Why Wroclaw in Poland is also worth a day trip (or more) from Görlitz
The cities of Görlitz and Zgorzelec have a great success story to celebrate in terms of the German-Polish friendship. Both cities have had quite a different influence after the war, but came back together very closely. Just by crossing a bridge you can be part of two different cultures and also witness history by observing how the cities developed independently from each other over decades.
However, there is another opportunity less than 2 hours away to explore a city that used to be German and then became fully Polish after the war. Of course we are talking about the former German „Breslau“ which is today’s vibrant city of „Wroclaw“ in Poland.
Ewa & Mirko from WroclawGuide.com operate a city blog in Wroclaw and will share a few reasons with you why you should not miss a visit to Wroclaw!
You love Görliwood? Well, Wroclaw is the Polish Görliwood…
We all know that Görlitz is famous for it‘s picturesque and beautiful old town, that makes it a choice for so many movie productions. But there are also situations where Görlitz is just too beautiful to be selected for a shot.
Let us be honest, it would not be fair if Steven Spielberg would demolish parts of Görlitz just to get what he needs…. That is why for the movie „Bridge of Spies“ he picked Wroclaw-Nadodrze as film location for post-war Berlin.
Nadodrze is one of the districts that survived the war pretty much. However not a lot of investments were made in the old tenement houses, which made it a perfect location for that movie. Of course for plenty of historic movies and documentaries, Wroclaw was selected too.
Today in that district of Wroclaw you can see how paint is going off from the tenement houses and German signs are coming back to light. We don‘t know any other city where this phenomenon can be observed…
Wroclaw is young and alternative
Wroclaw is a very young city – around 20-25% of the population are students. That is only one of the reasons why you will find an amazing offer of events, culture, arts, museums and nightlife. Some people say that Wroclaw is even the foodie capital of Poland.
What you should not miss is the Neon Side Gallery, a “graveyard” for old neon signs from soviet times.
Only a few meters away from the largest Gothic tower in Poland, which is part of the Elisabeth Church, you will find a crucifix – but a DIY version.
Water, Water, Water – Wroclaw is the Venice of the North
There is a reason that Wroclaw is frequently named as Venice of the North. The Oder river floats through the city like veins. That invites visitors not only to explore the city by kayak from a different perspective, but also to enjoy some floating bars during the summer season.
And if you believe you will need to drive more than 4 hours to the German coastline to the next beach from Görlitz, we have to tell you that you are wrong. In less than 2 hours drive or a quick bus / train journey, you are able to arrive in one of Wroclaw‘s beach bars. A great places to enjoy the sun with a chilled cocktail, to be play some volleyball or just see a free concert.
The best Christmas market in Poland
The Polish winter typically doesn’t have the best reputation. Nevertheless, during December you will notice that a lot of German is spoken in Wroclaw. Why? You already guessed it – the Christmas market in Wroclaw is the most popular ones in Poland.
When it starts, not only Germans as direct neighbors, but also Polish people from all across the country are starting a pilgrimage to this popular event. The shoe shaped mugs for mulled wine got such a popular souvenir that people didn’t return them in 2019. As consequence, the organizers had to take the old ones from 2017 and the latest ones were traded on eBay for up to 50 EUR each.
Go Dwarf Hunting
There are more than 600 dwarves scattered around the city.
To commemorate the anti-communist movement in 2001, a sculpture of a dwarf was unveiled. Somehow this triggered some copycats… More and more little dwarf sculptures popped up in the whole city. Today, one of the most popular activities amongst visitors is to hunt those little dwarves.
If you believe, those all look the same, you are mistaken… All of them are individuals! You will find a dwarf orchestra, a prison dwarf, professor dwarves, and around 400 more!
Remarkable landmarks and super diverse architecture
More than 1000 years of architecture shaped Wroclaw. The city was ruled by Prussian Kings, the Germans, the Czechs, the Habsburg Monarchy, Hungarian emperors, Russian czars and eventually Poland again.
This is very visible in the architecture of Wroclaw – as you can imagine some of the different styles are very much in contrast to each other. Just imagine soviet brutalist style vs. most beautiful baroque buildings.
Once upon a time, the worlds largest ferro-concrete building was the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw. Back then, many people were afraid that it would not survive 15 minutes because of the new technology used. Even workers refused to remove the casing and convinced random people with gold coins to do so.
Now it is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and more than hundred years later still not collapsed – we keep our fingers crossed for many more.
Are you curious for more? Visit Mirko & Ewa’s city blog or follow them on social media to find out about more hidden gems in Wroclaw, the best cafés and restaurants where the locals go, the numerous landmarks and much more.
Of course you will also be able to find a lot of practical information regarding the best time to visit Wroclaw, how to get to Wroclaw and what you should be aware about in terms of Polish culture…