Odra – part of Wroclaw culture

About Odra

To try and imagine Wroclaw without the Odra is tantamount to thinking of Giza without its pyramids. The city is defined by this great sprawling river with its numerous tributaries and canals, as well as by the 12 islands and over 120 bridges that cross it – all of which bring so much life, character and charm to the Lower Silesian capital. With so many waterways and spans it is little wonder that Wroclaw has been dubbed as the ‘Venice of Poland’ – although new visitors to the city can take this with a pinch of salt and leave their canoes at home. River Odra – part of Wroclaw culture.

The Odra was known to the Romans as Viadrus or Viadua, and was first referred to as the Odera around 990, when it was documented as the western boundary of early Poland under duke Mieszko I. Over the centuries the river gained more and more importance to Wroclaw, both as part of the trading routes that linked Russia, Germany and Bavaria together (and as such made Polish merchants very wealthy!), and also as a source of life and energy.

Today Wroclaw has two ports on the Odra and the river continues to play a part in its burgeoning trade economy, forming one of the city’s many great transport links.

The Odra is the second longest river in Poland, after the Vistula, covering 742km in Poland and 112km in the Czech Republic, from where it originates in the Oder Mountains. As it nears the Baltic Sea 187km of its length defines the modern day Polish-German border.

Jazz on the Odra

Jazz on the Odra, one of the oldest jazz festivals in Poland.

The Jazz Personality Contest is an inseparable part of the festival, and one of its hallmarks. The oldest and the most prestigious jazz competition in Poland is open for instrumentalists and singers, who at the time of the festival are 35 or younger. The 2018 Grand Prix – Jazz Personality laureate will receive a prize of 25 000 PLN sponsored by the Mayor of Wrocław; the Jury will also distinguish the best soloist, band and composer. From the very first years of the contest’s existence, it featured great musicians and stars of Polish jazz, including Włodzimierz Nahorny, Zbigniew Seifert, Ewa Bem, Krzesimir Dębski, Janusz Strobel, Henryk Miśkiewicz, Tomasz Szukalski and Andrzej Zaucha. Last year, the Grand Prix was won by Adam Jarzmik Quintet.

More and more Wroclaw’s citizens run and you cannot miss it

More and more Wroclaw’s citizens run and you cannot miss it

Nowadays many people want to take care of their health and condition properly. However, it is not as easy as it may seem. It’s hard to change your lifestyle to a healthier and better one, but the easiest way to begin is to start jogging.

Running is the easiest, most natural form of activity, which can positively affect our health. It gives the quickest results and what’s important it doesn’t cost much. Thanks to jogging you will reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases, lose weight, shape your figure, but also improve the intelligence and the look of your skin.

People who run regularly, less often get sick, are less likely to succumb to colds and infections, but if they do, they process them mildly, especially when they run outside in the fresh air, regardless of the weather. Regular running immunizes the body, tempers it and increases tolerance to rapid changes in atmospheric pressure. Thanks to this, the susceptibility to depression and malaise, caused by changes in the weather, is reduced. Running slows down aging processes and enables you to gain a youthful figure and efficiency. As shown by numerous tests, jogging since young age ,makes our bodies biologically younger than our peers’ who don’t make any sport, by 10-17 years, because biological age does not always coincide with a metric one.

People who start their running adventure can be divided into three groups.
1. People who want to lose weight and improve their physical condition.
2. People for whom jogging becomes a lifestyle.
3. Third group consists of people who have sports ambitions and a desire to compete in street running

What gives regular running?
1. Increases endurance
2. Oxygen the brain
3. Teaches time management
4. It makes pattern to follow
5. Provide a premium in the form of a extended life
6. Counteracts depression

Where can you run in Wroclaw?
• West Park – section about 1900m, most of the gravel route
• East Park – 2900m of a picturesque gravel road with sections over the Oława river
• Kleciński Park – a loop about 1500 m long with paved alleys, a few gentle runs and fugitives,
• Grabiszyński Park – a marked gravel road with a length of 5320m. Sheltered mostly with trees that protect from sun and wind.
• Running route between the Jagielloński bridges and the Swojczycki bridge is 5900m long. The route is covered with gravel, therefore it is suitable for both recreational and professional running. Each kilometer is marked.

