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Things to do in Wroclaw - complete Wroclaw tourist guide

Travel coverage March 29, 2019 Poland Wrocław 2019 Travel coverage
Wroclaw Main Square Poland. Cool things to do in Wroclaw
By Joanna Dabrowska
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Joanna Dabrowska
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Wroclaw is one of the major cities in Poland. But not only is it important.

Together with Gdansk, Warsaw and Krakow, Wroclaw is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland. I would even say it is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe!

Because of its climate, Wroclaw is also one of the best summer destinations in Europe.

It is the capital of Lower Silesian county and is located on the Oder river banks. It is sometimes called The City of 100 Bridges - there are over 130 bridges in Wroclaw!

There are so many great places to visit in Wroclaw, monuments and restaurants, that we can come here anytime and be sure we will not get bored in this amazing city. Many travelers consider it to be one of the top 10 beautiful places in Europe to visit in 2019.

Let's have a look at Wroclaw top attractions.

Table of contents


1. Looking for gnomes

What is worth to see in Wroclaw, Poland

Wroclaw for kids? Yes, please!

Searching gnomes is one of the most laughable things to do in Wroclaw 🧡.

Some say Wroclaw could also be called The City of Dwarves – there are almost 400 figures of dwarves placed randomly here and there. And the number is still growing! I like this idea - it spices up the city's atmosphere. Good thing is that the gnomes can be found all over the city, not only in Wroclaw city center.

We may try to hunt down some of the gnomes and take as many pictures as possible, but the clever beasts are not as simple to find as you would think.

Wroclaw gnomes can lurk over the windows few metres above the ground, sometimes they are stuck closely on the wall, some are hidden behind an object - we will need a keen eye for detail to spot them 😉.

The origin of Wroclaw gnomes was... politics.

In the '80s in Poland, there was Orange Alternative - an underground anti-communist formation that used absurdity and nonsense to show peaceful but subversive protests.

For instance, the protesters who disagreed with public space censorship drew funny anti-communist signs and pictures. The most popular theme in Wroclaw was dwarves.

In 2001, to commemorate the Orange Alternative, the first dwarf figure was placed on Swidnicka street where the group's happenings usually took place.


2. Ostrow Tumski

Wroclaw Ostrow Tumski. Best places to visit in Wroclaw

I consider this area as one of the best attractions in Wroclaw Old Town and one of the most unique places in Poland.

Ostrow Tumski is the oldest part of Wroclaw. Its beginning start in the 10th century! In the past, Ostrow Tumski belonged to the church and now sacral monuments are the most precious object in this part of Wroclaw Old Town.

The most impressive church in Wroclaw is Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. It is a Gothic church which beginnings reach the 13th century. The Cathedral is considered to be the first Gothic church in Poland.

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a real treat for architecture lovers - the impressive building is famous for its numerous artful adornments. There are also the biggest organs in Poland. An audio guide is available for visitors, costs 4 PLN.

If we decided to visit the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, we should also take a lift on to the cathedral tower to admire amazing Wroclaw panorama. Visit on the cathedral tower costs 8 PLN for an adult.

In Ostrow Tumski there are a few other notable sacral buildings. One of them is Saint Giles' church - the oldest church in Wroclaw.

Another interesting place in Ostrow Tumski is Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and St. Bartholomew - impressive brick Gothic church. In front of it, there is the biggest in the world statue of Saint John of Nepomuk.

Wroclaw top attractions. Ostrow Tumski Wroclaw monuments

Despite the fact that Ostrow Tumski is no longer an island, there are still bridges leading to this area.

The most popular bridge is Tumski bridge, also known as The Love Bridge. There are several hundred of locks which contain love confessions.

One more place worth our attention in Ostrow Tumski is Botanical Garden of the University of Wroclaw. It is a quiet place where a stroll is a truly relaxing experience. This Botanical Garden has numerous plant species, glasshouses, ponds and benches where we can get some rest and relax before sightseeing.

Botanical Garden of the University of Wroclaw is open every day from April 1st until October 31st, 9AM - 6PM. In high season it is open until 7 PM. An adult ticket costs 15 PLN.

I highly recommend visiting Ostrow Tumski in the evening. After dusk, this area shows its second magical countenance. Perhaps it is caused by gas street lamps which are still lit by lamplighter, or maybe over 1 thousand-year-old history full of legends which seems to lurk from every corner of Ostrow Tumski.

