The Top 10 Things to in Wroclaw!
The fourth-largest city in Poland dating back to the 10th century is a place steeped in culture and history. If you find yourself in this beautiful city, then have a look at the top 10 things to do in Wroclaw listed below and get exploring!
While this isn’t Poland’s most visited city, Wroclaw is a hidden gem tucked away in the Silesian Lowlands in the south-west of the country. Packed full of historical relics and sites, impressive churches and much more, there’s an unbelievable amount of things to see and do here. For that reason, we’ve put together this list of the top 10 things to do in Wroclaw that we think are worth checking out!
1. Market Square (Rynek we Wrocławiu)
Famous for being one of the largest market squares anywhere in Europe, Wroclaw’s Market Square dates all the way back to the Medieval period, founded sometime in the early 12th century. Home to both the new and old city halls, the area was heavily damaged during the Second World War. From 1945, the historic buildings around the square were restored back to their original glory and now stand as a unique reminder of the city’s long and often troubled past. Surrounded by fantastic restaurants and bars with lots of outdoor seating, this is a great place to come and people watch as well as to take in the beautiful surroundings.
Wrocław Old Town
2. Wroclaw’s Dwarfs (Wrocławskie Krasnale)
Starting as a commemoration to the anti-communist “Orange Alternative” movement that started in the city during the 1980s, these metal dwarf statues have been appearing all over this city since 2001. Quickly becoming one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, there are now over 350 of these statues across Wrocław, each one of them being completely unique. For an alternative way to see the city whilst giving yourselves a bit of a challenge, this is a fantastic idea!
All Over the City!
3. The Anonymous Pedestrians
Dedicated to the people who lived in the city during the two-year period of martial law imposed by the communist regime from 1981-1983. This unique piece, unveiled in 2005, consists of two groups of bronze statues of ordinary civilians. On one side of the street, one group can be seen ‘sinking’ into the ground. On the other, the group are ‘rising’ up. Representing the rise and fall of personal freedom, this is a defiant reminder of how different life was for people in Poland just a few decades ago.
4. Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice (Panorama Racławicka)
Taking place on 4th April 1794, the Battle of Racławice was part of the Polish uprising against the occupying Russian Empire, ending in Polish victory. This circular painting was unveiled in Lwow in 1894 on the 100th anniversary of the battle, but was moved to Wroclaw by the communist government after WWII. The painting itself depicts a number of scenes and stages of the battle and is one of the most interesting and unique paintings anywhere in the world.
Jana Ewangelisty Purkyniego 11
5. Four Denominations District
Known in Polish as Dzielnica Czterech Świątyń, this small district, directly next to Market Square is a unique landmark that you won’t find in many other cities in Europe or the rest of the world. In less than a few hundred metres from each other you’ll find an orthodox church, a synagogue, a catholic temple and an evangelical Christian church. To commemorate this special religious site, a statue of a girl in a globe dress (Known as “Cristal Planet”) can be seen on the crossing of św. Antoniego and Kazimierza Wielkiego.
6. Cathedral of St John the Baptist
Situated on Ostrów Tumski is the Cathedral of St John the Baptist Wroclaw. Built in 1272, this church has been rebuilt four times since then. One of the first reconstructions took place after the Mongol Invasion of Europe, and the last being at the end of World War II in 1945. Home to the largest pipe organ in the country and formerly the largest in the world, this building’s stunning interior is unlike any other in the world and is definitely worth checking out.
7. Cathedral Island
Known as Ostrów Tumski, this area is known for being the oldest part of Wroclaw and was first built on some time around the 10th century. With close links to the church, the island was sold to the institution in 1315 and became somewhat of a religious state in itself with its own rules and regulations. Also home to Nicolaus Copernicus for some time, this area is no longer and island but is definitely still worth visiting if you have the time!
8. The Royal Palace
This impressive Viennese-style palace, built originally for the King of Prussia is an impressive building that now houses a museum dedicated to 1000 years of Wroclaw’s history. Several historic events are associated with the site; the former Prussian King Frederick William III issued his famous “An Mein Volk” proclamation in 1813 to rally public support against Napoleon. Like many other iconic buildings in the city, the palace was damaged heavily during the city’s siege of 1945. As well as the museum, the palace’s stunning gardens and impressive architecture are also something to take a good look at on your visit!
Kazimierza Wielkiego 35
9. Wroclaw Zoo
Home to over 10,000 animals, Wroclaw Zoo is the third largest in the world in terms of animal numbers and is the fifth most visited zoo in Europe. Home to the famous Africarium, this is the only oceanarium in the world dedicated solely to species from the African continent. With over 2 million annual visitors, this is easily one of the best zoos of its kind and is the perfect day out for any animal lovers looking to spend the exploring the vast 82 acres this park covers.
10. Wroclaw Japanese Garden
Built as part of the grounds for the Wroclaw Centennial Exhibition in 1913, the Wroclaw Japanese Garden is a restored relic almost totally forgotten for nearly a century. After the garden was dismantled when the exhibition finished, the layout and structures remained the same. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the idea of restoring the garden to its original status came about. Re-opening in 1999, this garden is a small piece of Japan tucked away in the heart of Europe and is definitely worth a visit if you fancy taking a relaxing walk with a difference!