Dolnośląskie ([dɔlnɔˈɕlɔ̃skʲɛ]) is a voivodeship (administrative province) in southwestern-Poland, encompassing much the historic region of Lower Silesia, from whose Polish name (Dolny Śląsk) its name is derived.


Map of Dolnośląskie (Lower Silesia)

Spa towns

Other destinations

15th-century stone bridge in Bardo, a small town not far from the Czech border


In the early second millennium Lower Silesia started out as a part of Poland. In the 12th and 13th century Silesia fell apart into several duchies of with Wrocław, Głogów, Wschowa and Świdnica in Lower Silesia. In the 14th century Wschowa became again a part of Poland, while the others came under Czech or Bohemian rule. During this time the region was largely settled and or became German-speaking. Bohemia was also ruled at this time by the German Luxembourg, later the Polish Jagiellonians and finally by the Austrian Habsburgs. In 1741 Lower Silesia became a part of Prussia after Austria lost a decisive war over Silesia. After World War II Lower Silesia was annexed by Poland and almost all of its population (entirely German) was expelled and the area was resettled by Poles.



Some of the geographic regions include:

A forest park in Kłodzko


Like everywhere else in Poland, all residents of Lower Silesia speak Polish. However, frequently you will find information boards also in German and English. Most young people know some English. Older people quite often understand basic German or Russian. As everywhere knowledge of a few words in Polish will be warmly welcome.

Get in

Wrocław Copernicus Airport

By plane

The only airport in Dolnośląskie offering scheduled passenger services is Wrocław's Copernicus Airport (WRO) . LOT Polish Airlines and fellow Star Alliance members Lufthansa and SAS offer direct connections from there to their hubs in Warsaw, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf and Copenhagen, which can be used as a leg of flight to almost anywhere in Europe or the world. Eurolot, LOT's short-haul subsidiary also offers a connection to Gdańsk in northern Poland and Zadar in Croatia. Low-fare airlines WizzAir and Ryanair fly to Wrocław from a number of destinations in Europe.

Outside of the region, Katowice and Kraków airports can also be used as convenient access points thanks to their location close to the A4 motorway. Farther away, Poznań Airport in Greater Poland, Prague Airport Ruzyne in the Czech Republic and Dresden Airport in Germany are all within a hours drive from most locations in Dolnośląskie.

Inside Wrocław Główny train station

By train

Most, if not all, inter-regional and international trains to Dolnośląskie would be heading for Wrocław, sometimes stopping in some other localities along the way. Wrocław is among the large cities in Poland with less than favorable railway connections, as no high-speed line connects to it and the mountainous terrain in the region does not aid fast railway traffic. Trains from Warsaw have to go through Poznań, adding up to a journey over 5 hours (and in many cases more). Travellers from Germany can take advantage of a regional train connection to Dresden, taking about 4 hours.

Austrada A4

By car

Arriving from the East (Opolskie, Śląskie and Małopolskie) or West (Germany, in particular Saxony) can take advantage of the A4 motorway. Those arriving from the North (Wielkopolskie, Łódzkie or Lubuskie) or the South (the Czech Republic) have to access Dolnośląskie the older road network, which often consists of narrow, congested stretches of bi-directional two-lane roads.

Get around

The A4 autostrada is a very modern, well maintained divided highway running through the center of Lower Silesian Voivodeship from Opole Voivodeship in the east to Germany in the west. Most of the other highways are two lane paved roads, very narrow by American standards, carrying fairly heavy traffic. Local roads may be paved, or graded gravel. They tend to be even more narrow than the highways, and meeting an oncoming tractor/trailer can be interesting. Learning drivers in cars marked with a large blue "L" placard are very meticulous about obeying speed limits. Very few other drivers are. Auto travel seems the mode of choice for those who can afford it. You can get most anywhere you need to go by bus, train, and trolley, but the system is not as good as it was when fewer people had cars. Taxis are available in major cities, but are hard to find once you get off the beaten path.


Centennial Hall in Wrocław

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Go next

Lower Silesian Voivodeship borders three other Polish provinces:

as well as the Czech Republic and Germany.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, August 08, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.