Is This the Prettiest Polish Town? Why You Should Visit Wrocław

  • WOW Contributor
  • Jul 12, 2015
Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, Less Touristy
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While the cities of Kraków and Warsaw are the biggest tourist destinations of Poland, there is another city that should be on your radar: Wrocław (pronounced vrots-wahf). Despite the fact that Wrocław is the largest city in western Poland, its unique charm, magnificent architecture and vibrant colours make it one of Poland’s prettiest destinations.

Why You Should Visit Wrocław:

Wroclaw Market Square

Its market square is one of the most beautiful in all of Europe

The heart of Wrocław is its medieval market square (Rynek), which is one of the largest in Poland and arguably one of the most picturesque in all of Europe. It was almost totally rebuilt after 1945, but is just as beautiful as ever. Lined with colourful townhouses and restaurants, you will find it hard to put your camera away!

Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, Colourful

It’s colourful

Many of the buildings in Wrocław’s picturesque old town are painted with bright colours that reflect the city’s youthful and creative vibe. As one of the most colourful cities in the world, Wroclaw’s colours bring the city to life, even on the gloomiest winter days.

Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, Old Town

The Old Town

Wrocław’s Old Town is a winding maze of cobblestoned lanes, church spires and vibrantly coloured buildings. This is the district where you’ll find most of the city’s historical monuments and medieval architecture. If you can, this is the neighbourhood you should consider staying in.

Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, Cathedral Island

Ostrow Tumski

Ostrow Tumski translates to ‘Cathedral Island’. That’s right, Wrocław has its own island dedicated to religious worship. It’s an easy walk from the Old Town and is home to the most significant Cathedral in the city and one of its most enduring icons: Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. If you take a walk down there at dusk, you might be lucky enough to see the lamps being lit by hand, a truly magical experience.

Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, Hidden Lanes

Get lost in its hidden lanes

Little lanes snake their way all over Wrocław and getting lost in them is one of the greatest pleasures while exploring the city!

Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, University

It’s a cultural and intellectual hub

Wrocław is one of the leading academic centres of Poland and is home to a number of universities, the biggest of which is the 300-year-old University of Wroclaw. Students flock to Wrocław not only because of the excellent standard of education it offers, but also because of its vibrant, cultured way of life. Make a plan to stroll around some of the magnificent university buildings and admire the grandeur.

Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, Food

The hearty, delicious food

Polish food is some of the best in Eastern Europe and a visit to Wrocław will leave you anything but hungry! Be sure to try the famous Polish pierogi (dumplings traditionally stuffed with sauerkraut, potato, ground meat, cheese or fruit) and the bigos (a very traditional hunter’s stew made with sauerkraut and chunks of meat and sausages).

Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, Gnomes

It’s inhabited by gnomes

Wrocław’s beautiful, colourful architecture isn’t the only reason the city holds some magic. The city isn’t just inhabited by humans, you see. There is also a thriving gnome population! Over 300 gnomes are scattered throughout the city, with more appearing all the time. There’s an interesting history behind the gnome settlement in Wrocław. Back when the city was controlled by the USSR, gnomes slowly began appearing as a sort of subversive calling card of the underground Orange Alternative movement who began to protest against the oppressive conditions with silliness and fun. The gnomes have become a symbol of freedom in Wrocław ever since. Gnome hunting makes for a fun, unique afternoon. They are hidden all over the city. See how many you can spot!

Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, Less Touristy

It’s less touristy than Poland’s other big cities

Even though Wrocław is western Poland’s largest city, it doesn’t feature on a lot of travellers’ itineraries, who seem to prefer a visit to Warsaw or Kraków instead. It has consequently retained much of its local charm and hospitality. Fewer tourists also mean better travel snaps!

Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, Architecture

The architecture

Although Wrocław was heavily damaged during WWII, it has been beautifully restored and boasts some of the most beautiful medieval architecture in Poland. In particular, the former residences lining the market square are some of the most charming in Poland. Don’t miss a visit to the impressive Gothic-Renaissance Wrcoław Town Hall in the market square.

