Wandering in Wroclaw

Traveling. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller – Ibn Tattuta

Wroclaw is special to me. I can’t say why – it just is. Perhaps because it’s always the jumping off point for seeing family. Perhaps its because I know parents loved it (much like Heidelberg). Others pass through it, without noting as more of a blip on a radar – passing through on plane, train or automobile. It’s easy to overlook Wroclaw, but it’d be a mistake to do so. It offers culture, cuisine and that metropolitan feel without the hubbub and tourist traps of Krakow.

Airport:

I recall the days when Wroclaw airport was VERY provincial. Okay, there weren’t chickens in baskets (it wasn’t Moscow), but lets just say it was quaint. Flash forward – it’s a very respectable (albeit small) airport with easy connections to Dublin, among other European locales.

Where we stayed:

Friends Apartments – Wroclaw

Back when the world was new and I was 20, I stayed in hostels. While I have no scarring memories of those establishments, I’ve come to a point of maturity and wallet where (personally) I feel I have progressed beyond the hostel – at least in terms of maturity, if nothing else. These are apartments that are run by a hostel – NOVEL concept, I know. Bear with me, they are awesome and incredibly reasonable. For $70 a night, you can have yourself a lovely little boutique 1 bedroom apartment on Wroclaw’s main square (or a street back if you’re no longer 20). They’re up on all the technology, and will book your airport transfer -the only downside – you need to pick up the key from the hostel proper.

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Where we ate:

Bierhalle

Rynek 24, 50-101 Wrocław, Poland

Wroclaw has a very respectable beer reputation – once upon a time, it was – after all, briefly – a part of Germany. This excellent micro brewery offers some choice brews at low costs and some very nommy munchies (namely the sausages we sampled). Worth a stop.

 

JaDka

ul. 25, Rzeźnicza 24, 50-132 Wrocław, Poland

I was very excited to try this restaurant but will be the first to admit that it lacked the panache to compete with other Polish restaurants I’ve tried. The decor was amazing – a fun take on the traditional – and the wine fabulous. But the food lacked edge – between my zurek (which lacked hardboiled egg or kielbasa) or Steve’s boar, we left wanting more. Their smalec, however, was to DIE for. You haven’t quite gone native in Poland until you smother a hunk of bread in lard. True story.

 

Piwnica Swidnicka

Ratusz 1, Wrocław, Poland

Nestled beneath the town hall is this very charming little brewery. I won’t go so far as to say it caters to tourists, but it offers a solid meal for the typically reasonable Wroclaw prices. I had their wild mushroom soup with sour cream (there are no words for that kind of joy) and Steve sated himself on rabbit. Side note –  the bear playing the bag pipes statue was obviously a bonus.

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Spiz

Ratusz 2, 50-106 Wrocław, Poland

We stopped by their beer garden and were not disappointed. Note – you need to order from the outdoor kiosk for all outdoor orders, which can cause some confusion.

What we did:

Honestly, there was quite a lot of random wandering and shopping. Wroclaw is close to Boleslawiec (famed for its pottery) and so those shops were a must.

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