It was almost a surprise to myself that I decided to stretch my stay in Poland, but I wanted to see more of the country. After my quartet of shit experiences in Krakow, I decided to give a Polish city a 2nd chance, so I booked a ticket to Wroclaw.
And it is not to say that I did not enjoy my time in Krakow. I actually did. If I look aside to the bad luck I had with one of the tours (which is definitely my fault) and the fact that my notebook broke (damn piece of garbage), I had actually enjoyed my time in the laid back city. I felt that there was still much to do and see despite the fact that Krakow was small.
I arrived to Wroclaw amidst the best weather I’ve had in weeks. 25°C greeted me at the small bus station, only a few blocks from the city center.
Like I’m used to by now, I bought a ticket and hopped into a tram to my hostel, which was set in a nice courtyard far from the hustle and bustle of the city.
While deciding where to go, a local girl at the hostel recommended I come to Wroclaw instead of Warsaw. Her reasoning was that Wroclaw was more authentic than the big capital of Warsaw.
If you know me by now, you know that I’m not a big fan of big cities, especially the capitals. And as my European portion of the trip has mainly consisted of covering cities, I was looking forward to seeing something different.
Wroclaw itself is also a city. Smaller than most, but still a city in itself.
That doesn’t mean that there is nothing to see. In fact, Wroclaw is a very walkable city and it packs its sights within close range of one another for the most part.
Luckily I did not overbook my stay, and I was able to see everything there was to see within a 2-night stay.
The main sight and by far the prettiest within the city is the Market Square.
Surrounded by medieval buildings and commerces, the Marquet Square is the heart of Wroclaw and its busiest sight. The entire square is a pedestrian avenue where locals and visitors congregate to watch passers-by from one of the many restaurants and bar surrounding the market.
At night it is a good place to go out bar hopping and clubbing, but expect to pay the “tourist prices”. For a more local venue head to Pasaz Nielpolda (51 Ruska street), which is filled with about a dozen bars and clubs where mainly locals like to party.
One of my favourite spots in the plaza is in front of the Town Hall, the Pillory. In the past, this was used for public executions and punishments. It fittingly showcases an executioner carrying a whip at the top.
The oldest part of Wroclaw, located just northeast from the Rynek (old town) outside of the main island. Ostrów Tumski has many nice sights, including the Jana Chrzciciela Katedra (or simply the “Wroclaw Cathedral) and the Tumski bridge.
This part of the city is particularly beautiful at sundown, where dark blue ski and the outdoor lamps give it an eerie yet beautiful feel. The outdoor lamps run by gas, and every night they are lit by a local “lamplighter”. It should be easy enough to “catch him in the act” if you time your visit just before dusk.
Hala Targowa (Old Market Hall)
One of the oldest and busiest local markets in Wroclaw, the Hala Targowa market is located near Tumski Bridge. The market is filled with local produce and foods. Fruits, vegetables, flowers and meals can be found within the market.
I found my visit to the market quite gratifying. It had been long since I had visited one of these markets and it reminded me of those big ones in South America (although much MUCH cleaner).
Japanischer Garten & Wroclaw Fountain
One of the prettiest places I visited during my stay in Wroclaw was its Japanese Garden. The open-air garden houses many types of plants, trees and a beautiful pond.
The park is located besides the Wroclaw Fountain, which in turn is located by the Centennial Hall.
The Wroclaw Fountain displays water shows all day to the sound of music. At night, a light show accompanies the waterworks along with the sounds of classical music.
Both locations are a bit far from the city centre, in Park Szczytnicki, taking almost an hour to get there by foot. However you can get there with tram number 33 in just 20 minutes.
Street Art In Nadodrze
Located north across the Oder River, the neighbourhood of Nadodrze has the best displays of street art in Wroclaw.
The many murals within Naddorze are easy to come by through a stroll in the neighbourhood. Many of these are painted inside alleyways and courtyards, so be respectful and wary of those around you when taking pictures.
Look For Dwarfs
Fans of the Pokémon Go game will love this one!
Located throughout the city of Wroclaw are over 350 statues of dwarfs. They are located everywhere from the city center to car dealerships to shopping malls and house windows. One can make a full day activity of this, if you’re a fan of the Pokémon thing. If not, well, seeing them can still be quite entertaining.
Wroclaw, nice city where I enjoyed the best weather I’ve had in the last month since arriving to Europe. What are your thoughts of this city?