Wroclaw – the Venice of Poland
The well over 290 square kilometer city of Wroclaw in the south-west of the country is the fourth largest city in Poland after Warsaw, Krakow and Lodz. 635,000 people live in the five city districts. The special thing about the big city in Lower Silesia is its location on four tributaries of the Oder, namely the Olawa, Sleza, Widawa and Bystrzyca. The urban area is spread over a total of a dozen islands through which these rivers flow. Several hundred footbridges and bridges are spread across Wroclaw. This is the reason why the city is often referred to as the “Venice of Poland” among tourists. As an independent city, Wroclaw is also the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship and the historic Silesian region.
Old town, Breslauer Ring, churches and museums
Apart from the fact that Wroclaw was named European Capital of Culture in 2016 by the European Union, there has always been a lot to see, learn and visit here. A castle complex was built on today’s cathedral island as early as the 6th century AD. The region of Silesia with today’s Wroclaw has always been a much contested area and in demand with rulers. Literally many battles were fought here under Bohemian or Hungarian rule. One of the city’s landmarks is the Wroclaw Cathedral, the cathedral of St. John the Baptist with two 98-meter-high towers. The cathedral and sand islands are connected to each other via the cathedral bridge, and the sand island with the old town of Wroclaw via the sand bridge.
At more than 50 meters, the cathedral bridge from the 1890s is one of the longer bridges in the city. Exploring Wroclaw and its sights is next to impossible without several hours of walking through the city districts of the old town and city center. Visiting the National Museum of Fine Arts is a must. Also on the cathedral island is the Botanical Garden of the University of Wroclaw as a recreational destination for the locals. Tourists and study travelers literally feel at home in the old town. The infrastructure with hotels and restaurants is absolutely unique, as is the atmosphere and ambience at every time of the day and year.
Trams and buses for public transport
The tourist can, but does not have to, use a rental car to get to all the sights in the city by a short distance. Eight dozen tram and bus lines connect all city districts with each other with a tight schedule around the clock. Wroclaw Central Station is directly connected to cities such as Warsaw, Poznan and Lodz, Dresden, Prague and Kiev. And the journey by plane ends at the Wroclaw Nicolaus Copernicus Airport, about 10 kilometers from the old town.
It is not for nothing that the European Union chose Wroclaw as its cultural capital. The city offers a lot of things to see and experience for every area of interest. The 2016 European Film Prize will be awarded by the EFA, the European Film Academy, here in Wroclaw in December. The event is known as the “European Oscar” and is certainly the icing on the cake for Wroclaw as a real European metropolis.