If you have already read my ‘Colourful Wroclaw’ post, then you will already know that this Polish city is just a short hope from England, less than 2 hours from Stansted Airport. Because of this, it makes a great choice for those looking for a weekend getaway. Below are just a few of the things to check out whilst you are there.
Where to stay
Novotel Wroclaw Centrum
A short walk from the city centre, the Novotel Wroclaw Centrum hides away fairly unnoticed. It’s only when you walk into the lobby you realise this is in fact a very stylish and convenient place to stay.
With prices starting from just £51 per night, guests are getting a very comfortable stay for a relatively low price considering the location and quality of accommodation. Modern and trendy in design, the hotel is home to 192 guest rooms, bar, restaurant, fitness centre, sauna and lounge area.
Staff are extremely helpful and service is friendly. There were some minor language barriers when ordering lunch in the restaurant but this was no problem, both my friend and I got the delicious food we ordered, it was tasty!
Things to see
Wroclaw Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in the city, with up to 1 million guests visiting per year. The zoo is open all year round and focuses on conservation and protection of animals, rather than keeping the animals in cages and making a spectacle of them (I didn’t see a cage at all in fact!). The zoo dates back to around 150 years ago, making it the oldest in Poland.
The Afrykarium is the main attraction and it the only oceanarium in the country. Visitors can see many types of fish species, sea turtles, manatees, seals and even Nile Hippos.
Tickets can be purchased here or at the zoo and cost 45 PLN for a standard ticket (£9.45)
If you type Wroclaw into Google you will be shown an abundance of cutsie multicoloured buildings. These buildings are shops and restaurants located in the city’s main square. This area once sprawled across the city but was sadly destroyed in WWII and only a small portion remains, however, this is where visitors will tend to flock to during meal times!
A place that will feed your need for geographical knowledge, the Hydropolis was one of my favourite places to see in the city. Ok so I might be a HUGE geography geek but even those who are interested in the ways of the world on a normal level can have a bit of fun here.
The Hydropolis is a perfect fit within Wroclaw, a city quite literally surrounded by water. This is a museum dedicated to all things water, one of the most important components on this earth. Start your journey through the exhibition with a cinema film on how the world came into place, and how water got not just here, but in space as a whole, it definitely left me contemplating my place in the universe.
My favourite exhibition was all about the states of water, but a close second was the relaxation room where you could sit back and feel like you are resting in the Amazon Rainforest.
Four Domes Pavillion
For all you art lovers, the Four Domes Pavillion is the place for you. Housed in a building designed by the famous architect Hans Poelzig, the Four Domes Pavillion was built e between 1912 and 1913 using reinforced concrete. In June 2016, a new branch of the National Museum opened here, allowing access to the public, opening as the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The exhibition contains a range of contemporary art created in the latter half of the 20th century and early 21st century. Much of this art has been inspired by post war Poland. Entrance into the Pavilion is 20 PLN (£4.20).
Places to Eat
Amazing at any time of the day, Marina offers some of Wroclaw’s most stunning dining views. Looking our across the river and the university, Marina offers a relaxed, ambient dining experience with delicious and flavoursome food. We dined in the evening with the city’s lights lighting up and reflecting in the water across from us, it was a stunning experience.
We ate at this traditional Polish restaurant on our first night. I was slightly apprehensive as I am an extremely picky eater, especially when it comes to international food, I had no idea what to expect.
The restaurant is located facing onto the most colourful buildings in the market square, if you like people watching there is an outdoor seating area perfect for the job! We sat in doors where we were surrounded by a gorgeous wooden decor and lots of paintings of historic places in Poland. The staff were extremely accommodating and spoke great English so we didn’t get stuck!
I went for a chicken dish with a chive sauce, potatoes and vegetables doesn’t sound like the most interesting thing in the world but it was rich in flavour and very tasty! I polished the meal off with an apple pie for dessert, just as good as any homemade apple pie I have ever had.
I would highly recommend this place if you fancy trying typical Polish dishes in a relaxed environment in one of Wroclaw’s prettiest locations.
Ok ok perhaps I should have written this at the beginning, but to be honest this is the boring bit, but it would probably help you to know exactly how you can get to Wroclaw.
One of the easiest ways of arrival is flying, the airport is large, modern, efficient and only 20 minutes from the city centre.
Visitors can fly direct from Stansted with Ryanair or from Luton with Wizz Air, for as little as £50, flights take around 2 hours.
Depending on where you are travelling from, you can reach Wroclaw by train. The city can be reached on a direct train from Berlin in Germany within 4 hours and 15 minutes, for less than €60.
So that sums up Wroclaw in a quick weekend! If you want to learn more about the city itself and see more of my photos, check out my Colourful Wroclaw write up!