2 Days in Wroclaw |From Krakow to Wroclaw
Deciding on which Poland cities to visit in a short time can be difficult especially when you have to include travel time.
After much research, I knew there was a lot of things to do in Poland. So, before I left Australia, I decided to narrow my visit down to Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan, Torun and Gdansk. I couldn’t have been any happier with my Poland itinerary.
Wroclaw Public Transportation
Wroclaw is a 3.10 hours by Global Flixbus from Krakow central bus terminal. It is necessary to pre-book your ticket online (47PLN) or purchase from the bus terminal a day or two in advance. Each Flixbus is fitted with Free Wi-Fi, USB charging ports and toilet onboard. Bus is a very comfortable way to travel from Krakow to Wroclaw.
Bus | Tram | Train
The public transport system here is easy to use and inexpensive with over 100 bus lines and 20 plus tram lines. You won’t need to catch a tram or bus to get around the Old Town, as everything is within walking distance.
You can purchase tram and bus tickets from transit stops, kiosks, and Ruch newsstands. But it is easier to buy tickets on-board using the modern Wroclaw ‘Urban Card’ automated credit and debit card (no cash) system that is displayed in multi-language options. This is a card tap and pay, paperless service and no tickets are issued.
Get Around Wroclaw with the Jakdojake App
The best and most useful Wroclaw transportation app for smartphones is Jakdojade. It is a great transportation app for figuring out how to get from point A to point B by telling you which bus, train or tram to take. Download the Jakdojade for App iOS and Android.
Taxis and Uber in Wroclaw
Taxis and Uber services are readily available in Wroclaw. Rogue taxis continue to be a tourism problem in Wroclaw especially around bus and train stations.
Only use Wroclaw taxis that are clearly marked like Lux Radio Taxi and Partner Taxi and make sure the driver has a rate card displayed in the window and turns on the meter.
There was longer than usual waits for Uber so be prepared and allow enough time to get where you need to go.
Where to Stay in Wroclaw?
You have plenty of options from 5-Star luxury hotels to budget hostels, boutique B&Bs to historic apartments. There is literally hundreds of Wroclaw hotels and other accommodation options available on my preferred web booking search engine, Booking.com.
Whatever accommodation you’re are looking for Booking.com has got it!
Most hotels in Wroclaw offer 24-hour reception but if you decide to stay in one of the beautiful Wroclaw apartments, it is most likely you will self-check-in.
After you confirm your booking, the Booking.com assistant will send you an email outlining where the keys can be collected together with any codes or other helpful information such as the Wi-Fi password. It’s that simple.
To help you choose which stay here’s some Wroclaw accommodation I can highly recommend.
Luxury Wroclaw Hotels
Weather in Wroclaw
Wroclaw weather ranges from below 3 in winter to mid 20s in summer. Even in early summer, days can be cooler than expected in Europe. Lightweight waterproof bubble jackets are a traveller’s best friend.
My 2 nights stay at Solny 6/7 apartment in the Old Town off Plac Solny (Salt Market) Square was very pleasant.
The modern well-equipped apartment was large and comfortable with enormous glass windows letting plenty of light to filter in. My only regret was I couldn’t stay longer. Solny 6/7 apartment was a great find on Booking.com and under $80AUD per night.
Wroclaw Salt Market Square
Salt Market Square was built in 1242. From the middle ages the square was the hub where salt from Krakow’s Wieliczka salt mines and honey, beeswax, leather were traded until the 19th century.
Today Plac Solny has a 24-hour flower market surrounded by quaint cafes, buzzing restaurants and points of interests including a dragon fountain plus a WW2 underground bunker which is not open to the public.
Food and Booze is Cheap in Poland
Food and alcohol is very cheap in Poland about half in comparison to Australian prices. For some reason coffee is more expensive here than in Australia and around 12 PLN ($4.50AUD). I’m yet to find out why!
Wroclaw Restaurants and Breweries
There is a large selection of Wroclaw restaurants around the squares and hidden down narrow cobble alleyways. You can enter Bulka z Mastem Restaurant and Bar off Salt Square (near Jaffa) or the main entrance is located on Pawla Wlodkowica. Bulka was just one of the cool and hidden gems I found in Wroclaw serving exceptional food.
Just around the corner, through an archway is another superb restaurant that you must try during your stay named Restauracja Konspira. It is rated number 4 in Wroclaw on TripAdvisor and after a delicious authentic polish meal is was easy to see why their customers are raving about it. Come hungry as portions are generous and make sure you reserve a table, or you may be turned away at the door. Konspira restaurant is located Plac Solny 11 directly behind the Solny 6/7 apartment.
