When you mention to someone that you are going to Poland, the usual questions about where you are going to spend you time naturally arise. Most people know about Krakow and Warsaw, a few know about the beautiful seaside town of Gdansk or the mountain wonderland of Zakopane, but very few could tell you much about Wroclaw. But we are here to tell you that Wroclaw is Poland and possibly Europe’s next big destination. Wroclaw (pronounced Vrots-waf) is like a combination of all the things that make Poland great – a huge (albeit beautifully rebuilt) old town, one of the largest and most breathtaking market squares in Europe, over 100 bridges spanning 13 islands along the Vistula River, beautiful green spaces intermixed with street art, and so much cheap food and beer it makes you want to stay for weeks.
After hearing people that went to Poland for Euro 2013 rave about Wroclaw, we were sure to add it to our list of places to see in Poland. And, although it was a bit out of our way and took nearly 5.5 hours on a crowded bus from Warsaw, it was worth it.
We spent nearly all of our three days in Wroclaw simply exploring different parts of the city. Starting from the massive main market square each morning, we set off in a different direction each time. We stumbled upon the amazing university buildings and church, we found street art galleries, we wandered around cathedral island, and so much more. In between we found 1 dollar beers, so many gnomes (but you already know about that), and the best pierogies of the trip (also the cheapest). It was a tremendously satisfying three days, and Wroclaw was probably one of the places we were the most sad to see the back of.
As you can tell we would definitely recommend a visit if you are going to be in Poland or other parts of Central Europe. Wroclaw is not going to be a hidden treasure for long, however, as it has been named a European Capital of Culture for 2016. So get there before crowds arrive and the prices go up!
Logistics: You can get to Wroclaw very easily and conveniently from a number of other Polish cities (Warsaw, Krakow, Poznan, etc.), and, because of it’s location, a number of international cities as well (Prague, Dresden, Berlin, etc.). The train and bus stations are right beside each other. Much of the city is accessible on foot, but there are a couple places (eg. Centennial Hall) that can be easily accessed via the efficient tram system. There are many budget accommodations (we stayed at Grampa’s Hostel which was fantastic!), and there is a free walking tour leaving from the main market square every day at 11:00.
Have you ever been to Wroclaw? Do you have any places that you think will be bringing in the tourist hordes in the next few years that people haven’t discovered yet?