 Have you been to Wrocław? What are your favourite things about this city?

WOW Contributor

Story by World of Wanderlust contributor Rachel.





    March 29, 2016

    Beautiful! I love my birth city, nothing feels like home than this little nook in Wrocław. I used to spend my summers in high school here.



    March 21, 2016

    I was born and raised in Wroclaw! First fifteen years of my life were spent there and I am in love with Wroclaw till this day. 🙂 I highly recommend visiting


    Travel Wroclaw

    March 2, 2016

    Wroclaw Top 10 Attractions

    During your visit in Wroclaw there are a lot of attractions that should make up part of your trip. The popular Poland vicinity of Poland has sights and sounds you may know and maybe others that are not known to non local locals of Wroclaw we have assembled a List of Ten to help you on your way:

    1. Market Square (Rynek)
    2. Ostrow Tumski
    3. Wroclaw University
    4. Old Town
    5. Wroclaw Multimedia Fountain at Pergola
    6. Panorama of Raclawice Battle (Panorama Raclawicka)
    7. Wroclaw Town Hall (Ratusz)
    8. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
    9. Wroclaw Zoo
    10. Church of St. Elizabeth

    These are a simple starting point if you have a good local book or guide you can delve further and depending how much time you have in Wroclaw. You will surely discover an array of interesting attractions and locations in and around the Wroclaw vicinity of Poland.



    February 10, 2016

    It looks gorgeous.

    What’s it like in August?


    Robert Budzul

    October 12, 2015

    ‘Back when the city was controlled by the USSR’… I just have to jump in. This just gives the wrong impression. It was part of communist Poland; isn’t that enough!? To say that it was controlled by the USSR gives the impression that it was another Kaliningrad. For those that are young enough not to have that much idea of the politics of the Iron Curtain, this could be misleading.

    As for Wrócław being returned to Poland… that also is misleading. The border moved after the war. It was not a matter of returning a city that was inherently Polish. Stalin decided he needed more of a buffer so he insisted that Poland move west. The German population that had been there was forced out, Poles were moved in. The nature of what happens when you lose a war.

    I’m only mentioning this lest anyone get the impression that this was a city occupied by the Germans during the war. It wasn’t. It was already part of Germany before the war with a German population.



    August 24, 2015

    Amazing city!
    It’s a “must see” while you happen to be around in these parts of Central Europe.


    ten co wie

    August 21, 2015

    Did you read somewhere nonsense. The fact that Wrocław was destroyed in about 70% that does not mean that 70% of buildings were destroyed. A lot was destroyed but most were damaged to varying degrees. Just halls and buildings around the market square were in fairly good condition. Look at his photos from 1945.



    August 19, 2015

    @MEMO: no its not… Its smaller and less populated than Wroclaw



    August 19, 2015

    @MEMO: no its not… Its smaller and less populated than Wroclaw



    August 14, 2015

    Actually Poznań is the biggest city in western Poland. Also worth to visit 😉



    August 9, 2015

    Yes pictures are colorful, but not because the city looks that way. It is because the pictures have been digitally processed and now are oversaturated by 200%. In case you are wondering, I live in Wroclaw.



    August 8, 2015

    @ten co wie – actually rougly 70% was destroyed. The German fought for every piece of land, every pile of bricks. House “Pod Złotymi Gryfami”, in south-western corner was the only one standing, rest of it was in crumbles.



    August 8, 2015

    Wroclaw has also amazing fountain near Hala Stulecia



    August 3, 2015

    It just made my day 😀



    July 29, 2015


    nowadays it’s a part of Poland, but originally maybe not (history doesn’t start in the 10th century).
    Breslau has many different roots and without doubt it “belonged” to many different tribes, states, ethnic groups and so on, that’s what makes Europe that unique.
    The architecture however is very much influenced by its German roots, even though Germans destroyed a big part of it by themselves. That’s history.

