Wroclaw is a city in Poland that exceeded my expectations. I had been to this country twice before and I did love Warsaw and Poznan but there is something special about Wroclaw. From colourful squares and cute gnome statues to picturesque islands in the river, if you choose to visit you will also learn a lot about the history of this city during WWII.
I arrived in Wroclaw on a Friday night and the place was so alive! People were walking around and partying all over the old town, especially in the market square. This place left me speechless as soon as I saw it and it’s easy to see why…
Another beautiful area in Wroclaw is the island where the cathedral is which is known as the Ostrów Tumski district. Here you can find parks, bridges, a university, more beautiful architecture and a panoramic view from the top of the cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. The building itself is also fascinating in its Gothic style with Neo-Gothic additions. This cathedral is the fourth one to be found in the location (due to invasions and fires) but the first one was built in the 10th century.
Saint Elizabeth’s church is another beautiful building with another observation deck open to the public.
The city hall is also a great place to visit. It hosts some exhibitions but if you want to walk in and wander around to admire its architecture you can also do that completely free.
One of my favourite things about Wroclaw were the dwarfs that are spread all over the city. They first appeared in the city in 2005 and since then the numbers are growing. It’s fun to try to find them as they could literally be in the most unexpected corners. They are now considered a tourist attraction and there is even a free walking tour dedicated to them. A monument of a dwarf was placed in one of the streets to commemorate the Polish anti-communist movement and now they are a symbol of this city.
The palace of Wroclaw is also an incredible building to visit. It’s free and it hosts a museum of the city which won’t let anyone down. Once inside you can also walk around its gardens.
As I already mentioned there are free walking tours available in Wroclaw. The World War II and the Jewish tour is the one I decided to take and it was a great way of learning about the history of the city. The very knowledgeable guide took us to the Jewish quarter, the synagogue, a former Gestapo headquarter and taught us about the Nazi times and the holocaust. We also saw an old station, which has become a market, from where people used to be taken to concentration camps. It was heartbreaking to imagine all of this and other anecdotes he talked about.
On a happier note, the food in Poland was great as always. After loving the pierogi I had in Poznan I had to find a place to try them again! Pierogarnia next to the Town Hall was the best place for this.