Are you travelling to Wroclaw and you have no idea what to do and see there? Wroclaw is one of the most beautiful places in Poland and it is really worth exploring! In our article we want to give you a few tips on how to spend one day in Wroclaw (we know how busy most itineraries are) and to give you a general overview of the most interesting places in the city.
Brief history of Wroclaw
We don't want to bother you with too many details so we will just offer you a short summary of the history of Wroclaw. We think it is not a bad idea to get a picture of what it's been through.
A lot has been going on in the city since its establishing in the 9th century.
The Salvic Sezans are considered to be the first settlers, but they were soon absorbed into the Czech territory. The town got its name after the Czech leader Wrocislaw. Then came the Polish and turned Wroclaw into a prosperous town. It had to be rebuilt after the raids of the Tartar army and later became a part of Bohemia, Austria and Prussia - now you understand why it should be on your bucket list?
During World War II Wroclaw was basically a Nazi stronghold and it did not want to surrender to Soviets. After the war it became Polish again but the dark times for the city lasted until the end of the Communist Era. Wroclaw has gone through an incredible change since 1989 and it is loved both by tourists and locals.
Walk around the center
In our humble opinion the best way to start your one day in Wroclaw is in the Market Square - called Rynek - which dates back to the 13th century. It's full of amazing buildings which have almost all been renovated and are currently used as bars, restaurants or shops.
The symbol of the square is the statue of Roland and you will also notice a remarkable glass fountain. Attached to the Market Square is the Salt Square which used to be a trading place for salt but is currently an important (and nonstop) flower market. In the center of the Market Square you will find the Old Town Hall, one of the main landmarks of the city.
Whit its cobblestone streets and colored houses, the Old town is a really fascinating place. The best thing to do here is to walk around. Explore as many hidden street as you can, and you will find amazing spots, or at least an authentic local pub.
You surely cannot miss the Saint Elisabeth Church on the opposite part of the Market Square. If you feel like it, you can climb the 90-m tall tower and get a better view of the center. For the art lovers, there are the Old Shambles with a lot of galleries and different monuments of animals.
Other places worth mentioning are the University of Wroclaw - one of the oldest ones in Central Europe - and the Church of St. Stanislaw, Dorota and Waclaw. The tour of the Old town takes around two hours.
Check Ostrow Tumski - Cathedral Island
Believe it or not, the Cathedral Island is the oldest part of the city of Wroclaw. It was an island until the 19th century - ostrow in Old Polish language - between branches of the Oder River. Frequent floodings led town planners to fill in one of the Oder’s tributaries in 1810.
Now it's possible to access from the city center by a beautiful bridge, and it's a quiet, charming place. It's the perfect place for you to escape the bustle of Rynek. Two streets are especially fascinating: Katedralna and Idziego. Their cobbles will remind you of the medieval past of the city. Idziego is a particularly romantic street, with its original gas lamps. A splendid place for a picturesque, romantic evening stroll. Moreover, these gas lamps are still lighted by hand by a lamplighter!
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One day in Wroclaw: hunting the dwarfs
You might not spot them right away as some of them are really tiny or hidden but they are literally everywhere: the famous dwarfs of Wroclaw. Their history is pretty interesting and dates back to the 1980's. They were something as a signature of the "Orange Alternative" movement. This underground protest movement against communism wanted to avoid violence and so they used this peaceful way of manifesting their disagreement.
Nowadays they are very popular with tourists as some of them are really funny, being involved in different kinds of activities such as drinking (so obvious :P), offering random passersby a slice if pizza or travelling somewhere holding his suitcase. If you don't spot at least 7-8 of them while walking around the center it means you're not looking carefully!
Explore the Centennial Hall & Multimedia Fountain
The Centennial Hall with the adjacent Multimedia Fountain is a nice surprise. Called Hala Stulecia in Polish, it was built in 1913 and is a World Heritage Site inscribed by UNESCO in 2006. The Centennial Hall has been designed to be a multi-functional building: it hosts exhibitions, concerts, theatrical and opera performances.
The Wroclaw Multimedia Fountain is a magnificent musical fountain. At the time we went there, it was playing the Ride of the Valkyries. The show was really impressive and we got really touched. Unfortunately it doesn't run during winter: Usually it should be working from the first weekend of May to late October. Check the official website for more info.
In the surroundings you can find other popular tourist attractions, such as the Zoo and the Japanese Garden. We actually didn't go there, but this last one should be really beautiful. Give it a try if you have time!
Buy a smoothie and fresh fruit at the Market Hall
The Market Hall is some kind of the Rambla market in Wroclaw. Situated in a historical building finished in 1908 which looks like a factory it is a great place for getting fresh products like fruit, vegetables, different types of cheese or hams.
On a hot summer day you can get refreshed inside having a smoothie or juice for honest prices. The building is architecturally interesting from both the outside and the inside and right next to the entrance you can get the best pierogi in town.
Check our gallery below. Is there anything else to see in one day in Wroclaw? Let us know in the comment and then share the post on your Social channels!