Beautiful architecture, bridges, fountains, quirky dwarfs and busy nightlife… These are only some of the things that Wroclaw has to offer. Located in the Lower Silesia region in Poland, Wrocław is fast becoming an attractive destination for city breaks and it’s easy to see why! Compact and peaceful, but still full of culture and entertainment. If you have already bought your flight ticket and are now wondering what to see in this Polish city then have a look at our list of top things to do in Wroclaw and enjoy your trip! No matter the weather, you will certainly find something to do and see. Yes, even on the most rainy day!
1. Explore the Old Town
If you have only one day in Wroclaw then the one thing that is a must-do is visiting the Wroclaw Old Town. This is the most significant part of the city where you can find numerous attractions, monuments, as well as restaurants and cafes. Getting lost in that area will also give you a lot of insight into the city’s culture. Although the Old Town was largely destroyed during World War II, it was faithfully reconstructed, so you can get lost in the side streets and charming corners, such as the old street Jatki, and feel like you went back in time.
2. See the Market Square
As the main element of the Old Town, Wroclaw Market Square is something that you can’t miss. The market is impressive in size, vibrant and surrounded by colorful buildings. The highlight here is the richly decorated Old Town Hall built in gothic style, as well as a big fountain which is often a meeting point for locals. Not surprisingly, the medieval Market Square is where most cultural events take place throughout the year. Visiting Wroclaw in December? Don’t miss the chance to see the Christmas Market and drink mulled wine on the Square! Wroclaw Christmas Market is one of the coziest ones in Europe and apart from performances, amusement parks, and crafts, you can enjoy some traditional Polish cuisine, like the famous pierogi.
3. Go dwarf hunting
Are you visiting Wroclaw with kids? Or maybe you want to spend some time feeling like a kid? Strange as it may sound, searching for gnomes is many visitors’ favorite things to do in Wroclaw. There are around 400 small bronze “dwarf” statues in the city and its number is constantly growing – no wonder Wroclaw is known as the city of dwarfs! First Wroclaw gnomes started appearing in the Old Town, but now they are spread all over the city and spotting them brings excitement to people of all ages. You can either grab a map or trust your instinct and look for them on your own. This is not only a fun way to explore the city and occupy the little ones, adults will surely be entertained too!
4. Stroll around Ostrów Tumski
Once you checked out the Old Town, take a walk across the bridge to Ostrów Tumski, also known as the Cathedral Island. It is a fairly small area where you can stroll along the Oder River and admire the old architecture. According to the legends, this is where Wrocław originated so it is also the historic heart of the city. Apart from chapels, the Island is home to the city’s oldest museum and St John the Baptist Cathedral with a tower that you can climb to see the view from above. You can also see some of the famous Wroclaw bridges and visit the Botanical Gardens that are a part of the University of Wrocław.
5. Enjoy the show at Wroclaw Multimedia fountain
Located in Szczytnicki Park at Pergola, this huge fountain (one of the biggest in Europe) attracts both tourists and locals for an amazing show accompanied with colorful lights, sprays, music and sometimes videos projected on water. This is a great way to spend the evening, especially in summer months. Going to Wroclaw in winter? Although you won’t be able to see the fountain in action, you can still get in on the action on ice skates! In wintertime part of the fountain transforms into a huge ice skating rink.
6. Find out about the city’s history at Centennial Hall
Wroclaw Centennial Hall (Hala Stulecia) is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and houses Cognitive Center where you can get familiar with Wrocław’s rich history thanks to interactive exhibitions.
7. Check out the world’s only Afrykarium
The Zoo in Wroclaw is the oldest one in Poland and it impresses with its size and number of animals that live there. Its biggest attraction is Afrykarium, which is the only theme oceanarium in the world with a focus on fauna of just one continent. Additionally, the zoo organizes daily “feeding shows”. This stop on the itinerary will obviously satisfy families with kids, but will also be interesting for animal lovers or those who want to experience a bit of Africa.
8. Relax in the Japanese Garden
When you’re tired after the dwarf hunt and want to put your feet up, head to the Japanese Garden near the Centennial Hall. It is a popular place for both locals and tourists to rest. Ponds, charming bridges, a tea pavilion and a huge variety of Japanese trees and flowers create a tranquil atmosphere that is perfect for romantic walks or just relaxing with a book.
9. Go back in time – The Racławice Panorama
This is one of the most important things to see in Wroclaw. The cycloramic painting depicts the Battle of Racławice in 1794 and covers 1,800 square meters. The impressive panorama comes from the 19th century, when it was a form of mass culture, and is one of the few remaining cycloramas in Europe from that time.
10. Get closer to Hollywood at MovieGate Wroclaw
This place is a real treat for movie fans. The MovieGate is a gallery where you can see an extended collection of original props and costumes used on sets of movies such as Star Wars, James Bond, X-Man, and Inglorious Bastards. To make it more interesting, it is possible to buy some of the props, so if you’re looking for a unique gift for a close one, you know where to find it! The gallery is located underground, right in the city center and in a space that was a shelter during World War II which makes it an even more intriguing place to visit.
11. Take in the views and have a shopping spree at the Sky Tower
Stop by one of the tallest buildings in Poland and get a nice view of the whole city and beyond. Located on the 49th floor, the viewpoint at the Sky Tower is one of the main attractions in Wroclaw. After enjoying the views you can also do some shopping in the building’s shopping mall.
12. Experience Wroclaw’s nightlife
Tired of sightseeing and ready to hit the party? You’re lucky as Wroclaw is also known as a party city so finding clubs and bars will not be a challenge. The Market Square in the Old Town is obviously the place where most bars and restaurants are concentrated so you can easily go for a pub crawl there. If the clubs right in the Market Square turn out to be too crowded or you want to experience more of the nightlife then head a bit away from the square to Pasaż Niepolda.