'''Wroclaw''' is a large undiscovered gem of a city in southwestern Poland in the historic region of [[Silesia]]. It boasts fascinating architecture, many rivers and bridges, and a lively and metropolitan cultural scene. Like many cities in Central Europe, it is a city with a troubled past, having seen much violence and devastation. Prior to the Second World War, Breslau was the capital of the German province of Prussian Lower Silesia. It became Polish territory when, after the War, the Soviets moved the German/Polish border westward to the Oder/Neisse Line. Breslau was almost completely destroyed during the end of the War as the Red Army fought its way into Germany towards Berlin, being declared a "Fortress City" by Hitler. However, it has been wonderfully restored and can now be counted amongst the highlights of Poland and of all Central Europe. As Poland rushes headlong into further integration with the rest of Europe, now is the time to visit before the tourist hordes (and high prices) arrive. Right now, most tourists are only Polish and German. There are also many Japanese and Korean businessmen and their families living in Wrocław now.
'''Wroclaw''' is a large undiscovered gem of a city in southwestern Poland in the historic region of [[Silesia]]. It boasts fascinating architecture, many rivers and bridges, and a lively and metropolitan cultural scene. Like many cities in Central Europe, it is a city with a troubled past, having seen much violence and devastation. Prior to the Second World War, Breslau was the capital of the German province of Prussian Lower Silesia. It when, after the War, the Soviets moved the German/Polish border westward to the Oder/Neisse Line. was almost completely destroyed during the end of the War as the Red Army fought its way into Germany towards Berlin, being declared a "Fortress City" by Hitler. However, it has been wonderfully restored and can now be counted amongst the highlights of Poland and of all Central Europe. As Poland rushes headlong into further integration with the rest of Europe, now is the time to visit before the tourist hordes (and high prices) arrive. There are also many Japanese and Korean businessmen and their families living in Wrocław now.
Revision as of 20:39, 14 December 2012
Wrocław (Polish: Wrocław , pronounced Vrots-waf; also known as Breslau, its German name, and English name until 1945) is the largest city in the Dolnośląskie (Lower Silesian) Voivodeship in Poland. Wroclaw is also a historic capital of Silesia. Wrocław is a city where football matches during Euro 2012 were played  and is also 2016 European Capital of Culture.
Wroclaw is a large undiscovered gem of a city in southwestern Poland in the historic region of Silesia. It boasts fascinating architecture, many rivers and bridges, and a lively and metropolitan cultural scene. Like many cities in Central Europe, it is a city with a troubled past, having seen much violence and devastation. Prior to the Second World War, Wroclaw (Breslau in German) was the capital of the German province of Prussian Lower Silesia. It returned to Poland when, after the War, the Soviets moved the German/Polish border westward to the Oder/Neisse Line. Wroclaw was almost completely destroyed during the end of the War as the Red Army fought its way into Germany towards Berlin, being declared a "Fortress City" by Hitler. However, it has been wonderfully restored and can now be counted amongst the highlights of Poland and of all Central Europe. As Poland rushes headlong into further integration with the rest of Europe, now is the time to visit before the tourist hordes (and high prices) arrive. There are also many Japanese and Korean businessmen and their families living in Wrocław now.
Wroclaw is served by an international airport .
Ryanair and Wizz Air from several European destinations.
From the airport, bus 406 operates from the terminal building to central Wrocław between 5am and 11pm every 20 minutes (schedule: ). There is also a night bus 249 (schedule: ). The night bus will take approximately one hour to get to the city center (it will have a short break in the Jarnołtów district). If you are not sure how to get to your final destination in Wrocław by public transport, it might be helpful to use the journey planner . Single-ride tickets from Wroclaw Airport to the city center cost 3.00 PLN (or 1.50 PLN for students or ISIC/EURO 26 Holders).
Wrocław is a major hub in the Polish rail network, with several trains a day to all large Polish cities (route planner ). There are about 10 daily departures to Warsaw (travel time varies from 5h by a InterCity train, up to almost 7h with a TLK (fast) train) as well as quite a lot of trains to Poznań (from there you can go to Warsaw or Berlin). Several trains a day go to Kraków. There are also international trains to Hamburg (via Berlin), Prague, Dresden, Kiev (via Lviv) and Budapest.