Take the challenge, start running

Wroclaw inhabitants rest active, there are many smaller and larger events for runners. (Many of them are also charitable.)



Free walking tour – no boring tour guides

 

The idea of Free Walking Tour  has been around for a while, but started to be more popular nowadays. It’s a relatively new way to discover Wroclaw compared to the traditional tour concept.

A Misconception about Free Walking Tours

The word ‘free’ has obvious appeal to budget-conscious travellers but it’s also a word that can ring alarm bells.

Here’s a piece of advice from an experienced tour guide who did many FREE tours: A good FREE walking TOUR is interesting and useful even for locals, because a good FREE walking TOUR guide spends a lot time exploring the city, he knows hidden spots and places to show and speak about, so a tour will be surprising both for visitors and travelers and locals as well.

Plus there is nothing to lose apart from the calories you’ll burn with walking. FREE walking TOURs can`t be boring because their based only on donations!

Free walking tour available in several languages: English, German and Polish. There are also paid tours: CRAFT BEERS OF WROCLAW, FOODS OF WROCLAW – PRIVATE TOUR, CENTENNIAL HALL PRIVATE TOUR, OLD JEWISH CEMETERY PRIVATE TOUR, STREET ART TOUR.

How does Free walking Tour work?

Check our official site, where you can find the schedule of the tours.

For Example,

OLD TOWN WROCLAW

Sep-6th Jan: every day at 10.00 AM & 1 .30 PM
7thJan – Mar: the schedule will be available soon
Cancellations: 24th – 26th December, 1st of January tour at 10.00 am (join us at 1.30 pm)

Duration: about 2,5 hours

ISLANDS & BRIDGES OF WROCŁAW

Oct – 6th Jan: every Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat at 4:30 PM
7th Jan- May: the schedule will be available soon
Cancellations: 31st December tour is cancelled

Duration: about 2 hours

MEETING POINT

It will be guide with yellow umbrella in the Market Square close to Aleksander Fredro’s statue.

ATTENTION!
You don’t need to book a tour in advance –
JUST SHOW UP AND ENJOY.

Zero waste because ecology is the most important thing

Almost 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic floats in oceanic waters, which corresponds to 80,000 tons. The area filled with rubbish is three times larger than France. These terrifying data make us think about the ecology and direction in which humanity is heading. They also ensure that people who choose to live in the spirit of zero waste philosophy should be treated with genuine respect.

Zero waste is a lifestyle according to which a person tries to generate as little waste as possible, thus not polluting the environment.

There are five main rules  that apply in zero waste:

–    Refuse -do not agree to unnecessary pollution, refuse advertising leaflets, disposable packaging, as well as all products produced to the detriment of the environment, generating waste and pollution.

–    Reduce – reduce the number of objects, lead a possibly minimalist life, surround yourself only with what you actually use and what you need to live.

–    Reuse – do not use disposable solutions. Use reusable packaging, thermos, dishes and even hygienic items. Use again what is already trash at first glance

–    Recycle – make sure unnecessary things have been converted into something useful. Sort rubbish  and get to the appropriate points, process what you can even at home

–    Rot – compost organic waste, obtaining energy or natural fertilizer. Use what, when worn out, can hit the compost.

Followers of the zero-waste philosophy are a big challenge for marketing, however, it offers many interesting possibilities that would certainly benefit ecology. One such proposal could be food from edible or dissolving packs.  Another idea is to create a zero waste network where products would be sold without packaging or in reusable packaging. In addition to grocery stores, you could also create drugstores or clothing stores where the goods would not be packed in plastic bags or containers.

In Wrocław, we still rarely see people who come to the store and pour flour into self-sewn linen pouches. Shops that give this opportunity are also rare. Maybe if people had the opportunity to do this kind of shopping, they would be happy to use it. General environmental awareness is also unsatisfactory although it is slowly moving in a better direction. Some time ago, fees for one-off plastic bags were introduced to reduce their consumption. However, we must remember that the generations of children in the 70’s and 80’s were collecting cans and cigarette packages. In the gray PRL times, everything colorful found its supporters. Today the same people are learning ecology and segregation so the path to zero waste is still very long.

