Located 180 kilometers south of Warsaw at the foot of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, Kielce is a city built on the backbone of forestry, metallurgy and leather tanning.
An important center to Polish industry, the city hosts many annual trade fairs crucial for establishing business networks.
Stamped on the Polish map as a vital economic center, Kielce is an excellent touristic destination to visit with Baroque monuments, geological nature reserves, varied museums and activities centered around the hills and Silnica River.
Castle Square is the focal point of Kielce tourism and home to many significant landmarks. Take your camera to grab snapshots of the Cathedral and the nearby Bishops Palace, built as the summer residence of the Bishops of Kraków and now functioning as the headquarters for the National Museum with ornamental ceilings, paintings and archaeological items.
Admire the 19th century buildings fronted by ornamental street lamps on Ulica Sienkiewicza which is the main street in Kielce city. There are many pubs, department stores and caféterias to discover. Walk until you reach Plac Artystów (Artists Square) with park benches and regular public art installations.
Relive your inner childhood at the entertaining Museum of Toys and Play, the oldest toy museum in Poland. Interactive exhibits will thrill young visitors in particular, but all ages regardless will enjoy the display cases filled with vintage toys, model cars, puppets and trains.
Visit the informative Centrum Geoedukacj at Geopark Kielce, a modern educational facility that uses interactive methods to teach visitors about geology and natural history, especially focusing on regional geology of the nearby Świętokrzyskie Mountains.
Take a break from city sightseeing at Kadzielnia Park, a former quarry that surprises urban explorers with walking paths, monuments and an amphitheater used for outdoor concerts.
Kielce has a sombre overtone to explore due to its extensive Jewish history. Reflect on the atrocities of the past at the Jewish Cemetery at Pakosz which has a memorial on Jasna and Stolarska Streets to children of the labor camp and a grave for victims of the Kielce polgrom.
Venture into the great outdoors and immerse yourself in the Świętokrzyski National Park where you can clamber over boulders or sit amongst birdsong in beech forests. Home to over 2000 species of birds, mammals, insects and butterflies this outstanding protected natural environment is located just 35 kilometers from Kielce.
Fifteen minutes’ drive from Kielce, you will reach the town of Chęciny which is a good side-trip option. Here you can see an open-air folk museum, ruins of 13th century Chęciny Castle, and the magnificent limestone karst cave Jaskinia Raj which is a main archaeological attraction in the area and exhibits prehistoric fossils and tools.
Make sure you fill your fuel tank for a journey 80 kilometers from Kielce to Jurapark at Bałtów. This unique park transports tourists back in time to the Cambrian and Neolithic periods via fossil displays and around 40 natural-size dinosaur models, some reaching 10 meters in height. There is also a theme park, fossil sandpit for kids and mini zoo, so it’s a perfect day trip for families.