Wrocław is a stop on the Eurolines international coach network. All international and national buses stop at the PKS Centrum station which is located directly behind the main train station. The actual timetable can be found on  (click "Odjazdy autobusów z Dworca Centralnego PKS").
PolskiBus operates routes to Prague and Warsaw (via Łódź). Tickets are only available online , but traveling with them is comfortable. Buses are brand new and free WiFi is available on-board. Tickets are cheap when bought in advance. One-way tickets are available from 1 zł (plus 1 for reservation).
Every day a fast bus runs between Wrocław and Kraków . The bus leaves at 8.50 PM and arrives in Kraków around 11.50 PM. On Thursday, Friday and Sunday there is also a fast bus service leaving at 3.30 PM and arriving in Kraków at 6.30 PM. On Monday an additional service to Kraków leaves Wrocław at 11:00 AM (arriving around 2.15 PM in Kraków). Tickets cost 39 PLN and can be bought on board. Reservations can be made by sending an SMS indicating the date and time of departure and your name to +48664670191.
Another company that rides to Kraków and back (with a stop in Katowice) is Lajkonik. Three runs everyday each direction. One way ticket is 43 zł (and there are some small discounts for students).
The centre of Wrocław is navigable on foot, but the city has an excellent public-transport system for access to the suburbs and outlying attractions, with 60 bus lines and 25 tram lines. During the past year large areas of the surrounding area of Wroclaw have been closed for extensive road works. As such there are many diversions, and journey times in and out of the city have increased especially at peak times and a few tram lines have been diverted or removed from service temporarily.
By bus or tram
Tickets are sold in lots of places. Look for "Ruch" kiosks, post offices. You should be able to buy them in most newspaper stores also.
In the city centre you can find lots of ticket machines offering all types of tickets .
In every bus and tram there should be a ticket machine installed too . Payment only by credit/debit card(Visa/Master Card/American Express). Watch out, Maestro is not accepted!
You must validate your ticket (also a period one) on board, or face a 120zł fine if caught by an inspector (100zł if paid within 7 days).
There are 2 types of tickets (prices: normal fare/discounted fare):
One ride tickets: for normal lines 3.00zł/1.50zł, for express or night bus - 3.20zł/1.60zł.
These tickets are not time-based or route-based - you must pay each time you enter a different vehicle.
The Rynek, or central square, is the architectural centre-point of Wroclaw, and its most obvious attraction. It is one of the biggest town squares in Europe, and is lined on all sides with photogenic and interesting buildings. Centre of tourist life, place where tourists drink beer.
Wroclaw Town Hall
Town Hall, ul. Sukiennice 14, south side of the Rynek, open 11am-5pm (closed Monday), admission 4zł. It now serves as the Museum of City Art . Construction of the town hall began in the 14th century. It was one of the few major buildings in Wroclaw to survive World War 2. The interior features stunning Gothic interiors.
Salt Square pl. Solny, formerly salt market, now flower market.
Ostrow Tumski, a group of islands on the Oder River with beautiful Cathedrals and a few hundred year old buildings, for those who would have romantic evening, walking through mystery brick stoned streets it is a MUST. It is complete with hand-lit oil lamps lit nightly.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, ul. Katedralna, open 10am-6pm (closed Sundays), admission 4zł, tower admission 5zł. Dating from the 13th century, featuring stunning architecture and the largest church organ in Poland. Has elevator to the top, so this is the one to go to if you can't climb. Good river views from this one.
St. Elizabeth's Church, ul. Elżbiety 1, open 9am-4pm (1pm-4pm Sundays), tower admission (no lift) 5zł. On the northeast side of the Rynek, this is a large and imposing medieval building with a 90m high tower with spectacular views over the old town.