Living in the spirit of zero waste is not easy especially before the right habits are established. It is also becoming difficult to find representatives of such professions as a shoemaker or a tailor who can repair shoes or clothing so that there is no need to buy new ones.  Slowly, however, the return of these forgotten professions can be noticed, in some Polish cities there arise points where you can repair and renew old footwear. However, these services are expensive. And here is probably the biggest problem of the zero waste movement. This lifestyle is unfortunately expensive. It also requires spending a lot of time, especially when there is limited access to stores where you can buy goods without packaging. Of course, you can look for local farmers and millers, but it is time-consuming and expensive for average people.

With great interest, I will follow the development of this movement. I wonder if it will turn out to be only extravagant fashion, or maybe he will have more and more supporters. Certainly, our planet would benefit if people learned to live according to the zero-waste philosophy.

 

Worth to check!

BEZ PUDŁA is the first stationary store in Wroclaw supporting the idea of Zero Waste. They sell natural products mostly from local suppliers and make sure that every product purchased from their serves the natural environment and does not generate waste. They pack in containers that customer brings or in ecological packaging. In their assortment we can find both food by weight, as well as natural cosmetics without packaging and everyday articles that will help you live ecologically. BEZ PUDŁA  promotes a lifestyle aimed at eliminating waste from our everyday life. Supports a circular economy in which all raw materials are re-used and fully biodegradable, affects human, animal and plant health.

Beach bar as a form of spending free time

TRENDY BEACH BAR ALTERNATIVE

First of all there is a  suitable alternative to urbanites tired of the heat of the city may be a beach bar. They are an ideal option for spending time in the open air and will make the residents feel the holiday relaxation. Sun loungers and golden sand create a holiday atmosphere in the middle of a busy city, so if you want to relax with a drink under your palms, Beach bars are just waiting for you! Moreover, they are a good place not only for relaxing during the day, but also for good events and concerts under the stars. This trend have started in many capitols in Europe and now it has accustomed well in Poland as well. We have several places in Wroclaw.

Strandbar Mitte, Beach Bar
A photo of popular place in Berlin – Strandbar Mitte.

HotSpot

Located just next to the Millenium bridge, is the largest city beach in Poland! The beach bar is divided into two parts: recreational and sports. Therefore, in the first one there are deckchairs and umbrellas, and in the other there are volleyball, badminton courts, as well as a zone for children. The beach has less than 14 thousand. sq m of space and has up to 900 seats. An important part of the gastronomic are various types of food trucks. The venue is truly great!

Liquid Form

A delightful beach bar with excellent supplies, just in time for summer heat. It is the Oder’s beach in the heart of the city. The regulars are happy to speak about the place describing it with words such as “chill and jazz”. Moreover, there are different types of deckchairs and hammocks, as well as trees growing around them. Liquid form is the perfect place for lazy afternoons with friends. Cocktails, alcohol, ice cream, waffles, grill and whatever else your heart desires. The beach offers many attractions: a children’s play area, discos, yoga workshops, performances, stand-up evenings, and broadcasts of matches

 

ZaZoo Beach Ba

As the name suggests this beach bar was created at the back of the Zoological Garden. It is a big beach, in the middle of which there is a well-equipped bar. In ZaZoo there is a catering point, where you can eat a freshly baked pizza, in a musical setting located on a small stage. Additionally,  the great advantage of the place is the children’s area. Furthermore, it is not big, but really well decorated. There is a small climbing wall, a tunnel, and a trampoline, which is what the little ones like the most, as well as a writing board. Visitors to the apartment are very diverse, they are both parents with their children, young students, couples, people over 50.

 

 

 

 

 

Bike boom in Wroclaw

bikes in Wroclaw

 Growing number of bikes in Wroclaw

From year to year, more and more cyclists are riding by bikes in Wroclaw. Sports and tourist pellets are also growing inside the city. There are more and more cyclists in our city: from young to old, women and men. People who choose to go to work by bike as well as people who treat it as a hobby. Is Wroclaw (and Poland) slowly becoming a truly cycling city/country? Continue reading “Bike boom in Wroclaw”

Yoga more popular in Wroclaw

yoga in wroclaw

Yoga in Wroclaw – the growing popularity

There is over 40 places where you can practice yoga in Wroclaw. Some of them are typical schools that offer only yoga classes. However yoga in Wroclaw become more popular at gyms and fitness clubs and even dance schools.

