Another one of the picturesque cities which are well worth a visit in this part of the world is Wroclaw. Situated on the Odra River, Wroclaw’s beauty means that it more than holds its own when compared to other cities in its vicinity such as Prague, Vienna and Krakow. Wroclaw is a city in which you can walk around for hours just admiring things. With more bridges than anywhere else in Central Europe and a market square which is only beaten in size by Krakow, it’s no surprise that Wroclaw has been named the European Capital of Culture for 2016. The city also has a rich sporting background, with it being one of the host venues for Euro 2012, as well as being home to Ekstraklasa team Slask Wroclaw. The World Games in 2017 are also set to take place in Wroclaw. Like Krakow, Wroclaw is a student city which means there’s never a shortage of things to do in the evenings. A number of bars and clubs can be found around the market square and with a number of new places popping up regularly, it’s only a matter of time before Wroclaw will be competing with Krakow in terms of its party scene. With the large number of bars and cultural activities available, Wroclaw is a great destination for both adult and university teams, not to mention school trips with so many educational activities on its doorstep.
There is just one small airport serving Wroclaw, but it is still easy to reach from the UK: Ryanair: Bristol, Cork, Dublin, East Midlands, Glasgow, Liverpool, London Stansted. Wizz Air: Doncaster/Sheffield, London Luton.
Ireland:Warszawa, ul. Humańska 10, tel. (+48 22) 849 66 55
Wroclaw's recent history
Whilst Wroclaw may not yet be as mainstream as some other Polish destinations such as Krakow, Warsaw, or even Gdansk, it is growing in popularity due to a growing number of connections to other cities by budget airlines. The city is perhaps one of Poland’s best kept secrets at the moment though; a city brimming with history and stunning buldings it is one that should be seen when visiting Poland. Based on the Odra River, there are a number of bridges and islands to be explored with interesting things around every corner. It’s old town is also one of the most picturesque with it’s impressive Market Square being the focal point of this wonderful city. It has even been described in the past as ‘small Krakow’, due to the amount of historical buildings and impressive examples of architecture. In terms of nightlife it may not be as happening as somewhere like Krakow or Warsaw, however there are still a decent amount of bars and clubs for you to have a memorable night out in this city. All in all Wroclaw is a great place for a sports tour, or any other kind of break.
What's the weather like in Wroclaw?
Contrary to popular belief, Poland enjoys very warm summers with Wroclaw being no exception. It is known to get as hot as 30c in the summer months.. The winters are cold however, with temperatures of -15c not uncommon coupled with heavy snowfall.
Prices and local currency
The currency used in Wroclaw is the Polish Zloty, NOT the Euro as some travellers believe. The exchange rate at the moment is about 5.75 zloty to the pound, which coupled with the cheap prices here means trips to Wroclaw can be done on a very low budget. You can eat a meal in a restaurant for a low as 5-10 GBP per person, with a beer costing about 1,50 GBP. Polish notes come in 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 denominations, although it’s always worth making sure you have change as many places often don’t have enough coins.
Taxis in Wroclaw
Wroclaw is a very compact city so it is unlikely that you will find it essential to use taxi services. For any activities booked with us we will also supply transfers. If you do find yourself needing a taxi however the best thing to do is to book a taxi rather than jumping in one waiting on the street as waiting taxis may not be from a reputable company. The best thing to do is ask for advice at your hotel, or ask your guide to arrange a taxi for you.
At Sports Tours Poland we do have a pool of tame drivers which we can supply in special cases. If one or two arrive on separate planes in your group, we will do our best to arrange taxis for them at their own cost. We do this purely as a service and are not making any profit on this. Please ask our guides to arrange taxis for you and then you will be guaranteed a civilised rate. Please do not contact Sports Tours Poland office lines for taxi use while you are here, except under cases of genuine emergency.
Wroclaw is quite a compact city so usually it’s possible to walk to your destination however if you do require public transport then there are 60 bus lines and 20 tram lines that run during the day in Wroclaw, so it is pretty well connected and very cheap to use. Tickets are charged per minute with a 30 minute ticket costing 3 PLN and a 60 minute ticket costing 4,40 PLN. Tickets can be bought from machines at bus and tram stops, or also from kiosks as well as on board some buses and trams. Once you’ve bought your ticket you must validate it in one of the on board ticket validators which will stamp it with the date and time. Failure to do this could result in a hefty fine if there is a ticket inspector on board.
The buses and trams are identified by number, with each bus or tram stop listing the number of each line and the stops it will go to.
Drink in Wroclaw
Drinking is deeply embedded in the Polish way of life, with alcohol available pretty much anywhere. Bars are open a lot longer here than in the UK, with many bars staying open until the last customer leaves.
