Wrocław Backpacking Travel Guide

Information on hostels, transportation, cheap food and drinks, sights to see, activities and more.

Search for Wroclaw hostels at Hostelworld and budget hotels at Agoda.com

About


Wrocław (pronounced VROTS-WAF; also known as Breslau, its German name) is the largest city in western Poland. Wrocław is the historic capital of Silesia and it has changed hands repeatedly over the centuries. Prior to WWII it was the capital of a German province but became Polish territory when, after the War, the Soviets moved the German/Polish border westward and forced the Germans out. Breslau was almost completely destroyed as the Soviets fought their way into Germany. However, since the end of the Communist regime in 1989 it has been wonderfully restored and can now be counted among the highlights of Poland and of all Central Europe.

Hostels


Hostel Wratislavia

A lovely hostel in a gorgeous 19th century townhouse transformed into a true travellers paradise. Located just 10 min walk from the center square and train station. On top of the friendly service, you'll find a relaxed atmosphere throughout the hostel, as well as a bunch of convenient facilities. Breakfast can be provided for 8 zl.

Grampa's Hostel

A hostel run by travellers for travellers providing comfort and quality for a low price. A big kitchen and common room, comfortable beds and helpful staff. Lots of opportunities to socialise over dinner or a few drinks on one of the hostel organised outings.

Sights and Highlights


Free Walking Tour

Jumping onto a free walking tour is always a great first activity in a new city. Freewalkingtour.com operate 7 different walking tours. Their main tour is of the Old Town of Wroclaw and is run twice daily at 10am and 1:30pm. The meeting place is the monument of Aleksander Fredro located here. They also run a historical WW2 related tour. I strongly recommend reading Festung Breslau: The Siege of 1945 for some background information before jumping on that tour.

Wrocław Old Town

Some cities are best explored by aimlessly walking around and admiring the architecture and style of the place. Wrocław is one such place. At the centre of the Wrocław old town is the colourful and idyllic Market Square, or Rynek. This is not only the city’s municipal centre, but also the social and cultural centre of Wrocław. A place of happenings, concerts and performance art, lined with terraced cafes and restaurants.

Proudly square-shouldered in the square's centre stands the Town Hall - a miraculous survivor from the 13th century and the city centre’s defining landmark. Other landmarks of interest include St Elizabeth's Church and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The University of Wroclaw and the area around it is also a fun area to visit with lots of cheap food and bars found around here. All of these locations are included in the free walking tour I have linked above, so make sure to go on that to get your bearings in the city.

Wrocław from above

To Eat


Poland can be a fantastic country to travel through on a budget. Largely because there is so many options for cheap eats and unlike some countries in Europe, your best option is not a döner kebap.

Miś

A polish milk bar where it is possible to grab a soup for 2 zł and a plate of pierogi for 3zł. This means you end up getting a full meal for just over an equivalent of about 1€. Miś is located close to the university and if you arrive during the peak eating hours you will have to line up, but it is worth it. If you need help ordering just ask one of the locals in line for some help, they will likely be a student who speaks good english and would be happy to help.

Karmazyn

Karmazyn is another well-known milk bar. It can be found inside the Hala Targowa market hall. A great option for cheap and fresh food.

Bazylia

Really cheap food and tasty, a huge place, and a lot of options. At Bazylia you buy food by weight which means you can use the opportunity to stock up on high protein and high energy foods to sustain your travels. The cost is 2.79 zł/100g. Check out the menu here. It's in Polish so you will need to translate with google.

For Drinking


There are a lot of fantastic locations to grab a drink in Wroclaw. In recent times of lot of pubs have popped up that are serving fantastic craft beer.

Szynkarnia

Szynkarnia is a strange little joint as it is both an ale house and also a deli counter stocked with fine meats and cheeses. Laid out with separate entrance to operate as both a bar and butchery, in addition to the 14 tasty craft brews on draught, try the 'podpłomyki' - a sort of healthy wrap made on their own bread and filled with the local deli fixings of your choice - delicious! The white-washed timber-fitted space features a cosy basement as well, and the breakfast and lunch specials call for return visits to this completely original and relaxed establishment at all times of day.

4Hops

Laid-back and trendy, 4Hops features sixteen taps with a constant rotation of craft beer, including many quality local. Now they're throwing Tex-Mex food in the mix thanks to a collaboration with Panczo food truck. A great combination.

AleBrowar

As this watering hole's official motto states, "don't say hop until you try". Actually, scratch that - the cool decor and crowds of chipper, well-dressed patrons draw you in as soon as you round the corner, and the great choice of craft beer makes you stay for another... and another.

Mleczarnia

Located in the heart of the Jewish district, Mleczarnia has a unique climate and cozy interior decorated with old furniture and crocheted tablecloth. It is filled with an atmosphere of the times when Wrocław was a mainstay of artists. The pub often organises cultural events, like nights with live music, stand-ups, dance shows, theater plays, swing parties and more.

Transportation


Local

Wroclaw is quite easily navigable by foot. However, if you want to use local public transport you can head to Wroclaw journey planner. For some really useful tips on using the public transport network, head to wroclaw.pl/en/how-to-travel-around-wroclaw.

Krakow

Trains between Wroclaw and Kraków run all day and take about 3 hrs 3omins. Train tickets can be purchased at intercity.pl/en/. Tickets cost just over 10€. The best option however is to take the bus. Polskibus operate all hours of the day and the journey time is 3 hrs 10mins and cost 4€ making it quicker and cheaper than the train.

Poznan

Wroclaw and Poznan are very well connected by train. Most train journeys only take 2hrs 10mins and tickets are about 7€. At that price and speed I wouldn't bother with a bus. Again purchase tickets at intercity.pl/en.

Warsaw

Wroclaw and Warsaw are connected by both trains and busses. Train tickets can be purchased through intercity.pl/en/. If purchased ahead of time you can find tickets for as low as 10€. For the express trains purchased at the last minute the price will be closer to 40€. The fastest train journey is 3.5 hours however one of the slower trains (4.5 hours) are sometimes a lot cheaper.

Wroclaw is also located on the Prague to Warsaw bus route run by Polskibus. Tickets to Warsaw are between 5-10€ and take between 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours. Take the bus if you want to save money. Buses run every few hour throughout the day.

Prague

A direct bus between Wroclaw and Prague can be booked through Polskibus. Ticket prices range from 10€ to 20€ depending on the time of day that the bus departs. Journey time is 4hrs 20mins.

Berlin

With no direct train to Berlin, the best option is to take a bus. Polskibus run about 5 trips a day to Berlin at 20€. Journey time is 4 hrs 20mins.

(Header image Wrocław by Klearchos Kapoutsis under CC BY 2.0)

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