Situated on the Odra River, Wrocław is Poland’s fourth-largest city. Despite its turbulent and depressing past, Wrocław has painstakingly rebuilt itself and is now one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. Whether this is your first trip to Poland or you’ve been here a few times before, a 3-day stay in Wrocław opens up tons of new and interesting things to do. While it’s almost impossible to experience everything, even if your trip lasts a week, this itinerary is designed for first time travelers, those who are on a short layover or simply does not have longer time in Poland.
Read on for suggestions on how to make the most of your time in Poland.
Things to remember before traveling in Poland:
Language – Polish language is the official language of Poland, which is spoken by majority of the population. Younger Polish in the city, especially in Wrocław and other main tourists’ spots, speak English so you can absolutely get by without speaking Polish language. Like other countries, speaking at least some Polish phrases or attempting to learn is greatly appreciated by the locals.
Money exchange – Poland’s official currency is called Złoty (pronounce as “ZWAH-tee”). Exchanging money in Wrocław is easy and follows the same standard to elsewhere in Europe. Currency can be exchanged at the banks, as well as Bureau de Change (called Kantor) around the city and airports. Most major establishments like hotels and restaurants in major tourist and business destinations accept credit cards. The best way to get local currency is to use the ATMs (Bankomat), which are widely available in Wrocław and other major cities.
Safety and security – There is currently no nationwide security advisory in effect for Poland. Check your country’s travel advisory website to get the most up-to-date information for your personal safety abroad. Observe the same precautions with your personal safety and health as you would in any other country. For medical emergencies, dial 112; and for police services, dial 997.
Transportation – Getting around Wrocław and the rest of Poland is fairly easy. The city is quite compact so visitors can easily explore its tourist attractions on foot. If you are short on time or you prefer less time walking, Wrocław has efficient bus transport network, trams, trains and ferries. You can also bike on your own or join one of the guided biking tours offered in the city. Renting a car and driving on your own is not recommended because of heavy traffic especially in the city center. Taxis are not recommended because they are expensive compared to other cities like Warsaw.
Accommodation – There are many types of holiday accommodation in Wrocław, from luxury hotels to cheaper accommodation like youth hostels and bed and breakfast. There are also plenty of apartment rentals if you prefer the comfort and convenience of having your own place with cooking facilities. If you are going to follow our suggested itinerary, we recommend accommodation options available in Wroclaw’s Main Market Square or Old Town.
Hotels to consider in Wroclaw:
PURO Hotel (6 Wlodkowica Street, Wroclaw 50-072, Poland)
Mercure Wroclaw Centrum (Pl. Dominikanski 1, Wroclaw 50-159, Poland)
Sofitel Wroclaw Old Town (Ul. sw. Mikolaja 67, Wroclaw 50-127, Poland)
Hotel HP Park Plaza (Boleslawa Drobnera 11-13, Wroclaw 50-257, Poland)
The Granary – La Suite Hotel (ul. Mennicza 24 | Wroclaw City Center, Wroclaw 50 – 057, Poland)
Detailed Day by Day Itinerary 3 Days in Wrocław, Poland
Take an international flight to Nicolaus Copernicus Airport, the international commercial airport in Wrocław, Poland. Since the low-cost flights started courtesy of Ryanair, Wizz Air and others, flying to Wrocław is no longer that expensive, especially if you buy plane tickets in advance (cheapest options is flying to Warsaw and then flying with Ryanair to Wroclaw for 10 USD round-trip) Located 13 kilometres west of Wrocław’s city center, you would be able to reach the center in 40 minutes by bus or 20 minutes by taxi. Check into your preferred accommodation and minimize your jet lag by spending a lot of time out in the sunlight so your body can adapt to its new surroundings. If your flight gets in early enough, head to a nearest restaurant or cafe for a quick breakfast. Wear a comfortable walking shoes as you will do a lot of walking for today.
Start your tour at the heart of the Old Town, the beautifully restored Market Square (Rynek). In 1944, Adolf Hitler declared the city a closed military fortress where the NAZI headquarters is located. ‘Festung Breslau’ (‘Wrocław’ today) is to be defended from the Soviet army at all costs, which meant that the city will witness a bloodbath. On May 6 1945, after months of ferocious fighting, Breslau has been capitulated and was reduced to a pile of ruins. Do not miss to visit some of the reminders of WWII like the replica of the stone pillory, bronze bear, the statue of famous writer Aleksander Fredro and the Town Hall (Ratusz). In the evening, have a light and relaxing dinner at one of the top rated restaurants in Wrocław such as Bernard Piwiarnia Restauracja, Siesta Trattoria, Spiz and Pierogarnia Stary Mlyn.
If you are a catholic and your second day happens to be on a Sunday, rise early and head to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (plac Katedralny 18, 50-329 Wrocław, Poland) to attend a celebration of the Mass. Non-Catholic visitors may also visit the Cathedral to learn about the horrors of the Second World War, how the Cathedral was eventually restored to its 13th century glory and admire its Neo-Gothic architecture.
After your Cathedral tour, make your way to Szczytnicki Park, the oldest and largest park in Wrocław. Then, head to the Old Jewish Cemetery (Stary Cmentarz Żydowski), one of the most well-preserved Jewish Cemetery in Europe. In the afternoon, visit the Centennial Hall & Discovery Center (Hala Stulecia; Zalesie, 52-443 Wrocław, Poland), one of the most significant architectural structures of the early 20th century. Because of its revolutionary and multi-purpose structure, it has survived two world wars. If time permits, you can also visit the former Air Raid Shelter, known as ‘Festunglazaret II’ during the Second World War.
For your final day in Wrocław, get a one last whirl through the Old Town to take in any museums or other attractions that you might have missed. Or you can start out early and make the most out of this day, you can do a day trip to Auschwitz. Auschwitz Birkenau is the former camp of the German NAZI and is now a symbol of the Holocaust. If time permits, you can go shopping before your flight to your next destination. For a wide range and reasonably priced locally made handicrafts, you can visit Renoma Shopping Center (Świdnicka 40, Wrocław, Poland) and Galeria Dominikanska (plac Dominikański 3, 50-159 Wrocław, Poland).
This is the end of our 3-day suggested itinerary. Remember, this is just a guide for planning and is in no way, shape or form the only way to travel the city. There are several alternative routes of travel within Wrocław and it will depend on your intended length of stay. Enjoy Poland!
Have you been to Wroclaw or anywhere else in Poland? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.