The first port of call in Wrocław, and that which the entire city is laid out around, is the Market Square, or Rynek. This is not only the city’s municipal centre, but also the social and cultural centre of Wrocław: a place of happenings, concerts and performance art, lined with terraced cafes and restaurants. Note that while the Rynek was originally built in the 13th century, much of what you see today is in fact a façade, quite literally. The square was ravaged by fighting in World War II and had to be rebuilt almost entirely in the 1950s. Though strict attention was given to original details, particularly those of the frontage, much of what lies behind them experienced understandable updating (though a medieval cellar never stops being a medieval cellar). Proudly square-shouldered in the square's centre stands the Town Hall - a miraculous survivor from the 13th century and the city centre’s defining landmark. After exploring the three passageways packed with shops and bars that run under the Town Hall you should head for neighbouring Plac Solny, known as the Flower Market and always a bright sight thanks to the scores of flower sellers who are on call here twenty-four hours a day in the event of matrimonial emergency, ready to meet the requirements of empty-fisted Romeos - such is the importance of flower-giving in Polish society.
From Plac Solny you are only a short walk from St. Elizabeth’s Church, the city’s tallest. In the spring and summer, stunning views of the city can be had at the top, but be warned that the climb can be crippling for those who haven’t seen a Stairmaster for some time. Only a block north from there you'll find Wrocław's smallest and most engaging street - Stare Jatki - en route to the stunning University, whose interiors are quite frankly far too plush for grotty students; don’t move on before seeing the University Church (yes, even the university has a church), Aula Leopoldina - the grand Baroque ceremonial hall, or the panoramic city views from the Mathematical Tower.
From Plac Uniwersytecki take a walk east to investigate the Baroque majesty of the Ossolineum palace and gardens - home to one of the most important libraries and national archives in the country (and open to the public) - before dog-legging on to Pl. Bpa Nankiera. This lovely street is lined with churches and leads you straight to Wrocław’s amazing indoor marketplace, Hala Targowa. Here you can pick-up fresh produce and sandwich fixings for a riverside picnic, buy bargain bric-a-brac and satisfy whatever obscure shopping needs you have while getting a colourful look at locals living their colourful lives. And, of course, tasty, dirt cheap pierogi (what, your radar’s not going off?)
From there, locals will not forgive you for missing out on the Racławice Panorama, especially after all the trouble Poland took to get it on display for you. A 140m-long canvas depicting Kościuszko’s legendary (and short-lived) victory over the Russians in 1794, this is one of the only remaining panoramic paintings in the world – a genre that was actually quite popular in the 19th century. If you follow the Fosa Miejska - the remnants of the Old Town’s medieval moat - you’ll end up at Partisan Hill, a spooky windswept ruin that once made up part of Wrocław’s defensive fortifications. Follow it a bit further and you’ll end up just behind the restored Royal Palace - Wrocław’s most modern and essential museum.
Wrocław's most epic breakfast has made it out of the Sky Tower shopping centre and into a far more convenient location in the Old Town. As such, the most difficult part of your morning might just be deciding which delicious option to choose from the exte
Great three-star value. Rooms are large, smart and spacious, and come decorated in the Campanile colours of green and white with chequered duvets and curtains, and creature comforts like satellite TV and air-con. Just north of the centre, the
Great for an elegant night out, CAMPO is an Argentine steakhouse located in Wrocław's fancy new Ovo building. Apart from top-quality meat shipped in from the Ojo de Agua farm in Argentina and grilled to perfection in a Josper wood burning oven, CAMPO als
This American-style bakery and cafe is open early for breakfast, offering pastries, cupcakes, quiche, yoghurt, oatmeal, pastrami, and over a dozen bagel sandwich possibilities; big appetites can also order eggs their way and even pancakes (with maple syr
This whimsical neon designed by Janusz Tarantowicz features a charming chap with a bouquet of flowers in one hand tipping his hat with the other and wishing a 'Good evening in Wrocław' to all those exiting the main hall of the train station across the st
Relive the glorious days of the People's Republic of Poland – or rather the nineties, after communism fell and goods like toilet paper, artificial flowers, and coffee mugs with faces became plentiful - in this still-functioning remnant of a state-run
Wrocław's most exclusive nightclub, and well worth the payout and pretension required to get inside, as no expense has been spared here in terms of lighting, sound, and design. 50 Shades jokes aside, Grey's modern minimal space features a fantastic glass
HRC doesn’t really need explaining. This legendary rock ‘n’ roll chain is opening its fourth restaurant in Poland, bringing the usual BBQ grub, alc, and music memorabilia to a prime location on the main square. Among the treasures spread out over two
For many years this enormous pre-war building with its unique tower was a bit of an eyesore, but renovations have restored it to its former glory, both inside and out. These days the Piast is easily the most exclusive budget hotel in the city offering af
While the brand is familiar, you don't know them like this. Ibis's latest effort earns its three stars, but exceeds expectations in terms of design. The modern facade evokes stacked, but slightly askew boxes, while the interior boasts bold colours, uniqu
Translating to 'Lviv Tavern' and dedicated not only to that formerly Polish city now lost in the wilds of the Ukraine, but also to that thought-to-be lost Polish ideal of a simple country lifestyle, this nostalgic restaurant's immaculately decorated inte
One of Wrocław's best restaurants, boasting a romantic location on the water, La Maddalena is an excellent option for couples looking for an intimate date destination, groups seeking a special venue, or anyone who wants to taste the best in contemporary
This ultra modern 'aparthotel' offers 52 elegantly furnished, fully-equipped apartments in the heart of Wrocław, including 9 at the address listed, which includes the white whale of Wrocław accommodations - an underground car park (parking can be roug
Mia is a bright and modern art gallery on Wrocław’s cultural map thanks to the "All That Art!" Foundation. The exhibitions here are constantly changing, with a new one opening every 2-3 weeks. The gallery also aims to connect art and business by hosting
Descend beneath the grandeur of the Monopol hotel to find one of the city's premier spa and wellness centres including a gym, counter-current swimming pool, jacuzzi, dry sauna, aromatherapy steam bath, and salt and iodine cave. Massages and face & body t
Tucked away in a courtyard between ul. Ruska and ul. Antoniego is a splendid collection of Soviet era neons salvaged by the Neon Side Foundation - various logos and company names arranged on the walls of a quite communist-looking drab grey building. Esse
Located right on the main square, this Old-Hollywood-style drinkery is packed with film reels, projectors, vintage movie memorabilia, and smartly dressed locals sipping on original, monthly-changing cocktails. Jazz & blues tunes permeate the elegant spac
This veteran Old Hollywood drinker, sat in the plummest of plum locations on the Rynek, serves up some fancy eats as well, with a focus on Mediterranean and French flavours and fresh, seasonal ingredients. Those who plan on doing more wining than dining
Outstanding quality inside a modern glass marvel. Ultra-modern fittings include Bang & Olufsen sound systems, marble bathrooms, jacuzzis and dressing gowns. Le Louis De-Or Bar and the Pan Tadeusz Restaurant and Lounge Restaurant (which serves daily busin
A shell of its former self after Festung Breslau, this historic 16th century brewery building has been reconstructed and conceived as a city centre luxury boutique hotel - the