Top 15 Poland’s Largest Cities by Population [2023]

Warsaw, Krakow and Lodz. These have been Poland’s largest cities by population for years. What about the others?

Compared to the multi-million metropolises of Asia, South and North America and Western Europe, Poland’s largest cities are not as impressive. There is only one city larger than one million inhabitants within in Poland. It is probably no secret to anyone that the city I am referring to is Warsaw. It is interesting to note that outside the capital only four Polish cities have more than 500,000 inhabitants. So where do the most people live in Poland? Here are the 15 largest cities.

Warsaw: 1,795,569 inhabitants

Poland’s biggest city is Warsaw. According to data released by the Central Statistical Office in 2023, the capital was home to 1,795,569 people.

The city area is 517.2 square kilometers. There is an eleventh bridge connecting the two banks of the Vistula River, which was put into operation in December 2020. The structure measures about 1505.5 meters in total length, which makes it the longest in Warsaw. But not in Poland, this record is held by the bridge that measures 1950 meters along the A1 highway near Grudziądz. There are two airports in the city – Chopin Airport and Warsaw-Modlin Airport. Warsaw’s territory is divided into 18 districts.

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Man Population: 827,783
Woman Population: 967,786

Cracow: 782,137 residents

It’s the second largest city in Poland, located in the Malopolska region. As of 2023, the city had a population of 782,137. That’s a pretty big difference compared to Warsaw, which has over a million more residents. But even though Krakow is the second largest city, it’s quite different from Warsaw.
You’ll notice that there aren’t many high-rise buildings in the city center because of all the historic monuments.

Plus, there are restrictions in other areas too. There are 18 districts in Krakow, and 12 road bridges across the Vistula River. The longest of those is the Cardinal Franciszek Macharski Bridge, which connects Podgórze and Nowa Huta It is 1401.5 meters long. And if you’re planning to fly in, you’ll land at the John Paul II Krakow Airport, which is located in Balice.

Man Population: 364,760
Woman Population: 414,377

Lodz: 664,071 residents

It’s the third largest city in Poland, with a population of 664,071 people. Believe it or not, it used to be the second most populous city in Poland, with a population of around 850,000. Back then, it was a major textile and film center in the country. But now, it’s mostly known as one of Poland’s major academic centers.

The city is pretty big, with an area of 293 square kilometers and it’s divided into 7 districts. In terms of building height, it’s not quite on the same level as Warsaw. The tallest building in the city is an office skyscraper on Piotrkowska Street, and it’s 80 meters tall. But by 2023, there’s going to be a new building that’ll take the title of the tallest building, it’s a luxury 32-story hotel that’s going to be built in the center of the city, at the intersection of Piotrkowska and Pilsudski streets and it’s going to measure 110 meters. If you’re planning to fly in, you’ll land at the Wladyslaw Reymont Airport Lodz.

Man Population: 393,973
Woman Population: 360,998

Wroclaw: 642,687 inhabitants

Boasting 642,687 residents, Wroclaw is the next city on the list. Known as the capital of Lower Silesia, it is also home to the highest number of bridges in Poland, with a whopping 100 spanning its waters. When including footbridges and railroad bridges, the total number of bridges in Wroclaw surpasses 300.

Spanning an area of 292.8 square kilometers, Wroclaw has done away with administrative units like districts, instead opting for neighborhoods. The city also boasts the fourth tallest building in Poland, the Sky Tower, which stands at a towering 215 meters. Wroclaw also has one airport, the Wroclaw Airport S.A.

Man Population: 342,514
Woman Population: 300,174

Poznan: 529,410 residents

The capital of Greater Poland is located in the center of the list of Poland’s major cities. Pozna had a population of 529,410 in 2023. Thus, the city with a fortified wall in its coat of arms outperforms Polish cities with populations more than 500,000.

Poznan has a land area of 261.8 square kilometers. It is split into 42 districts. Both banks of the Warta River, which runs through the city, are connected by 9 bridges (3 railroad and 6 road), the largest of which is the 306-meter-long Lucjan Ballenstaedt Bridge. Poznan Airport is the only airport in the city.

Man Population: 247,103
Woman Population: 282,307

Gdansk: 470,621 inhabitants

Gdansk, the city of maritime history, opens the second top five of the ranking for cities with the largest population in Poland. As of 2023, this beautiful city on the Baltic Sea is home to 470,621 residents.

With an area of 263.4 square kilometers, Gdansk is divided into 35 districts, making it a city with more districts than Poznań, which ranks higher on the list. Gdansk is not only rich in history but also in infrastructure. The city is well-connected with the Lech Walesa Airport and the Port of Gdansk SA, making it a hub for both tourism and trade.

Man Population: 248,008
Woman Population: 222,613

Szczecin: 395,513 residents

Just behind Gdansk in the ranking is Szczecin, a city with a population of 395,513 in 2023. This city is the largest in the West Pomeranian region.