The most popular drinks in Poland are beer, and of course vodka. Polish beers are very strong, but they also taste great with even the most common brands such as Tyskie or Kasztelan being of the highest quality. The strength of each one is usually a minimum of 5%, although there are a few weaker ‘session’ beers available. Dark beers or porters are also very popular here, and whilst they taste great they are often quite heavy and usually stronger than the lagers. You can also get some imported beers such as Heineken, however these are more expensive and roughly the same price you’d pay in the UK. For a Polish beer (500ml) you’re looking at between 6-10zl. Polish vodka is also known to be some of the best in Europe, with a number of different flavours available in each bar. It is also very cheap, with a large shot of vodka usually costing around 5 zl (less than one pound). Good quality wine is also readily available, with the prices often a lot cheaper than in the UK. Common sense rules do apply though, so never order a bottle of wine without checking the price first as you may end up with a nasty shock once the bill arrives.
Food in Wroclaw
The Poles have a phrase which describes their duties to their lucky guests: “A guest in my house is like God in my house”. This means that it’s very hard to go hungry in Poland!
Restaurants in Wroclaw are known for having good quality food and also very generous portions. Polish food is very good and also very cheap, with a restaurant meal costing you between 10 and 15 pounds on average.
Much like other major cities in Poland, there is perhaps a more multi-cultural feel about dining, with a number of restaurants from different countries scattered all over this destination. Of course not unlike any major European city there are also the typical array of chain restaurants and fast-food joints.
Top 5 sights to visit when in Wroclaw
1. Visit the Market Square
Like in most Polish cities the market square is something which just cannot be missed, and in Wroclaw this is no different. What makes the market square so wonderful is the amazing gothic town hall standing proudly at one end. As well as admiring it from the outside you should also take a look inside, with its impressive interior something which just has to be seen. There are also a number of alleyways branching off in different directions which can be explored as well, meaning it’s a great place to start any tour of the city. Like most other market squares there are also a number of decent bars and cafes around the edge meaning it’s a great place to sit back and relax.
2. Visit the Cathedral Island
Take a short walk from the old town and head across the bridge to Ostrow Tumski, or Cathedral Island as it’s generally known. This island dates back to the 10th century, and it used to be surrounded by defensive walls with 2000 people living inside. The buildings on the island are impressive; not least the ancient cathedral which you can take a lift to the top of to get stunning views over the whole of the city. The best times to visit the island are in the early morning or in the evening; that way you can avoid the crowds and wander around the quiet streets taking in the wonderful architecture of this unique place.
3. Take a look at the Panorama Raclawicka
The Panorama Raclowicka is perhaps one of the most unique pieces of art in Poland. A panoramic 15 x 114 metre painting that depicts the Battle of Raclowice, the Panorama Raclowicka is displayed in a round room giving viewers a 360 degree view of it. If you stand in the middle of the room and observe, due to the special kind of perspective used plus additional effects such as special lighting and artificial terrain, help to create a real feeling of reality. Due to the popularity of the painting tickets are needed to come and view, but it’s a unique experience and something well worth doing whilst you’d in Wroclaw.
4. Visit Lubiaz Abbey
The Lubiaz Abbey, or the Leubus Abbey as it is known in English, is a spectacular abbey located 50km away from Wroclaw. The original architectural design originated in the 12th century and it is one of the largest Christian architectural buildings in the world (two times as large as Wawel Castle). The building has been used for many different purposes during its rich history, including as a weapons factory during the Second World War and then perhaps even more strangely as a Russian psychiatric hospital, meaning there is plenty to see and learn about this fascinating building.
5. Go to a Slask Wroclaw match
The Stadion Miejski in Wroclaw is a stadium which was purpose built for the European Championships in 2012, and now plays host to Ekstraklasa side Slask Wroclaw. The stadium can hold up to 42,000 fans, with the Slask Wroclaw fans helping to create a great atmosphere at each game. The team have been challenging at the top end of the league for the past few seasons, and they hope that this will continue in the coming years. If you’d like to attend a Slask Wroclaw game then Sports Tours Poland can arrange transfers, ID cards which are required to enter the stadium, as well as the match tickets.
If you want to enjoy sports fixtures somewhere slightly off the beaten track then Wroclaw is
the perfect destination. There are a variety of sports available in Wroclaw including rugby,
football, volleyball, handball, and basketball, as well as an Ekstraklasa team; Slask Wroclaw
which we can arrange tickets for.
There is so much to do. Wroclaw has been described as a ‘smaller Krakow’ meaning there is plenty to see and do all over the city. As well as the sightseeing we can also arrange some more active things to do such as quad biking or bubble football.
The city is beautiful. With Austrian, Bohemian and Prussian influence the city has an interesting mix of architecture, and is located on the Odra River with 12 islands and 130 bridges to explore. It’s certainly one of the most impressive cities in Europe.
There are plenty of bars and clubs for the evenings. Whilst it may not have the same nightlife as Krakow, there are still more than enough places to explore if you want to party in the evenings.
It’s easy to get to. Whilst the city may not be as well-known as some of our other destinations, there is still an airport in the city which is served by low budget airlines from the UK.