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Wroclaw is the largest city and capital of Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. Wrocław is also the historic capital of Silesia and is among one of the republic's major manufacturing, banking, industrial, tourist and cultural centers. The city is also known for its high quality of life.
Wroclaw is historically divided into five boroughs. Most of the city's main tourist attractions are located directly in the center, though several major points of interest can be found further afield.
Old Town (Stare Miasto) (Market Square, Town Hall, Salt Square, St. Elizabeth's Church, St. Mary Magdalena's Church, Racławicka Panorama, National Museum in Wroclaw, Museum of Architecture.)
The commercial and tourist heart of the city, the highly picturesque Old Town (Stare Miasto) offers an array of attractions and cultural events, making it easily the central focal point for any visit to Wroclaw.
Midtown (Cathedral Island, Tumski Bridge, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Botanical Garden, Słodowa Island, Centennial Hall, Wrocław Fountain, Szczytnicki Park, Japanese Garden, Wrocław Zoo.)
The main feature of the Downtown borough is Cathedral Island, a collection of picturesque islands making up the ancient core of the city. Away from its cobblestone streets and parks are grand boulevards, stately apartments and mansions, and an array of sites.
Wroclaw is served by Wroclaw–Copernicus Airport (WRO) a small yet modern airport, located west of the city center in the Fabryczna borough near the A8 motorway. Airlines flying into the city include Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Poland's national carrier LOT. Additional low cost airlines servicing the city include Germanwings, Ryanair and Wizz Air.
Wroclaw Główny, sometimes called Dworzec PKP on street signs, is the city's main train station and serves as a major transit point for the Polish rail network, with many daily trains departing and arriving from all of the major cities in the country.
Due to Poland's complex transportation network, arriving by bus is a fairly common and popular alternative to train travel. Wroclaw's main bus station, Dworzec Centralny PKS, is located directly behind Wrocław Główny train station.
Wroclaw is a very pedestrian and bicycle-friendly city, helped in part by its street grid pattern and marked bike lanes. The center, clustered mostly around the Old Town and Downtown, is completely navigable by foot. However, attractions located in the further reaches of Downtown and Krzyki are perhaps best accessed by public transport, which is a speedy and highly reliable option.
What to see
The city's main attractions are confined to three major boroughs in the city, all which are accessible by foot, though good walking shoes and perhaps a tram ticket are necessary to take everything in.
Market Square. The architectural centre-point of the city and its most obvious attraction, Market Square is one of the biggest city squares in Europe, lined on all sides with jaw-dropping, photogenic buildings.
Town Hall, ul. Sukiennice 14 (in the middle of Market Square). A symbol of the city and Lower Silesia, the Gothic Town Hall dates back to the end of the 13th century, and steadily expanded over time.
Salt Square. A square dating from the Middle Ages directly adjoining Market Square, the Salt Square is home to a large flower market, and is flanked on all sides by a number of cafes, bars, and restaurants.
University of Wrocław. A Baroque architectural gem, the University of Wrocław's main faculty building was built between 1728 to 1739 on the banks of the Oder, and today dominates the Old Town's riverside.
Market Hall, ul. Piaskowa 15. Dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, this large hall houses some of the best selections of local foods in the city, with merchants selling everything from funeral bouquets, fresh strawberries, to pierogi.
John and Margaret Houses, ul. Świętego Mikołaja 1. Also translated as the Hansel and Gretel Houses, the John and Margaret buildings.
Royal Palace, ul. Kazimierza Wielkiego 35. Located in the southern part of the Old Town, this large Baroque palace was completed in 1717 during the city's Austrian period, though it gained prominence after Silesia's annexation by Prussia in 1750, when it became one of the official residences of King Frederick the Great.
What to do
As a provincial capital and one of the largest cities in the country, Wrocław has an abundance of cultural events to see and experience year round, helped in part by the city's large youth population and its magnetic pull to artists. Events ranging from the classical arts to the cutting edge can be easily found. In addition, Wrocław is blessed by a number of comfortable and scenic parks.
Wrocław Opera - the city's premier opera.
Wrocław Philharmonic - the city's municipal orchestra, playing symphonic, choral, early music, jazz, popular music.
Polish Theatre in Wrocław - one of the main theatres for productions, with several held in English.
Wrocław Contemporary Threatre - performing arts threatre for contemporary productions.
Capitol Theatre - threatre for musical productions.