Wrocław is a lively city in southwestern Poland on the banks of the Oder river, it’s known for its architecture, history and youthful atmosphere. It’s part of the greater Silesia region, which makes up a big chunk of the southern part of the country and is a huge industrial area. Tourism here is booming thanks to ample budget flight connections to the rest of Europe and an abundance of things to do in Wroclaw.
It’s equidistant from Berlin and Prague, making it a great stop on a road trip as well. Visit any weekend of the year, and you’ll see the old town packed full of young people getting ready to hit student pubs. It’s a city of huge historic and cultural significance. It’s been continuously inhabited since the 10th century and was the site of important battles that shaped the history and identity of Poland. These days it’s home to music and film festivals, and many writers live in and around Wrocław. Here’s a guide to things to do in Wroclaw.
20 Things To Do In Wroclaw
1- Visit The Train Station
Wrocław’s Main Train Station is probably where you’ll arrive if you take a train from another Polish city.
Located around 20 minutes walking distance from the old town, the train station is a beautiful building made with glass, metal, and wood that pays respects to the XIXth century’s architecture.
At the station, you can find multiple cafes, restaurants and shops but the most spectacular place in the train station is the public library which was designed to match the waiting room aesthetic.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of Poland’s busiest train station, find yourself a quiet spot and read a book but if you’re feeling more social, grab coffee in the main hall to admire the stunning architecture and neon signs.
Wrocław’s Main Train Station is at Piłsudskiego 105 Street.
Recommended tour: 2-Hour Private Guided Tour by Electric Car.
2- Discover The Old Town
The Main Square is in the historic part of town, and it’s hard to miss.
The city hall in the centre was built in the XIIIth century in the Gothic style that fascinates and charms both visitors and locals.
The townhouses you’ll see in the old town were recently renovated and are full of interesting-looking restaurants, cafes and hotels.
Stop by for coffee at Popiół i Diament.
Located right on the square is also Vega, a cafeteria that serves up vegan-friendly versions of everyone’s favourite Polish dishes.
If you’re interested in seeing all the gems of Wrocław’s old town, check out this walking tour or rent a bike and cycle around on your own.
- Popiół i Diament is at Rynek 6, 50-106 Wrocław, Poland.
- Vega is at Sukiennice 1/2 (wejście od, Rynek 27a, 50-107 Wrocław, Poland.
3- Attend a Film Festival
Wrocław is known among Polish cinephiles as the city that hosts the country’s most prestigious film festival.
Nowe Horyzonty (New Horizons) takes place every summer in the city’s heart and features the biggest titles from world-renowned festivals like Cannes and Venice.
Thousands attend the festival each year, but the cinema of the same name operates year-round.
Should you find yourself in Wrocław some other time, it’s worth checking their schedule.
If you’re a fan of American arthouse cinema, you’re also in luck because the American Film Festival is a hit every year and usually takes place in November.
They don’t feature just any Hollywood flicks but focus on new and upcoming American films with artistic value.
Nowy Horyzonty Cinema is located at Kazimierza WIelkiego 19a/21 Street.
4- Check Out Nadodrze Street Art
In the backstreets of the Nadodrze district, you can find the so-called “colourful backyards”.
This district’s drab, grey block buildings hide stunning street art made by the area’s inhabitants.
Both adults and children contribute to the murals depicting daily life, pets, friends and even themselves.
Look closely; you might even recognise people and animals depicted in the paintings walking around or looking through the windows.
In the backyards, you can find all kinds of different techniques, from simple paintings to 3D reliefs and even sculptures.
Nadodrze street art is something more than just a visit to a gallery – it’s a picture of the local community that’s available to everyone.
To see some of the best art in the area, head to Franklina Delano Roosevelta 5A, 50-262 Wrocław. Find out more on this Alternative Tour with Street Art.
5- Visit The Neon Side Gallery
Not far from the Nowe Horyzonty cinema, Neon Side is a backstreet that hosts almost 30 different neon signs that were once used in shops, cinemas and hotels.
Because of the lights, it’s a place to see after dark.
It’s a go-to place for fun photo shoots and selfies because of the magical atmosphere.
You can admire the beautiful show of lights and colours from the bars below the gallery.
You can find the Neon Gallery tucked away at Ruska 46C.
6- Walk Around The Four Denominations District
This is where Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Protestant and Jewish heritage meet.
The district is five minutes from the old town and close to places of interest such as Neon Side Gallery and Nowe Horyzonty.
Here you can visit churches and a synagogue, proof of the multicultural society that existed here before World War II.
