Wrocław (pronounced Vrots-wav ; also known as Breslau, its German name, and English name until 1945) is the largest city in Lower Silesia in Poland. It is home to 630,000 people within the city limits and the metropolitan area has a population of 1.2 million making it the largest city in Western Poland.
Wrocław is the historic capital of Silesia and it has changed hands repeatedly over the centuries. At different points throughout history, Wrocław has been in the Kingdom of Poland, Bohemia, the Austrian Empire, Prussia and Germany. In 1945 the city became a part of Poland again as the borders of Poland were moved westwards in the immediate aftermath of World War II. The city came to international fame as it hosted a number of football matches during the Euro 2012 Championships and was one of the 2016 European Capitals of Culture. The World Games took place in Wrocław in 2017.
Like many cities in Central Europe, it is a city with a troubled past, having seen a lot of 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 and ethnically cleansed the area of its overwhelmingly German population through mass expulsion. 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 Adolf Hitler. However, since the end of the Communist regime in 1989 it has been wonderfully restored and can now be counted among the highlights of Poland and of all Central Europe.
The official language is Polish. It is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination, and serves as Poland's secondary financial services centre (after Warsaw). Thus, you should be able to a find sufficient number of English speakers to get by. German is probably much more widely spoken and understood here than in other regions of Poland.
There are two tourist information points on the main market square (Rynek). There is a tourist information in the main railway station.
phone: +48 71 35-81-100
Is served by:
- LOT - Warsaw
- Lufthansa - Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport
- Scandinavian Airlines - Copenhagen Airport
- Ryanair - "Brussels"-Charleroi, Cork, Dublin, Girona, Glasgow-Prestwick, Leeds-Bradford, Liverpool, London-Stansted, Malta, Nottingham/East Midlands, Rome-Ciampino, Shannon, Treviso,
- Wizz Air - Doncaster/Sheffield, Dortmund, Eindhoven, London-Luton
From the airport, bus 406 operates from the terminal building to central Wrocław between 05:13 and 23:14 roughly every twenty minutes. There is also a night bus 249. The night bus will take approximately one hour to get to the city centre. 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 Wrocław Airport to the city center cost 3 zł (or 1.50 zł for students or ISIC/EURO 26 holders) and can be purchased at the automatic ticket vending machine at the stop or on board.
As of April 2016, bus 106 operates between the airport and the main train station during day time. At night, some of the bus 206 services operate on that route.
A taxi to the city centre or train station will cost around 45-60 zł during day time.
Wrocław is a major hub in the Polish rail network, with several trains a day to all large Polish cities (route planner). The main train station is Wrocław Główny. There are about ten daily departures from Warsaw. Travel time varies from 3½ hours by the new high speed trains, up to almost seven hours with a TLK (cheap) train.
As well as Warsaw, there are quite many of trains from Poznań from which you can go on to Szczecin, Bydgoszcz or Berlin. Several trains a day go from Kraków.
As of May 2016, the only international train services calling in Wrocław are three daily local trains to Dresden operated by Trilex, taking about 4h to cover the distance between the cities. This service has been on and off in the past; in case of no direct train running between Dresden and Wroclaw, take the train to Zgorzelec and from there cross the border on foot or by bus to Görlitz from where direct trains leave fro Dresden.
All international and national buses stop at the PKS Centrum station which is located directly behind the main train station (timetable; click "Odjazdy autobusów z Dworca Centralnego PKS").
Wrocław is a stop on the Eurolines international coach network.
FlixBus 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 Wi-Fi is available on board. Tickets are cheap when bought in advance. One-way tickets are available from 1zł (plus 1zł for reservation). They also operate buses to and from Krakow about once an hour.
Given the state of the railway connection to/from Germany (see above) several providers of Intercity buses in Germany (including Deutsche Bahn) also serve Wroclaw, mostly from Berlin and Dresden, with some making intermediate stops.
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 57 bus lines, 22 tram lines and 13 night bus lines. As well as that, taxis are readily available and quite affordable, even for those on a budget.
By bus or tram
Details on how to travel around Wrocław (including ticket prices) and ticket types. You can also use the journey planner.
