Have you heard of Wroclaw? No, I hadn’t either! It’s a lovely little city though. And a hell of a lot cheaper than flights to other famous European cities in the month of December, when festive-addicts like myself are seeking out Christmas markets for mugs of mulled wine and a covering of snow. One of my Wroclaw tips: Flights were £45 return, versus £200+ for the likes of Vienna and Prague.
3 THINGS YOU REALLY CANNOT MISS:
MARKET SQUARE | very pretty medieval central square that you’ll keep looping back to, bordered by distinctive, colourful buildings. The Old Town Hall is at the heart and plac Solny is a smaller adjoining square. Also check out: the downstairs Beer Hall for a drink, and Giselle bakery for a decent breakfast fuel.
ODRA RIVER | a walk to the handful of connecting islands north of Market Square perfectly fills a morning. Tumski Bridge is full of padlocks, which lovers leave to cherish their feelings: funny then that all these padlocks seem big and ugly, and it’s all a little rusty….
BARS | advice from a friend from Wroclaw was that most venues triple as a bar / café / restaurant without any more needed definition. Loved Kawiarnia Literatka, hipster Karavan and cosy Mleczarnia – the latter both South West of the main square.
3 THINGS WORTH A SNOOP:
WROCLAW DWARVES | these little guys are great: keep your eyes peeled throughout the city for 10 inch high sculptures up to all kinds of hijinks. For the uber dwarf-fan use a map to find all 300+.
STARY KLASZTOR | or Old Monastery: a very central, studenty music venue where I was lucky enough to catch one of my favourite bands, Lamb, playing.
CHRISTMAS MARKETS | this was the draw-card for my visit, due to flights being significantly cheaper than the more famous markets in Vienna and Prague. Expect mulled wine, tonnes of sugar-based snacks, plus the usual tat all combined to create a fun festive atmosphere.
3 THINGS TO STEER CLEAR:
EATING | food here was really disappointing! We optimistically tried most rated / recognised establishments like Bernards and La Folie, but don’t rush to either. Pierogarnia Stary Młyn was the ultimate low point in the dry doughy meal league.
RACŁAWICE PANORAMA | intrigued by the significant marketing of what is described as a ‘monumental cycloramic painting depicting the Battle of Racławice, during the Kościuszko Uprising’ we walked to this building, and left having looked at some postcards in the gift shop!
WROCŁAW ZOO | basically ran out of things to do over 3 days so strolled to the zoo but didn’t go in. A common theme it seems from this trip. Looked a bit bleak and empty.
1 THING I WISH I’D DONE:
UNIVERSITY | supposedly the interior consists of stunning renaissance architecture, that my friend recommended we see but instead ended up only skirting the lovely building from the outside.
AND KNOW THIS: The oldest restaurant in Europe Piwnica Swidnicka dates back to 1275, and can be found in Wrocław.