You just arrived to Wrocław, Poland for the first time and only have 24 hours to explore, what do you do? Below is an itinerary that will take you through Wroclaw with the best sights, activities, foods, tips and recommendations for your best possible visit.
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8:00 AM – Visit Rynek we Wrocławiu
Wrocław’s Market Square, or Rynek we Wrocławiu, is the best place to start the day. This is not only one of the biggest Medieval squares in all of Europe, it is most likely the most colorful. Originally opened in the 1200’s, this area was completely rebuilt after the devastation of World War II. The square is surrounded with picturesque buildings glowing in many different and vibrant colors. On one side you will see pastels of pinks, oranges, and yellows, whilst on the other side the cool colors of blue and green dominate the architecture. There is no specific order of colors as they all seem to be painted at random. A couple laps walking around the square are just not enough as it is easy to be in awe of these jaw dropping buildings. Market Square gives off the impression like the area was built and designed for everyone to look up the entire time. The many colors of the buildings are not the only draw to Rynek we Wrocławiu. In the middle of this very large Market Square sits the Old and New Town Halls. The Old Town hall stands tall in the center with its Gothic designed building. The picturesque clock tower is the main piece and its bells remain ringing since 1368. The block buildings that surround the city halls in the center of the square are not only official buildings, but the pathways that run through them are full of shops, restaurants and even some houses. After a little bit of exploration and picture taking through out the square, breakfast is most likely in order. The square is full of restaurants and outdoor cafes that will offer you a gorgeous breakfast view. Perhaps the best part of Rynek we Wrocławiu is that since it is so large, it is never overcrowded, even on the most beautiful of days. The square is great to visit at all times of the day, but a perfect starting point in the morning.
10:00 AM – Hala Targowa Market
One of the best market’s in Wrocław, this indoor market is conveniently on your way to Ostrów Tumski. A stop inside the market to buy some fresh local produce is a must. The market is not huge, but has a nice amount of fresh produce along with other Polish foods to buy for a snack or picnic for later. You can buy 1 kg of raspberries for $2 which is a hard deal to find anywhere else.
10:30 AM – Take in the Views of Ostrów Tumski
Just outside the Hala Targow Market lies the Oder River. This river runs through the heart of Wrocław’s Old Town, and offers up some very nice views, especially of Ostrów Tumski. There are pathways and parks all along the river banks perfect for a rest or a nice morning run. This area of the town is so quiet that you may even get a river side amphitheater all to yourself.
11:30 AM – Walk Across the Love-Lock Filled Tumski Bridge
The best way into Ostrów Tumski is crossing the famous Tumski Bridge. The Lover’s Bridge dates back to the 1200’s, but the steel bridge that is in place now was built in 1889. The bridge is scenic as its arches frame the Old and Gothic area of Ostrów Tumski in the background. Maybe the scenery is the reason this bridge has become a destination for loving couples. The tradition is to close a lock somewhere on the bridge, then throw the key into the Oder River below as a sign of love.
12:00 Noon – Walk Through Ostrów Tumski
Ostrów Tumski is the oldest part of Wrocław, dating all the way back to the early 10th century! This is a very charming part of the city as it is lined with beautiful and quaint cobblestone streets and its historic Gothic buildings tower above you. Ostrów Tumski is scattered with cafes, gardens and sculptures. It is a very quiet area as it seems like you can hear a pin drop. Whereas other areas in Europe famed for their history and architecture like this are overcrowded, this setting is the opposite. The scenery of Ostrów Tumski is dominated by the Gothic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Its stunning steeples tower high into the sky and present a very unique structure. Inside the cathedral sits the biggest pipe organ in all of Poland, formerly the largest in the world. If you are eager to get a birds eye view of Wrocław from the church steeples, an elevator will take you to the top for about $2.
