fresh air, making it a great place to enjoy the great outdoors. For more information please visit the official Kielce travel portal.

Basic information
110 km²
184 520 (2022)

Sienkiewicza Street is the city’s main street. Shops, restaurants and monuments can all be found on this important road that goes directly to the train station. The city is very easy to reach as it sits on the main bus and train lines that run between Warsaw and Kraków. Kielce is one of the few cities that has a marked tourist route, making it easy to get around on your own. It is a great place to enjoy a weekend with family exploring arts and culture.

The Palace of the Kraków Bishops is one of the more interesting places to visit in Kielce. It was built in the 17th century as a summer home for the bishops. The building itself bears both Italian and Polish influences. The first floor features the original interiors and ornately decorated ceilings complete with frieze murals and beams. The museum has a detailed permanent exhibition of 17th and 18th century interiors that give visitors a true feel for what life must have been like during those times. One particularly memorable room is the former dining room, where there are portraits of over 50 bishops lining the walls. The ornamental Italian garden and sanctuary round out the offerings at the museum.

There is a cathedral facing the palace that dates back to the year 1171. It was once Romanesque in style but in the 17th century, it adopted a more Baroque look with a three-aisle basilica. With its gold-appointed sanctuary and Gothic triptych portraying the Virgin Mary’s coronation, there is plenty to marvel at within the church’s walls. Visitors can venture down below the church to see the underground crypt that contains the tombs of the bishops or check out the treasure house. Pope John Paul II celebrated a mass in this landmark cathedral in 1999. Another point of interest located nearby is the romantic manor of Tomasz Zielinski.

The Museum of Toys and Play in Kielce is a great place to go not just for kids but also for the young at heart. The museum is home to an impressive collection of toys from Poland as well as around the world from throughout various periods of history. The thousands of displays include dolls from around the world, stuffed animals, folk toys, dollhouses, and model trains, cars, and airplanes, among others. It is interesting to spot the historical influences on the toys that kids played with in different parts of the world.

The Karczowka Hill is a giant hill where tourists and locals alike come to enjoy the picturesque views and the old pine forest. Nestled atop the hill is a 17th century monastery. It was originally just a church that was built by Bishop Marcin Szyszkowski as a show of gratitude for saving Kielce from the plague, but was eventually expanded to include the monastery.

The city of Kielce also has a number of interesting geological features. The Ślichowice Geological Reserve has folded limestone rock excavations. In other parts of the city, you can find limestone formations that contain various fossils. Once a town known for limestone mining, Kielce is also home to a geological museum that provides a comprehensive look at the geological activity in the area over the last 600 million years.