If you would like to stay in this climatic area, you can check available hotels here:


3. Japanese Garden

Endorsed by Veronika of Travelgeekery

Japanese Garden Wroclaw_Veronika TravelGeekery

If we are looking for an oasis within the city limits of Wroclaw, the Japanese Garden in Wroclaw is the best place to go to. When we enter, we will immediately find ourselves surrounded by calm greenery. We can walk in a forest-like arrangement, admire little waterfalls, stroll along a pond... Everything we would imagine a Japanese Garden to be, plus more.

It was created already at the beginning of the 20th century, but due to decades of decay and a flood that came at a time of a major renovation, today’s well-manicured look of the Japanese Garden is owed to a reconstruction that was carried out in 1999.

We can visit the Garden anytime. In fact, it is one of the best places to visit in Wroclaw in the heat of summer, when we just feel like relaxing in the shade.

The entrance costs just 4 PLN and is the best investment in having a nice time in a relaxing environment.

Opening hours:

summertime (April 1st - October 31st):
open everyday 9AM - 7PM

wintertime (November 1st - March 31st): closed

If you would like to stay close to Wroclaw Japanese Garden, you may check nearby hotels and their prices here:


4. Main Market Square

Recommended by Sharon of Simpler And Smarter

Wroclaw Old Market Square. Things to do around Wroclaw

Old Market Square is one of the most popular places to see in Wroclaw. It is not surprising - Wroclaw Market Square is one of the most beautiful places in Poland.

It is also one of the biggest Old Town Markets in Europe. 213-metre long and 176-metre wide - it is the third biggest Main Market Square in Poland.

Beautiful architecture, climatic townhouses, lots of restaurants and pubs - it all makes it one of Wroclaw top attractions. It is a great experience to sit and have a drink to soak the amazing atmosphere of Wroclaw Market Square. Nice thing is that it is not as overpriced as its counterparts elsewhere in Europe and we found it very affordable to eat in Wroclaw Market Square restaurants.

Wroclaw Market Square is surrounded by 60 vintage townhouses.

The most valuable monument is Old Town Hall - the biggest and the oldest city hall in Poland. This late Gothic building was created from the end of the 13th century until the 16th century (took them long, didn't it? 😉).

If you are planning to hunt as many Wroclaw gnomes as possible, then Old Market Square is the perfect place - there are most of them in the area.

There are also other monuments which will also attract our attention: the antique pillory, eye-catching fountain, Aleksander Fredro statue (moved to Wroclaw from Lviv).

If you would like to stay close to Wroclaw Old Market Square, you may look for available hotels here:


5. St. Mary Magdalene Church

Wroclaw Poland tourist attractions. St. Mary Magdalene Church Wroclaw

St. Mary Magdalene Church is one of the best Wroclaw Old Town attractions. If we are on Main Market Square, we should definitely visit this impressive Gothic cathedral.

It is not only the decorative interior which attracts the visitors. In St. Mary Magdalene Church there is one of the best viewpoints in Wroclaw - Witches Bridge (Pokutnice Bridge). It is the highest located bridge in Wroclaw - it is 45 metres above the ground. It connects two cathedral towers.

After we conquer numerous stairs we get to admire one of the most picturesque Wroclaw panoramas.

There are a few legends connected with the bridge. One of them says that in the evenings we can see ghosts of young women who preferred to have fun instead of getting married and taking care of the household.

Another legend comes from witch-hunt times. If the accused woman managed to walk on the bridge, people considered her possessed and condemned her to death. If a woman fell from the bridge, she was thought to be innocent (comes in handy when you fall 45 metres to your death).

Entrance to the Witches Bridge is free of charge.


6. National Museum

Photo credit: mnwr.pl

Wroclaw Poland tourist attractions. National Museum in Wrocław

Beautiful Neo-Renaissance building entwined with ivy. Located over Oder river banks. It is one of the most important and biggest museums in Poland.

It has over 200 000 exhibits. There are 3 storeys with 6 galleries which present Silesian, Polish and European works of art. The collection of paintings and sculptures is very diversified - everyone will find here something to their liking.

However, because of the immense number of exhibits, it is advisable to reserve at least 4 hours for a visit. If we only have a couple of hours, it might be better to visit this museum on another occasion.

National Museum is on Plac Powstańców Warszawy 5 street, about 15-minute walk from Old Market Square.

