What You Need To Know
Wrocław is the largest city in western Poland. It lies on the banks of the River Oder in the Silesian Lowlands of Central Europe, roughly 350 kilometres (220 mi) from the Baltic Sea to the north and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Sudeten Mountains to the south. The population of Wrocław in 2017 was 638,364, making it the fourth-largest city in Poland and the main city of Wrocław agglomeration. Wrocław is the historical capital of Silesia and Lower Silesia. Today, it is the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship. The history of the city dates back a thousand years, and its extensive heritage combines almost all religions and cultures of Europe. At various times, it has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg Monarchy, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire, Weimar Republic or Nazi Germany. Again became part of Poland in 1945, as a result of the border changes after the Second World War. A thriving multicultural centre, Wrocław is home to a growing student community and acts as the financial, cultural and commercial hub of western Poland, hosting a wide variety of music and theatrical events. Wrocław is a university city with a student population of over 130,000, making it one of the most youthful cities in the country. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the historical University of Wrocław produced nine Nobel Prize winners and is renowned for its high quality of teaching. It is also the seat of Wrocław Opera, National Puppet Theatre, Karol Lipiński Academy of Music and the National Forum of Music. The Centennial Hall in Wrocław was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006 and is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland as a unique example of Expressionist architecture. Wrocław is classified as a Gamma- global city by GaWC, with the ranking of a very high living standard and quality of life. It was among top cities in the world in the ranking of the consulting company Mercer—”Best City to Live” in 2015, and as the only Polish city in this ranking, it has been recognized as a growing business center. The city hosted the Eucharistic Congress in 1997 and the Euro 2012 football championships. In 2016, the city was a European Capital of Culture and the World Book Capital. Also in this year, Wrocław hosted the Theatre Olympics, World Bridge Games and the European Film Awards. In 2017, the city is the host of the IFLA Annual Conference and the World Games.
Population: Estimate 638,364
Area: 292.9 km²
401 Millionaires live in Wroclaw, or individuals whose annual income exceeds 1 million PLN (as per 2014). Wrocław’s industry manufactures buses, railroad cars, home appliances, chemicals and electronics. The city houses factories and development centres of many foreign and domestic corporations, such as WAGO, Siemens, Bosch, Bosch-Siemens, Nokia Networks, Volvo, HP, IBM, Google, Opera Software, QAD, Bombardier Transportation, DeLaval, Whirlpool Corporation, WABCO, Tieto, PPG Deco Poland and others. In Wrocław, offices are also located large Polish companies, including Getin Holding, Akwawit-Polmos Wrocław, Telefonia Dialog, PGS Software, Gazoprojekt, MCI Management SA, Selena, Rawplug, AB SA, Impel, Kogeneracja SA, EKO Holding, Inter-System, Supra Invest, Toya SA, has its main headquarters are also Kaufland Poland. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the city has had a developing high-tech sector. Many high-tech companies are located in the Wrocław Technology Park, such as Baluff, CIT Engineering, Caisson Elektronik, ContiTech, Ericsson, Innovative Software Technologies, IBM, IT-MED, IT Sector, LiveChat Software, Mitsubishi Electric, Maas, PGS Software, Technology Transfer Agency Techtra and Vratis. In Biskupice Podgórne (Community Kobierzyce) there are factories of LG (LG Display, LG Electronics, LG Chem, LG Innotek), Dong Seo Display, Dong Yang Electronics, Toshiba, and many other companies, mainly from the electronics and home appliances sectors, while the Nowa Wieś Wrocławska factory and distribution center of Nestlé Purina and factories a few other enterprises. In the years 2013–15 was built Engine Business. In Wrocław Industrial Park operates over 250 companies from nearly 60 different industries. In Wrocław is a research and development center aviation industry – Global Engineering Centre, the American company UTC Aerospace Systems. The city is the seat of Wrocław Research Centre EIT+, which contains, inter alia, geological research laboratories to the unconventional and Lower Silesian Cluster of Nanotechnology. The following banks have their headquarters in Wrocław: Crédit Agricole Bank of Poland, Bank Zachodni WBK, Euro Bank, Santander Consumer Bank; as well as financial and accounting centers: Volvo, Hewlett-Packard, KPIT Cummins, UBS, GE Money Bank, Credit Suisse. The city is home to the largest number of leasing companies and debt collection in the country, including the largest European Leasing Fund. Also AmRest has its headquarters in Wrocław, the largest food service company in Poland, a franchisee network of KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, La Tagliatella, and Starbucks. Wrocław is a major center for the pharmaceutical industry: U.S. Pharmacia, Hasco-Lek, Galena, Avec Pharma, 3M, Labor, S-Lab, Herbapol, and Cezal. In February 2013, Qatar Airways launched its Wrocław European Customer Service. In Wrocław, there are logistics centers DHL, FedEx and UPS. Closely related to Wrocław is Poland’s largest shopping mall – Bielany Avenue (pl. Aleja Bielany) and Bielany Trade Center, located in Bielany Wrocławskie where supermarkets Auchan, Decathlon, Leroy Merlin, Makro, Tesco, IKEA, Jula, OBI, Castorama, Black Red White, Poco, factories E. Wedel, Cargill, warehouses Prologis, Panattoni, and two logistics center of Amazon.com. Due to the proximity of the borders with Germany and the Czech Republic, Wrocław and the region of Lower Silesia is a large import and export partner with these countries.
