How to Make the Most of a Weekend in Wroclaw

 

Get Around

 

Wroclaw is a small, walkable city filled with charming cobbled streets and green spaces – by far the best way to see the sights is by foot, but the local tram services are also frequent and reliable.  The no. 2 and the no. 10 will get you anywhere you need to go, and fast. Buy either a single journey or a short term ticket depending on the duration of your stay.

Tip: Download the jakdokade app for iPhone or android for quick planning.

 

Stay

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Patio Hotel: If you’re looking for a stylish, modern hotel in the heart of the city, this place is perfect. It’s located right off market square, so is the ideal base if you’re on a flying visit and haven’t got time to waste.

Ibis Styles: A great option if you’re looking for boutique accommodation away from the hustle and bustle of the centre, but still within walking distance of the main sights. Its décor is quirky and fun, and the city views from the rooms are fantastic.

Hotel Tumski: Located on Cathedral Island, this hotel gives you beautiful views over the Oder River and its surroundings. It’s a peaceful part of the city, but you’ll still reach the square in 15 minutes or so.

 

Eat

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Patio Restaurant: This restaurant just off market square is famous for its superb Polish and European cuisine, and I can tell you it did not disappoint. It’s a little pricier than most restaurants in Wroclaw (which are insanely good value), but trust me, it’s well worth sampling.

Gastropub Wroclawska: Go to this restaurant for tasty, regional food. They change their menu regularly to match the seasonality of ingredients, so everything is super fresh. They also serve regional beer and vodka, making the experience that bit more authentic.

Karczma Lwowska, Market Square: For a true Polish dining experience, from food to décor, be sure to try Karczma Lwowska. The food is absolutely delicious, be prepared for meat sweats though!

Brasserie 27: While certainly heavy on traditional Polish dishes, Brasserie 27’s menu also squeezes in plenty of other European favourites – you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Art Restaurant: Not only is the food top notch at Art Restaurant, ambience-wise, it’s lovely and chilled out too. Don’t miss the gorgeous summer garden out the back which gives a feeling of the countryside in the middle of the city.

 

See

Images: Neil Arthurs Photography

 

Viewpoint tower of the Garrison Church: Climb the narrow stone staircase to the top of this church, located just off market square. Trust me, the 360° views are incredible and definitely worth the hike. It’s also much easier on the way down, I promise. And at only 5zl (just over €1) for entry, it’s worth every cent.

Walking Tour of WroclawExplore Wroclaw from past to present by taking a walking tour of the city. Guides are locals who have generally been living in the city all their lives. Their passion for their hometown is contagious and they’ve got plenty of insider tips and interesting anecdotes about Wroclaw from culture and history to the best place to have a coffee. Tours usually finish in the market square with a cold beer.

Take a trip along the Oder River: Hop on a water tram and see the city and its attractions from a completely different angle. Trams depart from various points throughout the city – this is the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon.

Play

 

Track down the city’s gnomes and lamplighter: No trip to Wroclaw should be considered complete without a spot of gnome hunting. These little guys are scattered all across town, and while you might not notice them at first, by the end of your stay I can guarantee you’ll see them popping up absolutely everywhere. Get your hands on a map of their locations and let the hunt begin.

The Wroclaw Lamplighter is something of an endangered species. One of just a handful left in Europe, he can be seen as the sun goes down in his cape and top hat, lighting the 103 gas lamps dotted around Cathedral Island. He’s quick on his feet and changes his route every night, so count yourself lucky if you manage to catch him before he ducks down one of the side streets and disappears…

Visit Wroclaw Zoo + Afrykarium: Break away from the cultural stuff and take a walk on the wild side with a trip to Wroclaw Zoo , Afrykarium and Aquarium. Don’t miss the Afrykarium, a specially designed area dedicated to mammals, reptiles and fish from across the continent.

Before you go: Download the Wroclaw Zoo app for animal feeding times and personalised route planners.

Learn about water at the Hydropolis: Take the tram out to the Hydropolis and learn all about the science behind water. It’s one for both the adults and the kids.

 

Go Back in Time

Images: Neil Arthurs Photography

 

Panorama Raclawicka: This 360° painting shows the victorious Battle of Racławice. The experience is brought to life with lighting, and false terrain. It’s the oldest and only existing panorama painting in Poland. This is one that needs to be seen to be beloved.

History Centre Zajezdnia: Previously an old tram depot, the history centre tells the story of Wroclaw and the Silesian region’s harrowing post war past. Interactive displays and exhibits keep things interesting throughout. Definitely worth a visit!

Centennial Hall & Fountain: Centennial hall was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. Learn more about the region’s history at the city’s discovery centre. The piece de resistance is the fountain. It’s the largest in Poland, with 800 lights and 300 water jets. During the summer months, there’s a multimedia water show and during winter, the fountain is transformed into an ice rink. Not to be missed.

 

A massive thank you to Sara in the Lower Silesian Tourist Organisation, to the guys at Wroclaw city promotion office and to Neil Arthurs photography for their help in organising a great trip.

Rachel Mellon

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