Wrocław (Polish: Wrocław, pronounced Vrots-swaf; also known by its German and English name Breslau until 1945) is the largest city and capital of Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. Wroclaw is also one of the historic capitals of Silesia. Wrocław played as a host city during the Euro 2012 Championship, and is slated to become the 2016 European Capital of Culture . With a population close to 630,000 and a metropolitan figure well over a million, Wrocław is the fourth largest city in Poland, and is among one of the republic's major manufacturing, banking, industrial, tourist and cultural centers.
Wrocław is divided into five administrative boroughs. Most of the city's main tourist attractions are located directly in the center, though several major points of interest can be found further afield.
Wrocław is the largest and most important city in southwestern Poland, situated within the historic region of Lower Silesia. The city boasts fascinating architecture, many rivers, islands, bridges, and a lively metropolitan cultural scene. Like many cities in Central Europe, Wroclaw carries 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. The region was annexed by Poland when, after the war, the Soviets moved the German-Polish border westward to the Oder-Neisse Line. Wrocław was severely destroyed at the end of the war as the Red Army fought its way into Germany towards Berlin, with the city declared as a "Fortress City" by Hitler. However, restorations throughout the city have wonderfully restored the city to its former glory, and can 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 families living in Wrocław, as well as a small yet growing Italian community in the city, congregating in the Little Italy neighborhood in the Old Town.
Wroclaw is served by Wrocław–Copernicus Airport  (WRO). Among the airlines that fly into the city include SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Lufthansa, Etihad Regional and Poland's national carrier LOT. Additional low cost airlines flying to and from Wrocław include Germanwings, Ryanair and Wizz Air. Domestic flights operated by LOT (under the Eurolot brand) connect Wrocław with Gdańsk.
From the airport, bus 406 operates from the terminal building to central Wrocław between 5 AM and 11 PM 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).
Another option for arriving and departing Wrocław is Katowice International Airport (KTW). Katowice is situated about 140 miles east pf Wrocław but is a larger airport serving more destinations. Airlines flying there include Wizzair and Ryanair. From the airport, take a bus of PKM Katowice (26 PLN) to the city centre of Katowice and then take a train (the bus from the airport ends up at the major Katowice train station) or walk to the Bus Station (approx. 5 minutes walk) and drive wth one of express bus companies Polskibus.com PolskiBus (12 schedules a day) or Neobus. The journey takes about two hours and 20 minutes and costs a maximum 20 PLN one way. Katowice Airport serves many destinations not operated by Wrocław Airport (Bergen, Stockholm or Tel Aviv), and sometimes has different operating days, so consider flying one way to Wrocław, and the other to or from Katowice.
Wrocław is a major hub in the Polish rail network, with several trains a day to all major Polish cities from Wrocław Główny (route planner ). There are about 10 daily departures to Warsaw. Travel time varies from five hours by a InterCity train, up to almost seven hours with a TLK (fast) train, as well as many trains to Poznań, from where travel to Warsaw or Berlin is possible. Several trains a day also go to Kraków. There are also international trains to Hamburg (via Berlin), Prague, Dresden, Kiev (via Lviv) and Budapest. Wrocław Główny is also a major departure and arrival point for smaller cities and towns throughout Lower Silesia.
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 Berlin, Katowice, 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).
There are many fast and comfortable buses to Kraków run by Link-bus  with on-line prices starting from 15 zł (up to 40 zł when you buy last minute). They fast grow is largely helped by poor railway infrastructure management and endless modernization on the line along.
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).
You can also use check bus connections here  and for many of them you can buy tickets on-line.
Wrocław is located next to the A4 motorway, Poland's main southern car artery. The A4 motorway links the metropolis to further cities to the west, including Dresden across the border, as well as Opole, Katowice, Kraków and Rzeszów to the east. The A8 motorway acts as a western bypass of Wrocław, continued onward by the S8 expressway that will eventually connect the city to Łódź by 2015. From the south, Wrocław is accessed by DK8, a slow national road that feeds into the Czech Republic.
The centre of Wrocław is completely navigable on foot, though the city has an excellent public transport system for access to the suburbs and outlying attractions, with 60 bus lines and 25 tram lines. For much of the decade, 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
Public transport in Wrocław is handled by Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne Sp. z o.o. we Wrocławiu, better known under its abbreviation MPK Wrocław . MPK buses are colored yellow and red (after the city's official colors) and its tram fleet colored white and blue.
Tickets for municipal buses and trams 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, visitors can find a variety of modern ticket machines offering all types of fares. . In every bus and tram there should be a ticket machine installed also . Payment on these machines can be made by credit or 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).
Ticket prices: There are two 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.
Period tickets: 30-minutes - 3.00zł/1.50zł, 60-minutes - 4.40zł/2.20zł, 90-minutes - 6.00zł/3.00zł, 24-hours - 11.00zł/5.50zł, 48-hours - 20.00zł/10.00zł, 72-hours - 26.00zł/13.00zł.
If you travel with large bags (such as backpacks) you must buy a 1.50zł ticket for the bag.
If your stay will be longer check the Urbancard offer .
Festival of Good Beer (Festiwal Dobrego Piwa) - takes place each year on the second weekend of May, it takes three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
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 
Thanks to the influx of Italian immigrants in recent years, Wrocław boasts many authentic pizzerias and Italian related dining options, along with other eateries offering regular Polish cuisine.
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 nalesnik (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.
Zupa, Szewska 24/26 (behind the building) - new and trendy soup bar with options for vegetarians/vegans. Good if you want to just eat and go. Prices 7-15 zl.
Sawara, pl. Solidarności 1. Not strictly polish cuisine (it's turkish), but very tasty and cheap. Try "zestaw falafel" or "mtabal". Prices 4-25 zl.
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. The owners are Italian.
Wines and olives, pl. Wolności - traditional greek/mediterranean cuisine with high quality food and amazing wine. Prices 15-90 zl.
Nalanda, pl. Kosciuszki. Restaurant mixed with bookstore, vegetarian food, prices 20-50 zl.
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.
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.
Rozrusznik, ul. Cybulskiego (go from city centre through Pomorski bridge, after crossing the river first street to the left). Probably the best coffee in the city - they really know how to do it. Forget Starbucks. Prices 5-20 zl.
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. Among the 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, and on Thursdays, jam sessions featuring a bunch of resident performers are commom. 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 as most have their own specific style and atmosphere.
Wrocław, like most of Poland, is a very safe city and violent crime is very rare. However, visitors should exercise the usual caution and safeguard your valuables, especially around crowded places such as in Market Sqaure. In pubs and clubs, never leave your belongings unattended. In the case of an emergency, people can dial the all-purpose emergency number 112 on their phone. For a better specification of the kind of emergency service you are requesting, people may also dial 999 for an ambulance, 998 for a fire emergency, or 997 for the police.
As international tourism has not quite hit Wrocław yet, English is not as universally spoken as in the tourist areas of Kraków, yet normal tourists will still be able to get around and pantomime, or find someone who speaks English (probably the best way is to ask young people). The easiest way around this is to know at least a few basic Polish phrases, which is greatly appreciated by Vratislavians.