Spreading over an area of 300.6 square kilometers, Szczecin is divided into 4 districts and 37 settlements. The city is also home to Poland’s only drawbridge, stretching 262 meters long over the East Oder River. Szczecin is well-connected with both a seaport and an airport, the NSZZ Solidarnosc Airport.

Man Population: 187,581
Woman Population: 207,932

Bydgoszcz: 339,053 residents

Coming in at the next spot on the list is the bustling metropolis of Bydgoszcz, the largest city in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian region. With a population of 339,053 in 2023, Bydgoszcz is a city teeming with life. Spanning a total area of 176 sq. km, the city is divided into 29 settlements, each with its own unique charm.

A standout feature of Bydgoszcz is the Rudolf Modrzejewski road-rail bridge, which soars above the Vistula River flowing through the city. This impressive structure stretches an impressive 1005 m in length. The city also boasts a river port and an airport – Bydgoszcz Airport – making it a hub of transportation.

Man Population: 159,249
Woman Population: 179,804

Lublin: 336,339 inhabitants

Taking the penultimate spot on the list is the dynamic city of Lublin, the capital of the Lublin Voivodeship. Boasting a population of 336,339 as of 2023, this bustling metropolis is brimming with life and vitality. With a total area of 147.4 sq. km, the city is divided into 27 distinct districts, each with its own unique charm. Among the city’s many features are its 27 road bridges, one of which, the historic Marian Lutoslawski Bridge, built in 1909, holds a place of distinction as a monument. Additionally, Lublin is served by a functional airport- Lublin Airport, making it a convenient hub for transportation.

Man Population: 155,223
Woman Population: 181,116

Bialystok: 295,683 residents

Rounding out the top ten of Poland’s largest cities is Bialystok, the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship, with a population of 295,683 people in 2023, just 9,000 more people more than Katowice. Spanning an area of 102.1 sq. km and divided into 29 settlements, Bialystok serves a key administrative, economic, cultural and scientific function in Podlasie. In May 2020, Bialystok-Krywlany Airport was certified to allow aircraft to operate at shortened thresholds, adding to the city’s transportation options.

Man Population: 138,648
Woman Population: 157,035

Katowice: 286,960 residents

Leading off the second ten of Poland’s largest cities is Katowice, with a population of 286,960 in 2023. As the largest city in terms of population in the Upper Silesian conurbation, Katowice spans an area of 164.64 square kilometers, which places it 12th among all Polish cities. Among the city’s many tourist attractions are the Silesian Museum, the Guitar History Museum, Spodek and the Three Ponds Valley, making it a popular destination for visitors.

Man Population: 136,278
Woman Population: 150,682

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Gdynia: 243,918 residents

While the population difference between Bialystok and Katowice may be small, the gap between Katowice and Gdynia is more substantial. As one of the most popular summer destinations, Gdynia had a population of 243,918, over 40,000 fewer than the capital of Upper Silesia. Covering an area of 390 square kilometers, with over 60 percent being maritime areas. Together with Gdansk and Sopot, Gdynia makes up the Tricity. Visitors to Gdynia can check out the Naval Museum or the Emigration Museum, which are worth a visit when in Pomerania.

Man Population: 114,821
Woman Population: 129,097

Częstochowa: 214,342 residents

Coming in at thirteenth place on the list of the 15 largest Polish cities is Częstochowa. According to the Central Statistical Office, this important pilgrimage center had a population of 214,342 in 2023. With an area of 159.71 square kilometers, the city is home to the Jasna Gora Basilica and the Pauline Monastery of Jasna Gora, which are primarily associated with the iconic image of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

Man Population: 100,262
Woman Population: 114,080

Radom: 106,946 residents

Bringing up the rear of the list of Polish cities with a population over 100,000 is Radom, with a population of 106,946 in 2023, earning it the 14th spot on the list. The second largest city in the Mazovian province, Radom spans an area of 111.8 sq. km. The city is known for its efforts in organizing and financially supporting a variety of cultural and sports initiatives and festivals, including the International Gombrowicz Festival, the Radom Jazz Festival and the International Air Show.

Man Population: 97,978
Woman Population: 108,968

Rzeszów: 198,609 residents

Bringing up the rear of the list of Poland’s 15 largest cities is Rzeszów, the capital of the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, with a population of 198,609, of whom 104,228 are women and 94,381 are men. Rzeszow spans an area of 129.01 square kilometers, and boasts an international airport and the Podkarpackie Science and Technology Park, which is the first industry park in Poland and one of the most attractive places for investment in the southeastern part of the country.

Man Population: 94,381
Woman Population: 104,228

The data for this ranking was compiled by the Central Statistical Office in 2023.

You may also like my other article I wrote about largest cities in Poland measured by their area.