Świdnica, Poland: 10 Things To Do & Places to See

Update: February 4, 2023 r
Świdnica Poland best things to do see
Świdnica Poland best things to do see

Świdnica is a charming Polish city and a hidden gem in the Lower Silesian (Dolny Śląsk) region, close to the Polish-Czech border. Świdnica is the second most historic city in Lower Silesia, only an hour’s drive from Wrocław. I had long been gathering to visit this city and see the most important attraction listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List – the Church of Peace. But it’s not the only reason to visit this city!

I have put together the TOP 10 things to do & best attractions in Świdnica. You’ll find something here if you love historic buildings, colourful townhouses, charming cafes and cities full of parks and greenery.

It would make a great day or weekend trip – especially as I’ve put together this guide with tips only a local might know. 😉 Enjoy visiting one of the most interesting places to see in Poland and one of Lower Silesia’s main tourist attractions.


Looking for exciting places to see in the region of Lower Silesia? Want to explore Poland’s most beautiful region?

Get a map of 110 attractions in Lower Silesia. Works on phone & computer (Google Maps).

1. Marvel at the UNESCO-listed wooden Peace Church (Kościół Pokoju)

The Church of Peace (Kościół Pokoju) is the symbol of Świdnica and one of the most important attractions of Lower Silesia. It’s the largest wooden church in Europe. Since 2001 the church has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Locals refer to the building as “the church without nails”. It was built using only wood, clay and straw. It was only supposed to last a few years (the emperor Ferdinand III, who ruled this land at the time, was not too keen on Evangelicals), but it has been part of the landscape of Świdnica for 350 years.

The Church of Peace looks unassuming from the outside, but this is only an illusion….

Be sure to step inside for the smell of wood and hundreds of elaborate decorations. The interior catches the eye with its powerful organ and the church’s high altar.

Plan 30-40 minutes for the tour. As you walk inside the church, you’ll listen to a voice-over (ask at the ticket office for an English version) who tells you about the history of the building. Check ticket prices and opening times before visiting.

There’s a café called Baroccafe on Peace Square (pl: Plac Pokoju), serving dishes made with local producers’ ingredients. Nice place to relax after a visit to the church. 😉

Below you will find suggestions for tours (e.g. from Wrocław) to see Świdnica and the Church of Peace. The tours are led by local guides who will give you a lot of interesting information. The price of the tour includes transport and the guide’s supervision. 😉

2. Wander among the colourful townhouses and picturesque Market Square (Rynek)

Świdnica’s Market Square is the city’s central point and, in my opinion, the prettiest market square in Lower Silesia after the one in Wrocław. So you understand that a walk here is a must. 😉

On each side, you will see rows of colourful townhouses; in the middle, you will find the Town Hall building with the Town Hall Tower. Take a walk along the four sides of Market Square and look out for some exciting townhouses.

I liked the one at Rynek 7 – “Pod Złotą Koroną” tenement house. Look for the golden crown on its top, from which it takes its name. Above the tenement at Rynek 8 is… a golden peasant, its patron saint.

Fountains and sculptures also add to the charm of the market. I also recommend you to find a bench dedicated to the first female astronomer – Świdnica-born Maria Cunitz.

Every first Sunday of the month, the Market Square hosts the Świdnica Exchange of Antiques, Numismatics and Curiosities, where you can buy various unique treasures. It is difficult to say what is on sale because every Sunday means new goods and another opportunity for exploration.

3. Take a look at Świdnica and the surroundings from the Town Hall Tower

In the middle of the Market Square, you cannot miss the Town Hall Tower (Wieża Ratuszowa), on the upper floor of which there is a viewpoint over Świdnica and its surroundings. From a height of 38 metres you can also see the nearby Owl Mountains (Góry Sowie), Ślęża peak and, in good weather, the Sky Tower skyscraper in Wrocław and Śnieżka in the Karkonosze Mountains.

The Town Hall Tower is a strong point in the landscape of Świdnica

There is a glass viewing terrace on the eighth storey of the tower, and an open one a floor above. The view is amazing! You’ll take the lift most of the way to the top, but the last few metres have to be climbed via a not-so-steep staircase.

Check the opening hours and ticket prices for the Town Hall Tower in advance. I recommend you to buy a combined ticket with the Museum of Old Merchants. You can buy the ticket at the ticket office at the entrance to the tower.