St. Maria Magdalena Church The big church a block south of the Rynek, you can also climb this tower for 5 zł. Between the two towers, there is a small bridge known as the Penances Bridge, where you can walk along and enjoy the cityrama. Views are great, but if you can only do one, St Elizabeth is probably the one to do. However, the bridge makes a good story to tell people at home.
The Centennial Hall, a historic building, constructed according to the plans of architect Max Berg in 1911-1913, when the city was part of the German Empire. As an early landmark of reinforced concrete architecture, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.
The Centennial Hall
The Wrocław Fountain, a multimedia fountain located within in the Pergola next to Centennial Hall in Wrocław. The one hectare fountain incorporates about 300 jets to create a screen of water for animation display. There are also 800 lights. When frozen in winter, the fountain is a 4700 square meter ice skating rink.
Wroclaw Aiguille - a distinctive object placed close to the Centennial Hall.
Wroclaw Japanese Garden
Park Szczytnicki, East-central Wrocław. Very large, spanning over a few kilometers, it's a common place for walks. Becomes incredibly colorful in autumn and should not be missed if you travel there in late September or October. The Centennial Hall (listed above) is a good entry point to the park.
Japanese Garden, a part of Park Szczytnicki, open 9am-7pm April - October, admission 2zł. A remainder from the 'World Expo' of 1913 held in Wrocław, this is a large landscaped garden restored post-flooding with the assistance of the Japanese government. Beautiful and well worth a visit.
Eastern Park (pl: Park Wschodni) on the bank of Oława river is a masterpiece of design, but left forgotten for decades. After few years of restoration it's now a true gem especially worth visiting in April when wetland flowers are blooming or autumn when vegetation turns into picturesque blend of reds, yellows and gold. As it borders semi-wild forests and has plenty of water, you may even watch swans taking care of their nests just few meters from the walking path.
Synagogue "Under the White Stork", 19th century synagogue.
Panorama Racławicka, ul. Purkyniego 11, open 9:30am-5pm (Tuesday-Sunday), admission 25 zł (student and family discounts apply). Perhaps the most-visited tourist site in Wrocław, it consists of a large canvas painting wrapped around a viewing rotunda. It creates a 360 degree view of the Battle of Racławice (1794) between Russian troops and Polish insurrectionists. The battle was a victory for the Poles, however the Russians ultimately won the war. Visits are conducted in tour groups roughly every half-hour and foreign-language audio guides are available.
City Museum of Wrocław has several subsidiaries:
Museum of Archeology and Military Museum in Arsenal, ul. Cieszynskiego 9.
Historical Museum in the Royal Palace, , ul. Kazimierza Wielkiego 35
National Museum in Wrocław, pl. Powstańców Warszawy 5, open 10am-4pm (closed Monday), admission 15zł. Features a large collection of Polish art. since 2011 there is a new Gallery of Contemporary Art in the attic.
Wrocław Contemporary Museum, pl. Strzegomski 2a, open Mon. 10-12, Tu. closed, Wed.-Sun. 12-20. Admission 10 zł, reduced 5, Thu free. Until 2016 museum is located temporarily in a WW2 air-raid shelter. Contemporary art, photography, also a club and a cafeteria with nice views.
Museum of Architecture, ul. Bernardyńska 5. Mon. closed, Wed. free. Tickets 10 zł, reduced 7 zł. Museum is located in a 15th century post-Bernardine Gothic buildings - St Bernardine of Sienna Church and a monastic quadrangle with a garden.
Ethnographic Museum, , ul. Traugutta 111/113. Mo. closed, Sat. free. Located in the former summer Palace of Wrocław Bishops. Collection concentrates on folk art.
Współczesny Theatre (Contemporary Theatre) , ul. Rzeźnicza 12.
Wrocław Philharmonic, ul. Piłsudskiego 19 - different kinds of concerts: symphonic, choral, early music, jazz, popular music.
Go to the rope park on Opatowicka island, Opatowicka Wyspa Przygody.
Nowe Horyzonty (New Horizons) - International Film Festival. Best Film Festival in Poland. Ten days of films, concerts and exhibitions. End of July 
Dialog Festival - International Theatre Festival. October 
International Festival Wratislavia Cantans - oratorio and cantata music in Wroclaw's historical venues. September 
There is for some reason, a stunning amount of Italian inspired Pizza restaurants, if you like Pizza then this is the town for you.
