Wroclaw

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Known for its deep sporting traditions, bustling open-air markets and notable historical landmarks, the city has plenty to keep even the most experienced traveller stimulated.


Exploring Wroclaw


Wroclaw has witnessed countless battles and skirmishes throughout its long and troubled history. Like most of Poland, the city has been occupied by a number of invaders down through the years with the Russians, Germans and Austrians all laying claim at one point or another. Known as Breslau during a long period of German occupation, the landscape of the city has been shaped by its experiences – this is mostly evident in its diverse and contradictory architecture.

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Cultural Landmarks

A recurring theme among the city’s landmarks is the passionate and poignant reverence with which locals treat them – you won’t find a building in the city that doesn’t have a story to tell. 

Notable attractions for visitors include the Raclawice Panorama, a radial 19th century oil painting that stretches across a winding canvas. It depicts the Battle of Raclawice, during which the Polish army recorded a famous victory against Russian forces. Tickets to view the exceptional work cost around €6. The Wroclaw Opera, meanwhile, regularly hosts shows based on the city’s epic struggles.

Dining Out

Often dubbed the ‘Venice of Poland’, Wroclaw is dotted with cosy restaurants and bistros in keeping with the city’s warm and rustic aesthetic. The cost of eating out in Wroclaw comes at a price Venetians can only dream of though: an all-inclusive three-course meal will set you back an extremely reasonable €20.

Sporting Heritage

Wroclaw’s passion for sport became known across Europe during the summer of 2012, when it acted as one of the host cities for the 2012 UEFA European Championships. The city enjoyed a number of group games at the 42,000-seater Miejski Stadium – including one involving the Polish national team – and gained a reputation for fervent support and hospitality in equal measure. Local team, Śląsk Wrocław, plays top-flight football there today.

Transport

Getting from place to place in Wroclaw is relatively easy – the city is served by an excellent bus and tram network, with tickets available from many of the city’s newsagents – keep an eye out for Ruch kiosks. While most operators accept credit cards, it is worth noting that not everywhere accepts MasterCard. It’s doubtful you’ll need to rely on plastic to pay your way though: a day ticket will set you back just €2.60, a 48-hour concession costs just €4.88, while you’ll fork out just €6.30 for a 72-hour pass. One-way tickets are cheaper still.

Five for free

  • Go to Market

    Founded in the 13th century, Market Square sits at the heart of Wroclaw’s pedestrian zone. One of the must-see sites for all visitors, the market boasts a relaxed, traffic-free shopping environment filled with well-stocked boutiques, book shops and eateries. At the eastern end of the square is Wroclaw’s town hall, the heart of the city and the scene for many of its cultural and civic events.

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  • A Walk in the Park

    Formally founded in 1785, Szczytnicki Park is one of the oldest natural landmarks in Poland. The park is roughly one square kilometre in area and is best described as a patch of wilderness out of sync with the rest of the industrial cityscape.

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  • The Old Jewish Cemetery

    Situated in the southeast of the city, the Old Jewish Cemetery was originally built as part of the town of Gabitz but was pulled inside the city limits as a result of its rapid expansion. The scene of intense fighting during the Second World War, some of the headstones and tombs still bear the marks of the conflict. The site is visited by thousands of visitors every year seeking a greater knowledge of Poland’s struggles.

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  • White Stork Synagogue

    The only Jewish temple to have survived the Second World War, the White Stork Synagogue is a popular tourist attraction for history buffs keen to know more about Jewish life in Eastern Europe. It was built in the mid-19th century, when the city was part of the Kingdom of Prussia and is still known as Breslau.

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  • St. Mary Magdalene Church

    Built during the 13th century, this Gothic church is the home to many of the Silesian region’s holy relics and artefacts. Among them is a striking Romanesque portal taken from a Benedictine monastery elsewhere.

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