From the viewpoint you can see the cathedral and the mountains surrounding the city

The Town Hall Tower is probably the most unlucky building in Świdnica. It has been destroyed by fire many times, with the last accident occurring on 5 January 1967, when the Town Hall tower turn into rubble. A construction crew had damaged the structure of the tower. The builiding was rebuilt after 45 years, in 2012.

4. Learn about the history of trade at the The Old Merchant Museum

The Old Merchant Museum (Muzeum Dawnego Kupiectwa) is the only museum in Poland dedicated to the history of the local merchants. There you will learn about the history of Świdnica as a merchant town on Europe’s leading trade routes.

In the museum, you will see an old pharmacy, a colonial shop, a shop section with old cash registers and calculators, old merchant stalls and ways of measuring the weight of goods. Brewing enthusiasts (active and passive) will find much information about Swidnica’s brewing traditions here. 😉

You will find the entrance to the museum not far from this model on the Market Square

The most striking exhibit of the Muzeum Dawnego Kupiectwa is a maquette of Świdnica, thanks to which you can quickly locate the main attractions and monuments.

Interesting fact: look out for a stone head built into the wall in the museum lobby. This is the head of Peter Zehl, who used a trained jackdaw to steal money from the town treasury.

5. Feel the power of the immense Cathedral of St. Stanislav and St. Wenceslas

Walking around Świdnica, you are bound to notice the mighty St. Stanislaus and St. Wenceslaus Cathedral. The cathedral is a record-breaking landmark in Świdnica – it has the tallest church tower in Lower Silesia at 101.5 metres high.

Construction of the cathedral began in 1330, and in 1567 a bell weighing 1.8 tonnes was hung on the tower, the highest bell in Poland.

You can visit it from Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., with a break between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. You can also arrange a guided tour (in Polish only) by prior contact. All essential details can be found on the website.

If you don’t fancy a more extended tour, take a peek inside for a few minutes to get a feel for the atmosphere of hundreds of years of history. The cathedral tower is a landmark for tourists wandering around the city.


Exchange in exchange offices is expensive and inconvenient.

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6. Watch out for… wild boars roaming the city

As I was unknowingly strolling the town’s streets, I came across an interesting monument of… Swidnica’s wild boars. The boars are on the coat of arms of Swidnica and have found their commemoration at 9 Franciszkańska Street.

The sculpture weighs over a tonne, and the largest of the boars is over a metre high. I would rather not meet one in person. 😉

The boars appeared in the city to symbolically guard the Świdnica Memorial Chest – a container in which mementoes of the modern city were deposited in 2014. The plan is to open it only after 100 years, thus mystically preserving how the city lives and looks in our time. And those wild boars… In the evening, you can get a little frightened!

7. Get lost in the city centre and look for interesting buildings

Sightseeing is important, but also I enjoy walking around the city without a plan, looking for buildings that catch my eye. The less planning, the better! I can give you a few hints.

You will find this tenement house on the corner of Niepodległości Avenue and Trybunalska Street

There is a tastefully renovated corner house at the intersection of Wałbrzyska and Lelewela Streets (Grunwaldzki Square 4).

Tenement house at the corner of Niepodległości Avenue and 8 Maja Street

The red-brick façade of the Regional Court (Sąd Okręgowy) building (14 Grunwaldzki Square), the intimate townhouse on the corner of Niepodległości Avenue and 8 Maja Street and the imposing building at 2 Plac 1000-lecia Państwa Polskiego may also catch your eye.

An interesting tenement house on 1000-lecia Państwa Polskiego Street

I recommend you spend at least 2 hours wandering around the city. When you get tired, check out the Chocoffee café and chocolate manufactory on Market Square. And don’t count your calories!


Looking for exciting places to see in the region of Lower Silesia? Want to explore Poland’s most beautiful region?

Get a map of 110 attractions in Lower Silesia. Works on phone & computer (Google Maps).

8. Find out that Świdnica is a city of street art

Świdnica hides some treasures from the world of murals and street art. The author of most of Świdnica’s works is the city-born artist Robert Kukla.

One of his first works that caught the eye a moment after arriving in Świdnica by train is a mural featuring Irena Sendlerowa, a Polish heroine of World War II and Righteous Among the Nations.