Pierożek, Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego 20 (next to the Casino, close to the Scandic Hotel) - according to many Wroclavians, the best pierogi in Wrocław, priced at about 10 zł for a small portion (you may need to order two if you're hungry). Try pierogi ruskie (with potatoes and cottage cheese) with kefir and barszcz (borscht) and "nalesniki" (pancakes) to experience what real Polish pierogi ought to taste like. The place is small and basic, you may need to wait for a seat, but the food is top-notch.
Cultural note: the "bars" listed below are in fact self-service canteens, known as milk bars (bar mleczny), offering inexpensive and traditional Polish meals. They are a gastronomic and cultural experience. They should be open even on national holidays. Expect short queues.
Bar Miś, 48 Kuźnicza Street, 700 ft. north of Rynek (Market Place or central square). M-F 7-18 and Sa 8-17. Offers an ample and diversified menu, including meat-based dishes. Students, staff and professors of the University of Wroclaw usually eat there, together with homeless people, elderly and pensioners. After entering go to the cash desk (at the left corner) and order your meal (Polish only). Turn right, go to the food counter and handle your receipt to the person serving the meals. Mains 1.50-4.50 zl.
Bar Bazylia, Kuźnicza Street / corner of Universytecki Square, 300 ft. after bar "Miś", inside the building of University's Law Department. Very clean and fast service. Offers a more stylish ambient. Mains 3-9 zl.
Bar Mewa, Dubois Street, 7 minutes walk north from Rynek through University Main Building and Pomorski Bridge. M-F 8-18, Sa & Su 9-16. The cheapest. Offers some dishes only at specific hours: pierogi - 13:00, pancakes - 14:00, pierogi with cabbage - 15:00, potato pancakes - 16:00. You pay directly at the food delivery counter (Polish only). This is one of the cheapest places to eat, where 4-5zl (1 EUR) will fill your stomach with delicious, varied food.
Abrams' Tower - Resto Bar and Wine Shop (also formerly known as Baszta and La luz), 14 Krainskiego Street. Both the first wine bar and multi-ethnic kitchen in Wroclaw, with delicious food influenced mainly by Mexican but also a unique menu of "Global Tapas", Thai, Indian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Italian and other dishes, relying on authentic preparation and ingredients. Their Mexican selection is on the level of high caliber Tex-Mex cuisine, including fresh cilantro (coriander), imported corn tortillas, jalapenos and chipotles. Yet prices are very reasonable. They also serve a wonderful selection of quality wines. Situated inside a 13th century tower, it's a bit hidden in a courtyard behind old buildings made in the socialist times but a rare jewel worth the effort to find, an alternative to the crowded city's market square. The first floor has a decor of illuminated wine bottles and ethnic music is also played from Caribbean to gypsy to acid jazz and Latin rhythms. Lounge sofa seating with big fluffy pillows lining the walls, antique furniture and candles everywhere, lends a very comfortable homey atmosphere. Food is served until late evening and while cigarettes are not allowed, shisha is available on the bar floor, the staff friendly and English speaking.
Amalfi, Wiezienna Street. The only place in southwestern Poland serving authentic thin-slice Italian pizza from a proper, scorching-hot wood oven. Tastes just like in Rome. About 15 zl for a pizza for one person. Italian owners.
Oregano, Igielna Street. Inexpensive restaurant with pizza and a variety of other dishes.
Piramida, Wita Stwosza Street. Egyptian restaurant. Kitschy interior and big portions.
Gruzińskie Chaczapuri, Mikolaja Street (nearly adjacent to Market Square), a budding franchise originating from Krakow, serves Georgian food (khachapuri). Try "lawasz z adżapsandałem" (dough filled with a tasty mix of tomatoes, bell peppers, aubergines, garlic and goat cheese) for about 15 zl.
