Of all the seasons around, I believe winter is far more tempting and alluring than the others! Winter is pretty, calm, and remarkable in its ways. Thus allowing its admirers the unique opportunity to explore the cold yet comfy nature areas, capture the essence of sleepy night streets, enjoy the warmth of the bonfire, savour warm delicacies and explore nature’s fervent charm. Even though winter gets harsh and checks our resilience, it is the only season capable of turning any given place into a ‘wonderland’.
Winter in Europe precedes its reputation and qualifies as the quintessential season that paints everything to perfection. Be it the charming victorian streets, immaculately designed baroque architecture, leave less yet resilient trees, or the vast unending nature parks and mountains, winter turns everything around into a dreamy escape.
Polish winters are worth a mention, for the greatest nature and architecture diversity around, turns Poland even more tempting during winter. Despite the harsh conditions around, the winter in Poland sends across all the warmth every wanderer seeks. It starts with the perfect Christmas vibes and lasts until the beginning of April. With the entire country getting all pepped up for the festivities, and daylight shrinking with each passing day, it is recommended to plan a trip to Poland/Wroclaw with utmost caution so that you don’t miss the awesomeness. And that’s where my travel trip should come in handy!
Through this blog, I will share with you insider tips to making a great trip to Poland in winter by including Wroclaw in your itinerary. Along with some classic views of the city, I will share some of the top recommendations that you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Poland.
Here’s the best of winter in Wroclaw, the city that I call my profound home!
1. Capture the essence of Tumski Island
Ostrow Tumski is the place to behold the flawless charm of the oldest inhabited part of Wroclaw, dating back to the 10th century. Whether it is the daytime or night, Tumski island with the classic views of the Archcathedral of St. John the Baptist, St. Idzi – the oldest surviving building of Ostrów Tumski, Tumski Bridge, and Archbishop’s Palace, and the Odra river flowing by makes for such a satisfying spectacle.
Protip: If you’re lucky, you might catch the Lamplighter lighting the streetlamps at the sunset hour. It’s a unique sight one of its kind in the world. Read more about the Lamp lighting tradition in Wroclaw here – A Centuries Old Tradition Kept & Practiced On Cathedral Island, Ostrow Tumski In Wroclaw.
2. Stroll the snowy alleys of the Rynek (Market Square)
The Rynek or Main Market Square is joined by some remarkable spots in Wroclaw that are worth a visit. With all the European winter vibes around, you can be a part of the magic. You can start at Galeria Dominikanska, walk the alley leading to Rynek, check out Swidnicka and go around the massive market square that offers you plenty of things to see and explore. For those who are into gastronomy and gourmet tours, mulled wine is a must-not-miss! Some soup and Polish stew for dinner isn’t a bad idea after all.
The Main Market Square draped in a shroud of fine snow and all the contrasting colours around looks as flawless.
If you manage to sneak into the market square starting from the beginning of December until the first 15 days of January, you can also stumble upon a spectacle such as this one with an all-adorned Christmas Tree overlooking the market area.
There are restaurants on either side of the alleys serving amazing breakfast buffet menus. Such warm delight and this spectacle is everything worth your time spent.
3. Walk the alleys of the University of Wroclaw
Of the many alleys emerging from the Market Square, one leads straight to the University of Wroclaw, which also happens to be my alma mater. The excellent views of the river banks, nearby island (Wyspa), an abundance of nice cafes and restaurants make this spot absolutely worth a visit. Moreover, there’s a lookout point at the top of the University main building, and the views from up there are worth killing for.
Moreover, there’s a lookout point at the top of the University main building, and the views from up there are so enchanting. And that’s the entrance door you see in the pic above.
And if you happen to walk up to the next alley, such fancy structures await you. Everything looks so interesting with snow on and around.
4. Submerge yourself in the winter vibes in one of the parks in Wroclaw
a) Stanisław Tołpa’s Park
This is the most beautiful park in Wroclaw (please spare my prejudice here, as this one is located in my neighbourhood), Stanisław Tołpa’s Park is such a joy to behold. The university building overlooking the pretty lake with swans and ducks levitating on the calm waters is everything you’d want for a peaceful walk at dusk hours.
And if you choose to circumnavigate the park there are perfect walking tracks around, a rustic church adorning the other end of the park and the Botanical Garden a few hundred yards away. You wouldn’t like to miss this top attraction in Wroclaw.
b) Szczytnicki Park
Parks in Wroclaw are absolutely a treat to behold! Szczytnicki Park is massive, splashed with seasonal colours year-round. With cherry blossoms in spring and rust-coloured autumn leaves around it’s an ideal spot for a picnic or even a lazy walk in the heart of the city. But, I’d put my money on dreamy winter views of the park.
