Wroclaw is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland – in summer and in winter. The snow-covered parks, the cosy little streets with their many culinary temptations and the large number of exciting museums are just waiting to be explored and marvelled at. Wroclaw definitely inspires at any time of year. With so many reasons to study in Wroclaw, it’s no wonder that more and more students are making the pilgrimage to the European Capital of Culture. Some only stay for the duration of a semester abroad. Others even complete their entire studies in Poland and spend the winter months here. We provide you with a variety of tips for the cold days.
While you will find the perfect conditions for your studies in Wroclaw in the student residence MILESTONE Wroclaw Olbin, we have summarised the best ideas for the winter season for you here. No matter whether you want to do some sports or take it easy: In Wroclaw, there are plenty of leisure activities that are suitable for the cold season. So everyone gets their money’s worth.
One thing is for sure: even if you’re not a fan of snow and sub-zero temperatures, sooner or later you’ll be drawn outside in Wroclaw. The reason: it’s just so romantic and relaxing to walk through the snow-covered winter landscape. In winter, the city’s largest park, Szczytnicki Park, is often surrounded by a thick blanket of snow. This makes it all the more worth seeing. A visit to the Japanese Garden is especially recommended. The frozen streams, the many small bridges and the Asian buildings make it almost as if you were entering a new world in winter or travelling to Japan.
Experience snow in a different way – this is guaranteed with tobogganing. But don’t worry. Sledding is great fun not only for families. In Wroclaw there are various natural hills and man-made elevations that are ideal for tobogganing in winter. These include the so-called Hardenberg Hill (Wzgórze Gajowickie) and the popular toboggan run in Grabiszyński Park. Both are located in the south of the city. In the northern part of Wrocław, you can also put your driving and manoeuvring skills to the test at Słowiański Park.
If you think that the zoological garden is just an activity for the summer, you’re sorely mistaken. Wroclaw Zoo, including the Afrycarium, the largest aquarium in Poland, is also open in the winter months. Even on grey or wet days you can admire over 12,000 animals and learn about their way of life. If you want to delve deeper into the world of the animals that live here, take one of the many guided tours.
Visiting an exhibition is a classic bad-weather activity and therefore extremely popular in winter. However, the range of museums in Wroclaw is so wide that you shouldn’t wait for the cold, dark days. There are more than 100 museums to choose from. From art and culture to history and natural sciences, Wroclaw has just about everything that could arouse your interest. How about the Museum of Illusions (Muzeum Iluzji) in the Old Town or the Museum of Games and Computers (Muzeum Gier)? If you prefer a more classical approach, you can also visit the Museum of Art (Muzeum Wspólczesne) or the Museum of Natural History (Muzeum Przyrodnicze).
The Kolejkowo Miniature World is a highlight not only for children when it’s snowing or raining outside. In Poland’s largest railway model exhibition, the sun regularly rises and sets every 9 minutes, offering different scenes that will make you smile. On no less than 900 square metres, you can admire not only the many model railways, but also famous buildings in Wroclaw and scenes from all over Lower Silesia.
Here’s a sporting tip for you: pack your skates and head to the Hala Orbit ice rink. While you’re more likely to enjoy the sun in the open-air pool in summer, the sports centre welcomes its guests on the ice rink in winter. Ice skating is a popular national sport in Poland. If you don’t have your own skates or helmet, you can rent them at Hala Orbit and then skate your laps. If you still feel unsure on the ice or want to improve your technique, you can take part in a group training session at the sports centre. Alternatively, you can even book individual lessons with a private trainer.
The many water channels, narrow bridges and small alleys define the cityscape of Wroclaw. After all, the city is not called the Venice of Poland for nothing. There are numerous opportunities for short walks and extensive explorations. On your way you can admire different churches, count the famous dwarfs of Wroclaw or let your gaze wander over the Oder. But a special spectacle awaits you on the Cathedral Island, which is especially recommended in winter.
Cathedral Island is an absolute must on your Wroclaw bucket list and one of the most important sights in our Wroclaw Student City Guide for a reason. The charm of this ancient part of the city, which dates back to the 10th century, attracts people from all kinds of countries. Add to that a unique experience as if from another time. What you usually only see in medieval films is still a special attraction in Wroclaw that you can marvel at live: the lantern lighters on Cathedral Island, who light up one gas lantern after another day after day, casting the streets in a particularly romantic light. In winter, this image is even more picturesque and should not be missed.
Christmas is one of the most important festivals of the year in Poland and is celebrated in a big way. So what would winter in Wroclaw be without a grand Christmas market, delicious mulled wine and Polish delicacies. The Christmas market on the Rynek is said to be one of the most beautiful in the country, if not in all of Europe. It is a real attraction and one of the main reasons why people like to visit Wroclaw at the turn of the year. During the week, the Christmas market is less crowded and therefore ideal for you. Since the Christmas market opens in mid-November, you’ll have plenty of time to get into the Christmas spirit with a cup of mulled wine.
Even away from the famous Christmas market, you can really enjoy yourself in the many pubs, restaurants and cafés in Wroclaw during the cold season. After a winter walk in Szczytnicki Park, treat yourself to a home-roasted and freshly brewed coffee at Mala Czarna or a hearty Polish stew in one of the rustic pubs around the market square. If you prefer a lighter meal, there are plenty of places in Wroclaw where you can eat vegetarian or vegan food, despite the meat-heavy Polish cuisine. But no matter which cuisine you prefer: a well-filled stomach is always the best starting point for an extensive pub crawl into the small hours. And winter in Wroclaw is the perfect season for that.
The market hall is the place to go in Wroclaw if you want to buy especially fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition to the appetisingly displayed food, you’ll find many other things here, such as flowers or handicrafts. But even the building itself is a sight in itself and worth a visit on grey winter days. Let the colourful hustle and bustle of the market enliven you and stop at one of the restaurants after your shopping. Here you can find good food at student-friendly prices.
Even if you are not a fan of snow and cold, the magic of Wroclaw is guaranteed to captivate you with these tips. Winter will be over before you know it. And when the days get warmer again, you should make a note of all the possible day trips from Wroclaw and put them on your to-do list. Have fun exploring and enjoying your adventure in Poland!
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Your MILESTONE Team