Opening hours
summertime (April 1st - September 30th):
Monday: closed
Tuesday-Friday: 10AM - 5PM
Weekend: 10:30AM - 6PM

wintertime (October 1st - March 31st):
Monday: closed
Tuesday-Friday: 10AM - 4PM
Weekend: 10AM - 5PM

Ticket to permanent exhibitions costs 20 PLN. Saturdays are free of charge. If we buy a ticket to Raclawice Panorama Museum, we can see permanent exhibitions in National Museum for free.

If you wish to stay close to Wroclaw National Museum, you can check available hotels here:


7. Raclawice Panorama

Wroclaw best things to do. Panorama Raclawicka painting Wroclaw

A must-see for all history lovers.

Raclawice Panorama is the largest painting in Poland. Its size is enormous: 15 x 114 metres! Several different Polish painters created this work of art for 9 months.

Raclawice Panorama presents the battle in Raclawice village in 1794. The battle was part of Kosciuszko Uprising – Polish rebellion against Imperial Russia and Kingdom of Prussia in 1794.

The painting is an impressive relic of 19th-century mass culture. It is the oldest and, in fact, the only panorama painting which remained safe in Poland.

Thanks to special devices and technical effects Raclawice Panorama seems very realistic and we have the feeling that we actually participate in this battle. There is also artificial terrain built right under the painting which makes it look even bigger.

The painting is available in Panorama Raclawicka Museum on Purkyniego 11 street. Audioguide is free of charge and available in many different languages.

Opening hours:

wintertime (November 1st - March 31st):
Monday: closed
Tuesday-Friday: 9AM - 4:30PM
Saturday: 9AM - 5:30PM
Sunday: 9AM - 4:30PM

summertime (April 1st - October 31st):
open everyday 8AM - 7:30PM

Tickets can be also bought online. One ticket gives us entrance to three other museums: a permanent exhibition in National Museum in Wroclaw, the Ethnographic Museum and the Four Domes Pavilion Museum of Contemporary Art. An adult ticket costs 20 PLN.

If you would like to stay close to Panorama Raclawicka Museum, you can look for available places to stay here:


8. Wrocław Multimedia Fountain & Centennial Hall

Wrocław Multimedia Fountain. Things to do in Wroclaw

300 water nozzles, 3 fire nozzles, 800 light points and 1ha of surface - this is Wroclaw Multimedia Fountain. It is the biggest multimedia fountain in Poland. It is also one of the best things to do in Wroclaw which are free of charge.

Wroclaw Multimedia Fountain is surrounded by an antique pergola which was built in 1913. Interesting architecture, picturesque nature and benches make this place number one attraction in Wroclaw downtown.

The fountain is especially beautiful in the evening when visitors get to admire water spectacles. Water dances to the music and light creates colorful pictures. Priceless experience.

Water spectacles are available for tourists in the summertime. They end on September 30th.

Wroclaw Multimedia Fountain is open all year, 24 hours. It is situated on Wystawowa 1 street.

When we are in the area, it is worth to visit nearby Centennial Hall. It is one of 15 places in Poland which belong to UNESCO heritage. Centennial Hall is considered to be one of the most important world architecture works in the 20th century.

Opening hours:

wintertime (November 1st - March 31st):
Monday-Sunday: 9AM - 5PM

summertime (April 1st - October 31st):
Monday-Sunday: 10AM - 6PM

An adult ticket costs 14 PLN.


If you wish to stay close to Wroclaw Multimedia Fountain and Centennial Hall you may check nearby hotels here:


9. Hydropolis

Photo credit: hydropolis.pl

Things to do in Wroclaw. Hydropolis Wroclaw

Wroclaw for kids? No problem, there are lots of fantastic places to visit in Wroclaw!

One of them is Hydropolis - a water science center and one of the most unique places in Poland. It is located in 19th century Neo-Gothic underground water tank. Its surface reaches 4600 m².

It is a unique place, one of the best places to visit in Wroclaw for families with children.

Before we enter into the building we get to admire impressive water curtains which are created by 46.5-metre long water printer.

There are 9 theme zones which present knowledge about water in an easy and interesting way. We get to know everything about water and its importance to humans. We also learn about various water creatures.

The most important element of Hydropolis is its main exhibition - an enormous room with a 360-degree screen which is 60-metre long. This is where we learn about the beginnings of water and its presence on the Earth.

The average time of visit is 2 hours. There are a gift shop and 2 cafes.

