8 must-see things to do in Wroclaw

Visiting Wroclaw: what are the best things to see and do in Poland’s fourth-largest city in the south-west of the country?

To visit Wroclaw is to fall under the spell of the city nicknamed the « Polish Venice » for the numerous canals and river that surround the city center. Designated European Capital of Culture in 2016, Wroclaw has much to seduce visitors.

Founded around the 10th century, this is one of Poland’s oldest cities. It has therefore experienced a long succession of regimes, which explains its cultural richness and diversity. Don’t wait any longer to visit Wroclaw!

1. Wroclaw Centennial Hall

Halle Centenaire de Wroclaw

Photo credit: Flickr – Maciek Lulko

Erected in 1913 to mark the centenary of Napoleon’s defeat at Leipzig, this oversized hall is a marvel for architecture enthusiasts. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the largest cultural hall in Poland, hosting exhibitions, concerts and conferences throughout the year.

2. Wroclaw Cathedral

Cathédrale de Wroclaw

Photo credit: Flickr – Adam

The Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste was built between 1244 and 1341 in Gothic style. Its twin towers are 98 meters high! It was probably the first brick building in Poland. The building is located on the Cathedral Island, which we present below.

3. Stroll through the Ostrów Tumski district

Ostrów Tumski, Wroclaw

Photo credit: Flickr – Wojtek Gurak

Ostrów Tumski, or Cathedral Island, is Wroclaw’s oldest district, built around the cathedral at its center. Enjoy a stroll along its old cobbled streets and don’t forget to take a trip over the Tumski Bridge, one of the city’s oldest bridges, a place full of charm.

4. Rynek, a stopover on the market square

Rynek Wroclaw

Photo credit: Flickr – Monica Kelly

You can’t avoid the Rynek, the city’s market square. Dating from the 13th century, it is one of the largest market squares in Europe. Here you’ll find a magnificent Gothic town hall (Ratusz) well worth a visit. Don’t miss St. Elisabeth’s Basilica, one of the city’s oldest churches, and its 91-metre spire with an observatory at the top.

5. The Panorama of Racławice: a work not to be missed

Panorama de Racławice, Wroclaw

Photo credit: Flickr – Corentin Kopp

This is undoubtedly the city’s major artistic attraction. This panoramic 19th-century fresco, 114m long and 15m high, depicts the Battle of Raclawice on April 04, 1794, which ended in a Polish victory over the Russians. Originally exhibited in Lviv, Ukraine, the painting was transported to Wroclaw after the Second World War, providing an insight into a part of Polish history. Situated in a room entirely dedicated to this immense canvas, you’ll have the impression of being in the middle of the battlefield.

6. Hunt for Krasnale

Nain Krasnale Wroclaw Pologne

When you visit Wroclaw, you’ll quickly notice that gnomes populate the city’s streets. There are no fewer than 280 gnomes (« Krasnale » in Polish) scattered throughout Wroclaw. Can you find all the gnomes in Wroclaw?

7. Also in Wroclaw

Hala Targowa, Wroclaw

Hala Targowa – Photo credit: Flickr – plusLoinQueLaNuitEtLeJour

Still looking for something to do in Wroclaw? Take a look at this second list of ideas:

  • Hala Targowa, the city’s covered market
  • Relaxing in the Ossolineum gardens
  • La Madeleine church
  • The synagogue at La Cigogne Blanche
  • Wroclaw National Museum

8. Things to do in the Wroclaw area

Château de Ksiaz, Wroclaw

Ksiaz Castle – Photo credit: Flickr – M. M. Czarnecki

Poland is a country just waiting to be explored. Here are a few places to visit if you continue your stay in the region:

  • Polish castles, especially Ksiaz Castle
  • The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica, Europe’s largest timber-framed religious buildings (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Karpacz, a small mountain village for hiking enthusiasts
  • Poznan, capital of Greater Poland, about 2 hours by train

How to get to Wroclaw

To get directly to Wroclaw from France, there are direct flights from Paris. Alternatively, you can fly to Poland and land in Krakow or Warsaw, then take a train or bus. To find a cheap flight to Wroclaw, you can search on our partner website Skyscanner.

Where to stay in Wroclaw

Wroclaw’s main districts are Stare Miasto (« Old Town »), Srodmiescie (« downtown ») and Nadodrze (meaning « above the Odra River »). Ideally, you should stay in one of these three districts of Wroclaw to be as close as possible to the city’s must-see monuments, entertainment and restaurants.) You can find a cheap hotel in Wroclaw by searching on this hotel comparator.

Map of hotels and accommodation – Wroclaw,pl