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wrocław, poland guide by a local

Wrocław, Poland is a popularity-gaining pearl of the south with great culture and architecture to offer; here's what you need to know.

- what are the things to do in Wrocław?
- what are the best restaurants in Wrocław?
- how does public transport in Wrocław work?





contents

what to see

what to see

where to eat

where to eat

best hotels

best hotels

day trips

day trips

getting there

getting there

getting around

getting around


CHAPTER 1

what to see in Wrocław







Grzegorz says:
There are tons of beautiful buildings and areas to explore in Wrocław, and, not to undermine my list, I have to admit that simply walking around the Old Town, and especially towards the north and east, can be a good idea.




top 10 attractions in Warsaw on greyscale simple map
top 10 attractions in Warsaw on greyscale simple map

icon of number 1 with pink text and shadow Market Square

Let's start of our Wrocław, Poland guide with a bang. If there's one place worth visiting in Poland, it's Wrocław's Market Square, located in the heart of the Old Town. It is lined with tenement houses from various periods in history. In the center, you will find a grand city hall and an iconic wave-inspired fountain. Other than that, the Market Square is the epicenter of tourist life in Wrocław, as well as a site of restaurants, cafes, bars, horse carriages, and street performers.

view from above

city hall



icon of number 2 with pink text and shadow Old Town

Wrocław's Old Town goes far beyond the small area that is the Market Square. It is also home to such awe-inspiring sites as St. Elisabeth's Church right next to the Market Square, the New Market Square, the Cathedral of St. Vincent and St. James, the National Museum, and much, much more. What is more, the Old Town is a place to explore restaurants and cafes, as well as photography potential.

Saint Elisabeth Church

National Museum



icon of number 3 with pink text and shadow Ostrów Tumski

Ostrów Tumski is often referred to as Catherdal Island - and, when it was founded, the area was, in fact, an island. Today, it is not - what it is, however, is a charming waterfront area with the Church of the Holy Cross, the Wrocław Cathedral, and tons of greenery. It is one of the most beautiful areas in the country, and the park it contains is great for a romantic stroll, or a picnic.

view at sunset

view from above



icon of number 4 with pink text and shadow Racławice Panorama

The Racławice Panorama is a circular building in the Eastern Old Town with a stunning display of an enormously-sized painting lined along the circular walls of the building. It is a painting that can be explored with a tour guide, but is just as valuable explored bit by bit by yourself. The scenery in front of the painting is made to mimic a continuation of the bottom of the painting, giving the viewer a sense of immersion.

The panorama can be enjoyed for 30 zł [7.0 EUR] almost every day.
go to the official Racławice Panorama website







Grzegorz recommends:
This may not be the sort of thing that you'd think a local would recommend, but Jesus Christ is this a fantastic piece of art. I've been there so many times I've lost count.






inside view

view from above



icon of number 5 with pink text and shadow Centennial Hall

A large expressionist UNESCO-listed building complex located in Eastern Wrocław, constructed in 1913, today devoted to concerts, shows, and sports events. It is worth visiting both for its grandure and for the different view of Wrocław it introduces. Quite interestingly, the front of the main building is decorated with an almost 100-meter-long spire. The entire area is surrounded by greenery, namely the southern part of Szczytnicki Park.

view from the front

view from above



icon of number 6 with pink text and shadow Podwale

Podwale is the typical name for the canal running along the southern border of the Old Town, as well as the green area on both sides of the canal. It is a great place for a walk - the place is a site where old Polish architecture clashes with communist buildings and newly renovated constructions. During the evening, the water transforms the area into a place for urban life to flourish. Along the canal, you will find theatres, musical institutions, and the Royal Palace.