Middle Eastern Vegetarian Café
Another hidden gem, a little off the beaten track near Plac Grunwaldzki is W Kontakcie. W Kontakcie serves delicious Middle Eastern and vegetarian meals in a cosy café run by a friendly team who all speak impeccable English. It is here I tasted the best hummus and asparagus dish ever. There was an assortment of exotics teas, home-made lemonades, healthy smoothies and yummy desserts too.
Wroclaw Live Music Scene
Back in the Old Town, beer and music lovers check out Ceska Restaurant for a sample or two of Tank Beer and Vertigo Jazz Club for great live music. Vertigo Jazz Club boasts its own record label and hosts nightly jazz concerts in a modern venue.
Polish Craft Beer, Wine and Cocktails
There are hundreds of great bars and breweries worth exploring throughout Poland. The beer culture in Wroclaw is well-established with bars and breweries offering all sorts of different experiences.
AleBrowar, 4Hops, Blackboard Pub, Kontynuacja and Marynka are filled with locals and thirsty tourists who love a beer or two. Pasaz Niepolda is a blokey sort of bar that is ideal for bucks nights and hanging out with your mates.
Wine loving couples must explore the wine list at Ok Wine bar or stop by Papa Bar for an exotic cocktail.
Backpackers head to Manana for cheap vodka shots and a younger more hip crowd to spend the night with.
Best Ice Cream in Wroclaw
By far the best ice cream in Wroclaw can be found at Lody Roma (ul. Rydygiera 5) based on the selection of flavours, texture and taste.
Lodziarnia Roma is one of the most traditional ice cream shops in Wroclaw producing more than 100 different flavours. Customers can try as many ice creams as they like before deciding on which flavour to purchase.
A big bonus here is when you buy one scoop, you get one for free.
Drinking Water in Poland
Polish tap water is officially stamped as safe to drink but antique plumbing in many buildings may affect the quality of the water. Bottled water is inexpensive and widely available so play it safe or pre-boil the water before drinking.
Water rarely comes with coffee or meals and don’t be surprised if you are charged for water even when you request tap water. Beer is cheaper than still or sparkling water in restaurants and this may be linked to Poland drinking problem.
Wroclaw Public Toilets
Generally speaking, customers will always find a toilet available where food and drink is sold. Toilets in Poland are identified by a triangle for men and a circle for men. Public toilets are not free at train stations, bus terminals and most public conveniences.
Keep some small change in your pocket to save you rooting through your wallet or purse when you are in a hurry.
Things to See and Do in Wroclaw
Wroclaw was one of Europe’s most culturally and architecturally diverse cities before it was reduced to rubble 6 or so decades ago. Today, the new Wroclaw is one of the most visited cities in Eastern Europe and has firmly established itself as a top destination to visit in Poland.
Centennial Hall | Wroclaw Multimedia Fountain
Centennial Hall opened in 1913 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage listed building. Wroclaw Multimedia Fountain located in Szczytnicki Park and in front of Centennial Hall is the biggest fountain in Poland. The base of the fountain has been fitted with 800 lights, 300 water jets and 3 fire jets.
The water, light and music show is synchronised creating a spectacular hourly shows in varying lengths. Classical and pop music from Daft Punk to Madonna are all part of the show that attracts Polish and international guests.
Special night shows are projected on the surface of the water using animations, films and photography.
Japanese Garden | Szczytnicki Park
One of Wroclaw most popular walks is through the Japanese Garden in Szczytnicki Park. Located just 5-minutes’ walk from Centennial Hall and the Multimedia Fountain.
The early 20th century garden have hundreds of oriental plants, trees, flowering bushes and flowers plus Japanese buildings, ornamental gates and a tea pavilion. In the centre of the garden is a large pond with giant carps and other species of fish.
History Path | Wroclaw Timeline
History buffs can enjoy taking one of Wroclaw’s free walking tours or a self-guide tour of the history trail. The history path incorporates 19 bronze-made paving stones commemorating the most significant events from the city’s history.
Information signs have been placed nearby the commemorative plaques outlining the historic facts relating to each event. The trail commences next to Ursulines, between Ossolinscy Nook and St Vincent Church.
Neon Side Gallery Wroclaw
An interesting night-time thing to do in Wroclaw is to visit ‘Neon Side Gallery.’ Hidden in a courtyard between ul. Antoniego and ul. Ruska is a collection of old neon signs from the Soviet era. These neons were saved by the Neon Side Foundation and displayed on a drab grey communist style building.
To find this alley, I needed to go to the centre of the city, where four old buildings stood near each other. The alley was tucked away between those buildings, and truth be told, if I didn’t know where to look, I would’ve missed this hidden gem. In between all the signs, I could see where local artists had created even more works of art with graffiti.