Mexico Bar, Rzeźnicza Street. A favorite of many Wroclavians. As long as you are willing to eat a somewhat modified version of Mexican cuisine, you should enjoy the large, rich portions at Mexico Bar. You might want to order the "hot" (na ostro) version of your dish, as the regular dishes are surprisingly mild. This is a small, popular place, so you may have to wait for your seat at the bar.
Masala Grill & Bar, ul. Kuźnicza 3 (close to the main square), ☎ +48 71 302 69 49, . 11AM-midnight. An Indian restaurant. The restaurant is air conditioned, has a seating capacity of 110 and is child friendly. The cuisine is Indian keeping European tastes in mind. The Xpress Lunch combo is a favourite and very reasonably priced with a free soft drink. The main menu has a wide variety of dishes to choose from including soups, salads, starters, Tandoori Grill, special Indian curries, fragrant basmati rice and Indian bread (naan). The bar at the restaurant specializes in a wide variety of eye-catching cocktails and mocktails.
Le Bistrot Parisien (French restaurant in Wrocław), ul. Nożownicza I D, . Small place, genuine French cuisine, good for dates.
Radisson Hotel. Next to Panorama Racławicka.
Pod papugami. At Rynek, next to Spiż Cellar (see above). Offers good meals and a good selection of salads.
Novocaina, Rynek 13, ☎ +48 (71) 3436915, . Organic-based pizza and pasta dishes. Reservations are necessary, but can be made a day in advance through their website.
There's quite a significant number of different clubs and pubs in Wroclaw. Most of them are located in the centre of the old town, many good ones however, are situated a few crossings from the Town Square, not within its very borders. The Town Square mostly contains some not very specific, quite expensive restaurants, although it is definitely needed to mention the Spiż Cellar, an interesting mini-brewery with a few tasty kinds of locally made beer and a unique interior design. There are also two discos quite popular among fans of house/techno music - Daytona and Związki. However, pub-wanderers, who want to meet interesting people and/or get involved in some discussions will probably enjoy places situated in some less obvious locations than right in the Town Square. Good examples of such places are:
Mleczarnia (pronounced 'Mletcharnya'), , ul. Włodkowica 5 - a bit further from the Town Square but still not too far, near the main courthouse in a quiet street - quite a large pub occupying the basement and ground level of an old fin-de-siecle building. It has unique dark, cozy, wooden interiors and a specific atmosphere. Music played is quite specific and varied - among the styles played are: Jewish music, jazz, progressive rock, film music and others. There are often some cultural events, like discussion clubs or film projections taking place in the basement. They also have a hostel in that same building.
Bezseność (Insomnia), , ul. Ruska 51, upstairs. Concerts, film screenings. Popular place.
Setka, , ul. Kazimierza Wielkiego 50A, on the corner. Supposedly PRL (Communist) style, well - kitschy. But open 24/7 with cheap alcohol (4 PLN for a glass of beer or shot of vodka) and good meals.
There are also clubs dedicated especially to rock music fans, in Wrocław. Most popular are:
Od Zmierzchu do Świtu (From Dusk till Dawn), , ul. Krupnicza 15 - located opposite the main courthouse in a basement. You can regularly hear live music there. On Wednesdays there are concerts of young rock bands, on Thursdays jam sessions featuring a bunch of resident performers. Their level varies from great to moderate. On Fridays and Saturdays there are rock parties with a DJ.
There's also plenty of other clubs and pubs in Wroclaw. It's a great adventure to explore them because most have their own specific style and atmosphere.
Spiż  Cellar - see how to brew beer and how delicious it tastes.
Beer gardens on the main square in the summer.
Świdnicka cellar - Supposedly the oldest restaurant in Europe. Some people say "If you haven't been to Świdnicka cellar, you haven't been to Wrocław".
Beer 0,5 l: 4-7 PLN in bars, 2-4 PLN in shops
Wine glass: 7-12 PLN
Vodka shot: 4-7 PLN
Alien Hostel, ul. Sienkiewicza 31, ☎ '''PL +48 519 115 075, EN and DE: +48 781 180 911''' (email@example.com), . English, German and Polish speaking staff.From 50 PLN, no dorms.
