Opole is a beautiful province just two hours outside of Krakow that offers some of the most photographic castles and architectural landmarks in all of Poland.
This area has plenty of historical attractions to keep you occupied for at least 2-3 days and offers a nice change of pace for those travelers looking to escape and explore outside of the busy Krakow city boundaries.
Opole is also the name of the main city in this region and we suggest to use it as a home base while exploring this area.
In our guide below we cover all the top attractions to visit around Opole, best museums and even how to stay in a castle overnight!
10 Top Things To Do Around Opole, Poland:
- Tenczyn Castle
- Opole Old Town
- Holy Trinity Church
- Bolko Island
- Opole Zoo
- Museum Wsi Opolskiej
- Dabrowa Castle
- Niemodlin Castle
- Robot Factory
- Moszna Castle
There certainly is no shortage of amazing castles that you can visit in Poland. Although not all of them are in the best condition, especially after the destruction and loitering that took place during WW2, they sure have plenty of stories to tell.
The first noteworthy castle on the Krakow-Opole route is the Tenczyn castle. This medieval castle is located about a 40-minute drive outside of Krakow and is well worth the visit on your way to Opole.
The Tenczyn castle fell into ruin during the 17th to 18th centuries and still remains in that state so you may have limited access to its interior, but come on the weekend and you can hop on a tour to learn more about its history from one of the knowledgeable local guides.
While the Tenczyn castle was closed during our visit, we enjoyed roaming around the castle grounds and seeing the charming castle structure from the outside. The entire castle is surrounded by a lush forest and endless wildflower fields making it quite the picturesque stop.
Location: 32-067 Rudno, Poland
Hours: Saturdays & Sundays from 10 am – 6 pm
Cost: 10 Polish złoty ($2.70 USD)
Opole Old Town
Opole is the main city in the Opole province and a lovely place to stay at while exploring the surrounding area.
This small town is quite the popular summer vacation spot for locals and the city even hosts a yearly Polish rock festival that attracts visitors from all over Poland. But even during the high tourist season in Opole, you won’t be dealing with tourist crowds like you would in Krakow or Warsaw.
While you don’t need more than a day to explore the Opole city itself, there are certain things that you shouldn’t miss in Opole’s scenic old town.
One option is to walk around on foot and explore Opole on your own, but we highly recommend going with a guide to learn more about the history and background of this region.
During our time in Opole, we were accompanied by our tour guide Agnieszka who was beyond helpful and informative. For guided tours and more info you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While truthfully we didn’t know much about Opole before our trip, we were quite surprised how well kept and beautiful the city of Opole was.
Before visiting Poland we had heard that Krakow is the most beautiful city in Poland, but Opole has its own charming historical area with red brick towers, colorful historical buildings and cute cafes.
The most beautiful part of Opole is the market square that was originally built 800 years ago to serve as the town hall and trade center. As the city grew, new houses and streets were built from the market square in all directions.
Most of Opole’s old town was destroyed during WW2 but much of it has been recovered and now is the main attraction of the city.
Be sure to set aside a few hours to explore Opole’s market square, the star avenue, colorful bridges and enjoy a lunch at one of the adorable cafes.
Location: Rynek, 45-015 Opole, Poland
Holy Trinity Church
The Holy Trinity Church is a beautiful church near Opole’s city center that was built in the 13th-14th centuries with its foundation dating back as far as the 12th century.
Inside the church, visitors can observe the tombs of 3 kings and a queen along with an elaborate interior decorated in the colors known to represent the royal family buried in these tombs.
The Holy Trinity Church chapel also plays an important role in Polish history after valuable frescos were uncovered beneath the walls portraying Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus in one hand and planet Earth in the other. Research is currently taking place trying to locate and pinpoint the origins and author of these frescoes.
Location: plac Wolności 2, 45-018 Opole, Poland
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The green space and parks that surround Opole make this city very special and welcoming. Take a walk to Bolko Island, a part of the city that is completely surrounded by a river.
Interestingly at one point in 1997, the majority of Opole town was covered under water due to rain floods. As you walk around the different parts of the Bolko Island you may notice waterlines on the buildings from this flood.
Bolko Island is especially beautiful in spring and early summer when flowers are in bloom. This little island has a lot of flower fields and trails that offer a nice escape away from the city center to relax and enjoy a picnic in the park.
Location: Spacerowa 16, 45-094 Opole, Poland
If you have time, we highly recommend spending a few hours at the Opole Zoo. This is one of the most beautiful zoos in Poland and is known for being animal-friendly where all zoo animals are kept in spacious green areas instead of being confined to tiny cages.
The Opole Zoo is located on Bolko Island in the midst of a forest. On a hot summer day, this is an especially lovely place to go to escape the heat and humidity.
The zoo is only 10 years old and is still expanding, but here you’ll find a variety of animals from camels and monkey to zebras, hippos, leopards, anteaters and even the most adorable giraffe family with a baby giraffe.
