Wroclaw is the fourth largest agglomeration in Poland – a dynamic, thriving city with a rich history of over ten centuries.
- Colorful mosaics of culture
Undoubtedly, the turbulent history and development of Wroclaw was influenced by the location of the Lower Silesia region, of which it is the capital. For over a thousand years, the city changed owners several times. Established in the 10th century, a stronghold on the island by the Czech prince Wratislaw, a moment later was conquered by Mieszko the First and incorporated into the Piast state. From the 16th century, the Czechs and Austrians ruled in Wroclaw. In the 18th century, the city came under the rule of Prussia to aspire to one of the most populous and richest cities in Germany shortly before the war. The change of borders after World War II restored Wroclaw to Poland after a seven-century absence, and as a result of compulsory resettlement, the capital of Lower Silesia was settled by repatriates from the East with a dominant group from the south-eastern borderlands, especially the city of Lviv.
Many cultural institutions that previously operated in the pre-war capital of Galicia – Lviv were transferred to Wroclaw. After the war, many people from the central part of Poland and immigrants from France, Greece and the former Yugoslavia arrived in Wroclaw.
Currently, the city is an extremely colorful cultural mosaic both in terms of history, including art, architecture, and inhabitants – descendants of post-war newcomers from all corners of Poland. Thus, the city adopted the term “City of meetings” as its motto.
Wroclaw – city of meetings
Wroclaw is an important academic center with 22 higher education institutions and over 130,000 students. It is also a dynamic business center with an economy focused on modern technologies and innovation. Thanks to its turbulent history, the city of Wroclaw has become an open, creative center for international business and cultural ventures, where international corporations benefit from a young, educated and open society. Currently, it is Wroclaw that boasts the largest number of outsourcing investments in our country.
The city has been recognized as one of the fastest growing cultural centers on the map of Poland and Europe, awarded by the choice for the European Capital of Culture in 2016.
Wroclaw has a well-prepared accommodation base for all types of events.
Currently, there are seven 5 * hotels, seventeen 4 * hotels, thirty one hotels of the 3 * level. There are also many budget hotels: five of 2 * hotels and same number of 1 * hotels.
The highest standard combined with a unique location are offered by: the tasteful, historic 5 star Hotel Monopol located in the 19th century part of the city and the modern, stylish The Bridge hotel located in the oldest, island part of Ostrów Tumski. A similarly high standard in combination with historic interiors can be found in other luxurious, five-star hotels, such as: 5* Platinum Palace Hotel with palace-residential interiors or The Granary – a hotel located in a 16th-century granary in the heart of Wroclaw. Noteworthy are also boutique hotels such as: 5* Grape, which hosts the only hotel wine library in Poland, and the decor is dominated by motifs related to the grapevine. Other interesting boutique hotels include Art. Hotel ****; Gran City **** or AC by Marriott. Well known hotel brands have their headquarters in the city:
- DoubleTree by Hilton ****;
- 2 Best Western **** hotels;
- Mercure ****,
- Radisson Blu ****,
- Scandic ****,
- Novotel ****;
- Ibis Style *** and many more.
A unique place to stay is the aparthotel in Sky Tower (the tallest residential building in Poland, 212 meters high – 51 floors) or the Topacz Castle connected with the Automotive Museum.
Dynamic development, numerous investments, focus on new technologies and openness to projects in the field of culture mean that Wroclaw is the host of many international events, and its magic works not only on tourists, but above all attracts people of business. Wroclaw constantly confirms its potential as a “City of Meetings” thanks to a wide range of interesting places, both those of historical importance and modern facilities.
The wide hotel base offers numerous conference rooms with a capacity from several to several hundred people. For those looking for original meeting places, Wroclaw can offer:
- a gigantic exhibition, congress and conference facility of the Centennial Hall with a capacity of several thousand seats;
- modern spaces at the Stadium, the Castle in Topacz,
- former monastery buildings,
- the Hydropolis science and museum facility,
- the classic rooms of the Ossolineum Library.
An interesting, original meeting place for business and culture is a modern space in a revitalized tenement house from the 19th century. There is a partially glazed terrace with a view of the city skyline on the roof top – a garden on the bank of the Odra river – unique space for conferences and events.
The city is full of classic conference rooms in academic buildings and business centers.
The city hosts many cyclical music events, many of them taking place in the modern halls of the recently established Forum of Music. The building is an example of modern Polish architecture where many fantastic modern acoustic solutions have been used in the interior.
Wroclaw Convention Bureau will be your substantive support for organizing events in Wroclaw.