There are a number of good eating and drinking places nearby. Stop by Surowiec, a trendy bar for a nightcap and live music.
Passage Statues of Wroclaw
ście and Swidnicka Streets. There were fourteen lifelike statues there and it looked like they are sinking into the ground on one side of the street and emerging on the other side. This memorial has been dedicated to those who were either killed or went missing when martial law was in place during the 1980s.
Wroclaw City and Day Tours
Market Square (Rynek), the heart of Wroclaw is surrounded by colourful medieval architecture and is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The majestic town hall is both a masterpiece and Wroclaw’s centrepiece.
The Old Town is a maze of cobbled streets, churches, bridges, canals and impressive facades that line the square range from Art Nouveau to Gothic.
Invasion of the Wroclaw Gnomes
Cathedral Island is within walking distance of market square. The island is home to the city’s most important cathedral and remains an important place of religious and royal significance.
But, Wroclaw’s most popular tourist attraction is the 400+ small brass gnomes hidden around the city. These cute little creatures adorn doorways, grace narrow alleyways and dress up street corners. Once you are aware of their presence, they constantly pop up when you least expect it.
So, keep your eyes open and it won’t be long before you will notice these cute little sculptures engaging in all sorts of poses and activities around town. It’s so much fun searching for the legendary Wroclaw gnomes which are more photogenic than the towering Wroclaw Cathedral. Viator runs a fun Wroclaw Dwarf Hunting tour that kids love.
An outdated gnome map is available from Wroclaw Information centre (Rynek 14) and newsstands.
Brief History of Wroclaw Gnomes
You may ask yourself; so why do gnomes exist in Wroclaw? Well, these gnomes are not just a tourism drawcard. When Poland was under the oppressive communist regime back in the 1980’s there was an underground movement called the ‘Orange Alternative’. The movement started protesting against the regime using element of absurdity. When the communist authorities began censoring public areas, the Orange Alternative movement pursued to ridicule them.
So as fast as the authorities would paint over anti-establishment graffiti, the Orange Alternative would retaliation by painting over these fresh painting with gnome figures. Gnomes soon became the symbol of resistance in many Polish cities. The gnomes became city ambassadors in Wroclaw, after the communism fell in Poland as a tribute to the Orange Alternative.
In 2001, the largest and first commissioned brass gnome statue (Papa Krasnal) was placed near the subway where Orange Alternative often demonstrated. Four years later in 2005, the city commissioned a local artist (Tomasz Moczek) to create 5 more gnomes. Since then gnomes have increased in numbers, many of them commissioned by local businesses who wanted their own gnome.
Happy Gnome Hunting
Gnome hunting isn’t just for kids. Adults flock to Wroclaw to be part of the hunt as alternative to traditional sightseeing. Often this activity is incorporated into Hens and Bucks nights for a bit of fun.
The Wroclaw gnomes are not only adorable and fun to spot but they remind us of the bravery of the Polish people who fought against the oppressive communist regime.
Hydropolis | Knowledge Centre about Water
Hydropolis is an exhibition centre located in a historic 19th century underground water tank. When the tank was defunct in 2011, it was renovated and converted into Hydropolis. A facility all about water and its importance for man, earth and seas. Hydropedia is a collection of science articles that can be viewed on touch screens.
Not far from Hydropolis is the cableway Polinka. The short ride is 380metre long and takes less the 3 minutes. You get a great view from the cableway which is suspended 7 metres above the Oder River.
There are 2 cable cars each can carry up to 15 passengers and 2 stations, one station is located near C-13 building in Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego, the second one in Na Grobli Street, vis-à-vis GeoCentrum.
Wroclaw Glowny Station
Wroclaw main train station is located within a neo gothic style building painted orange and decorated with stunning turrets and crenellations. The station looks more like a 18th century grandiose palace with a green public square, fountains and plenty of places to sit and admire the surrounds.
Elegant architectural features have been brought back to life and modernised with today’s digital age arrival and departure screens. It’s here for the first time, you’ll find convenient conveyors fitted beside stairways to get your luggage from ground to train platforms.
You can purchase tickets from one of the 24-hour windows or an automated ticket from a vendor machine inside and out. There are lockers and luggage service and an information desk manned from 8am – 8pm.
Other amenities – ATMs, currency exchange shops, restaurants, cafes and comfortable waiting rooms. Like most large train stations in Poland, Wroclaw main station is comfort, convenient and super easy to navigate.
Now follow me to Poznan for one luxurious night.
Poland Guides and Itineraries
Do you have any questions about this Wroclaw itinerary? I’m here to help just ask. Feel free to email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
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