There are two types of tickets:
- Single-ride tickets: for normal lines 3 zł, for express lines or night bus 3.20 zł. These tickets are not time-based or route-based - you must pay each time you enter a different vehicle.
- Period tickets: 15-minutes for 2.40 zł, 30-minutes for 3 zł, 60-minutes for 4.40 zł, 90-minutes for 6 zł, 24-hours for 11 zł, 48-hours for 20 zł, 72-hours for 26 zł, and 168-hours (7-days) 46 zł.
You must validate all tickets on boarding the bus or tram, or you'll face a 150 zł fine (plus the price of a ticket) if caught by an inspector (100zł if paid within 7 days). A period ticket only needs to validated on the first vehicle that you board. After that, you just need to keep it on you for inspection.
Tickets are sold in lots of places. Look for "Ruch" kiosks, post offices. You should be able to buy them in most newsagents also. In the city centre you can find lots of ticket machines offering all types of tickets.
In every bus and tram there is a ticket machine installed too. Payment is only possible by credit or debit card (Visa/MasterCard/American Express). Maestro cards are not accepted.
If you travel with large bags (such as backpacks or suitcases), a bicycle or a dog, you must buy a 1.50 zł ticket for it. On the ticket machines, simply choose the option for a discounted ticket as there is not a distinct option available for bags, bicycles and dogs.
If you're planning to stay longer, check out the Urbancard offer.
- 0-33Plus — trams
- A,C,D,E,K,N — express buses (ticket costs 3.20 zł)
- 100-149 — normal buses
- 3xx — normal buses, peak hours only
- 4xx — fast buses
- 6xx — suburban buses (if outside town, ticket costs 3.20 zł)
- 240-259 — night buses (ticket costs 3.20 zł)
Between April and November you can rent bicycles at about 70 locations throughout the city with the Wroclaw City Bike (Wrocławski Rower Miejski, WRM) system which is operated by Nextbike Polska on behalf of the city. You need to register once online and pay an initial fee of 10 zł. For the first 20min you can then use the bicycles for free. 20-40min rental periods cost 2 zł and every additional hour costs 4 zł. A customer service office for questions or registration is on ul. Świętego Antoniego 8 (open Tue 06:00-16:00, Thu 11:00-21:00). Customer service can also called on +48 71 738 1111 or +48 71 715 2772.
Market SquareIt 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.
Old Town Halladdress: ul. Sukiennice 14It now serves as the Museum of Burgeois Art (see below). Construction of the town hall began in the 13th century. It was one of the few major buildings in Wrocław to survive World War II. The interior features stunning Gothic interiors.
Salt SquareFormerly a salt market, now a flower market.
Cathedral IslandA 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 Baptistaddress: ul. KatedralnaDating 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.
Synagogue "Under the White Stork"
Wrocław DwarvesThe first dwarf statue was installed in 2001 in Świdnicka Street to commemorate the Polish anti-communist underground movement Orange Alternative, whose symbol was a dwarf. Some years later smaller dwarf statues, each with their own theme, appeared and they can now be found all over the city.
phone: +48 71 347 51 51address: ul. Wystawowa 1A historic building, constructed according to the plans of architect Max Berg from 1911 to 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.
Wrocław FountainA 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 IglicaA distinctive object placed close to the Centennial Hall.
Park SzczytnickiVery 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.
Japanese GardenA 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. A part of Park Szczytnicki.
Eastern ParkOn 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.
Wrocław Water Tower
- National Museum branches:
phone: +48 71 344 16 61, +48 71 344 16 62address: Jana Ewangelisty Purkyniego 11Perhaps 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 won the war. Visits are conducted in tour groups roughly every half-hour and foreign-language audio guides are available. The ticket also allows entry to the National Museum, Ethnographic Museum and Museum of Comptemporary Arts.
address: Plac Powstańców Warszawy 5Features a large collection of Polish art. The Gallery of Contemporary Art is in the attic.
phone: +48 71 344 33 13, +48 71 342 12 67address: Traugutta 111/113Located in the former summer Palace of Wrocław Bishops. Collection concentrates on folk art.