    Most important is that Breslau is a very unique and beautiful town and everyone, more or less, has contributed to this.


    alfredo ciano

    July 22, 2015

    Very Cool City : Marvelous Colours & Soul for a Mix of Past & Present & Future…



    July 18, 2015

    City paradise – especially old green parts like Biskupin and Sempolno:))



    July 16, 2015

    I went to Poland a couple years ago and was pleasantly surprised with its beauty and its great (affordable!) food. It was Wroclaw, though, and they had similar cupcake buildings, built after the war had hit their country hard. I loved all the different types of potato there.



    July 16, 2015

    And legendary Wroclaw trams 😀



    July 16, 2015

    old one, but my most favorite 🙂 enjoy watching



    July 16, 2015

    I visited Wroclaw a few years ago and couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and I understand it has only gotten better, huge building boom and lots of new cultural amenities. This should be on anyone’s bucket list for travel in Europe and I’ve been all over. Would love to live there, am planning to visit again this summer.



    July 15, 2015

    Well, I would like to only mention that Wroclaw is a city not a town, 🙂



    July 15, 2015

    Oh yes, the city deserves a visit…and a Memeoirs 😉


    Sian @ The Blonde Tourist

    July 15, 2015

    So pretty and I LOVE the gnomes!!! I loved my visit in Krakow but it was much colder when I visited. Perfect weather for Polish dumplings though. Nom nom nom 😉 BT x



    July 15, 2015

    I’m really glad that you explained it, becaucse Germans always claimed that its their city. The city exists for almost 20 ages, and Germans ruled here for only 2 and finally in 1945 they brought it almost to destruction.



    July 15, 2015

    Warsaw* 😀



    July 15, 2015

    And also amazing student atmosphere – I know what I am writing about cause I study there 😉 I love that you mentioned my city – people have to know something more than Kraków and Warsow!



    July 15, 2015

    WrocLove ! i’m still here ! it’s amazing , not that big but quite easy ( if you compare to other 700.000 cities) … and recently open AFRYKARIUM ( inside the oldest ZOO in Poland) – definitely MUST SEE !!!



    July 15, 2015

    Wroclaw have 7 rivers, Odra is the bigest..



    July 15, 2015

    over 100 bridges!



    July 14, 2015

    Oh, I have been to Wroclaw, with my touring choir in high school! I don’t remember many details (we were all over eastern Europe), but some of your photos look very familiar to me. Sadly, I didn’t even know about Cathedral Island (gosh, we could have spent a whole day going from one cathedral to the next, singing!), and I didn’t meet any of the gnomes. I do remember how colorful it was, though, and the lack of hordes of tourists. I really enjoyed Poland.



    July 14, 2015

    being more precise at the beginning in the X ceuntry it belonged to Poland than,
    from 1335 it belonged to Czech,
    from 1526 it belonged to Habsburg (Austria).
    from 1741 it belonged to Prus (as there was no Germany yet)
    from 1945 it belonged back to Poland.

    So the Germans were here only 200 years! The most beautiful part of the city – Market Place is from XV’th century – this is Czech/Habsburg heritage not German!!!
    German’s left the city in 1945 completely destroyed and ruined – Festung Breslau surrendered 6th May 1945, four days after Berlin – 65% of buildings were destroyed – complete several districts of town (mostly west and south parts disappeared). Breslau was famous for fanatic Nazis (Nazi is a shortage of NSDAP – National Socialist GERMAN Workers Party) and here really, Helmut, you can find signs of your NAZI fathers and NAZI mothers here. But I do not think you would be proud of it.



    July 14, 2015

    I’ve only been to Warsaw so far and I also found it to be super cute and colourful! And the food there is amaaaazing, of course! As well as in all the other parts of Poland, the land of yummyness!



    July 14, 2015

    Wroclove/Breslau is a beautiful Polish town with German roots.



