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Opole

General information

Opole is the smallest region in Poland, and the capital of the region (also called Opole) is also called the capitel of Polish song. While this region might be quite small, it does pack a lot of interesting sightseeing into it. If you like culture, music, festivals, and history, this is a good region of Poland to visit – and you don't have to deal with that many other tourists. There are also some interesting places for people who like hiking, however, if you are after a proper nature and wildlife holiday, there would definitely be more interesting regions than Opole, which is mainly agricultural.

Traveling to and within the area

There is no major airport, so if you come from an international destination you would first have to land on a bigger airport, and then take a smaller local plane. You could also take a bus or one of the trains that go into the Opole region. Traveling within the region is not that difficult, considering that the region is also quite compact. There are reasonable bus and train connections between all the places that are of interest to visitors.

Local specialties

The Opole region is famous for two reasons: the Polish song festival in May (visit it if you have the chance, it's a very lively event and a good chance to soak in some Polish culture), and the oldest Dinosaur fossil in the world. The dinosaur Silesaurus opolensis has lived over 230 million years ago, which turned this find into the oldest dinosaur fossil to date.

Sights, places, and activities you should not miss

  • Opole (capital city of the region): As mentioned above, Opole is the home of the Polish song festival, but it is also home to a German minority – so if you would like some German food while in Poland, you might very well find some in Opole. Opole is not only the capital of the region, it is also the biggest city in the region though it is small compared to cities like Warsaw and Krakow. There is still quite a lot to see even if you happen to travel there while there is no festival. You can visit places like the Franciscan church from the 14th century, which also is a Piast mausoleum, the 19th century town hall, the Church of the Holy Cross from the 14th century, the church of St. Adalbert from the 10th century, and another impressive building from the 14th century, the Holy Cross Cathedral. After this, you should also have a look at the Opole Regional museum, the Diocesan Museum, and the Opole Village Museum. If you still have some time left, then you might be interested in visiting the local zoo, the Ogrod Zoologiczny w Opolu. If you are into creepier attractions, then there are also some interesting cemeteries you could visit.

  • Brzeg is a town which was founded sometime in the middle of the 13th century. While there isn't much left from that time, it is still an interesting place to spend a day or two in. The sights in Brzeg include the Castle of the Silesian Piasts, the renaissance town hall, and a few charming churches.

  • Opawskie Mountains: If you made it your mission to also have some outdoor adventures while you are in Opole, then the Opawskie Mountains would be the best destination. You can explore this area on your own, but be careful to not get lost. There are quite a few hidden valleys, and you don't want to get lost in them.

  • Głogówek Castle: This castle is more like a ruin these days, and unfortunately, there is not enough money to work on its restoration. The castle was never one of the most spectacular but had been popular with people who visited it in the past. It was renowned for its good hospitality, good food, and fun. The two parts of the castle are in the form of horse shoes, and it used to be connected to a cloister. If you happen to visit this place, try to imagine what it could have looked like in the past.

  • Moszna Castle: This castle is a spectacular sight. It is not that old, only from the 17th century, but nevertheless a place with an interesting history, and definitely worth your time. The castle and the castle grounds are well maintained, and there are often special events in the castle. You might also be able to dine at the castle, however, it might not be the most affordable activity during your holiday.

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