Wroclaw is one of the best and most beautiful cities in Poland. It is also known as Vratislavia or Breslau. Wroclaw is also one of the oldest cities in Poland. The origin of the city goes back to the 10th century when the settlement began on an island called Ostrow Tumski (Cathedral Island). Wroclaw became part of Poland in 990. Two important trade routes, Via Regia and Amber Road, crossed here. This had a big impact on the city’s rapid growth. Wroclaw has also been a part of the Czech Republic in the 14th century and it was under Prussian and German rule in the 19th century which had an enormous imprint on the current shape of the city.
Now, with a population of over 600,000, it is the fourth largest city in Poland. It is located in the southwest part of the country, not far from the Czech Republic and Germany. It has a beautiful Old Town, plentiful green spaces and parks, contrasting and stunning architecture, a variety of cafes and restaurants, etc. During its rich history, Wroclaw has become a mix of different architecture styles – Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, etc. So, what are the best places to see in Wroclaw?
THE OLD TOWN
As you walk in the streets of the old town, you feel like you’re in a fairy tale. Wroclaw has one of the most beautiful market squares in Poland. The stunning gothic and renaissance style houses were built centuries ago. Wroclaw’s Market Square is one the largest in whole Europe. On Market Square, you will find the Old Town Hall which is a magical complex of Gothic buildings. Don’t forget to go dwarf hunting. As you walk in the city you’ll see small statues of dwarves on the streets. The official number of the dwarves is 168 but there are over 300 of them.
A little far from the Old Town you can find Szczytnicki Park. It has become a beautiful attraction for tourists since the 18th century. Later a Japanese garden was planted in the park. It is a perfect place to get away from the busy city and enjoy the wonderful nature.
Near the Japanese Garden, you can see the Centennial Hall which is a UNESCO World Heritage. It’s a real masterpiece of modernist architecture that was opened in 1913. The hall is used for events, exhibitions, and shows.
Wroclaw has several amazing viewpoints for people to admire the city from above. One of them is a 45-meter-high bridge. The Penitent Bridge, also called Witches’ Bridge is a footbridge between the two towers of Mary Magdalene. The legend says that one can see the ghosts of young women who preferred partying instead of getting married.
Ostrow Tumski or the Cathedral Island is the oldest part of the city. It is a cozy and peaceful place with astonishing architecture and beautiful religious sites. It makes you feel like you’re in medieval times. If you go there half an hour before the dusk, you can see the lamplighter walking around and lighting up 103 gas lamps of the Island. Wroclaw is the only city in Poland where you can still find gas lamps.
HOLY NAME OF JESUS UNIVERSITY CHURCH
The Church is located next to the University of Wroclaw. The Baroque church is a real masterpiece of architecture. The interior of the church is jaw-dropping. The design of the interior was created by Austrian architect Christoph Tausch in the 18th century. The ceiling is covered with paintings of Austrian painter Johann Michael Rottmayr from the early 18th century.
As you go through the gate on Ruska 46C street, you will find yourself in a yard surrounded by brightly shining neon lights. The first neon light was brought to Wroclaw by Tomasz Kosmalski in 2005. Now there are around 30 neon signs of different institutions, shops, cinemas, and bars on Ruska 46c. Nearby you can also find many bars, pubs, and clubs. Wroclaw is a city of students, and there are a lot of good nightlife options.
Nadodrze district is one of the best places to admire not only street art but also beautiful architecture. Wroclaw was one of the first cities in Poland where street art began to develop. Today, you can see a lot of works by local and world-famous artists on the city’s walls.
Wroclaw is one of the most interesting and astonishing cities to visit in Poland. It has so many attractions that one day will not be enough. It has a warm, historic, and artistic atmosphere that makes one want to go back and see more.