    July 14, 2015

    Wrocław is quite famous also for night life, pubs, clubs & disco’s with parties during all the week (especially when the students are in town – over 100.000 young people!!!), not mentioning weekends .
    In the city center everywhere you can get just walking (or by citybike available nearly everywhere or by quite good public transport or by cheap taxi) as the most of interesting places are within 800-1000m from Market Place. So during the night sightseeing you can easily change clubs for next door one (in Market Place there are dozens of clubs and in nearby area Zaułek Niepolda about 20+ and Sw. Mikołaja str. about 10+).
    Prices are for local people and students (they are the majority visiting city center), so the prices are very low – starting from (in snack bars/student pubs) 1€ for a beer, 1.2€ for a shot (40ml of vodka), 2€ for a simple snack, 3€ for small portion of ribs (check my favorite “Setka bar”). Lunch menu you can have for 4-7€ and good normal 3 course meal in average restaurant for 10-15€ per person.
    People are friendly and tolerant, most of them (not old ones) speaks/understands English/German and place is very safe (at least when you do not visit strange, dark places). Side effect is that during late hours you can see some drunk people (most of them can be a tourists as adult Polish even drunk can walk and enjoy the time).

    You are welcome, have fun 😀



    July 14, 2015

    A few photos from Wrocław 😉



    July 14, 2015



    Peter Silie

    July 14, 2015

    not USSR???? any written proof on that? Link?


    Peter Silie

    July 14, 2015

    not USSR, and written proof on that? Link?



    July 14, 2015

    Prague and Berlin are closer to Wrocław than our capital – Warsaw.
    329 km – Prague
    344 km – Berlin
    346 km – Warsaw


    Ernesto Icogo

    July 14, 2015

    Twice I visited Wroclaw. Firstly, during a brief stopover when I traveled to Prague on a leisurely activity right after the end of my Erasmus Mundus studies and secondly, during the 7th International Conference on Levy Processes held at the University of Wroclaw.

    There are so much things to admire in this city by the banks of Oder River. The Oder river, itself, is teeming with activities. The universities are historically famous and the “Love Bridge” at Ostrow Tumski is something a visitor can never forget.

    So, if ever you happen to be near Wroclaw, I guess it would be big loss if you decided not to visit. Not too far from this city is Prague, the capital of Czech Republic or you might want to venture into Eastern part of Europe by traveling east some more.



    July 14, 2015

    Wroclaw is a very nice city. If the Polish language wasn’t impossible, I wouldn’t mind to live there.



    July 14, 2015

    What a beautiful place! I’ve never been to Poland before, I think this will be my first stop when I do go!



    July 14, 2015

    People,calm down! The woman is trying to introduce our city to the world and you’re nit picking! We were on the whole controlled by USSR , heavily just after the war, painfully in the 50’s, 60’s, slightly eased end of 70’s. Slap in the face after all the sacrifice our people put in over the ages to shake the shackles off, but let’s not go there. I’m a native too and happy someone else sees Wroclaw the way I do, and always did even in the grey communist times when colour didn’t make much of an appearance! So thank you and hope you’ll be back soon! May I suggest Kazimierz Dolny nad Wisłà for your next trip? It’s a tiny but gorgeous gem. Regards, Magdalena



    July 14, 2015

    Wrocław is beutiful! I was born in this city.



    July 14, 2015

    god, i miss Poland so much. I was there for about a month a few years ago, and it’s top of the list of places to return to. Wroclaw was one of my favorite places we visited, but we were only there for a day! I’m determined not to make the same mistake when going back.



    July 13, 2015

    stunning place! adding it to my list !