Museum of Contemporary ArtThe Four Domes Pavilion (Pawilon Czterech Kopuł) which is part of the historic Exhibition Grounds houses the collection of Polish contemporary art of the National Museum, which comprises works from 1945 until present.
address: Stary Ratusz, Rynek
address: ul. Cieszyńskiego 9
address: ul. Cieszyńskiego 9
address: ul. Kazimierza Wielkiego 15Located in the Royal Palace. The Royal Palace is also home to The Museum of Medallic Art (Muzeum Sztuki Medalierskiej).
address: ul. Ślężna 37/39The Old Jewish Cemetery (Stary Cmentarz Żydowski).
address: ul. Świdnicka 35
address: ul. Marszałka J. Piłsudskiego 67
address: ul. Zapolskiej 3Two additional stages are located at ul. Świdnicka 28 (Small Stage) and plac Orląt Lwowskich 20c (Świebodzki Train Station Stage).
address: Ul. Rzeźnicza 12
address: Ul. Piłsudskiego 19Different kinds of concerts: symphonic, choral, early music, jazz, popular music.
Rope ParkGo to the rope park on Opatowicka island.
phone: +48 791 782 792address: Pregierz,RynekWroclaw Food Tour is an easy and enjoyable way to discover traditional Polish food in authentic locales alongside with other food lovers from all over the world. It is not just about eating food, but also touching upon Polish culture by finding out about the many intriguing facts concerning Polish cuisine under the guidance of an English-speaking food expert.
Long Night of MuseumsAnnual event in May.
address: Wrocław Municipal Stadium, Aleja Śląska 1The largest beer festival in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. In June.
New HorizonsInternational Film Festival. Best Film Festival in Poland. Ten days of films, concerts and exhibitions. End of July.
Dialog FestivalInternational Theatre Festival. October.
International Festival Wratislavia CantansOratorio and cantata music in Wroclaw's historical venues. September.
address: ul. Wita Stwosza 19/20Maps, guidebooks, travel books.
Galeria DominikańskaLarge shopping mall, with a big supermarket in the basement floor. Free Wi-Fi.
address: ul. Przejście Garncarskie 2Bookshop/cafe with a good selection of English-language books and good coffee.
address: ul. Piaskowa 15For fresh vegetables, fruits, pierogi, etc.
Pierożekaddress: Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego 20According 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" (crêpes) to experience what real Polish food ought to taste like. The place is small and basic, you may need to wait for a seat, but the food is top-notch.
address: ul. Szewska 27A French bakery/cafe with delicious breakfast dishes (served all day) and other food.
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 Miśaddress: 48 Kuźnicza StreetOffers an ample and diversified menu, including meat-based dishes. Students, staff and professors of the University of Wrocław 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 hand your receipt to the person serving the meals.
Bar Bazyliaaddress: Kuźnicza StreetVery clean and fast service. Offers a more stylish ambience.
Bar Mewaaddress: Dubois StreetThe cheapest. Offers some dishes only at specific hours: pirogi - 13:00, pancakes - 14:00, pirogi with cabbage - 15:00, potato pancakes - 16:00. You pay directly at the food delivery counter (Polish only).
U Beatkiaddress: Rynek-Ratusz 13/14May feel a bit small and old-fashioned inside but it's very clean and the staff are friendly, plus there's a beer garden open in the summer. Great and cheap pierogi, potato pancakes and soups.
Amalfiaddress: Więzienna StreetA place serving authentic thin-slice Italian pizza from a proper, scorching-hot wood oven. About 15 zł for a pizza for one person. Italian owners.
Oreganoaddress: Igielna StreetInexpensive restaurant with pizza and a variety of other dishes.
Piramidaaddress: Wita Stwosza StreetEgyptian restaurant. Kitschy interior and big portions.
Gruzińskie Chaczapuriaddress: Mikolaja StreetA budding franchise originating from Kraków, 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 zł.
