Thinking about a city break somewhere beautiful, interesting and not very expensive? Colorful Wroclaw with plenty attractions and fantastic atmosphere is the perfect choice. The future European Capital of Culture is also known as Wroclove simply because you will fall in love with it in seconds. So where should you start?
Follow the dwarfs
Yes, dwarfs do live in Wroclaw and they are a quite numerous group. The legend says that they were there before people and that the first dwarf in the world was seen in Wroclaw. Nobody knows where he came from and why, but later on he and his family helped people with building the city. In gratitude, districts of Wroclaw were named after helpful dwarfs.
The real version of events is that the dwarfs appeared in 2001 to commemorate Orange Alternative – an anticommunist movement from 1980s which started in Wroclaw and used the dwarf as their symbol. People liked the idea and their number started growing and growing. Today there are more than 200 of those little bronze figurines scattered around the whole city and what an addition to the traditional sightseeing they are! Each one of them is different, has a different name and stands (or sits, lies, rides a motorcycle or a pigeon) in a relevant place. For example there is a just-married dwarf couple next to the civil registry office. You can also find traveler/tourist dwarfs in the airport, in the tourist information centre and close to a few hotels.
Combining sightseeing with looking for those few inches tall statues is great fun for everybody, especially for kids. You can get some help in finding them from a map with their positions which can be bought from the tourist information centre or you can use Wroclaw Dwarf Map on Google maps.
What’s a must see in Wroclaw?
First of all – the Market Square, which probably is one of the most colorful and vibrant places in Poland. Build in medieval times, it is one of the biggest market squares in the whole of Europe and in the middle of it stands the biggest Town Hall in the country. Many of the city’s main sights can be found here alongside great restaurants, bars and pubs, which makes it a great place for starting or finishing your sightseeing of Wroclaw.
Next stop – The Raclawice Panorama. There you will find a massive (15x114m!) cycloramic painting showing different parts of The Battle of Raclawice which was one of the proudest events in Polish history. The painting is on the inside of a cylindrical building what gives a great 360 degree view of it. It will make you feel like being in the middle of the action and the fantastic effects used by the author give it a superb feel of reality. Although it might not sound like a great thing to be in the middle of a battle, The Raclawice Panorama definitely can not be missed when visiting Wroclaw and believe me, you will enjoy it very much.
From there you can go to three attractions which are really close to each other. Wroclaw Zoo – the biggest and the oldest (founded in 1865) Zoo in Poland with fore than 500 different species. The Japanese Garden where you can feel a bit of the atmosphere of the Country of Rising Sun without the need of taking a long 10+ hour flight. It is a beautiful, romantic and relaxing place perfect to unwind after a sightseeing trip. Last but not least is the Wroclaw Multimedia Fountain. At night it is illuminated by 800 lights, plays music and creates moving/dancing screens of water in the rhythm which creates a really unforgettable thing to see. The shows are on every Friday and Saturday at 7 – 8 pm. Perfect timing for a weekend city break in Wroclaw. Plan everything today, go to Wroclaw as soon as possible and see something like that live:
The winner of this week’s Where in the World Wednesday competition is Jane Lock, who has won herself a £25 alpharooms.com voucher. Well done!