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Day 1. Wrocław, Poland – a city break

Poland has become one of my most visited countries, I enjoy spending time there so much.  After selecting Poznan for a festive break last year, this time we decided to head to Poland’s fourth largest city Wrocław.  It’s located on the Oder River in the Lower Silesian region of the south west of the country.  Wroclaw is pronounced ‘vrot·swaaf’ which is quite different to how it appears so it’s a good start to get the name right.

Wroclaw, Nicolaus Copernicus Airport

We travelled from Leeds/Bradford airport with Ryanair over to Wrocław’s Nicolaus Copernicus Airport taking approximately two hours.  The airport is modern and well organised and within fifteen minutes our passports had been checked and we had collected our luggage from the baggage carousel.

Ibis Styles Wroclaw Centrum
Ibis Styles Wroclaw Centrum

Getting into the city centre by public transport is both simple and inexpensive.  Bus 106 leaves from outside the arrivals hall every 20 minutes.  Single tickets cost 4.6zl (86p) and are available from a machine at the bus stop, cards accepted.  We opted for 7 day tickets allowing unlimited travel on buses and trams which cost 54zl (£10.20) each, tickets need to be validated on first usage.  All passengers aged 66+ are entitled to free travel, irrespective of their nationality but must carry valid ID with them in case of inspection.  The bus terminated close to the main railway station taking around 40 minutes.  From there it was only a five minute walk to our hotel, the Ibis Styles Wrocław Centrum.

Hotel Ibis Styles, Wroclaw
Our room at the Ibis Styles

It was approaching 3.00 p.m. by the time we arrived so we were able to check in straightaway.  This large, modern hotel has an Alice in Wonderland theme both in the public areas and guest rooms.  Our room on the second floor was stylishly furnished with a colourful painting of Alice engrossed in a book.  Other fairytale details included desks with key shaped legs and chairs in hallways designed like giant teacups.

View from Ibis Styles Wroclaw room over railway station
The view from our room overlooking the railway station

Our room was spacious having two comfortable armchairs by the full height windows, a comfortable bed, wall mounted television and a good sized bathroom.  Rooms do not have hospitality trays but as complimentary hot drinks are available in the lobby this wasn’t a problem.

 Kolejkowo, Miniature World, Wroclaw
The entrance in Sky Tower to Kolejkowo

After quickly settling in, we put our transport cards to good use by taking a tram along to the Sky Tower so that we could visit Kolejkowo, a wonderful world in miniature.  After adoring my visit to Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, a couple of months earlier I was eager to see this one too.  Standard tickets 32zl (£6.05).

The Old Town Hall, Kolejkowo, Wroclaw
The Old Town Hall in miniature at Kolejkowo

For the next 90 minutes we were transported into an enchanting world in miniature featuring models not only of Wrocław but also of the wider Silesia region.  The attention to detail of the miniature inhabitants is superb and we were able to observe these tiny characters going about their everyday lives.

The old town hall, Wroclaw transformed at night at Kolejkowo, Wroclaw
The old town hall, Wroclaw transformed to a night time view

The layouts include 3437 people and animals and 27 trains pulling 118 wagons through 1 km of track.  Every 15 minutes the landscape gradually changes from day to night when twinkling lights can be seen from tiny apartment windows and street lamps turn on.

Gingerbread Town, Kolejkowo, Wrocław
Gingerbread Town at Kolejkowo

An absolute delight that we’d not encountered elsewhere was the Gingerbread Town (23 November 2022 until 23 February 2023).  An entire gingerbread town has been created from over 1.5 tons of spicy dough, 140kg of honey and 40kg of spices.  The town has been covered in a dusting of snow made from eggs, lemons and sugar.  It comes complete with a miniature Christmas market and festive music bringing out the child in all of us.

Restaurant Polka, Wroclaw
Restaurant Polka

On leaving there we wandered over to the main square and enjoyed a meal in Polka Restaurant, housed in a former tenement house and specialising in traditional Polish cuisine.  The restaurant combined an elegant interior with a cosy atmosphere and my whole baked trout tasted both flavoursome and fresh.

Dinner at Restaurant Polka, Wroclaw
Dinner at Restaurant Polka, Wroclaw

After dinner we explored the Christmas market which is one of the most beautiful in Europe, boasting an idyllic setting in and around the market square (Rynek).

Wroclaw Christmas Market
Wroclaw Christmas Market

Wandering the wooden stalls it felt as though we had been transported into a fairytale and we concluded our first evening in Wrocław sitting in one of the wooden cabins with mugs of mulled wine and hot chocolate.  Wrocław festive mugs are designed in the shape of a boot and a popular souvenir to take home at only 20zl (£3.78).

Hot chocolate and mulled wine at Wroclaw Christmas Market
Drinks served in festive boots at Wroclaw Christmas Market

Wrapped up warmly it didn’t feel any colder than December back in the U.K. and after catching a tram back to our hotel we were soon tucked up in bed after a lovely first day exploring Wrocław.

If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also like:

Poznan – a winter city break

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