Wroclaw’s Old Town is not only it’s historical centre but also today’s social and cultural centre. Here you will find, not only the city’s most splendid architecture but also its best shops, restaurants, bars, galleries and museums.
The very epicentre and life hub of the Old Town is of course the Main Market Square, or ‘Rynek’. This amazing space was painstakingly reconstructed after WW2 to recall the Baroque splendour of its heyday. Here the good citizens of Wroclaw gather to eat, shop, drink, dance and generally mill about. More than one tourist has never make it past this pleasure spot, such is its allure…
Adjoining the Market Square is the equally beautiful Plac Solny (Salt Market). Many a nobleman built his mansion on this prime spot and today you can admire their colourful facades whilst perusing the picturesque flower market that trades on the square itself.
Also adjoining the Rynek is the towering St. Elizabeth’s Church. Built in the 14th Century the Gothic monster is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and offers splendid vistas from its viewing tower.
Venture a little further off the Square to the West and you will find what was once the city’s Jewish Quarter. The crumbling, but extrememly evocative, White Stork Synagogue is the only evidence of this once vibrant community district and is well worth a visit.
To the North of the Old Town, penned in between the Rynek and the river Odra, is the University Quarter. A small but lively district, this area is – needless to say – dominated by the Wroclaw University building itself. If you fancy soaking up some student vibes head up Kuznicza street where you find plenty of cheap eateries and more than a couple of raucous bars filled with ‘academics’. The University Quarter is also the gateway to many of Wroclaw’s islands.
Once you’ve explored the immediate vicinity of the Market Square be sure to take a ten minute stroll in the direction of the rising sun. After all it’s in this leafy area, dominated by Park Slowackiego, that you’ll find two of Wroclaw’s biggest attractions. The National Museum and Panorama of Raclawica are both must sees and conveniently one ticket gets you into both. Also in the vicinity are the Academy of Fine Arts and the Musem of Architecture. Keep heading East and you’ll leave the Old Town via the famous Most Grunwaldzki and enter the Plac Grunwaldzki.
Before you go though be aware that there are several more attractions in the Old Town well worth checking out. Time permitting be sure to see the Jatki arcade, where you’ll find a number of arts and crafts galleries; the Hala Targowa, a bustling market hall; the Arsenal building, home to two permanent museums and temporary events; St. Mary Magdalene and St. Adalbert’s churches, two magnificent Gothic splendours; and of course Wroclaw’s very own Opera House. In fact we could name many more so hit our culture section if you fancy a full list of attractions… Alternatively just soak up the city’s atmosphere with a leisurely walk by the Old Town’s canals!