Mexico Baraddress: Rzeźnicza StreetAs 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. It is best to call ahead and make reservations especially on the weekends.
phone: +48 71 302 69 49address: ul. Kuźnicza 3An 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.
address: ul. Nożownicza I DSmall place, genuine French cuisine, good for dates.
address: ul. Sukiennice 9aOffers good meals and a good selection of salads.
phone: +48 71 3436915address: Rynek 13Organic-based pizza and pasta dishes. Reservations are necessary, but can be made a day in advance through their website.
address: Rynek 56/57Literatka is not exactly a coffee place, because it lacks own cakes and desserts. However, they do have coffee and lots of inexpensive alcohol, as well as book shelfs, free Wi-Fi connection, and nice atmosphere. Good place for a quick coffee, chat, or even evening drink. If you smoke, check the inner smoking room, which is larger and nicer than the outward non-smoking area.
There are many 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 borders. The Town Square mostly contains some not very specific, quite expensive restaurants, although it is worth mentioning 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 that are 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:
address: ul. Włodkowica 5A 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.
address: ul. Ruska 51, upstairsConcerts, film screenings. Popular place.
address: ul. Kazimierza Wielkiego 50A, on the cornerSupposedly Communist style, well - kitschy. But open 24/7 with cheap alcohol (4 zł for a glass of beer or shot of vodka) and good meals.
There are 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.
address: Rynek-Ratusz 2See how to brew beer and how delicious it tastes.
address: ul. Jana Długosza 2-6A micro-brewery and pub that opened in 2014.
address: ul. Piaskowa 17Craft beer (including local ones) and food.
phone: +48 519 115 075 (Polish), +48 781 180 911 (English & German)address: ul. Sienkiewicza 31English, German and Polish speaking staff.
phone: +48 71 342 44 72address: ul. Ruska 35Cheap, comfortable accommodation in the centre of town. 19 and very spacious but cosy private rooms (for 1, 2, 3 or 4 people), and dorms (8 or 10).
phone: +48 71 794 98 68address: al. Lipowa 15/2Eco. Located in a '20s villa. Not in the centre. Pets welcome.
HiWay HostelPrice 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.
phone: +48 71 342 02 50address: Kołłątaja 16Just 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.
- International Youth Hostels
phone: +48 71 3226099, +48 71 3226088address: Ul. Wyspa Slodowa 10
phone: +48 71 3457396address: Ul.Kielczowska 43
Qubus Hotel WrocławFour-star hotel located in the heart of the city, near a beautiful Market Square. There is also a fitness centre with bodybuilding gym, sauna, jacuzzi and swimming pool.
Hotel SystemIs 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 Wrocław - Warsaw, and E261 5 Wrocław - Poznań).
Scandic WrocławThe first hotel in Poland managed by the most popular Scandinavian hotel chain, it is situated in the centre of Wrocław, close to the Old Town and to the railway station, easily accessible from the A4 highway.
- Campanile Wroclaw Centrum
- Orbis Hotel Wroclaw
- Hotel im. Jana Pawła II
- HP Park Plaza
- Best Western Hotel Prima Wrocław
- Orbis Hotel Wroclaw
- Novotel Wrocław
address: Kiełbaśnicza 20The best hotel in Wrocław in 2005 according to "Forbes".
address: Heleny Modrzejewskiej 2Located in the 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.
Sofitel Wrocław Old Townaddress: ul. Św. Mikołaja 67Just 50 metres from the Rynek Główny.
Radisson Bluaddress: ul. Purkyniego 10A bit farther from the Old Town, but right in front of the Panorama of Racławice.
- The Granary - La Suite Hotel
- Europeum Hotel
- Puro Hotel
- Mercure Wrocław Centrum
Wrocław, like most of Poland, is a very safe city but you should exercise the usual caution and keep guard of your valuables especially around crowded places or places popular with tourists like the main train station or the town square (Rynek).
At many spots throughout the city you can use the free public City Internet (Miejski Internet) wifi.
- Świdnica — 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.
- Jawor — UNESCO Heritage Peace Church.
- Gola Dzierżoniowska Castle — a beautiful castle less than 50 km South of Wroclaw.
- Jelenia Góra — a town of hot springs just twenty minutes away from the mountains.
- Wałbrzych — to visit the nearby Książ Castle.
- Niemcza, about 50 km to the south, is a small town with a larger historical importance and a row of lovely Baroque buildings on the Rynek (Market Square).