Wroclaw Tourist Attractions, Landmarks, Monuments and Sightseeing
(Wroclaw, Silesia, Poland)
The Rynek is really the very heart of Wroclaw and an especially obvious tourist attraction. This Old Market Square is actually Poland's second-biggest and is surrounded by notable Polish landmarks and leading attractions, which include Wroclaw's beautiful town hall, built over almost a 200-year period, between 1327 and 1504.
Tourists should also allow a day to explore the island of Ostrow Tumski, which is linked to mainland Wroclaw by the Mlynskie and the Piaskowy bridges, and home to the magnificent Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, along with a number of other churches and historic attractions. The Ostrow Tumski is an especially appealing quarter of Wroclaw and a great spot for a romantic evening stroll, when you will notice the historic, working oil lamps, which have lit the streets for many years.
Rynek (Old Market Square) / Town Hall (Ratusz)
Presiding over the Rynek, the structure of the Wroclaw Town Hall itself remains very much as it appeared when it was completed, although the eastern side clearly shows segments from its history, including Gothic and Renaissance features. Many neighbouring restaurants line all sides of the Rynek and often spill out onto the terraces, where diners can sit and enjoy the numerous buskers and street entertainment.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Ostrow Tumski and Piasek Island
Ostrow Tumski is often referred to by tourists as the Cathedral Island and is the largest of a small group of islands situated within the Oder River, in central Wroclaw. Archaeological discoveries confirm that settlements lived here as long ago as the 7th century, with an important bishopric being established here more than 1,000 years ago. Attractions on the Ostrow Tumski include the twin-towered Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, St. Giles Church, and the Church of SS Peter and Paul. Also worth investigating is the Church of St. Mary on the Sand, which is located on the adjacent Piasek Island.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Address: Ulica Katedralna, Wroclaw, Poland, PL
The Wroclaw Cathedral is amongst the city's most famous landmarks and this beautiful Gothic building dominates much of the Ostrow Tumski. Known locally as the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, this structure was the city's very first brick building to be constructed and dates back to the middle of the 13th century, although the original structure was actually built in this very spot more than 900 years ago. Much of the cathedral was rebuilt following considerable damage by the Red Army in the mid-1940s. Look out for the huge pipe organ, which is the biggest of its kind in Poland.
Open hours: daily
Raclawice Panorama / Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice (Panorama Raclawicka)
Address: Plac Panorama Raclawicka, Wroclaw, Poland, PL
A leading attraction in Wroclaw and one to definitely look out for is the Raclawice Panorama, which is actually the city's most visited of all its sights. This cyclorama is housed within a large cylindrical building and close to the Museum of Architecture. The Raclawice Panorama comprises a huge canvas painting of the Battle of Raclawice, which measures some 15 metres / 49 feet high and almost 115 metres / 377 feet long and was painted between 1893 and 1894. Inside, the painting is wrapped completely around the walls and can be viewed from a central balcony.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:30 to 17:00
Admission: charge, concessions, admission includes access to the National Museum
Botanical Gardens (Ogrod Botaniczny)
Address: Ulica Henryka Sienkiewicza 23, Wroclaw, Poland, PL
Tel: +48 71 322 5957
Close to a number of eye-catching Gothic cathedrals and other historical landmarks, the city's Botanical Gardens are around 200 years old and were originally founded by the university of Wroclaw at the beginning of the 19th century. Located on the Ostrow Tumski, the gardens cover around 17 acres / 7 hectares and feature a large collection of plants from all over the world, covering more than 11,000 different plant species. One of the main attractions within the Botanical Gardens is the tropical palm house, which is sure to warm you up if you are visiting during the winter months.
Open hours: daily, April to October - 08:00 to 18:00; November to March - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, concessions
Japanese Gardens (Ogrod Japonski)
Address: Park Szczytnicki, Wroclaw, Poland, PL
An important tourist attraction dating back to the city's 1913 World Exposition, the Wroclaw Japanese Gardens has recently been completely restored with the assistance of the Japanese Embassy and can be found within Szczytnicki Park. Many truly authentic Japanese features are spread around the gardens and its large central lake, including cascading waterfalls, colourful oriental bridges, granite lanterns, maples, bamboo and ornamental gates. The Japanese Gardens are extremely seasonal, being filled with cherry blossoms in the springtime, and dramatic fall colours in the autumn months.
Open hours: April to October, daily - 09:00 to 19:00