view at night

typical building along the bank



icon of number 7 with pink text and shadow Szczytnicki Park

Szczytnicki Park is a huge green area located in Eastern Wrocław, adjacent to the Centennial Hall. It contains small water ponds, a little river, and many monuments and small, charming buildings. It is also the home of the Japanese Garden in Wrocław, which is an orientally-stylized area of the park. Szczytnicki Park is a great place to witness current cosmopolitan culture and leisure in Poland, and perhaps to have a picnic.

near Centennial Hall

Japanese area



icon of number 8 with pink text and shadow Hala Targowa

Directly translated to "Trade Hall", this is a large building in the northern part of the Old Town. It was constructed in the early 1900s, and today is a place bustling with life and with dozens of stalls with regional produce vendors. A hall like this is a dying breed in Poland, and this may be one of your last chances to witness a true Eastern European marketplace.

typical day view

view from outside



icon of number 9 with pink text and shadow Wyspa Piasek & Słodowa

"Wyspa", in Polish, means "island" - and Wyspa Piasek and Wyspa Słodowa are, in fact, two islands located slightly north of the Old Town. Wyspa Piasek is the home of a small green area and the beautiful Church of St. Mary leaning over the panorama of Wrocław. Wyspa Słodowa, in turn, is devoted fully to greenery and, today, is a place to relax by the waterside. It features a number of hip floating bars and restaurants, making it a great place to enjoy a beer or a snack in a summer evening.

Wyspa Piasek

Wyspa Słodowa



CHAPTER 2

best restaurants in Wrocław







Grzegorz says:
I'm heartbroken to say that Wrocław doesn't have the best culinary scene. Also, I must say that I do not recommend picking random restaurants in the city centre to explore. You will likely be disappointed.




best local cuisine

restauracja Jadka



Restauracja Jadka is a traditional Polish restaurant with delicious food and elegant decor in the heart of the Old Town.

Dishes include pork jelly, smoked carp, potato "babka", venison tenderloin, and roast duck.

go to official website

go to menu

best affordable local cuisine

Restauracja Konspira



An affordable classic Polish restaurant in the dead centre of the Old Town. This is how Polish grandmas make it.

Dishes include pork chopp, pork knuckle, dumplings, and traditional Polish soups like żurek.

go to official website

go to menu

best international cuisine

Chinkalnia



An authentic Georgian restaurant located in the Market Square. Their freshly-made dumplings are a must-try.

Dishes include chinkali, kharcho (traditional spicy soup), stuffed mushrooms, and eggplant khaki.

go to official website

go to menu

best affordable international cuisine

Osiem Misek



An affrodable Asian restaurant serving mainly different types of soups. The place is small and might get crowded.

Dishes include pho bo, ramen, pulled pork bao, and yellow curry.

go to official website

go to menu

best luxurious restaurant

Restauracja La Maddalena



An excellent restaurant with warm ambience and great presentation located near the Market Square.

Dishes include foie gras, deer haunch, scallop risotto, sea food ragout, and chocolate fondant.

go to official website

go to menu

best cheap restaurant

SETKA Wrocław



A 1980's-inspired polish restaurant and bar open 24/7. Their motto is "Eat and drink, Polish style"!

Dishes include dumplings, knuckle, bigos, beef tartare, and a variety of Polish beers.

go to official website

go to menu

best cafe

Vinyl Cafe



A lovely, quaint cafe in retro style. Drink good coffee listening to music from a vinyl player.

Dishes include various types of coffee, apple tart, key lime pie, hot mulled vine, and craft beer.

go to official website

go to menu

best bar

Browar Stu Mostów - Pub



A unique pub located near Odra river. What better way to end the day than to have a beer at an actual brewery.

Drinks include various types of homemade beer, as well as some snacks such as trout or black sausage.

go to official website

go to menu

best bakery

Stara Pączkarnia



A fantastic Polish-style donut chain with a rustic approach - 1950's-like.

The donuts come in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, rose jelly (a classic!) and more.

go to official website

go to menu

best breakfast

Dinette



Located near the Old Town, this is the place to go for breakfast in the city.