Boogie Hostel, ul. Ruska 35, ☎ +48 71 342 44 72 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Offer you cheap accommodation in comfortable conditions in the very centre of Wrocław. You are welcome to choose from 19 and very spacious but cosy rooms both private (for 1, 2, 3 or 4 people), as well as for many people (8 or 10).
Flower Power Hostel, al. Lipowa 15/2, ☎ +48 71 794 98 68 (email@example.com), . Eco. Located in a '20s villa. Not in the centre. Pets welcome.40 zł dorm bed.
HiWay Hostel. Price form: 35 zł (8 bedded dorm). Apparently the smallest hostel in Wroclaw. Comfortable facilities, WiFi, Internet, free breakfast, laundry, friendly staff. Only few minutes walk from Ostrow Tumski and Panorama Raclawicka. About 15 minutes from the Main Square.
Hostel Babel, . Located within a stone's throw of the old city, just around the corner from the train station. Sheets, lockers and Internet are provided. There is a media lounge where you can watch DVD movies and play video games. Formerly called The Stranger Hostel.Dorm bed from 45 zl.
Na Kielczowskiej ul.Kielczowska 43, 51-315 Wroclaw,tel.(71)3457396, fax.(71)3457396, firstname.lastname@example.org
The One Hostel, Rynek 30, ☎ +48 71 337 2402 (email@example.com), . Elegant hostel in the centre (on the Main Square).Dorm beds from 40 zł.
U Szermierzy, ul. Zygmunta Krasińskiego 30b (By the large brown doors under the 'U Szermierzy' sign is an intercom; enter '55' and the receptionist will buzz you in. Walk directly ahead (through a large corridor and a second identical set of large brown doors) into the courtyard, where you will see the hostel entrance straight ahead.), ☎ +48 71 343 49 89, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 10:00. Treading the line between hostel and cheap hotel, "U Szermierzy" has 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-bed rooms, the more expensive ones equipped with en suites and televisions. Dilapidated but clean, and less than 1 km from the Old Town Market. Free parking available, enter via ul. Generała Romualda Traugutta, 150m east of the intersection with ul. Zygmunta Krasińskiego. Free Wi-Fi internet access.single from 70 zł, double with bathroom and shower 90 zł. (51.1062,17.0441)
Qubus Hotel Wrocław- Four-star hotel located in the heart of the city, near a beautiful Market Square. There is also a fitness centre with body-building gym, sauna, jacuzzi and swimming pool.
Hotel System is one of the newest hotels in Wroclaw, conveniently situated close to the city centre but at the same time not far from major roads, (E67 8 Wroclaw - Warsaw, and E261 5 Wroclaw - Poznan).
Scandic Wrocław is the first hotel in Poland managed by the most popular Scandinavian hotel chain, ideally situated in the very centre of Wrocław, close to the Old Town and to the Railway Station, easily accesible from the A4 highway.
Nowa Apartments Wrocław two, modern high-standard flats that can accommodate 4 persons each, 10 minutes on foot to city square - located on Nowa Street. Exceptional concept for providing accommodation (flats names are Enzo and Muza), good prices for good quality. Enjoy.
Art Hotel is the best hotel in Wrocław in 2005 according to "Forbes".
Hotel Monopol Located in the very centre of the city. Room prices are generally around 250 zł for a single room and 400 zł for a double room. The hotel is located next door to the recently restored opera house.
Wrocław, like most of Poland, is a very safe city and violent crime is very rare.
You should exercise the usual caution and keep guard of your valuables especially around crowded places. In pubs and clubs better don't leave your belongings unattended.
Because international tourism has not quite hit Wroclaw yet, English is not as universally spoken as in the tourist areas of Kraków. You'll still be able to get around and pantomime, or find someone who speaks English, but it's easiest if you know at least a few Polish phrases.
Swidnica - interesting old town, UNESCO Heritage Peace Church.
Bolesławiec - some 100 km (60 mi) away, the place to shop for porcelain, with a nearby Kliczków Castle converted to a hotel.