Location: Spacerowa 10, 45-094 Opole, Poland
Hours: Varies depending on the season. Starting May 1st opening hours are from 10 am to 6 pm
Cost: 22 Polish złoty ($5.30 USD)
Museum Wsi Opolskiej
For those interested in a cultural experience, we highly recommend visiting the Wsi Opolskiej open-air museum. This museum showcases a collection of traditional Polish houses and is meant to recreate the look of a Polish farming village from the 18th to 20th centuries.
The Wsi Opolskiej museum is set up outdoors and consists of wooden houses, barns, mills, and churches that were recovered all over Poland and moved to this museum. The interiors of these wooden houses have been furnished with the original equipment to recreate the most accurate representation of what life back then for Polish locals really looked like.
The museum is interactive and even has a blacksmith on the property who makes souvenirs in front of the visitors. It was pretty neat watching him create metal pieces on the spot in red hot coal that burns up to 1000 degrees Celsius.
It takes about an hour or two to explore the entire museum grounds so make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
Location: Wrocławska 174, 45-835 Opole, Poland
Hours: Monday – 10 am to 3 pm
Tuesday to Friday – 10 am to 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday – 10 am to 6 pm
Cost: Admission is free on Mondays. All other days admission costs 12 Polish złoty ($3.20 USD)
Much of the land surrounding Opole was occupied and owned by Germans during WW2. After the war ended most Germans that resided in Opole fled the area and abandoned their property. As the Soviet army invaded Poland, many of the buildings and castles in the Opole region fell into destruction and were left in an extremely poor condition.
After Poland gained its independence from Russia, efforts have been poured into restoring some of these castles, but there are just too many to count. The Dabrowa castle is yet another landmark that we visited during our time in Opole that has not yet been restored and remains partially ruined.
The Dabrowa castle is quite beautiful and worth a visit, but it is located on private grounds so it’s not always guaranteed that the entrance gate will be open. We were lucky on our trip and the gate was unlocked so we were able to roam around the castle for an hour before heading on to the next destination.
Location: Zamkowa 3, 49-120 Dąbrowa, Poland
Hours: No set hours
The next castle that we visited in the Opole region is the Niemodlin castle. Named after the town, Niemodlin castle foundation was built over 1000 years ago when the city itself was created.
The first towers were added to the castle in the 13th century to serve as a base for collecting money from people passing through the area. Niemodlin was located in the prime spot on the route between West and East Europe so with time the city and the castle itself grew bigger and now is considered one of the largest castles in Poland.
During WW2 much of the Niemodlin city was destroyed but a German family took ownership of the castle so for the time being it was left alone. After WW2 Soviet soldiers used it as a base for official offices, then as a school and even at one point as a prison.
Eventually the Niemodlin castle was sold to a private investor and it has been worked on and renovated since. Now it is open to public for tours, events and even houses a lot of religious and medieval artifacts.
Location: Rynek 55, 49-100 Niemodlin, Poland
Hours: Monday – closed
Tuesday to Friday – 10 am to 4 pm
Saturday & Sunday – 10 am to 6 pm
Cost: 15 Polish złoty ($4 USD)
To switch things up a bit for our next stop our guide Agnieszka took us to a place that’s quite different from all the historical landmarks that we had visited so far – a Robot Factory (Fabryka Robotów).
This Robot Factory first began as a passion hobby for Sebastian Kucharski who started building robots in his personal garage as a treat for his kids. Most of the robots that Sebastian built are based on movie characters like Transformers and some can perform basic movements and sounds.
All robots showcased at the Robot Factory are made out of scrap materials and can reach height up to 12 feet and weight up to 2000 lbs. Over the years Sebastian’s museum has gained quite the popularity in Poland and these robots can even be rented for parties and events.
In the near future, this Robot Factory will be moved from Sebastian’s personal garage to a bigger museum to provide wider access to the general public.
Location: 48-220 Łącznik, ul. Stawowa 15
Hours: Currently only open on Sundays
Cost: 13 Polish złoty ($3.50 USD)
There are so many incredible and charming castles that you can visit in Poland, but not in a million years I thought that we would stay in one. On our last day in Poland we were treated to an overnight stay at the Moszna Caslte where we got to channel all of our inner fairytale dreams.
Built in baroque style the Moszna castle is quite elaborate and surrounded by a spacious courtyard filled with flowers and oak trees. The castle itself is quite large and has 99 different towers and 365 rooms, some of which are open for overnight stays. To top it off, the castle also has its own restaurant on property serving top notch food.
Location: Zamkowa 1, 47-370 Moszna, Poland
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm
Entrance Cost: April – October entrance cost is 8 Polish złoty ($2.15 USD), all other times entrance is free
Accommodations: The Moszna castle offers a variety of room options for its visitors that wish to stay at the castle overnight. For the latest pricing and room options, check the Moszna castle website here.
A short drive from Krakow, Opole region is a historical hub know for beautiful castles and intricate architecture. While most tourists visiting Poland tend to stick to the main cities, Opole makes for a great addition on a travel itinerary and worth a few day detour for those in search of picturesque locations.
We hope that our Opole guide has helped you discover a few new hidden gems to visit in Poland. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comment section below!
Special thanks to @Polska.Travel group for hosting us and showcasing all of the best attractions in the Opole region. For more Poland inspiration and assistance in trip planning visit the Poland Travel page here.