You will notice a mural with Irena Sendlerowa right next to the Świdnica Miasto train station

In the city, you will also find a mural dedicated to Charlie Chaplin (by Galeria Świdnicka), the eminent Polish director Andrzej Wajda (on Niepodległości Street, near the Cathedral) or the jazzman Tomasz Stańko (near the District Court on Łukowa Street).

My favourite mural is the image of an owl, which you will find on the other side of the tracks near Świdnica Miasto station. You can see it perfectly from the platform while waiting for the train.

Walking along Aleja Niepodległości Street, you will also notice a mural advertisement for Polish Saving Bank PKO remembering the 1980s-90s.

I like contemporary street art, but I have a great fondness for murals reflecting the communist years in Poland.

9. Find out the secret of the Red Baron

Although it is not common knowledge, one of the best military pilots of the First World War, Manfred von Richthofen, was born in Świdnica. He had 80 victories in air battles to his credit.

His family home can be found in the north-western part of the city, at 19 Sikorskiego St. The house of the “Red Baron” looks inconspicuous and needs renovation. Few Poles know about this important city resident, so you can feel like an explorer!

In General Władysław Sikorski Park, next door stands a replica of the Fokker Dr. I aircraft. This is the plane flown by the Red Baron. I recommend you to take a look at the park not only for this replica, but to get to know the green side of Swidnica…. about which in the next section. 😉

10. Relax in the parks and move seamlessly from one to the other

Świdnica is one of the greenest cities in the Lower Silesian region. There are several parks in the centre – General Władysław Sikorski Park occupying more than 8 hectares near the Red Baron’s House, Central Park, connected to the Jan Kasprowicz Park, Youth Park (Park Młodzieżowy) with its newly reconstructed observation tower. A lot for a city centre, isn’t it?

If you don’t have enough parks, a few minutes walk will take you to the Witoszówka Reservoir with its dam. Many Polish cities larger than Świdnica do not have such a “park portfolio”.

Many of the parks are interconnected. I had a pleasant walk from Park Central clockwise – through Kasprowicz Park and then through the Youth Park and Sikorskiego Park on the other side of the railway tracks – to Ulanów Park near the Church of Peace. A perfect idea for a 1.5-hour walk!

Where to sleep in Świdnica? Good hotels & accommodations

An overnight stay in Świdnica will be a good idea if you don’t want to explore at a high pace and give yourself time to relax in the parks. There are quite a few hotels and flats available – I have selected below those that meet my standards and are in a good location.

How much time do I need to visit Świdnica?

Set aside at least one day to explore Świdnica – but I recommend you stay in the city for a weekend. If you stay in town overnight, you can visit the attractions, relax in the parks and then spend the evening in one of the cafes on Market Square.

Remember to look for hidden treasures in Świdnica’s narrow streets

In the morning of the next day, you can finish your sightseeing and then go to Walbrzych and Książ Castle, head to the Owl Mountains (e.g. go to Bystrzyckie Lake in Zagorze Śląskie) or plan a trip to Ślęża.

You can take part in interesting tours from Wrocław covering Świdnica and other exciting places in Lower Silesia.

Where to eat in Swidnica?

Świdnica is a town with a wide range of cafés and restaurants – considerable for a Polish city of 60,000 people. In the summer, the Market Square is surrounded by beer gardens laid out by numerous restaurants. In the winter, they hide in the warm interiors of establishments on the ground floors of townhouses.

Good coffee is served at No Sugar Café at 1 Basztowa St. I had the opportunity to try several items from the Kryształowa – Gospoda Kuflowa (3 Równa St.), and everything I ordered was tasty.

The oldest (it probably existed as early as 1689) restaurant in Świdnica is Karczma Zagłoba at Wrocławska 46 – it is also worth a look.

It is no exaggeration to describe Świdnica as the urban pearl of Lower Silesia. The wealth of monuments and places worth visiting means the city’s popularity will only increase. You have seen as many as 10 of my recommendations – I hope that now your sightseeing plan is complete. Have a great time in Świdnica!


Looking for exciting places to see in Lower Silesia? Want to save time on planning?

Get a map of 110 attractions in Lower Silesia. Works on your phone & computer (Google Maps).

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