The city has a rich history and is historically situated in Lower Silesia. It has been known by various names in the past, such as Strzelno and Strehlen.
Strzelin is on the Oława River, on the border of the Strzelin Hills, which are part of the Sudeten Foreland, and the Silesian Lowlands. It is about 37 km south of Wrocław, the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship.
Strzelin serves as the seat of the urban-rural municipality of Strzelin and the Strzelin County. Administratively, the city belonged to the Wrocław Voivodeship in the years 1975–1998.