Its name might be a bit of a mouthful (for the record, it’s pronounced “VROTS-waff”), but Poland’s fourth largest city, Wroclaw is a photographer’s dream. Instagram at the ready for these 7 unmissable shots…
Wroclaw’s old town is jam-packed with easy on the eye historical sights, but the Rynek (Market Square) is where you’ll find the city’s star attraction, the gothic style Town Hall. Dating back to the late 15th century, it’s a beautiful, birthday cake of a building, crowned with candle-like spires and a fully functioning astronomical clock. No filter necessary.
The city’s tiniest inhabitants first appeared on the streets of Wroclaw in 2001 as part of the Orange Alternative anti-communist movement. Since then, their numbers have swelled to hundreds of figurines, in all shapes and sizes. They’re now one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, with tours and games dedicated to finding them all. Guided tours plus a special dwarf-tracking booklet and map are available to help hunt down the most popular statues. Catch them if you can.
Recent outdoor installations created as part of the European Capital of Culture programme have seen Wroclaw cement its status as Poland’s street art capital. For some of the best examples in the city, check out this downloadable map of all major street murals in the city produced by Wroclaw’s institute of street art, the BWA gallery.
Ostrów Tumski, also known as Cathedral Island is one of the most romantic destinations in the city, especially after dark when it flickers in the gentle glow of its gas lanterns. The first gas lantern was lit in Wrocław in 1846 and gas streetlamps were the main source of lighting right up until the 1960s when they were replaced by electricity. To the delight of Instagrammers everywhere, the gas lanterns on Ostrów Tumski survived modernisation and the unique tradition of lamp lighting lives on to this day. Time your visit at sundown and you’ll capture the lamplighter in his distinctive cloak and top hat lighting the 103 gas lamps in the district. Pure magic.
Climb the 300 or so steps of Saint Elizabeth’s church tower to fully appreciate the city’s beautiful mish-mash of colourful architecture from above. Claustrophobics beware, it’s a steep and narrow ascent to the top but once you get there, the rewards are more than worth the effort.
An all-singing, all-dancing fountain that shoots lasers and spews fireworks – what’s not to love? Wroclaw Fountain puts on free shows from May until the end of October, with performances varying in length from 3 minutes to almost 20 minutes. Capture the best shots after dark when the spectacular light show gets underway.
Gramophones, mismatched coffee mugs, faded photos and stacks of vinyl records provide all the necessary aesthetics for Instagram but it’s the excellent selection of beers, wine and luscious slices of chocolate cake that will convince you to stay a while longer.
Just back from Wroclaw? Tag your photos #ryanairstories for a chance to appear on Ryanair’s Instagram page.
Flights to Wroclaw
- Fiona Hilliard