It is good to see that many places offer special yoga training for pregnant women. People are more aware of physical education and working out during pregnancy. And many of them use yoga to take care of their body. Continue reading “Yoga more popular in Wroclaw”

9 Cool Things to Do in Wroclaw & Tips to Enjoy This Polish City in 2018

 

Ahmed Tarek

Poland might not be a country that is on everyone’s bucket list, but after a recent visit, I’d say it needs to be! Wroclaw was absolute love at first sight. It’s full of wonderful surprises that instantly made me fall in love! It boasts one of the loveliest squares in Europe, adorablized by a voluminous number of gnomes scattered throughout the city and has some of the most delicious food! Wroclaw is definitely one of the most family-friendly towns in Europe and one of the top destinations to visit in Eastern Europe!

Gnome hunting

This was my favorite thing that we did. We traveled all over the city looking for these adorable gnomes. These gnomes began as an anti-Soviet movement to help peacefully protest against the communists during the 1980s. It all began with Papa Gnome, who stands upon a finger, at the meeting place of the rebels. There are over 300 dwarfs around the city and maps of where they are available in tourist information offices. They can represent the history of Wroclaw or a nearby business.

Light show

Honestly, this is the best light show I have ever seen. The Bellagio and Font Magic have nothing on this. It plays video on the water, along with music and lights during the summer months. We were there during the gnome showing, but a few weeks later they were showing other shows such as Beauty and the Beast, Dream, an Independence Day show, and the Four Elements. Make sure to bring bug spray, even though this was the only place in Wroclaw that it was needed we wish we had brought more. Take a look at more of the details here.

Go to the Market Hall, Hala Targowa

This is such a lovely market and is a fun place to shop. I would suggest grabbing a meal, pierogis of course, and some Polish pottery here. It is a fun place to look around and experience the culture of Wroclaw as well. Closed on Sunday, but open 8:00-18:30 every other day. Bring zlotys, some places do

Not take credit card.

Ostrow Tumski

There are many beautiful churches, but this one has an interesting story. On the south tower of the cathedral, there is a statue head that appears to be screaming. The legend is that this man fell in love with a woman who had a very wealthy father. When he asked her father for her hand in marriage the father refused, because the young man was too poor for his daughter. The young man claimed that he would come back in a year with a fortune.

The young man spent the following year as a thief, thinking this was the quickest way to gain a fortune. When he returned with his fortune the father again denied the young man his daughter’s hand in marriage because the young man’s soul became so black with sin. The young man became mad and attempted to kill the father and the young woman by burning them alive. The young man ran to the Cathedral tower to get a good look at their house burning. According to the legend God made the window shrink to where the young man’s head was stuck, people heard his screams and assumed they were from the burning building. The last thing the young man saw was the young woman and her father being freed from the building he set fire to.

Climbing the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

The inside of the Cathedral is beautiful, but the view of the Wroclaw from the top of the tower is where you want to go. Shorter legs beware. I felt like I was doing lunges going up these stairs because of how tall they are, but the view of Wroclaw is absolutely breathtaking. The cost is 10 PLN to into the Cathedral and climb the tower.

 

National Forum of Music

We went to the National Forum of Music to see a classical music performance. The inside was beautiful and we loved walking through Wroclaw at night once the concert was over. The National Forum of Music also hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year. Take a look here for show time and ticket information.

Monument of Animals for Slaughter

If you are interested in art, art shops are now situated where the slaughter area used to be, they have created these animals as a reminder. Each animal was created by a different artist, they are quite interesting to look at if you have time.

Spending more than a couple of days in Wroclaw? Great! Add a day trip or two to your itinerary. We took a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Krakow. Auschwitz and Krakow are an hour away from each other. Since we had a vehicle we were able to do this all in one day.