Dishes include American pancakes, toasts and sandwiches, goat cheese with hummus, and sweetbread with carrots.

go to official website

go to menu


CHAPTER 3

best hotels in Wrocław







Grzegorz says:
Wrocław welcomes increasingly more tourists each year, and the hotel market is adapting. However, don't bother booking long before your trip - the hotels are rarely even close to full.





our super low-budget picks


it's no bed of roses; it's no pleasure cruise - but these picks get the job done with dignity for a penny on the dollar.

Amistik
Apartments





Located slightly east of the Old Town, this is an amazing-value private-bathroom aparthotel.

Prices start at 25 zł [5.3 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

City Central
Hostel





A great-value shared-bathroom Old Town hostel with all round city views for those seeking atmosphere.

Prices start at 35 zł [6.3 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

One Lucky Hostel - Old Town





A family-friendly shared-bathroom hostel with many in-house attractions and in the heart of the city.

Prices start at 38 zł [8.8 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


our low-budget picks


for those who want to spend the minimum, but not the bare minimum.


Aparthotel
Bike Up





This aparthotel boasts amazing value, private bathrooms, beautiful design and close proximity to the city.

Prices start at 70 zł [9.3 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

MoHo
M Hostel





Located north of the Old Town, this is a very well-rated private-bathroom and a neat decor.

Prices start at 60 zł [10.2 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Moon
Hostel





A basic Polish shared-bathroom hostel in the heart of the Old Town with great availability.

Prices start at 54 zł [10.7 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


our mid-budget picks


you don't want to miss out on any amenities, but you're not paying extra for fancy decor - this one's for you.


Five Stars Bed&Breakfast





A beautifully-decorated Polish-inspired B&B located in a tenement house in a quiet area of the centre.

Prices start at 81 zł [24.4 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Hotel
Sofia





Located right next to Wrocław Main Station, this is a solid 3-star hotel with everything you expect.

Prices start at 91 zł [29.0 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Hotel Europejski Wrocław Centrum





A typical Polish three-star hotel in a rustic house south of the Old Town with all the usual amenities.

Prices start at 90 zł [27.1 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


our high-budget picks


for the ones who are coming to Poland for the trip of their lives - or just for the one's who always want the best of the best.


Old City Port Apartments





A beautiful Scandinavian-inspired aparthotel north of the Old Town with beautiful bathrooms.

Prices start at 103 zł [51.1 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Best Western Hotel Prima





A large international chain 4-star hotel in the heart of the Old Town with everything you expect.

Prices start at 175 zł [59.7 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

DoubleTree by Hilton Wroclaw





Wrocław's the best of the best, a 5-star hotel with beautiful rooms, a pool, and proximity to everything.

Prices start at 233 zł [45.8 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


CHAPTER 4

day trips from Wrocław







Grzegorz says:
Day trips are great, but I would only recommend taking them after you've seen the city itself. Actually, I understated. Day trips from Warsaw are amazing - especially Książ Castle!




top 5 day trips from Cracow on greyscale simple map
top 5 day trips from Warsaw on greyscale simple map

icon of number 1 with pink text and shadow Jelenia Góra

Jelenia Góra is a city of almost 100 thousand located a little over 100 kilometers west of Central Wrocław. It is one of the most beautiful cities of its size in Poland, and is surrounded by mountains and hills. The city boasts a beautiful Old Town with many colorful tenement-house-filled streets and a Market Square filled with urban life and restaurants. It can also offer other attractions, such as the cobblestone towers and the Church of the Holy Cross.

It takes a little below 2 hours to get there by car, or you can get there by train in 2 hours. This will cost you around 30 zł [7.0 EUR]. Trains depart every hour or so.

