Czestochowa, pronounced 'shen-stoh-hova' is home to the world famous Jasna Gora Monastery, this is a huge and magnificent church which houses the Black Madonna icon. For religious people this is a super place to visit. Because of its positioning, Czestochowa is subject to very warm summers, but drags itself through very long, harsh winters. Snow can be expected from December till April, with temperatures getting as low as -30ºC.
Natives of Czestochowa are generally very hospitable people. The city holds a number of universities within its catchments, one of with is Politechnika Czestochowa. This is where I studied from September till June 2002-2003. A reasonable percentage of people that make up the population of this relatively small city are students. There are a lack of foreign people here. 99% of people are Polish, a few are Russian, a few Ukrainian and only occasionally do you see another English speaking person, who you can almost guarantee are here to teach English.
The centre of the city is situated around the main street Aleja Najswietrzej Mari Panny, abbreviated to Al.NMP. Around Al.NMP are many shops and bars, they always look closed, but look a little closer. There are many shops in Czestochowa that are hidden away off the beaten street, look around a little and you'll be surprised what you find!
Beware, Polish people don't know how to queue.
Things to see and do around Czestochowa
RAIL TRAVEL AROUND POLAND AND THE REST OF EUROPE
Situated in the south of Poland, approximately 100 km north-west of Krakow, Czestochowa is in an excellent position for travelling to the rest of eastern Europe. With regular train connections to the 2 main rail hubs, Warsaw and Katowice, travelling is made easy and sometimes trouble free.
However, having personally experienced travelling thorough both hubs, I would advise avoiding Katowice. The timetables in Poland provide platform information as well as times, and at Katowice this is always wrong! The board doesn't match what the timetable says and the advisor behind the desk doesn't match what the board says. All guess work from here!! Plus, Katowice is known to be the most dangerous station in Poland. Warsaw station though, is fine.
Ticket prices within Poland are very cheap in comparison to Britain, with student discount, a 200 km return trip to Warsaw would cost about 30 zlotys, that's only £5. However, if you cross an international boarder the price goes through the roof. From Czestochowa to Vienna, return, going through Czech Republic, will cost approx 300 zlotys that's £50!!! And that's with student discount.