Polish Lody

Polish ice cream is amazing. I do not know why it is not more well known, but it was much tastier than Berthillon in Paris.

Day trip to Auschwitz

This concentration camp doesn’t need much explanation. We spent half a day here, we were the first tour to go through and we did the guided tour. I would definitely suggest this. Get there early to go through Birkenau without a crowd. The drive is about 2 and a half hours by car, you can rent one or go through a tour group.

I hope this guide either encourages you to visit Wroclaw or makes your visit simpler! It is truly one of my favorite cities in Europe .

Electric fence in former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz I, Poland

Khachapuri and khinkali – georgian cuisine in Wrocław

Have you heard about khachapuri or khinkali? Did you ever try a georgian cuisine? No? You should try! There is no need to get flight to Tbilisi or Kutaisi. You can feel the flavor of this small caucasian country even in Wrocław.

“U Gruzina” – Khachapuri in several ways

U Gruzina was the first place with real georgian food in Wrocław. Immigrant from Georgia opened it and run the kitchen in very small premises at Skłodowskiej Street, near the Grunwaldzki shopping mall.

It’s not a restaurant, it’s just a bar. Dishes are served on a paper plates and you will eat here, using a plastic cutlery. The prices are low and the quality of food is very good. You can order here a Khaachapuri, typical georgian street food, served in several ways, depends on region in Georgia it comes from. The most popular is Adjarian Khachapuri, which looks like a boat made with a yeast pastry filled with cheese, an egg and butter. Khachapuri at “U Gruzina” tastes almost the same like in restaurants in Batumi.

Be careful – Khachapuri is very filing meal which has a lot of calories. If you are on diet, you should eat something less fat. Try a lobiani – a pie filled with bean stuffing.

Good prices and taste make a big success of “U Gruzina”. New premisses were opened at Boguslawskiego Street (at the railway wharf) and at Odrzańska Street, very near to the Old Market Square.

Adjarian khachapuri

“Chinkalia” – where you can eat Khinkali

A lot of nations may be proud of the dumplings in their cuisine. Poles love their pierogi, Italians – ravioli, Ukrainians eat Pelmieni. Georgians has their specific dumplings, which looks like a baskets, called Khinkali. Inside of them you can find a broth and piece of meat.

Khinkali

You can try here other georgian dishes, like Khachapuri and Lobiani. There are two localisations of Chinkalia – one at Wolności place (next to National Forum of Music) and the second at Sukiennice (in the heart of City Mall).

A regular burger, yet different

Wroclaw burger Balkan

Do You like burgers? Who doesn’t! What are the reasons that makes the burger something you would keep thinking about, remember the taste and will make your mouth water if you only think about it? Yes, the ingredients! To be more precise – the meat. There is a wide variety of burgers in Wroclaw, in Rynek alone you can find several restaurants, which serve burgers exclusively. But none of them serve this delicious, juicy and yes – different burgers, that you can find in Wroclaw burger Balkan.

Pljeskavica and Cevapcici that is the secret, the heart and the main ingredient of this burger. Balkan specialty – grilled beef or lamb, well-seasoned, put together in a crunchy, grilled roll together with some veggies combined with a sauce of choice (depending on how spicy you like). Sounds tasty, doesn’t it? I assure you, you won’t get disappointed and you will come back and eat that delicious dish at least several more times. Let the picture below give you an idea how good it can taste.

Balkan cuisine is not that popular in Poland and it turned out to be just the right thing to bring back from a travel to Serbia by the owner. It all started with a single food truck, serving burgers on festivals and street food events. Since then, there are two available stationary locations in Wroclaw:

Powstancow Slaskich 221

Stacyjna 2 street. I had the pleasure to eat the burger at the second location – Stacyjna 2, which is close to the railway station Wroclaw Mikolajow and the tram stop Zachodnia (Stacja kolejowa).

You have to remember Wroclaw burger Balkan is still street food, which means you won’t be hosted here like in a regular restaurant, but you will enjoy the burger in front of the booth you will buy it. There are several standing tables, a covered shed and even few sunbeds provided to you on sunny days.

Opened daily Mon-Fri between 11 and 19. On the weekends you need to look for them on street food events, enjoy!