Market Square from above

Church of the Holy Cross



icon of number 2 with pink text and shadow Bolesławiec

A city located 120 kilometers west of Central Wrocław, with beautiful forest surroundings. Today, Bolesławiec boasts a beautifully-renovated city centre consisting of a Market Square and City Hall. Other than that, it is a cozy city and a great place to really experience Polish life outside of large cities like Wrocław. Other things to see while in Bolesławiec are the city walls, the ruins, and the large aqueduct running above the city's river.

It takes about 90 minutes to get to Bolesławiec from Central Wrocław by car. You can also get there by public transport (train) in 90 minutes, which will cost you around 22 zł [5.1 EUR].

Market Square

city walls



icon of number 3 with pink text and shadow Kłodzko & Czermna

Located near the Czech-Polish border, Kłodzko is a city with many beautiful pieces of architecture and history to offer. Firstly, there is the Old Town and the City Hall located in its heart. This is a beautiful area for a stroll and a great place to witness Poland's mountain culture. During this walk, it will be impossible to miss the enormous fortress located just north of the city centre. It has been looming over the city ever since its construction in the 17th century.

Tours of the fortress depart at least every hour, and tickets can be purchased for less than 20 zł [4.7 EUR]. See the official website of Kłodzko Fortress.

Czermna, on the other hand, is located an additional 40 kilometers west of Kłodzko, but is home to one of the most extraordinary tourist attractions we have ever seen. It is a chapel with walls made entirely of human bones - especially skulls. It costs 5 zł [1.1 EUR] to enter the chapel - and it's truly worth it.

It takes a bit less than 2 hours to get to Kłodzko by car from Wrocław. Then, the trip to Czermna takes an additional 45 minutes. To get to Kłodzko from Wrocław by public transport, you must take a train from Wrocław Main Station for 20 zł [4.7 EUR] - it takes 90 minutes. To get to Czermna from Kłodzko, you can then take a 50-minute bus to Kudowa Zdrój for 13 zł [3.0 EUR] and walk to the chapel (it's a 20-minute walk).







Grzegorz recommends:
I just want to say that, if you like mountains and rented a car, go to both of these places. If you don't have a car, only go to Kłodzko. It is such a unique place.






Kłodzko Old Town

Kłodzko Fortress

Kłodzko City Hall

Chapel of Skulls in Czermna



icon of number 4 with pink text and shadow Książ Castle

Książ Castle is the biggest caslte in Southwestern Poland. The first version was completed by the end of the 13th century, and since then the castle has been overlooking the entire area. Surrounded by nature, it is a great place for hiking, photography, a picnic, or perhaps a one-night stay. Today you can also enter the castle for a guided or unguided tour, starting at around 30 zł [7.0 EUR].

Książ Castle lies 75 kilometers southwest of Wrocław, and it takes roughly 1 hour to get there by car. You can also take the public transport, in which case you're out of luck. The only way is to take a train to Wałbrzych Szczawienko, which takes 1 hour and costs around 15 zł [3.5 EUR] and then walk to the castle, which takes around 1 hour.







Grzegorz recommends:
I may be biased, but I'm pretty sure that this is the most beautiful castle in this part of Europe, maybe next to Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. Go there.






frontal view

side view



icon of number 5 with pink text and shadow Karkonosze National Park

Karkonosze National Park is among Poland's most prominent national parks, and it is located around 100 kilometers southwest of Wrocław. It is home to a handful of endemic plants, but also to animals such as beavers, foxes, and mufflons. It is also very famous for its two picturesque main towns - Karpacz and Szklarska Poręba, which are great starting points for hiking into Karkonosze.

The park (Karpacz) is reachable by car in around 2 hours, and by train (Szklarska Poręba) in about 3 hours, costing about 26 zł [6.1 EUR].

nature in the park

the town of Karpacz



CHAPTER 5

travel to Wrocław







Grzegorz says:
Wrocław is well connected by road to Warsaw, Cracow and Poznan. I'd definitely recommend taking a bus or train when going to Wrocław, or at least not to fly domestically.




plane

The most popular way of getting to the Wrocław area is by plane. There is a number of things you should know in relation to that.