    July 13, 2015

    that was to @PARROTFISH JOURNEY



    July 13, 2015

    One day is not enough to see even a half of must-see places! Definitely you have to stay for a little longer 🙂



    July 13, 2015

    You made my day! Wrocław is the same size as capital of your country (Latvia as I read on your blog), there live triple less people than in all your country but you’re call this place a “little town” 😀



    July 13, 2015

    As a native to Wrocław I’d never thought that I’d feel so proud of my city. What a stunning article and those marvellous pictures you had taken! I’m feeling so happy right now that someone wrote about my town such a wonderful text. Thank you for this and for sure I will visit your blog more often, cos I really like your style and the pics. 🙂
    Greetings from Wrocław,



    July 13, 2015

    Warsaw and Krakow are overrated. The most interesting big cities in Poland are Wrocław and Gdańsk.


    ten co wie

    July 13, 2015

    Nonsense you write, the Wroclaw market during World War II has not been severely damaged. Repairs were only cosmetic.



    July 13, 2015

    6-7 for vegans and gf, of course!
    Vegetarians have pleeeenty of options 😉



    July 13, 2015

    Great city for vegetarians, vegans and even for those on a gluten-free diet! At least 6-7 places to eat and lots of places where you can do some shopping.


    The Natural Minimalism

    July 13, 2015

    Wrocław is beautiful city in Poland, it’s great to read about Polish cities on your blog 🙂



    July 13, 2015

    Thank you for reffering me to official Wroclaw’s website.
    But sorry Rachel, you are incorrect again, Wrocław was not controlled by Germany- it was simply part of Germany until 1945.
    Wrocław became part of People’s Republic of Poland in 1945 which was a communist state until 1989, although the name change to Republic of Poland was made in early 90’s.


    The Oracle

    July 13, 2015

    Very nice! I like it!



    July 13, 2015

    unless u’re from London, Paris, Tokyo or NY, calling 650k people ‘little town’ is a bit misleadin


    Someone form Wroclaw

    July 13, 2015

    Hi Rachel, Marta has right – Poland was never a part of USSR. You cannot read that on the site you provided, if you read carefully and with understanding. Please correct your text.



    July 13, 2015

    Wroclaw is really awesome. It is often refered to as the Venice of Poland because of its many canals and islands.



    July 13, 2015

    Thanks for appreciating Wroclaw. I was born there and I’ve studied at Wroclaw’s University ( University’s Aula Leopoldina is worth seeing by the way). My Irish husband loves Wroclaw just because it’s not as touristy as Krakow. Wroclaw is also called the Venice of the North as there is about 100 bridges on the Odra river which runs through the city 🙂 I really miss the atmosphere of the city as I live abroad now, hope to see it soon.



    July 13, 2015

    Beautiful photos! 🙂


    mama said be cool

    July 13, 2015

    Really cool that you liked Wrocław. Greetings from Poland! 🙂


    Magi Moo

    July 13, 2015

    Wroclove 🙂 is definitely the best Polish city (I’ve seen them all, trust me:)! Amazing people, food and scenery! Well worth visiting. Great post 🙂



    July 13, 2015

    Thank you for your tour and wonderful information about Poland, the land wars ravaged, the country of my ancestors. I always wanted to see more and your wonderful piece helped.



    July 13, 2015

    Aww, I adore colorful/unique architecture!! I’m going to Kraków in September so I’ll try to squeeze in a visit to Wroclaw as well.


    Maja Bohar

    July 12, 2015

    Looks really pretty! Would definetly want to visit one day 😉



    July 12, 2015

    Poland in general is definitely on my list of places to visit. Wroclaw looks absolutely beautiful and Dansk has been on my list of places to visit for a while as well.



    Nora @ Forgotten Recipe

    July 12, 2015

    How wonderful! Thank you for providing us this beautiful and perhaps a little more off the beaten path destination in Poland.

  71. Rachel Bale

    July 12, 2015

    Maybe next time you visit Poland, Wrocław will be on your list, Allison! You won’t be disappointed! x

  72. Rachel Bale

    July 12, 2015

    Magda, I fell in love with Wrocław when I visited earlier in the year! It is one special city! Enjoy every moment in Melbourne and be sure to enjoy some Melbourne brunches + coffee for me 😉 x

  73. Rachel Bale

    July 12, 2015

    Hi Andrea, no it was never part of the USSR. It was a satellite Soviet state and one of the many nations behind the Iron Curtain.