Hydropolis is located on Na Grobli 17 street, about 25-minute walk from Main Square.

This science center is open all year.

Opening hours:

Monday-Friday: 9AM - 6PM
Weekend: 10AM - 8PM

An adult ticket costs 27 PLN. Tickets can be purchased online here.


If you would like to stay close to Hydropolis, you may look for nearby hotels here:


10. Wroclaw Zoological Garden

Wroclaw zoo Things to do in Wroclaw

One of Wroclaw top attractions, not only for families with children. Wroclaw zoo is the oldest zoological garden in Poland. Its beginning reaches 1865.

In this zoo, visitors get a chance to see the biggest in Poland number of species, many of which are endangered. There are over 1000 land animals and about 5000 African animals in Oceanarium.

The best place in Wroclaw zoo is Oceanarium (also called Afrykarium). It is a modern pavilion which presents African flora and fauna. There are enormous aquariums thanks to which we have an unusual nature within hand's reach. Sharks, stingrays, crocodiles, manatees, hippos - the abundance of animals in Wroclaw Afrykarium is immense.

Wroclaw zoo is open all year, seven days a week, but opening hours vary according to the season. It is best to check them on Wroclaw zoo website here.

An adult ticket costs 50 PLN. Tickets can be purchased online here.


If you wish to stay close to Wroclaw zoological garden, you may check available hotels here:


Best places to stay in Wroclaw

There are many nice places to stay in Wroclaw ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious five-star hotels.

If you would like to stay close to Wroclaw center, but looking for reasonable prices, then you might want to choose Boogie Hostel. Located 5-minute walk from Wroclaw Old Town, it is perfect to explore all main attractions. Nice and clean, breakfast is offered for just 20 PLN.

You can check the prices here:

If you prefer to stay in a hotel, then Hotel Polonia Centrum might be just for you. Three-star hotel located 900 metres from Wroclaw Old Market Square. Comfortable and pleasant to stay in, breakfast in included.

You can check its prices here:

Booking.com


Transportation in Wroclaw

To get to Wroclaw from other Polish cities you can use trains (here is train journey planner), or private buses. The most popular tourist bus is FlixBus. You can plan your journey here.

If you are travelling by plane, you have a few options to get to center from Wroclaw airport:

→ taxi - several taxi companies offer their services. Taxis wait at the arrival terminal.

car hire - fast and comfortable

→ buses:

  • Wro Airport Express.
    Ticket costs 10 PLN. Transit time 30 minutes. Tickets sold by driver, cash or card. Buses shuttle to Wroclaw Main Bus Station every 50 minutes.
  • Municipal buses.
    Line 106 and night line 206. Transit time 45 minutes. Bus shuttle every 15 minutes.

It is quite easy to use public transportation in Wroclaw - there are many trams and buses to choose from. You can check the shuttles here. Timetables for bus lines and trams are available here.

Tickets can be purchased in vending machines at bus and tram stops.

However, the most convenient option to travel in Wroclaw is a car.

You may check offers on car hire in Wroclaw here:


Best places to eat in Wroclaw

For traditional Polish food, we should head to Dwór Polski restaurant. Located on the Main Square, it offers a variety of tasty dishes. Unfortunately, not many vegetarian options, as traditional Polish cuisine has a lot of meat and dairy.
The decor is very interesting and refers to Polish medieval times. In the summertime, it is possible to sit outside.
Prices are not very budget-friendly, but the food is definitely worth it!

Vegan food:

  • Mihiderka - our number one! It is a vegan chain restaurant in southern Poland and we absolutely love it! Their burgers are the best and prices are reasonable. Located in Plac Dominikański shopping mall.
  • Vega - the oldest vegan restaurant in Poland. Food is delicious, we especially like their pasta and cakes. Prices are OK, taking into consideration it is located on Main Square.
  • Krowarzywa Vegan Burger - Polish chain restaurant. The best food we have tried there is vegan pastrami wrap - amazing taste! They also have a very interesting choice of smoothies. Located on Rzeźnicza 34 street, 5-minute walk from Main Square.


Is Wroclaw cheap?

If you're looking for cheap places to travel, then Wroclaw might be just for you!

Sure, there are some costly hotels and restaurants but still, it is very easy to save money in Wroclaw and enjoy your stay in one of the best cities in Poland.

