Bytom. History and communication

Bytom (Silesian: Bytůń, Bytům, Latin: Bitom, Bithom, German: Beuthen, Silesian-German: Beuthn[4]) – a city in southern Poland, at the Silesian Upland, in the centre of the Upper Silesian Agglomeration.

It is one of the oldest historic cities of Upper Silesia. The location was mentioned in documents in mid-12th century.  It was the capital of the Duchy of Bytom. Until 1532 the city remained in the hands of the Silesian Piasts and then was owned by the Hohenzollerns dynasty and from 1623 by the Donnersmarcks as a Free State Country. From 1742 to 1945 the city was within the borders of the Kingdom of Prussia and then the German Empire where it was an important economic and administrative centre of the local industrial region.  Until the outbreak of WWII the city was also the main centre of national, social, cultural and printing organizations fighting for retaining Polish national identity in Upper Silesia.  After WWII some of the native inhabitants of Bytom either immigrated or were deported to the USSR, and their places were taken up by numerous Poles from the regions that belonged to Poland before WWII and after 1945 were located within the borders of the USSR.  During the communist times, Bytom was focusing on heavy industry with wasteful exploitation of coal.  Nowadays, the city is an important place on cultural and industrial map of the region. 
According to the Main Statistical Office Bytom is inhabited by almost 170 thousand people  (as for 31st December 2017).

Tourist attractions

Old Town – over 750 years old

Parks in Bytom

Wzgórze św. Małgorzaty (St. Margaret’s Hill)

Historic tramway no. 38 (Konstal N from 1949) – still operating

Narrow-gauge railway – historic train

Historic ‘Szombierki’ Power Plant

Upper-Silesian Museum

‘Segiet’ beech tree reserve in Sucha Góra, ‘Żabie Doły’ water birds sanctuary and ‘Blachówka’ Quarry


Geographic coordinates of Bytom:
Latitude: 50°20′52″N 
Longitude: 18°55′58″E 
Elevation above sea level: 285 m


Bytom is well connected and you can get to the city centre by any means of transport. The city is situated at the crossroads of important communication routes (A1 motorway runs through Bytom).

The distance between Bytom and:

Kraków – 78 km

Prague – 323 km

Wrocław – 158 km

Budapest – 317 km

Warsaw – 255 km

Air transport

The closest airport is the Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport (24 km).  It offers regular connections to many destinations all over the world.  You can reach the airport very quickly by bus (no. 85) or by car  (A1 Motorway, direction Łódź).  Airport webpage:


Another airport which is quite close to Bytom is the one in Kraków (Balice), which you can reach very quickly by A1 motorway.

Railway transport

The Internet web page of the Polish National Rail – PKP with timetables:


Bus transport

Regular connection with majority of the Upper Silesian Agglomeration cities and towns:

Car transport

National road no. 94 runs through Bytom – it connects the western border of Poland (Zgorzelec, border crossing with Germany) with the eastern one (Korczowa, border crossing with Ukraine). Moreover, two other national roads start in Bytom: no. 11 to Kołobrzeg and no. 79 to Warsaw.  In close vicinity there is the Silesian Inter City Road  (DTŚ) and A4 and A1 motorways, the latter running through Bytom.