Most people first think of Paris , Barcelona or Venice when it comes to best city breaks in Europe. And as a result, these cities are so popular that they are usually overcrowded. The Polish metropolis of Wroclaw is popular everywhere, but it is still one of the cities through which you can stroll for the most part in a relaxed manner, without large tourist crowds. Walk through and enjoy this wonderful city, which is often referred to as the “Venice of the East” due to its many bridges.
Wroclaw is a city that offers a good mix of the traditional and the modern. Historic buildings, magnificent city parks, futuristic monuments – the selection is huge. But what should you go after on your city break?
Let’s have a look at the best things to do in Lisbon:
Rynek – The Great Ring
The “Great Ring” is the central market square in Wroclaw, the history of which goes back to the Middle Ages.
It is designed in the form of a rectangle, in the center of which is a block of houses with residential buildings as well as the old town hall and new town hall.
The square extends over a size of 205 x 175 meters and is practically the culinary heart of the city, since countless restaurants and cafes are lined up. Ideal for strolling on a warm summer day.
Many of the buildings on the Rynek were destroyed during the Second World War and today’s buildings are predominantly reconstructions from the 20th century, which, however, were rebuilt precisely and in detail. The House of the Seven Electors and the House of the Golden Sun are definitely worth mentioning .
The Old Town Hall
The architecture of the Old Rauthaus is one of the most impressive landmarks in Wroclaw. The location is the Great Ring. It was first mentioned in a document in 1299. Since then it has been rebuilt several times, but gradually lost its importance as an administrative center until the 19th century.
The historic building was badly damaged in the Second World War. The restoration began a few years after the end of the war and continued for four years.
Today the Old Town Hall serves as a city museum. The city administration is now in an extension on the southwestern side of the central block on the Großer Ring.
The Wroclaw Dwarfs
The Wroclaw dwarfs are the secret stars of the Polish metropolis of 600,000. If you look down, you will discover hundreds of these small bronze dwarfs throughout the city.
Its origin goes back to a freedom movement in the 1980s. At that time people protested against the communist regime and raised the forefather of all Wroclaw dwarfs.
Since the beginning of the 00s, their number has grown to 350 units. You can also spot them above your heads, just keep your eyes open. The area around the market square in particular offers shelter to many of these smallest inhabitants of Wroclaw.
At the tourist office on Rynek you can even buy a map that shows the locations of the approximately 300-strong dwarf army. You will be amazed at the different places in which the small bronze statues are “doing their work”.
The Wroclaw Cathedral , already mentioned at the beginning, is one of numerous Gothic churches in the city. It was built between 1244 and 1341 and forms the architectural center of the cathedral island. Most of the once largest organ in the world , which used to be located in the Wroclaw Century Hall, is located inside the cathedral .
In the summer months, we recommend you to enjoy the view of Wroclaw from the 98 meter high towers! From there you have a wonderful panoramic view all the way to the white Rędziński Bridge, the largest river crossing in Poland. The Sky Tower and the Church of St. Mary on the Sand (Kościół Najświętszej Marii Panny na Piasku) on the other side of the cathedral bridge are also clearly visible.
The Centennial Hall
One of the most impressive buildings in Wroclaw is clearly the Century Hall . It was built from 1911 to 1913 under the architect Max Berg and with its 23 meter high dome and a diameter of 65 meters it was the largest cantilevered building in the world at the time.
Together with the needle-shaped building Iglica, the Centennial Hall is one of the most famous attractions in Wroclaw and was consequently included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. It is currently used primarily for trade fairs and sporting events.
The hall is located in the largest park in the city, the Szczytnicki Park or Scheitniger Park. With hundreds of different types of plants and a Japanese garden, it is ideal for relaxing walks in between.
South of the Centennial Hall is also the Wroclaw Zoo , which is one of the most species-rich zoological gardens in the world with more than 1000 animal species.
Słodowa Island / Daliowa Island
Słodowa (Wyspa Słodowa) is an island that is particularly populated in spring and summer by locals who relax a little there. There are concerts, sports activities and picnics. Beach bars invite you to linger.
In the neighborhood is the island of Daliowa, which has another tourist attraction with a shell-shaped steel structure. A great photo motif because the sculpture reflects extremely. This is how creative effects can be created.
BONUS – Przejście
The monument to the anonymous passers-by, Przejście, commemorates the people who died or disappeared in Poland during the state of emergency in the 1980s.
After protests over the poor economic situation and social problems, the communist regime proclaimed martial law in 1981. Many people died or went underground for fear of arrest.
Since 2005, the images of 14 people (7 on each side of the street) have reminded us of that time. Some of them rise from the ground, which symbolizes the end of the state of emergency in 1983.