To be honest, Wroclaw was never on top of my travel bucket list, but a close friend of mine decided to go there studying. So me and a friend decided to drive up to Wroclaw over the long weekend at the beginning of November. After our short trip, I truly recomment visiting this charming town.
The city isn’t that big and you can reach most of the main sights by foot. The area around the main square and town hall is just lovely. I really like those old or in this case old looking houses. It’s simply prettier than modern architecture, if you ask me.
Around the town hall, you’ll find a lot of nice restaurants and cafés. Also the flower market is right around the corner. It is open twenty-four hours to give especially men a chance to buy an excuse gift after a long night out.
On our first day we mainly explored the city and ended up visiting the Pan Tadeusz Museum. The museum is near the town hall and tells the story of the popular polish writer Adam Mickiewicz and his main work, the poem Pan Tadeusz.
The exhibition was very interactive, presenting the information in various different ways. It was great fun exploring the history of the polish poem and its significance for the polish culture.
Strolling through the city, you can spot little dwarfs at corners or in the middle of squares or streets.
The dwarfs are spread out over the old town and are a symbol for the political protest during the 80s. At that time a group called “Orange Alternative” staged passive protest using gnomes as a sign against the communist establishment.
– This fellow was big enough to shake hands in front of the theater 🙂 –
But not only a great number of gnomes is waiting to be discovered, Wroclaw also offers some beautiful street art.
Make sure to walk around a lot and you will see some great art, I promise.
One of the must visits is the “Cathedral Island” with the great cathedral. You can even climb up one of the towers to get a better view of the city. Unfortunately we were to early and could only visit the cathedral itself. However, the archtitecture and decoration is of course worth the visit even without enjoying the view from above.
The museum within the historic university building is another great place to go. The university is one of the oldest in Poland. Make sure to visit the cathedral and the baroque hall “Aula Leopoldina” as well as the exhibition of the university’s early days. Today there are over 40,000 students studying at the university what gives Wroclaw a very international and young atmosphere.
– I loved the paintings in the Oratorium Marianum at the university –
Another place to go is the Jewish cementary. I know, some of you might find it creepy to go to a cementary for sightseeing, but it truly is a historic place. It is meant to be the only place in Wroclaw, where the German history is still visible. In other parts of the town all reminders of German culture were destroyed after the war.
The cementary also is a place of great calmness and some beautiful art. In my opinion, cementaries always tell their own important story of cultures or cities.
Near the cementary is the Sky Tower, the highest building in Wroclaw. If you are more lucky than we were the elevator to the top floor works and you can have a great view of the town.
If you do go to Wroclaw, plan more than just a day. The city offers a lot which we didn’t achieve to visit. For a short overview here are some further tips for a great weekend in Wroclaw:
What else to see?
- Hydropolis – an interactive museum about water a bit out of the center
- National Museum – unfortunately this is closed on Mondays but is meant to be very good
- Jewish quarter – you can visit the synagogue or have some great food in the cafés and restaurants around
- water fountains – near the cenntential hall, there is a water fountain which is illuminated by night and from may to october there are hourly shows with music acompanying the water and light effects
Where to stay?
We stayed at The Green Hostel, a small hostel near the center. It was very clean and cheap.
If you do go, let me know what you visited and how you liked the city 😉