Local cuisine and restaurants
- Cuisine of different cultures
The ethnic and cultural mix and the city’s turbulent history cane be tasted on the plate.
Wroclaw cuisine is a wide offer of restaurants, from classic ones, where we can try traditional Silesian cuisine in the form of beef roulade and Silesian dumplings, through gastronomic kingdoms with Czech, German or borderland influences, to modern restaurants following the latest trends in Polish and international cuisine.
- Wroclaw “Nouvelle Cuisine”
Many Wroclaw hotels can pride themselves on excellent cuisine:
- the menu with slow food elements in the Monopol and The Bridge hotels deserve special attention;
- a new edition of Wroclaw cuisine, using local products at the Art Hotel,
- innovative dishes in the Granary kitchen.
In recent years, the marina on the Odra river has become a fashionable area, situated opposite the University building, where great restaurants offering international cuisine and inspired by local, seasonal products have found their home. Modern interiors and a great view of the university’s baroque facade will create a great setting for any event.
- On the Beer Route
The city has been famous for its beer production for centuries, so during your stay in Wroclaw it is a must to visit either traditional or modern brewery. A visit to Spiż, which continues the history of brewing in the legendary, Lower Silesian Miedzianka, remains a classic. An interesting meeting place is undoubtedly Browar Mieszczański, artisanal production in Browar Stu Mostów deserves attention, as the building itself is an ideal place to arrange an event.
- Club Nightlife
The nightlife includes numerous bars around St. Antoni St, numerous modern clubs or the atmospheric Casa de la Musica at the Market Square, where Latin music reigns. The Market Square itself remains the city’s main destination, at night, the illuminated facades of old houses create a unique atmosphere to spend the evening in restaurant gardens or numerous clubs.
Wroclaw’s Market Square – the second largest Market Square in Poland, one of the largest in Europe, with numerous tenement houses with beautiful baroque, classicist and modernist facades. In the center, one of the most important monuments in Poland – the Town Hall with a well-preserved facade from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and a clock from the sixteenth century. A place for meetings and cultural events. Every year, at the turn of May and June, the Market Square hosts the St. John’s Fair, and during Christmas it is one of the most beautiful and largest Christmas markets in Poland, reminiscent of the famous German fairs. During the walk between colorful stalls with gingerbread and Christmas decorations, a mandatory is a break for chocolate or mulled wine in collectable cups from Wroclaw.
Ostrów Tumski – the oldest part of the city, located on islands, surrounded by the waters of the Odra river. In the center, there is a Gothic cathedral, numerous churches and baroque monasteries. An extremely atmospheric place where the last regular lighthouse keeper in Europe works, who turns on and off over hundreds of gas lanterns every day at dawn and dusk.
How many of them are there? T
here are disputes, apparently already over 700. It all started with the commemoration of the orange alternative, the student movement of the 1980s. The first dwarfs sat next to the monuments, drawing attention to interesting places in the city. Currently, almost every Wroclaw institution or private company considers owning a dwarf, hence the dwarfs have become a permanent part of the city landscape, and the family of Wroclaw dwarfs is constantly growing and is extremely diverse.
- The Centennial Hall
Erected for the world exhibition in a record time of only two years 1911-1913. At that time, an extremely innovative building and the most powerful reinforced concrete structure in the world. A place associated with sports events and the organization of congresses, exhibitions and all kinds of meetings. In 2006, the Centennial Hall was inscribed on the prestigious UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. Currently, the Centennial Hall is a perfect place for meetings and recreation / entertainment for both city residents and tourists. Surrounded by Szczytnicki Park with the adjacent Japanese Garden, it presents an ideal image of how the past and the present harmonize. In the park, in summer, multimedia performances are organized on the largest dancing fountain in Poland. In the nearby Pavilion of Four Domes there is a Museum of Contemporary Art, which exhibits the collections of Polish artists of the 20th /21st century from the collection of the National Museum.
- Panorama of the Battle of Racławice
The Panorama of the Battle of Racławice is one of the few places in the world where you can admire a relic of the nineteenth-century mass culture, you can say a painterly competition for the cinema that was emerging at that time. The huge painting (15 × 114 m), thanks to the combination of special painting (special perspective) and technical (lighting, artificial terrain, darkened, winding approach), “transfers” the viewer into a different reality and time. The huge painting was created in Lviv, brought to Poland after the war, rolled up in rolls. After World War II the Panorama of the Battle of Racławice came to Wroclaw. For many years it was hidden in storeroom, mainly for political reasons – it shows the victory of Poles against Russians, and back then Poland was under the Soviet Union’s influence but eventually it found a permanent place in a specially built rotunda in Wroclaw in the 1980s. Today it is one of the city’s greatest attractions.