To learn about the standards of Polish airports, as well as about destinations, go to our transport by plane article.

Wrocław Copernicus Airport (WRO)

Wrocław Airport is located close to the city, west of the city centre. It is a very modern airport with only a handful of gates but with connections to all major European cities.

Wrocław Copernicus Airport landside

Wrocław Copernicus Airport outside

getting to the city centre

There are two main ways of getting from Wrocław Airport to the city centre. The best way is to take bus number 106 to Wrocław Main Station. This takes around 40 minutes and will cost you 3.4 zł [0.8 EUR]. The other option is to take a taxi, which will run you about 50 zł [11.7 EUR] and take around 30 minutes. Taxis are readily available at the airport.



train

Often, the best way of getting to Wrocław is by train. This is a great option if you're coming to Wrocław from a different Polish city, but can also be done internationally if you're all about train travel.

You can learn everything there is to know about the standards of Polish trains, as well as about types of trains, buying tickets, and destinations by going to our transport by train article.









Grzegorz recommends:
Wrocław is very easy to get to by bus, train, and car. Don't bother taking the plane domestically, it's slower and much more expensive. Do like the locals.






stations

In truth, Wrocław has one very large (and beautiful!) station, Wrocław Główny (Wrocław Main), located to the south of the Old Town.

Wrocław Main Station outside

Wrocław Main Station inside

destinations and prices

domestic

  • Warsaw - 5:00h | 65 zł [15.1 EUR]
  • Łódź - 3:30h | 35 zł [8.2 EUR]
  • Poznań - 2:30h | 38 zł [8.9 EUR]
  • Gdańsk - 5:30h | 70 zł [16.3 EUR]
  • Cracow - 3:30h | 45 zł [10.4 EUR]
  • Katowice - 2:00h | 12 zł [7.5 EUR]
  • Szczecin - 4:30h | 64 zł [14.9 EUR]
  • international

    All relevant international connections to Poland, along with their prices and times, can be seen in the transport by train article.



    bus

    As long-haul buses re-gain popularity with the rise of companies like Flixbus, so does traveling to Wrocław by bus. However, with the availability of cheap flights to Wrocław, travel to Wrocław by bus makes the most sense from other Polish cities.

    To learn about bus companies in Poland, as well as about how to find buses, buy tickets, and about the quality of buses, head to our transport by bus article.

    bus stations

    In Wrocław, long-haul buses typically stop and depart simply at what is called the main bus station, adjacent to the main train station. What's great about this is that the main station is the most accessible spot in the city. Rarely, buses will depart from Plac Grunwaldzki.

    the bus station in Wrocław

    view from outside

    direct destinations

    domestic

    Currently, from Wrocław you can go to all major Polish cities via direct connections.

    international

    The main direct bus destinations from Wrocław are Berlin, Frankfurt, Drezden, Milan, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, Prague, Kiev, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, and many, many more.



    car

    Taking a road trip to Poland, or to Wrocław in this case, is a great idea, especially from Germany, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Everything you need to know is explained in our transport by car article.




    CHAPTER 6

    public transport in Wrocław







    Grzegorz says:
    Look, you can rent a car and drive around the city, but if you want to be like a real local, you need to get up close and personal with trams and buses. It may seem scary at first, but it's super intuitive. Here's how I do it.




    tickets

    To learn about ticket validation in a given vehicle, as well as how to check how long your journey will be, head to the vehicle's dedicated article.

    There are a number of types of tickets in Wrocław, with the main difference between them being validity time. There are also reduced-fare tickets, but because of the inconsistency of the information given on the website with the information given by ticket controllers, we do not recommend buying reduced-fare tickets no matter your status.

