If you’re planning a citybreak in Wroclaw, Poland, you’ll love these tips to help you explore the city like a local
Today’s guest post comes from Marta and Milosz at backpackerswro. They are based in the Polish city of Wroclaw, and love discovering the world in an affordable and minimalist way with their little son.
Wrocław is the fourth largest city in Poland, located in the western part of the country. We’ve been living here for over 15 years – the name of our blog backpackerswro is a combination of words “backpackers” and “Wroclaw”.
But still the city always surprises us with new, undiscovered places. If you want to get off the beaten track, here is our guide on how to experience the best of Wroclaw like a local!
Wroclaw is not an expensive city, and also, I did my best to include as many free attractions as possible so as not to strain your wallet.
Before you start, make sure you had a nutritious breakfast because we will have a long walk. Start by visiting the tourist center in Rynek and take a map with gnomes. You’ll need it later…
Visit the Markethall (Hala Targowa)
- Address: Piaskowa 17 street
- Days: Monday to Saturday
- Entrance: free
Go to Markethall and feel the fantastic atmosphere of the place. It is not only one of the main tourist attractions in Wroclaw but also a place where owners of the restaurants, priests, professors, students, and locals buy fresh products.
On the first floor, there are shops of all kinds, so have a walk there as well. There is also a hidden tearoom on the left side of the building.
Visit the Market place on Swiebodzki train station
- Address: Robotnicza 1 street
- Days: Sunday morning only
- Entrance: free
There is no better place showing to the everyday life of the city inhabitants, and at the same time it is one of the least touristy places in Wroclaw. This vast market place may give you a headache, so be there very early morning to avoid crowds.
You can buy almost anything there: groceries, cosmetics, clothes, footwear, furniture, household appliances, elements of antiques… The list goes on and on!
Go Looking for Gnomes
A gnome is a symbol of Wroclaw. Small statues of gnomes doing different things (sleeping, eating, working in various professions) are located all over the city, mainly in the area of tourist attractions, restaurants, universities, and private companies.
Remember the map we told you to pick up at the start of this post? The map will help you find them all, and at the same time take you around the most famous tourist attractions in the city.
Have lunch in a Milk Bar
Polish milk bars are sometimes considered a legacy from the Communist era. But if you want to have a cheap lunch, served quickly and prepared in the way of polish grandmas did it, this is the best choice.
You can have a soup (for example “barszcz” or “ogórkowa”) and pierogi and pay no more than 15 PLN for it.
My recommendation is Bar Miś at Kuznicza 48 street, close to Market Square.
Take a Break at at Szczytnicki Park
- Entrance: free (except the Japanese Garden)
Szczytnicki Park is known as “the green lungs of the city” and locals come here to rest from the city noise. It is one of the largest and the most beautiful parks in Wroclaw, with a lot to see. The most popular objects at Szczytnicki Park are the Pergola and the Centennial Hall.
At the Pergola, you can watch the fountain music show which starts on the hour, and in the evening, videos, pictures, and animations are displayed on the water.
The Centennial Hall is one of the most characteristic buildings of the city, and it is included on the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
Last but not least, don’t miss the wooden church and the Japanese Garden (entrance fee for this is 4 PLN)
Visit Sky Tower Viewpoint
- Address: Powstańców Śląskich 95 street
- Entrance: 18 PLN
Head up to the 49th floor of one of the tallest buildings in Poland and you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful view of the city. Meanwhile, on the ground floor, there is a shopping mall.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to book tickets in advance for this, but you can find more details here.
Plan your Odra river cruise
- Join the boat at Ostrów Tumski.
- Ticket: 25 PLN for 50 mins
Odra is the second biggest river in Poland and the most important river in Wroclaw. In fact, some people call Wroclaw as the Venice of Poland as we have more than 100 bridges here!
See Wroclaw from a different perspective and take beautiful pictures, while you enjoy this calm and peaceful activity.
Chill at the Beach Bar
Along the Odra river, there are several places where you can sit down and chill out with a cold drink. While you’re there you could play beach ball, see the movies under the clouds, listen to live music, or even practice yoga.
Our favourite is ZaZoo Beach Bar (Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego 39E) and Stara Odra Beach Bar (Zawalna 53 street).
Learn about the history of neon in Wroclaw
- Address: Ruska 46 street
- Entrance: free
Arrive at dusk and admire the view of more than 30 old neon signs of stores, companies, cinemas, pubs and department stores. Many of these places do not exist any more.
This place makes an impression on all visitors, regardless of age.
Finish your day “pod nasypem”
- Addres: Bogusławskiego street
Pod nasypem – this is what we call the area of the city between Market Square (Rynek) and the main Railway Station (Dworzec Główny).
It is a passage of little pubs and restaurants situated under the railway embankment on Boguslawskiego street. Students and corporate employees alike meet here in the evening to enjoy a cheap and extensive selection of beers and food.
We hope you enjoyed this little guide, featuring places where we, as residents of Wroclaw, spend the most time with family and friends.