TIPS2GO
12/04

Meet Wroclaw, European Capital of Culture 2016!

Ready to discover the "Venice of the North", with its 12 islands and over 300 dwarves?

The Polish city Wroclaw and the Spanish city San Sebastian have been accepted as the European City of Culture 2016. Wroclaw will become one of Europe's cultural centers till the end of the year, which is a wonderful reason for people who love culture to discover this ancient city, since a great number of festivals, concerts, conferences and other art and culture happenings will be held in Wroclaw. This unique city is spammed by more than 100 bridges since it’s located on 12 little islands. Pack that (Samsonite) suitcase, you’re about to discover the “Venice of the North”!

Seen from the deck of a tour boat, Wroclaw looks like a city on the water, full of magical places waiting to be discovered. Wroclaw is known for its Gothic and Baroque architecture, with one of the most beautiful and largest Market Squares in Poland. The European Capital of Culture title will mean a year full of shows, concerts, conferences, exhibitions, meetings and other cultural events organised into eight disciplines: opera, theatre, visual arts, music, film, performance, literature, and architecture. You can easily get there by plane, since Wroclaw has its own airport located approximately 13 km from the city center. Several international airlines run daily flights to and from the city, including low-cost carriers – make sure you take one of our cabin-size suitcases for maximal efficiency!

Samsonite’s tips & tricks for a trip to Wroclaw:

Transportation:

Wroclaw is served by good bus and tram networks, with night buses on hand for visitors who want to experience the Polish nightlife. Prefer to take the bike? Thanks to a self-service bike-hire scheme with 200 two-wheelers available to pick up and drop off at one of 34 stations around the city, Wroclaw is a breeze to get around by bike too. Get movin’!

Not to miss:

Wroclaw is one of the oldest cities in Europe, which means there are tons of historical sights to discover. Don’t miss the main square (or Market Square), home to the breathtaking Gothic town hall. Inside you can also find the City Museum and the Piwnica Swidnicka -- the city's most famous beer cellar, serving a beer of the same name.

River cruising:

Wroclaw is built on the banks of the river Oder, which rises in the Czech Republic and flows through Poland. With over a hundred bridges and footbridges crossing the river, its islands and canals, Wroclaw is often dubbed the "city of a hundred bridges." The most famous of these is the Grunwaldzki Bridge, which is registered as one of Poland's national historical monuments. If you want to enjoy a trip on the water, you can choose between laid-back river cruises, gondola trips or even a kayak!

Go local with lunch in a bar mleczny

Literally a "milk bar," a bar mleczny is a traditional canteen-style eatery. Very popular in communist times, these bars serve cheap yet nourishing food at rock-bottom prices. They're a big hit among students too. For visitors, a "milk bar" is a great way to try Polish food at a very low price.

Wroclaw dwarf hunt

The city of Wroclaw is home to some 300 bronze dwarf figurines that commemorate the Orange Alternative, Poland's anti-communist movement. Visitors like to spot as many of these pint-sized statues as they can while discovering the city. No one knows the exact number of dwarf statues in the city and new dwarves can pop up unannounced. Guided tours plus a special dwarf-tracking booklet and map are available to help hunt down popular dwarves.

Cathedral Island

The oldest part of the city, formerly an island between branches of the Oder River.

This place is not only extremely romantic and beautiful at night, when the entire thing is lit, the island is a feast for the eyes. The street lighting is not electrical and therefore lit by hand. When you come at sundown you can even meet the man who does just that every night!

 

Want more? The best overall online travel guide is probably this one: http://www.local-life.com/wroclaw