But it’s not only a place of tolerance and acceptance but also a true gem for foodies.
Four Denominations District is home to the best food spots in town, like mouthwatering SOLLEIM Korean fried chicken, Mleczarnia’s breakfast place, or Panczo, a rare taste of authentic Mexican food in Poland.
To get to this area, head to the main vein, which runs through the entire district– Ul. Świętego Antoniego.
7- Go To The Opera
Don’t keep scrolling! Opera may not be the first thing that comes to mind, especially if you’re a budget traveller.
However, if you’ve ever been remotely interested in going to the opera, the Opera Wrocławska is one of your best choices.
Tickets are considerably cheaper than in other Polish cities and German opera fans flock to Wrocław to take advantage of cheaper ticket prices compared to back home.
Wrocław’s Opera is world-class, with a repertoire of classics and modern interpretations.
The building is fairly unassuming and blends with the rest of the centre but step inside and you’ll be blown away by some of the most elegant architecture in the entire country.
Opera Wrocławska is at Świdnicka 35, 50-066 Wrocław, Poland.
8- Search For The Gnomes
Walking the streets of Wrocław, you’ll quickly notice small gnome figurines on every corner.
Gnomes have been a city symbol since 2005 when they started appearing around the centre.
They’re a nod to an anti-communist protest movement that originated in the city and used comedy to poke fun at the regime while cleverly avoiding censorship.
You’ll spot all kinds of gnomes – from chemists and surgeons to newlyweds and tolerance gnomes.
Gnomes are especially popular with children, and going for a walk in search of these Wroclaw icons can easily become a fun family outing.
New gnomes are still being produced, and any Wrocław citizen can order one from a dedicated gnome-maker. You may also like the Secrets of Wroclaw Walking Tour.
9- Enjoy The Christmas Market
If you find yourself in Wrocław during the Christmas season, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon the seasonal market in the old town.
There’s a huge variety of things that you can buy at the market and you’ll be impressed with the choice of food available.
Try some mulled wine or beer, mountain smoked cheese with cranberry sauce, suckling pig, polish sausage or barbecue, bread with lard, or go for Polish classics like pierogi and bigos (hunter’s stew).
The market is also great to stock up on handmade Polish souvenirs, such as pottery, woodwork and traditional clothes.
Small local businesses also sell handmade soap and natural cosmetics at the market.
10- Check Out Racławice Panorama
Wrocław is home to one of the most important Polish historic paintings.
The Battle of Racławice saw the Polish army try to stop the partition in the 18th century.
The painting is exhibited in a round building which accommodates its unique shape, hence the “panorama” in the name.
This piece uses the painting and 3D figures of soldiers and nature, making it look like you’re in the middle of the events.
You can find this unique piece which is an important part of Polish identity and history at Ul. Purkyniego 11 in Słowackiego Park.
11- Take a Stroll Around Ostrów Tumski
Ostrów Tumski is the old district of Wrocław that used to be an island in the middle of the Oder River.
The history of this district stretches back to the early middle ages and the very beginnings of Poland itself.
Here, you’ll find some of the oldest pieces of religious architecture in the country.
St. Martin’s Church is a tiny, red-brick building from the 13th century and the only remaining piece left of a castle that once stood in this district.
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is another striking icon of the neighbourhood and a distinguished part of the city’s skyline.
If you want to escape the crowds of the main square but still feel the history, Ostrów Tumski is a great place to go.
12- Visit Hala Stulecia
Hala Stulecia (Centennial Hall) is an enormous modernist building created over a century ago by the architect Max Berg.
It was designed to serve multiple purposes, like sports events, concerts and business conferences.
The space is in an area dedicated to recreational activities and is next to the Wrocław zoo, concrete pergola and lake.
Hala Stulecia is a great place to visit for those who are passionate about architecture and want to spend quality time with their families.
There are multiple cafes and restaurants in the area, but we recommend renting a picnic basket (which you can later recycle) at Bistro Na Tarasie and enjoying the good weather and lush green areas.
Hala Stulecia is at Wystawowa 1, 51-618 Wrocław, Poland. Explore the area on the Centennial Hall and Surroundings Private Tour.
13- Walk Down The Witches’ Bridge
The Witches’ Bridge is part of local legend and is located between the towers of St. Mary Magdalene church.
The legend says young girl Tekla was spending her time partying, getting new clothes and flirting with boys, and having no interest in finding a job or getting married, which infuriated her father, who finally cursed her.
The girl was taken to the little bridge in between the towers and made to clean it nonstop.
