Wroclaw is one of those under-the-radar destinations that never disappoints during Christmas or any other time of the year. It has all the glitz and glamour of top tourist destinations but at a much lower price tag!
Start your Wroclaw trip with a stroll down the Rynek, which offers cracking views of Ostrow Tumski and the Oder River. Or, head along Bulwar Xawerego Dunikowskiego to snap shots of the city’s iconic architecture and green spaces.
Ostrow Tumski is the oldest part of Wroclaw, located between branches of the Oder River. It has a rich historical past and is home to impressive monuments such as St. Martin’s Cathedral and the Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and Saint Bartholomew.
During the Middle Ages, Ostrow Tumski served as a castle, protecting the ferry across the Oder River and the trade and communication routes. It was built in the early 10th century and included a wooden church (St. Martin), surrounded by defensive walls and an outer bailey.
The island also hosts a number of interesting gardens. The central area is home to ponds, palms, alpine plants and cactuses. There are 7000 plant species on display and a bust of Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus stands among the greenery.
Wroclaw’s Market Square is a bustling central hub of activity. Here you can find restaurants, bars and historic sites and admire the striking facades of the townhouses lining it.
The market square is one of the largest in Europe and has a lot of attractions to see and do. It’s also a great place to visit during Christmas fairs and New Year’s parties.
A few streets around the square still have wooden shop fronts that once served as butchers’ stalls. You can see these on Szewska Street, Bialoskornicza Street and Jatki Street.
The market square is also dotted with many historical tenement houses. These buildings were built in different styles, ranging from Medieval to Art Nouveau.
The first skyscraper in Wroclaw, Sky Tower is a must-see for anyone who appreciates heights. The building boasts a public observation deck on the 49th floor where you can get a panoramic view of the city from above.
This is a great place to see the city at night when it’s lit up like a Christmas tree. It also offers a range of different activities and is great for families with young children.
It’s easy to fall in love with this city when you visit it during the summer, as all of the green spaces come alive and people can enjoy picnics in the parks. For a more peaceful experience, you should also check out the dazzling Japanese gardens.
It’s also worth visiting Nadodrze, which is slowly transforming into Wroclaw’s answer to Krakow’s Kazimierz. This is where you’ll find a growing number of concept stores, cafes and restaurants.
Among the city's most recognizable attractions, Wroclaw's gnomes are a true tourist draw. Small bronze statues, which Poles call krasnale or krasnoludki, appear in various locations around the city.
- These figures were born as a symbol of political protest in the 1980s, when a surrealist art movement known as the Orange Alternative was using absurdity to ridicule communism and its censorship of public spaces. This group often sketched gnomes where anti-Communist graffiti had been removed from walls.
- As the gnomes spread across Wroclaw, local businesses began sponsoring them and today, they can be found throughout the city. You'll see a wheelchair gnome, blind dwarves, and other quirky characters that prove that Wroclaw is open to all.
- There are also special tours of Wroclaw that let the little gnomes lead the way through the historic city. These tours are fun and interactive, making it easy to spot gnomes you may not otherwise have noticed. They're also perfect for families with young children as a way to explore the city together.