Here are some inexpensive travel ideas:

→ WROCLAW TOURIST CARD

Thanks to this card we receive:

  • free entrances to Wroclaw top attractions: Hydropolis, Cognitive Cente at Centennial Hall, Muzeum of the University of Wroclaw, Museum of Architecture, Museum of Bourgeois Art, Royal Palace, City Arsenal, Old Jewish Cemetery, Natural Science Museum in Wroclaw University, History Centre Zajezdnia, Botanical Garden, Kolejkowo, ZOO Team Exotic Animals Exhibition, GOjump Trampoline Park Wroclaw, JumpWorld
  • discounts to the most interesting places: Battle of Raclawice Panorama, National Museum, Four Domes Pavilion, Ethnographic Museum
  • discounts to Wroclaw restaurants and cafes: Mini-Brewery Spiż, Gastropub, Karczma Piastów Restaurant, OVO Bar & Restaurant, Setka Bar, The Demmers Teahouse and many more
  • discounts to hotels and hostels: Art hotel, Terminal Hotel, Patio HotelLocomotive HostelFlyFly Hostel
  • unlimited access to Wroclaw public transportation
  • discounts to gift shops: INFOCenter Rynek Gift Shop, Krasnal Info Tourist Information, Folkstar gift shop
  • discounts to SILESIATOUR guided tours, Oder boat rides, bike tours

There are two types of Wroclaw Tourist Card:

  • 48-hour
  • 72-hour

Wroclaw Tourist Card can be purchased at four places:

    1. Tourist Information at the Wrocław Main Railway Station
    2. Tourist Information at Wrocław ZOO
    3. Tourist Information at Wrocław Airport
    4. Tourist Information at WrocławInfo Souvenirs


→ MILK BAR (Polish: bar mleczny)

If you wonder where to eat in Wroclaw so that your budget will be intact, then head to milk bars.

Those self-service restaurants are partially funded by the Polish government. This gives the owners the possibility to offer meals at competitive prices, much lower than "normal" restaurants.

Two-course meal with a soft drink in milk bar costs only about 5 EUR (5 USD). Milk bars offer traditional Polish food, no vegan or gluten-free options available.

There are several milk bars in Wroclaw:


→ FREE THINGS TO DO IN WROCLAW

  • Ossolineum Garden - located in Wroclaw city centre. Beautiful and peaceful place, perfect to relax after intensive sightseeing
  • Multimedia fountain shows
  • Szczytnicki rural park - located close to the multimedia fountain and Centennial Hall. Picturesque forest with many paths and several bridges. There is also the antique wooden church of John of Nepomuk built in the 15th century
  • National Museum in Wrocław - free admission on Saturdays
  • Archaeology Museum - permanent exhibitions are free of charge. Located on Cieszyńskiego 9 street, Old Town
  • Museum of Architecture - free admission on Wednesdays. Located on Bernardyńska 5 street, Wroclaw city centre
  • Wrocław Contemporary Museum - free admission on Thursdays. Located on Plac Strzegomski 2a street
  • Military Museum - permanent exhibitions are free of charge. Located on Pelczyńska 33 street in the northern part of Wroclaw. Distant from the centre but an interesting place to visit, especially for military aficionados
  • Four Domes Pavilion - permanent exhibitions are free of charge on Tuesdays. Located Wystawowa 1 street, close to Centennial Hall
  • BWA Wroclaw Galleries of Contemporary Art - there are a few art galleries offering free admission:
      1. Awangarda Art Gallery - entry free of charge on Wednesdays. Located on Wita Stwosza 32 street, in the            Old Market Square

      2. Dizajn Art Gallery - free of charge the whole week. Świdnicka 2/4 street, city centre

      3. SiC! Art Gallery - free of charge the whole week. Kosciuszki 10 street, 15-minute walk from Market                    Square

  • Labirynth in Brochow rural park - located in southern Wroclaw, quite far distant from the centre but fun activity both for kids and adults. Brochow park is a perfect getaway from the city's hustle and bustle
  • Old Jewish Cemetery & Museum of Funerary art - free admission on Thursdays. Interesting and one of the unusual things to do in Wroclaw. Located on Slezna 37/39 street

As we can see there are lots of free things to do in Wroclaw. It is one of the best places to visit in Poland and yet it can be so inexpensive!

Even more, Wroclaw is one of the best European cities to visit and so cheap compared to Western Europe.

If you wish to travel through Poland on a budget, then think no more - visit Wroclaw! 💚

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