1:30 PM – Panorama Racławicka
If you like museums, art, history or none of the above, this is a destination you cannot miss. The Panorama Racławicka is a massive panoramic painting depicting the Battle of Racławice in the late 1700’s when the Polish were fighting for their independence. An entire circular building has been built to hold this painting, and you have to walk around a circular path to see every piece of it. The painting is eye opening and very life like. If you aren’t careful, it feels like you’re getting lost in the battle and watching it unfold right before your eyes. If the actual sight of the painting doesn’t do it for you, the story around it will. Visitors receive headphones upon entry, based on whatever language they speak. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and keep hold your attention. The story takes you to each piece of the painting and explains what it is and who is in the specific piece. Not only is the story of the painting interesting, the actual life of the painting might be the best feature. This massive painting had to be rolled into a gigantic tube and hidden away during World War II only to be opened up to the public again in 1985. This is a very unique visit for anyone, and is easy to plan. Shows run through out the day at every half hour. They only let a certain amount of people in at a time so it is not too crowded to enjoy the painting. Follow this link for more schedule and ticket information.
2:00 PM – Dwarf Hunting
Yes, you heard that right. Wrocław is not only popular for its beautiful buildings and old history, the city is full of dwarfs. Not real ones of course, that would be a major human rights violation.These small bronze sculptured dwarfs are scattered all over the city. There are currently 163 of them, but that number is growing as people can’t get enough of them.A lot of them are hard to find and you really need to be on the look out for them as they seemingly pop out of nowhere. They can be found at street corners, benches, lamp posts, fire hydrants, roof tops and even in different stores and restaurants. One of the best ways to explore Wrocław is by walking each and every street looking for these cute, funny and cool statues.
6:00 PM – Traditional Polish Dinner
One of the best things about Poland is the food. There are so many good foods and restaurants that it makes it very difficult to choose the correct place. Market Square is full of restaurants, but they will be on the more pricey side as it is a more touristy area. The food in Poland is genuinely cheap, so there is no reason to go spending $16 for a plate of 6 pierogis when you can get 10 tastier pierogis at a more hidden and traditional restaurant for only $4. One restaurant I can recommend is, Polski Smaki. Not only did I eat there once, I ate there three times. It sits conveniently next to the train station, and about a 10-15 minute walk from Market Square. The menu is full of delicious and traditional Polish food and is very cheap. The meat stuffed pierogis, or dumplings as the Polish call them, are very filling and tasty. The Polish delicacy of herring in cream is very refreshing as the cream and apple take away from the saltiness of the fish.The ultimate delight of this restaurant was the potato pancakes and goulash. This dish might have been the best I had through out the entirety of Poland. The potato pancakes were the perfect amount of sweet with a crunchy outside and fluffy inside. They were covered in a hot beef goulash with a fresh tomato and mushroom sauce. The cream on top added a little bit of freshness to cool it down as the fried beets on the side added a little zing to it. An exquisite dish that is a mix of every meal of the day.
8:00 PM – Ice Cream at Nice Cream Factory
This place is crazy, and is worth a try. Located just a few block from Market Square, this ice cream shop makes the ice cream right in front of you. When you enter, you are engulfed in the cold smoke released by their ice cream machine. You are able to choose whatever kind of flavor you want and they will turn it into ice cream. The point of it is that it is all natural and not filled with sugar. Although, you can have that sugar rush and make a traditionalchocolate and caramel ice cream if you so desire. I pushed it to the edge and got weird with my order to see if their scientific process was a good one. My ice cream was made of spinach, mango and raspberry. It was weird, but delicious and fresh.
8:30 PM – Evening Stroll
Other than sunrise, I believe an evening stroll through a beautiful place is one of the best parts of the day. Spend the rest of your night walking through an area to experience it at a different time of the day. Night and day are vastly different as the lights come on and present the buildings in a different from. Not only is the scenery different, but the atmosphere in the air has changed. People are no longer in a rush, but a more relaxed mood as they take in the day with their friends and family. Ostrów Tumski is a great spot for an evening walk as it becomes very lively with outdoor cafes and bars in the surrounding parks and area. There are many things you can do in Wrocław in 24 hours, but you are definitely going to want more. This town has a bit of everything and you will be happy with whatever you do in the time spent. If you agree or have something to change on my “24 Hours In” Wrocław Itinerary, please comment and reply below! And don’t forget to subscribe! If you have any other questions or want more recommendations, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram @travelingle and @egtrotters . Thank you! Enjoy your trip in Wrocław! =D