The story became a cautionary tale for young girls of Wrocław.
You can visit the bridge any day, but there’s no elevator in the church, and you’ll have to climb up over 200 stairs to get to the viewpoint.
The church is located at Szewska 10, 50-122 Wrocław, Poland.
14- Go To The Pan Tadeusz Museum
Pan Tadeusz is an epic poem and, without a doubt, the most important written piece of art in Polish history.
The museum is located in the main square in the beautiful Under the Golden Sun townhouse.
The book was written in the first half of the 19th century and was important for the Polish independence movement.
The museum presents you with an original manuscript of the book written by Adam Mickiewicz.
It’s a pilgrimage site for Poles. And for those who want to understand the place better, you’ll get to know the history and literature that created the modern Polish nation.
The Pan Tadeusz Museum is located at Rynek 6, 50-106 Wrocław, Poland.
15- Take a Break In The Japanese Garden
Located a walking distance from Hala Stulecia, the Japanese Garden is arguably the calmest place in Wrocław.
It was created over 100 years ago and has been in its current form since the 90s.
The Japanese Garden is perfect if you’re looking for a place to escape city life and enjoy this peaceful getaway.
The Garden is open from April to October you can enter for a small fee.
Immerse yourself in the relaxing atmosphere created by over 200 different types of plants brought from East Asia.
A huge part of the garden is occupied by the pond and small streams inhabited by Koi carp, traditionally considered a symbol of happiness.
The Japanese Garden is located at Adama Mickiewicza 1, 51-618 Wrocław, Poland. This Full-Day Cultural Tour will take you to see the Japanese Garden.
16- Spend The Evening On Słodowa Island
If you’re visiting Wrocław in the summer, Słodowa Island is the best place to spend your evening.
The island is connected to the rest of town by multiple bridges, and the area is very green, with many walking paths.
What’s making this place unique is that the ban on drinking alcohol in public doesn’t apply here, so if you’re on the budget, skip the bars and hang out here.
Ponton Pub & Bar serves beer and cocktails and has an amazing view of the river.
The island is also known for multiple festivals, concerts, and picnics, so check out what’s happening there while you’re in Wrocław.
The entrance to the island is located at kładka Słodowa 52/007, 52-007 Wrocław, Poland.
17- Take a Trip Down The Oder River
Wrocław is a city with a thousand bridges and five rivers, among which the biggest is the Oder.
If you want to see the city from a different angle and try something unique, there are multiple options for river cruises down The Oder River.
Tours will take you up and down the river, showing off the many sights of Wrocław’s waterfront.
You can choose from a small private boat or a big group party craft.
18- Visit Hydropolis
Hydropolis is a museum about all things water.
Located in a revitalised post-industrial building, it tells the story of water and our relationship with the stuff.
The massive permanent exhibit teaches visitors about this relationship as well as the environment of water and how we affect it.
As you walk the museum halls, you’ll discover that water is a part of our lives in so many ways that you never considered before.
It’s equal parts fun, educational, and suitable for kids and grown-ups.
Hydropolis is at Na Grobli 17, 50-421 Wrocław, Poland.
19- Go On a Pub Crawl
Poland is known for its blooming craft beer scene, and Wrocław is no stranger to alternative beer bars.
As Wrocław is a relatively small city, everything is available by walking or well-developed public transport.
Try Polish sour beers and Grodziskie, a smoky beer native to Poland, sometimes known as Polish champagne.
The number one place to visit is AleBar Wrocław at Ul. Włodkowica 27, which serves a wide variety of beers and Polish products.
Don’t miss 4HOPS Pub just off the main square. They have everything from dark stouts to light IPAs, and you can even try out a flight of six small glasses of different beers from their selection.
PINTA Wrocław is run by PINTA, the oldest craft beer brewery in Poland, and is a spacious, lofty bar at Ul. Podwale 83.
Enjoy a relaxing night out at one of these bars or join a local pub crawl to meet fellow travellers and get to know the city by night.
20- Buy Local Produce From Hala Targowa
Wrocław has some colourful bazaars but we especially like Hala Targowa.
The market is located in a building that dates back to the early 20th century and was a very original project at the time.
Since it’s under a roof, the market is open year-round, and you can wander around the produce and flower stalls whenever you want to.
Visit in summer for fresh fruit (Poland’s summer berries are unmatched) and picnic on one of Wrocław’s islands.
Hala Targowa is at Piaskowa 17, 50-359 Wrocław, Poland. Check out this Private Traditional Polish Food Tour.