Wrocław (pronounced Wrots-waf) is the largest city in the Dolnośląskie region in Poland.
Wrocław is largely an undiscovered gem, boasting fascinating architecture, many rivers and bridges, and a lively and metropolitan cultural scene. It is a city with a troubled past, having seen much violence and devestation, and was almost completely destroyed in World War 2. However, it has been brilliantly restored and can now be counted amongst the highlights of Poland, and the entire central European region. 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.
Wrocław is served by an international airport. LOT fly here from Warsaw, Frankfurt and Munich. SAS fly here from Copenhagen. From March 2005, Ryanair will fly here from London Stansted, with fares from £15 one-way all-inclusive.
From the airport, bus 406 operates from the terminal building to central Wrocław.
Wrocław is a major destination in the Polish rail network, with several trains a day to all large Polish cities.
Wrocław is a stop on the Eurolines international coach network.
The centre of Wrocław is navigable on foot, but the feature has an excellent public-transport system for access to the suburbs and outlying attractions. The city has 60 bus lines and 25 tram lines. To use the system, you must buy a ticket before you board from a ticket machine or any shop with a sign saying "Ruch". Tickets cost 1.80zł, students (with ISIC identification) pay half. You must validate your ticket on board, or face a 70zł fine if caught by an inspector.
Wrocław St. Elizabeth's Church
- 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.
- The Rynek, or central square, is the archictural centre-point of Wrocław, 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.
- Town Hall, ul. Sukiennice 14, south side of the Rynek, open 11am-5pm (closed Monday), admission 4zł. 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, and it now serves as the Museum of Burgher Art. The interior features stunning gothic interiors.
- St. Elizabeth's Church, ul. Elzbiety 1, open 9am-4pm (1pm-4pm Sundays), admission 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.
- The Panorama of Racławicka, ul. Purkyniego 11, open 9am-4pm Tuesday-Sunday, admission 20zł (includes admission to National Museum). This giant 360-degree painting, depicting a Polish military victory in 1794, is popular symbol of Polish nationalism. Guided tours in English, French and German run every 30 minutes at no extra cost.
- National Museum, Pl. Powstancow, open 10am-4pm (closed Monday), admission 15zł. Features a large collection of Polish art.
- Japanese Garden, Park Szczytnicki, open 9am-7pm April - October, admission 2zł. A remainder from the 'World Expo' of 1913 held in Wroclaw, this is a large landscaped garden restored with the assistance of the Japanese government.