    July 12, 2015

    This place is so gorgeous im so heart eyes emoji



    July 12, 2015

    Poland was never part of the USSR.


    Parrotfish Journey

    July 12, 2015

    Such a lovely little town .



    July 12, 2015

    Such a stunning place! adding it to my list of places I want to visit 🙂

  78. Rachel Bale

    July 12, 2015

    Hi Marta, even though Wrocław was returned to Poland in 1945 after the Potsdam Conference (it had been controlled by Germany up until then), it was under Communist control until 1989 when the first free elections within Poland took place.

    For some more info, see this site on Wrocław’s history.



    July 12, 2015

    I never thought about going on a holiday to Poland – thanks so much for sharing pictures of this beautiful place!
    Happy travels xx



    July 12, 2015

    great read- but Wroclaw has never been controlled by the USSR- please correct the history facts



    July 12, 2015

    I’ve never seen anywhere so colourful, it’s gorgeous! Definitely one to add to the list!
    Rachel x



    July 12, 2015

    Gorgeous! Wroclaw was always tentatively on my bucket list, but now it’s firmly set there! I’ll definitely be visiting soon 🙂


    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn

    July 12, 2015

    This looks so beautiful! Poland is one of the last countries in Europe I’ve yet to visit which I really need to amend ASAP. Your photos are stunning!



    Beth Kempster

    July 12, 2015

    I was there for a month last year, and I have to agree, its one of the most beautiful cities in the world. This post gave me some serious nostalgia!
    Theres also Poland’s largest Zoo there too, a must-visit for anyone who enjoys wildlife 🙂



    July 12, 2015

    Such beautiful colours! Poland is high up on my Europe list, it looks so pretty!


    Hannah Walter

    July 12, 2015

    I’m really hoping to visit Wroclaw when I finally get the chance to visit Poland. It looks stunning!! The gnomes are so cute, and I love the idea that they symbolised freedom, especially knowing how tough the USSR soldiers were!


    Escaping Essex

    July 12, 2015

    Wroclaw looks absolutely beautiful, I’m taking my first trip to Poland next year, hopefully I’ll be able to visit!



    July 12, 2015

    Would love to visit one day.



    July 12, 2015

    I spend there some time, while I was studying 🙂
    Great place, with amazing multicultural history and a lot of fun!


    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel

    July 12, 2015

    Another destination to add to my bucket list 🙂 Thanks Rachel!


    Tom Miller

    July 12, 2015

    Beautiful images, quite interesting post. Thanks for sharing with us.



    July 12, 2015

    It looks like every corner is soooo pretty <3



    July 12, 2015

    As always Brooke, a perfect and informative post. Thank you so much for inspiring me every day!



    July 12, 2015

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now but have never dreamt of seeing my city on the blog!!! You’ve made my day. So good to see it through your Australian eyes, especially now that I’m Down Under exploring Melbourne and the rest of the country. Hope you’ve had a nice time in my neighborhood. Can give some tips if you’re planning to return:) Thanks again for bringing my city into the spotlight! I miss you Wrocław!!



    July 12, 2015

    Wow, this is incredible! I’ve been dying to go to Poland but have always dismissed Wroclaw in favor of Krakow! Now I know better 🙂



    July 12, 2015

    Wroclaw is an amazing city. I spent two nights here last July and loved it. The old town is beautiful and the beer is strong! The food is wholesome and leaves you feeling very content. The views from St Elizabeth Church Bell Tower are to die for. Also many beautiful parks to wander through and relax in.



    July 12, 2015

    So beautiful! I love the colourful buildings. I definitely want to visit someday!



    July 12, 2015


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