When you think of Poland, it’s often for the big city names of Karkow or Warsaw.
Both are amazing cities to experience, but you wouldn’t want to overlook other stunning places, towns or villages in Poland.
Is Wroclaw worth visiting?
Yes. We can honestly say if you see a flight to Wroclaw, book the flight.
Wroclaw was voted the European Capital of Culture in 2016.
And as a traveller, you are always looking for a different perspective on new places to visit, to sample new foods, learn more about history or see stunning architecture.
Wroclaw has it all.
We arrived by car on our ten countries’ 10-night road trip, having earlier in the day driven into Poland and visited Castle Ksiaz and the small town of Roztoka.
However, our main priority now was to learn how to pronounce Wroclaw.
How do you pronounce Wroclaw?
While we sipped on a drink, our Polish friend Kasia helped with the pronunciation of Wroclaw.
We must admit we were struggling with the language, so Kasia explained further.
Wroclaw is pronounced like this:
- W is pronounced as a V
- Add a T after the O and
- Claw is pronounced as Whaf
So Wroclaw is pronounced Vrots-Whaf.
Oh dear, still too hard to say. Sorry, Kasia. I think we need another drink.
Where to Stay in Wroclaw with a Car
For those of you needing some comfort, try Airbnb.
We instead opted for a local campground as it was well priced with free parking and is only 15 mins by tram from the city centre.
We did have a tent but decided to pay a little extra and sleep in one of their cute cabins. The cabins have a double bed and two single beds, good Wifi and are comfy.
With the showers, toilets and a washing-up area nearby, it was a reasonably priced option to stay in Wroclaw.
And we may be sure to sleep with our One Little Item We Never Travel Without.
Getting Around Wroclaw by Tram
You’ll find the tram system is efficient and reasonably priced.
If you buy a 24-hour ticket from the automated machine, you can always return to the city in the evening to enjoy the lights, music, and bars.
Or return in the early morning for photos without tourists.
How to Explore Wroclaw for a Weekend Break
To make it easy for you, we have put together seven highlights of Wroclaw for you to explore this underrated city of Poland.
1. Yes, the Food is Delicious and Hearty
Dumplings and Chicken Dishes were our first dishes to try from the suggestions of our Polish friends Kasia and Rod.
After listening to their descriptions, we chose dumplings full of minced pork meat. It was such a generous portion and rather large-sized dumplings.
Our second choice was a chicken fillet with tomato sauce and many potatoes.
Both meals came with beetroot and pickled cabbage slaw and were washed down with a €2.50 beer, perfect.
So, it was no surprise the following day; we chose some more recommended dishes.
This time it was Polish sausage with lard, gherkins, and bread. It was only the lard we had trouble swallowing.
We also tried the Placki Ziemniaczane (potato pancake) so delicious.
2. Explore the Foods of Hala Targowa
And when in Wroclaw, plan a visit to Hala Targowa for a great way to see what food is on offer, from fresh produce to deli items.
The other highlight is the market’s amazing building – its height and structure give a different ambience to the market.
3. See the View from St John the Baptist Cathedral
The gothic beauty of St John the Baptist Cathedral dates back to the 13th century and is the fourth church on this site.
When the church was originally constructed, it was the first brick building in Poland. But in the last days of WWII, 70% of the church was badly damaged and rebuilt in its Gothic beauty.
Having decided to see the view from the top of the steeple, it was a nice surprise to find an elevator taking us all the way to the top.
The 91m tower has great panoramic views of Wroclaw for a small cost.
And the area around the cathedral dates to the 10th century, with St Giles Church the oldest building. It is a beautiful little church (more the size of a chapel) and worth a visit.
Around both churches are quaint cobblestoned streets and paths with the Botanical Gardens nearby (charge to enter.)
4. Study the Locks of the Tumski Bridge
Walking over the “love” bridge is fun when reading locks of love secured to the bridge.
This steel bridge crosses over the Oder River dating back to 1889, and is one of the oldest river crossings in Wroclaw.
As a pedestrian, it is a lovely walk to reach St Mary’s Church and the Cathedral. Plus, it also provides a vantage point to watch small cruising boats.
Wroclaw is also known as a city of bridges, 117 bridges to be precise.
One bridge to cross is the Grunwaldzki Bridge to walk along the beautiful promenade with many museums of Wroclaw.
If you feel like a cruise, this is the place to book a river cruise. There are plenty of boat cruises to choose from.
5. Why are there Gnomes in Wroclaw?
So cute and so easy to miss. These mischievous ambassadors of Wroclaw are often up to mischief, passed out drunk or showcasing those with disabilities.
These little “munchkins” are part of Polish folklore, and you’ll find over 300 of them scattered all over the city area.
In the 1980s, these dwarfs became a symbol of the underground protest movement called the Orange Alternative.
It was their calling card to stage peaceful but subversive protests.
So, it can be now said instead of looking up to view the beauty of buildings and churches, look down.
6. Find a Cafe in Market Square
You will fall in love with this medieval market square (well, technically, it’s a rectangle.) Once you enter Market Square, the stunning architecture has your jaw-dropping to take it all in.
Wroclaw’s market square is one of the largest in Europe and has two of the largest city halls in Poland.
Here is a short clip from our visit to Market Square.
You will just want to stop and stare at the beautiful architecture and colour and enjoy the vibrancy of what you see.
Although most of the square was destroyed in WWII, the craftsmanship rebuild makes it a highlight of Wroclaw.
As you stroll around the square, you’ll be taking so many photos you may need to pause at one of the many cafes and restaurants.
While sipping your coffee, look above some of the doorways for the Coat of Arms of various houses.
Remember to take a wander over to the flower market too.
With eleven streets leading into the market square, you can wander off to find more gnomes or other interesting streets.
One of those streets is Stare Jatki (Old Butchers’ Shops) dates back to the 13th century. We couldn’t resist peeking into the quaint shops we found.
Or a photo opportunity with these animals.
7. See the Panorama Ractawicka
One of the main attractions of Wroclaw is to visit the National Museum of Wroclaw to see the Panorama Ractawicka.
Panorama Ractawicka is a massive painting on the woven canvas of the 1794 Battle of Raclawice against invading Russians.
The unique feature is the painting surrounds you, and you find yourself seeing a different aspect from different parts of the room.
Wroclaw Weekend Break
A stay or stopover in Wroclaw, Poland, is worth considering.
You can start your adventure at the University quarter with its Baroque architecture before finding a fabulous restaurant at Market Square for tasty food and mischievous gnomes.
And these seven highlights to see when visiting Wroclaw showcase the beauty of the city. So make sure to get your Wroclaw Self-Guided City Walk to suit your travel plan.
Wroclaw is the city to see plenty of baroque architecture, manicured gardens, and riverside walks to get an authentic feel of the city.
Wroclaw is well worth a visit on your next planned getaway.