Visiting Wrocław in December? You're in luck, as the holiday season is when the city gets all dolled up with festive decorations and the Main Square seemingly explodes with light, sound, and extravagant attractions. From seasonal gnomes to mulled wine to historic buildings and bridges twinkling with Christmas joy, here are the best ways to feel the holiday magic in Wrocław.
Firstly we'd like to assure you that winter in Wrocław is also beautiful! Come and see for yourself!
Wrocław, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Poland. Drawing 5.3 million visitors in 2018, word is quickly spreading about the special atmosphere that the city has to offer, especially at the turn of the year. Beautiful not only in summer, when the weather is more favourable for the outdoors, but also unique in winter - the illumination of Christmas lights, the air of the Christmas Market fragrant with gingerbread and cinnamon, complete with a wonderful Christmas tree in the centre of Wrocław market square. Unfortunately in 2020, theWrocław Christmas Markethas been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Whether this means there will be a market or fair happening in the new year, we must wait and see! If you really feel like you're missing out, you can order a Wrocław Christmas Market Mug from their online store!
The rich history of the city is evident by unique monuments - Ostrów Tumski with a strolling lighthouse in the evening, a beautiful market square with the town hall, the Quarter of Four Denominations, the University building and the Ossolineum complex. Winter walks are encouraged by promenades and boulevards, thanks to the tempting views of theOder River, which, even when iced-over in the cold, gives the city a unique atmosphere. Crossed by tributaries and canals, Wrocław is a unique city of 12 islands and over 100 bridges. It is also worth going outside the city centre - in the vicinity of SzczytnickiPark, the UNESCO heritage-listed Centennial Hall and the Four Domes Pavilion. See one of the most interesting modernist-housing estates in Europe - WUWA, or follow the colourful trail of Wrocław's fantastic street art. Or maybe with a bit of luck, you will be able to make friends with Wrocław's gnomes - friendly, cheerful citizens of the city of 'meetings'. As part of Wrocław Christmas lights, keep an eye out for the City Lamplighter - a public-service job that has existed for centuries and is one of only two that still exist in Europe (the other is in Brest in Belarus) Find out more at www.visitwroclaw.eu
Visiting restaurants is kind of like a mini vacation, where you try new flavours, immerse yourself in an exotic atmosphere and forget your troubles. But food aside, restaurants are also about relationships with people, celebrating the most important personal and professional events and the birth of new ideas and plans! Indeed, the Coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges to the Wrocław's gastronomic scene, but that doesn't mean you will miss out on these experiences!
That is why the #WrocławNaWidelcuprogram was created, where a total of 12 restaurants will be visited in order to show their diversity, passion, commitment and support from new and existing customers. Aside from following the hashtag #WrocławNaWidelcu, the program will be broadcast on four Saturdays in December (5, 12, 19, 26) at 11.00 on the [Wroclove] facebook page and on the Visit Wroclaw YouTube channel. This is a great opportunity to find out what gastronomic ideas are happening during the lockdown as well as what dishes can be ordered from them for take away!
Wrocław might just be the best 'big city' in Poland for kids and families. Endowed with a complex history and rich collection of cultural treasures, Wrocław hasn't been content to trade on handsome architecture, transforming itself over the past decades into a city known for both its dynamic urbanity and family-friendly atmosphere. Young visitors are immediately greeted not only by a charming neon gentleman doffing his cap, but the city's ambassador army of gnomes will engage children's excitement from their first steps in town (Keep an eye out for for a Christmas Gnome!) Now numbering around 400 (no one knows the exact number!), these little fellas can trace their history back to the 1980s, when the underground anti-communist group Orange Alternative used graffitied krasnale (ENG: gnomes/dwarves) as part of their peaceful, absurdist protests.
There's almost always something wonderfully diverting happening on the city's beautiful market square - whether it be street performers, fairs or festivals, plus plenty of monuments and building-fronts featuring whimsical ornaments that capture the curiosity. Read our article on Wrocław with the Kids!
Wrocław’s Zoo dates back to 1865 and became the oldest in the country when Poland inherited it after World War II. Despite its age, however, it prides itself with a progressive mindset and is very active in animal conservation and welfare. Consider making a donation! A relatively new addition to the zoo is the impressive African aquarium complex, or 'Afrykarium': several levels of exhibits focused on the diverse aquatic habitats of Africa, with animals including hippos, sharks, manatees, crocodiles, penguins (in Africa? Who knew?), and more. Boasting over 14,000 critters of some 1,100 different species, the zoo is one of Wrocław’s most visited attractions, and visiting it all takes up an entire day. To get an idea of what to expect at Wrocław Zoo check out the #WrocławskieZOOpowieści (ENG: Wrocław ZOO Tales) series with Ziemek, a young animal enthusiast who spends lots of time exploring the different areas! On December 19 at 11.00 there will be a Christmas special, in which you can expect Ziemek to go on an extra-special journey! See more Visit Wrocław video content here!
Like elsewhere, you can expect to find all-essential Christmas Carols being sung in some kind of major event, albeit far-more restrained than usual. In true Wrocławian style, however, this year's carols have a bit of a twist: On December 19, at 5:00 pm, the city will premiere a Christmas music video (and at the same time an extraordinary several-minute film) for the Christmas carol "Silent Night", sung by the inhabitants of Wrocław. Obviously, this year's Christmas will be different than usual and we must attend such events in smaller groups. However, despite reduced numbers, this will barely effect the experience overall! We hope that Wrocław's Christmas carols will bring you some joy in the holiday season! If you aren't able to make it, we encourage you to see the videos that will be posted on the Wrocław facebook page [Wroclove] as well as the Visit Wrocław YouTube channel!