The postcard bridges, fancy benches, a pretty stream twirling right through the park, topped with snowy landscapes around is such a wholesome sight for any onlooker. The park is a must-visit!
c) Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden along with the Szczytnicki Park make a prolonged stretch of an ideal nature retreat in Wroclaw. The park’s location next to the Centennial Hall makes it more alluring. Quite similar to Szczytnicki Park in many ways, this one is also decked with colours, fancy-looking bridges and some interesting architecture pieces tucked in different corners of the park.
Considerably similar to Szczytnicki Park in many ways, this one is also decked with colours, fancy-looking bridges and some interesting architecture pieces tucked in different corners of the park.
The view of frozen streams in winter, birds playing around, and absolute quietude is so satisfying.
There’s a section of this park that has the theme of Japanese Pagodas. To visit this part you have to pay something around 10 zlotych.
d) Park Południowy or the South Park
A picturesque view, a large pond in its core, a grand statue of Fryderyk Chopin, plenty of plane trees, American tulip trees and cypress trees, and some clearings for relaxation – these are some of the essentials that comprise Park Południowy or the South Park.
Today, Park Południowy is one of the favourite places to unwind for the residents of Krzyki. With an abundance of walking routes, spacious clearings with playgrounds, a special obstacle course, and more space for open-air sports, Park Południowy is worth a mention.
In the park vicinity, there’s a remarkably graceful Agawa restaurant to eat and chill with friends/family. The park also offers a magnificent panorama view in the proximity of the pond or from the gazebo located on the hilltop. With the variety of trees in the park, it’s safe to say that Park Południowy is a haven for botanists.
e) Park Zachodni or the West Park
Let’s say Park Zachodni has the most notable history among all the nature parks in Wroclaw. With all the giant trees and massive stretch of green, Park Zachodni or Western Park located between Kozanów, Popowice and Gądów Mały, is a recommended Wroclaw tourist attraction. While walking the pedestrian paths crisscrossing the park area, you can see many remnants of the dreadful World Wars (WW).
The nearby cemeteries are worth a visit since they have been well-preserved and kept over the decades and is a memorial founded in the memory of the World War victims. The park also has some bunkers from the times of WW. Ideal for a cosy walk on a Sunday, the Park Zachodni must be on your list. Expect a 2-3 degrees temperature drop here compared to the city since this spot is located in a thinly populated region with lush foliage around.
f) Park Grabiszyński
Another of my favourites, Park Grabiszyński is located next to the Grabiszyńska Cmentarz. The best thing about this park is the war memorial located atop an elevated ground with memorial stones of the martyrs who laid down their lives during WWII.
The sunset views from here with Oporów tram station in front will make your trip there so exhilarating.
5. Visit the Centennial Hall & colorful fountain at sunset
A prominent tourist attraction in Wroclaw, and a UNESCO world heritage site, the Centennial Hall is a must-visit location. During Polish winter, the views of snow-swept outdoors, adjoining nature park, and the beautiful fountain make for a perfect treat to the eyes. And if you get lucky with the sunset views, nothing like it.
Though the hall is mostly utilised for big conferences, fairs, and other exhibitions, the area around it is so fascinating that you’ll have to allocate hours to explore this corner of the city quite comprehensively.
6. Take a walk around the National Forum of Music (Narodowe Forum Muzyki) & spot the gnomes
National Forum of Music in Wroclaw or Narodowe Forum Muzyki is another cool spot to visit on a snowy day in the city. With all the open space for skateboarding, and a beautiful boulevard and riverfront next to the National Forum of Music. Besides, there’s also a bunch of gnomes performing concerts located right next to the National Forum of Music. Certainly, they are not difficult to locate. Too many temptations to lure you into a lazy walk here. Moreover, Narodowe Forum Muzyki is barely a few hundred meters far from the Rynek Market Square.
7. Head over to the glorious Wroclaw Glowny, the main railway station
I have seen the main railway station of Wroclaw in all season and no view came even closer to the splendour that winter brought to this place. Wrocław Główny is a prolific piece of architecture and unmistakably one of the most beautiful train stations in the world, and when you visit it, you know why!
8. Capture the essence of sleepy city streets at night or during the day
The city street views here are everything fascinating about Wroclaw. Be it the main road, narrow alleys, or wide streets, Wroclaw is famed for its tasteful exposition of colourful neighbourhoods, intricately carved facades, fascinating lamp-posts, and wide-angle view. The stark contrast between daytime views and that during nighttime makes it such a fascination for every tourist.
Among others, city trams are the most bewitching muse Wroclaw has got! Leave alone commuting, the trams here allow every shutterbug an opportunity to click some of the classic frames around.
Needless to mention, the balcony views even from the cheapest hostel rooms in and around the centre allow you the most Instagram-worthy shots.
As far as I am concerned, even the traffic redlight allows me a chance to halt and capture the unblemished charm of the city streets during Polish winter.
What are your thoughts on this blog? Have you tried capturing the true essence of a city in Poland, or elsewhere? Please feel free to share it in the comments below. Thank you for your attention.
If you want to explore Wroclaw more on a personal level head over to – Best Of 48 Hours In Wroclaw – Venice Of The Eastern Europe