Things to do in Wroclaw

Must-see Wroclaw sights

Wroclaw (pronounced “vrots-waf”), the fourth-largest city in Poland, is used to being rebuilt. The various influences are reflected in Wrocław’s architecture, with its impressive churches and Baroque palaces. Wroclaw’s historical centre is delineated by the former city walls, bordered by a moat and a shady park, and by the River Odra to the north, whose pretty islands are home to a handful of churches.

Wroclaw’s term as European Capital of Culture in 2016 gave a significant boost to tourism and the arts, and the city boasts the vigorous air of a place on the rise. Planning your holidays to Poland should definitely include exploring the vibrant city of Wroclaw, where history and culture come alive in its lively streets and squares.

  1. Head to the Market Square
  2. Explore the vibrant Jewish quarter
  3. Discover the Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice
  4. Wander around the buzzing university quarter
  5. Visit the Centennial Hall
  6. Find lots of animals in the Wroclaw Zoo for plenty of family fun

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1. Head to the Market Square

In the heart of the town is the vast Market Square (Rynek) and the thirteenth-century town hall, with its magnificently ornate facades. The hall now houses the applied art collections of the City Museum of Wroclaw. In the northwest corner of the square are two curious Baroque houses known as Jaś i Małgosia (Hansel and Gretel), linked by a gateway giving access to St Elizabeth’s, the finest of Wroclaw’s churches. Heading to this area is one of the best things to do in Wroclaw and a great way to start your exploring.

Best for: The perfect introduction to Wroclaw

While you’re there: The 90m tower of St Elizabeth’s Church is the city’s most prominent landmark.

2. Explore the vibrant Jewish quarter

Southwest of the square lies the former Jewish quarter, whose inhabitants were driven from their tenements during the Third Reich. One of the largest synagogues in Poland, the Synagogue Under the White Stork lies hidden in a courtyard, and contains an absorbing museum of Jewish life.

Best for: An interesting quarter to wander around

While you’re there: Another area to explore is the island of Wyspa Piasek. Find the fourteenth-century church of St Mary of the Sands here.

3. Discover the Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice

East of the city centre, a rotunda houses the famous Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice. This huge painting - 120m long and 15m high - was commissioned in 1894 for the centenary of the Russian army’s defeat by Tadeusz Kościuszko’s militia at Raclawice, a village near Krakow.

Best for: Unique museum

While you’re there: You can visit the nearby National Museum, with its vibrant exhibition of twentieth-century Polish installation artists.

4. Wander around the buzzing university quarter

North of the Market Square is the historic and buzzing university quarter, full of bargain eateries and tiny bookshops. At its centre is the huge Collegium Maximum, whose Aula Leopoldina assembly hall is one of the greatest secular interiors of the Baroque age.

Best for: A vibrant quarter

While you’re there: Head to JaDka restaurant. It may not be cheap but it offers world-class Polish cuisine with excellent service.

5. Visit the Centennial Hall

Two kilometres east of the centre in Szczytnicki Park looms the huge dome of the Centennial Hall (Hala Stulecia), a celebrated modernist masterpiece dating from 1913. Inside, the Discovery Centre contains an audio-visual display devoted to modern architecture.

Best for: One of the most interesting things to do in Wroclaw

While you’re there: Don’t miss the two elegant little bridges which connect the island of Wyspa Piasek with Ostrów Tumski.

6. Find lots of animals in the Wroclaw Zoo for plenty of family fun

What to do in Wroclaw if you’re with the kids? Wroclaw Zoo is well worth a visit. Kids will love spotting all of their favourite animals here. It’s also great for the Afrykarium, a striking contemporary pavilion whose huge aquaria hold manatees, crocodiles and other denizens of the African continent. The perfect thing to do in Wroclaw if you’re travelling with children. If you’re looking for Wroclaw holidays, we recommend staying at Tumski Hotel for a wonderful stay found on the banks of the Odra River.

Best for: Family fun

While you’re there: Alternatively, go on a gnome hunt with the kids. There are 400 to find in Wroclaw! Each one is different from the next.

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