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.
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.
Image used under Creative Commons from PolandMFA
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.
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.
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.
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.