The city is well known for its large number of nightclubs and pubs. Many are in or near the Market Square, and in the Niepolda passage, the railway wharf on the Bogusławskiego street. The basement of the old City Hall houses one of the oldest restaurants in Europe – Piwnica Świdnicka (operating since around 1275), while the basement of the new City Hall contains the brewpub Spiż. There are many other craft breweries in Wrocław: three brewpubs – Browar Stu Mostów, Browar Staromiejski Złoty Pies, Browar Rodzinny Prost; two microbrewery – Profesja and Warsztat Piwowarski; and seven contract breweries – Doctor Brew, Genius Loci, Solipiwko, Pol A Czech, Baba Jaga, wBrew, Wielka Wyspa. Every year on the second weekend of June the Festival of Good Beer takes place. It is the biggest beer festival in Poland. Every year in November and December the Christmas market is held at the Market Square.
Polish is the official language
The Tourist Information Centre (Polish: Centrum Informacji Turystycznej) is located on the Main Market Square (Rynek) in building No. 14. Free wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) is available at a number of places around town.
Wrocław is a major road junction. Wrocław is skirted on the south by the A4 highway, which allows for a quick connection with Upper Silesia, Kraków and further east to Ukraine, and Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin to the west. The A8 highway (Wrocław ring road) around the west and north of the city connects the A4 highway with the S5 express road that leads to Poznań, Bydgoszcz and S8 express road that leads to Oleśnica, Łódź, Warsaw, Białystok and National road 5 and National road 8 to the Czech Republic. Under construction is the eastern part of the Wrocław ring road. The city is served by Copernicus Airport Wrocław (airport code WRO) which handles flights from Ryanair, Wizz Air, Lufthansa, Eurowings, LOT Polish Airlines, SprintAir and Scandinavian Airlines. The main rail station is Wrocław Główny supported by PKP Intercity, Przewozy Regionalne and Koleje Dolnośląskie. Journey times from Wrocław: Warsaw – 3 h 36 minutes, Poznań– 2 h 26 minutes, Szczecin – 6 h, Gdańsk – 5 h, Kraków – 3 h 14 minutes. Adjacent to the railway station, is a central bus station located in the basement of the shopping mall of “Wroclavia”, with services offered by PKS, PolskiBus.com, Eurolines and others. The city has a river port on the Oder and several marinas. Public transport in Wrocław includes bus lines and 22 tram lines operated by Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne (MPK, the Municipal Transport Company). Rides are paid for, tickets can be bought above kiosks and vending machines, which are located at bus stops and vehicles. The tickets are available for purchase in the electronic form via mobile. Tickets are one-ride or temporary (0,5h, 1h, 1,5h, 24h, 48h, 72h, 168h). A number of private taxicab firms and Uber operate in the city. In Wrocław there are 255 km of cycling paths and about 100 km paths on flood embankments. Wrocław has a bike rental network – Wrocław City Bike, operating every year from 1 March to 30 November. In the summer season at the Market Square rental is Segway PT.
Wrocław has a humid continental climate (Dfb in the Koeppen climate classification). It is one of the warmer cities in Poland. Lying in the Silesian Lowlands between Trzebnickie Hills and the Sudetes, the mean annual temperature is 9.04 °C (48 °F). The coldest month is January (average temperature −0.7 °C), with snow being common in winter, and the warmest is July (average temperature 18.9 °C). The highest temperature in Wrocław was 8 August 2015 (+38.9 °C). The lowest temperature was 11 February 1956 (−32 °C).
Wrocław in literature
The history of Wrocław is described in minute detail in the monograph Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City by Norman Davies and Roger Moorhouse. A number of books have been written about Wrocław following World War II. Wrocław philologist and writer Marek Krajewski wrote a series of crime novels about detective Eberhard Mock, a fictional character from the city of Breslau. Accordingly, Michał Kaczmarek published Wrocław according to Eberhard Mock – Guide based on the books by Marek Krajewski. In 2011 appeared the 1104-page Lexicon of the architecture of Wrocław, and in 2013 a 960-page Lexicon about the greenery of Wrocław. In March 2015 Wrocław filed an application to become a UNESCO’s City of Literature.