    It's important that we first underline that all public transport tickets in Wrocław are valid on all means of public transport (though this does not include trains).

    types of tickets

  • 15-minute ticket - 2.4 zł [0.6 EUR]
    This type of ticket is great for short inner-city trips, such as to your hotel. In 15 minutes, you can traverse most of the city centre.
  • 30-minute ticket - 3.0 zł [0.7 EUR]
    A 30-minute ticket covers most of Wrocław, and especially the areas you are likely to visit as a tourist.
  • single-journey ticket - normal routes - 3.4 zł [0.8 EUR]
    This ticket allows you to travel any one journey by any means of public transport, as long as it's a regular route (non-express route during the day). This means that this ticket is only valid in the vehicle you validate it in. We strongly advise against buying this ticket - it may be hard for a tourist to distinguish between a regular and a non-regular route.
  • single-journey ticket - all routes - 3.6 zł [0.85 EUR]
    This ticket allows you to travel any one journey by any means of public transport. This means that this ticket is only valid in the vehicle you validate it in.
  • 60-minute ticket - 4.4 zł [1.0 EUR]
    This ticket covers the entirety of Wrocław, and can even be used for two-way travel if you're only going to the store to pick something up.
  • 90-minute ticket - 6.0 zł [1.4 EUR]
    This ticket covers pretty much the entire aglomeration, and can even be used for two-way travel if you're only going to the store to pick something up, or perhaps even to a fast-food restaurant.
  • 24-hour ticket - 11 zł [2.6 EUR]
    A great option for tourists; this ticket allows you to travel by public transport freely within Wrocław for 24 hours after validation.
  • 72-hour ticket - 26 zł [6.1 EUR]
    A great option for tourists staying in Wrocław for 3 days; this ticket allows you to travel by public transport freely within Wrocław for 72 hours after validation, allowing you to see all of the attractions.
  • 168-hour ticket - 46 zł [10.7 EUR]
    A great option for tourists staying in Wrocław for a week; this ticket allows you to travel by public transport freely within Wrocław for 72 hours after validation, allowing you to see all of the attractions. The great thing about it is that you only have to buy a ticket once, and won't have to worry about it for the rest of your trip.

  • As you can see, there are a lot of types, but they are well-designed and catered to both tourists and locals. All of the tickets above can be purchased in any location that sells tickets.



    buying tickets

    In Wrocław, the only sensible way to buy public transport tickets is using the ticket machines located all over the city. Whenever you will need to use public transport, you will easily find a machine. If not, there are also in-vehicle machines in most trams and buses. You can read more about buying and validating tickets in the dedicated articles of the various means of transport.



    tram

    To learn about ticket validation, standards in buses in Poland, finding routes, and the types of tram stops, head to our tram article.

    Wrocław has a medium-sized tram system for Polish standards, with 22 lines and about 84 kilometers of tracks. Below is a metro-style map of the system.



    what are trams in Wrocław like?

    Most of them are quite modern, especially those on more popular routes, meaning the routes you are more likely to take as a tourist. Moreover, most of Wrocław's trams have in-tram ticket machines.

    Wrocław tram outside

    Wrocław tram seats





    bus

    There is nothing unique about the bus system in Wrocław. For everything you need to know, head to our general city bus article.









    Grzegorz recommends:
    I hate saying this, but, if you can, take the tram over the bus. It's not a huge hassle to take the bus, but there's a reason why trams exist in the first place.






    bus outside

    bus inside




    bike

    Wrocław's bike sharing system (Wrocławski Rower Miejski) and bike rental scene is very generic. Everything you need to know can be found in the bike article.

    WRM rental station

    WRM locking unit




    taxi/Uber

    Read all about calling taxis and Ubers, as well as the prices in Poland, in our taxi/Uber article.

    Our recommended taxi company, Eko Taxi, is reachable under +48 713 828 282, and costs 6 zł [1.4 EUR] initiation fee and 2.4 zł [0.5 EUR] per kilometer.

    good availability in Wrocław

    taxi waiting area in Wrocław