Surrounding Katowice is the Upper Silesian Industrial Region. Katowice has been developing rapidly since the mid 19th century, following the progress in mining and metallurgy. Today the city is also an important scientific and cultural centre. Its centre has a couple of Art Nouveau buildings preserved in a decent shape. Between Katowice and Chorzów, there is a big recreation centre with the ethnographic museum, zoological garden and amusement park.
Szczyrk is the second largest winter sports resort in Poland. The town is situated 17 kilometres south from Bielsko Biała and has three ski trails with the total length of 60 kilometres, around 40 ski lifts and 4 ski-jumps. A hiking trail leads to Mt Barania Góra (1220 m) where the three springs of river Vistula are located. Winter sport resorts include Wisła by the river of the same name. The town boasts a network of ski lifts and ski trails operates on the slopes.
Żywiec is renowned for its brewery, one of the best in Poland. In the town there are also two castles dating back to the 16th and 19th centuries respectively. Water sports fans enjoy the nearby Lake Żywieckie.
Częstochowa is the main centre of religious worship in Poland. This is due to the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa known as the Black Madonna. The sanctuary is located in the Pauline monastery on Jasna Góra, which has been a major goal of pilgrimages for centuries.