- Hydropolis – Knowledge Center dedicated to water
Wroclaw – known as Polish Venice, a city of five rivers, many canals, 12 islands and over hundreds of bridges, water has inspired the creation of a modern educational place, i.e. the Water Knowledge Center. It is an extremely interesting presentation about water without which life on Earth would not be possible, a unique center of knowledge that combines educational values with a modern exhibition form. It reveals to the visitor the processes in which water is involved – from the functions performed in the human body to the ocean currents that shape the climate on Earth. Hydropolis is an attraction of Wroclaw for people of all ages. The multimedia story about life-giving water is rich and varied. It is impossible to get bored there. It is the perfect place to organize a meeting, conference or cocktail in a very unique scenery. The center also offers an interesting workshops with main focus- water. Finally, the building itself is not accidental. Hydropolis occupies a former clean water reservoir built in 1893 with an area of four thousand square meters.
- ZOO and Africarium
The Wroclaw Zoo is also the largest, oldest and most modern garden of this type in Poland. 10,000 animals live here, representatives of over 1,100 species. In 2018, it was visited by nearly 1.6 million people. Within a few hours we have a chance to get to know rare and original animals from all continents. The biggest attraction is the Africarium – a world-unique oceanarium presenting only species inhabiting the Black Continent – from the Red Sea beach to the Congo jungle. They delight, among others turtles, colorful fish, hippos, rays, sharks, penguins (the largest population in Europe), crocodiles and phenomenal manatees. At the ZOO, you can organize a safari with electric cars or a dinner for special guests in the Africarium tunnel surrounded by sharks and rays.
- The Four Temples District
The Four Denominations District, also known as the Four Temples District and the Mutual Respect District. A unique place on the map of Wroclaw, where Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Evangelicals perfectly coexist through their places of worship, creating a unique multi-faith society. It was this fact that inspired the creation of the “Cultural Paths of the Four Temples”. Activities related to the idea of the cultural path are aimed at rebuilding the religious values cultivated in this district and showing the multiculturalism and openness of today’s Wroclaw.
The district features the city’s famous New Horizons cinema (kino Nowe Horyzonty), a space for many cultural events and festivals. St. Anthony’s Street is a currently a street full of cafes and clubs, a destination worth going for breakfast or an evening drink.
Wroclaw’s Incentive Travel Idea
Wroclaw is known as the meeting point and it offers a wide range of different activities. Undoubtedly, the organizers of events or conferences may surprise the participants with the wide range of attractions and opportunities to spend free time in the city.
- City Water Trial
Wroclaw is called “Polish Venice”. Five rivers flow through the city, and the Oder itself splits in the center of the city, forming numerous islands together with the network of canals. A city of 12 islands and over 100 bridges. It is an opportunity to organize water attractions, such as boat or catamaran cruises on the Odra river, canoeing trips, and regattas. In summer there are coastal and beach bars open where you can play beach volleyball or just sit with colorful cocktails and chill out music.
- Culinary Route
The rich history, regional wine and brewing traditions are the perfect inspiration to organize “around the table” meetings. There are culinary studios and restaurants in the city that offer interesting workshops from making dumplings from the Borderlands to modern cuisine combining various cultural influences. Wine tasting, workshops in the brewery, an evening in the famous pre-war Wroclaw with the possibility of tasting vodka and snacks are just some of the inspirations.
- Dwarves spotting
Adults allowed! Wroclaw dwarfs delight kids and adults. There are maps available in tourist information offices that will help organize an off-road game along the route of the most famous statues. Numerous agencies compete with each other in ideas for using gnomes to organize interesting games or walks around the city.
- Street Art route
A walk or a field game following the trail of Wroclaw murals is one of the most surprising ideas for spending time here. The Nadodrze district is famous for its colorful courtyards, full of fairy-tale characters and paintings inspired by the works of the world’s most famous artists. The beautifully preserved pre-war staircases will also be a surprise to onlookers. In the evening, a must-see will be a walk along Ruska Street towards the surprising neon backyard. A place that surprises not only Poles, but most of all foreigners. The scenery of glowing neon lights will be the perfect beginning of a club evening at Saint Anthony’s St.
- Criminal or film route
Wroclaw, especially the preserved fragments of pre-war quarters in Zaodrze and near the Railway Station, is a perfect scenery for movies. Wroclaw recreated a part 1950s/1960’s Berlin in Steven Spielberg’s Cold War. The pre-war old town was also an inspiration for crime novels. Literary or film trails can become an inspiration to organize an interesting event.