I was in Poland for benz some work in June and extended my trip to venture off to Wroclaw alone – a place full of promise with a name i couldn’t entirely pronounce. No matter! Adventure called, and I answered. Off to Wroclaw it was!
Hello from the GORGEOUS town of Wroclaw!
I took a 3 hour busride from Krakow to Wroclaw, it stands to reason as usual that the earlier you book the cheaper it is. I booked 2 weeks in advance and paid 5.90Eur per way. This is by far the cheapest and most efficient way of doing it from my research, I used Flixbus and downloaded the app too so I could check in via mobile instead of having to print stuff out and keep it on hand.
The bus departs from MDA bus station which is right next to the main train station in Krakow, as well as a giant mall, so theres lots to do while waiting for your bus to depart. Because i lead a terribly exciting life, I found a cafe with free powerpoints immediately, sat down, and started checking my emails.
Note – the bus ride actually took 3.5-4hrs although it was advertised as a three hour ride. Traffic, I guess.
Total cost: 5.90 x 2 = 11.80Eur / SGD
My entire trip was 2 weeks and I was only to spend 3 days in Wroclaw, so I had to find some way of getting rid of my big luggage while travelling solo and therefore, light. Thankfully most main train stations in Europe have a left-luggage system (I also double checked this online) and the one in Krakow is no different. I needed not just a left luggage locker which would limit each storage period to 24 hours, but a left luggage booth. This was located outside Burger King near platform 5 in the Krakow train station, and it cost 6Zlt/day to store big luggages for up to 10 days. That is very well priced, it’s essentially 2SGD. Ive paid up to 30 bucks in other parts of the world for the same service!
this is what it looks like
Total cost: 6 x 3zlt = 18Zlt / 6SGD. PAY IN CASH UPON PICK UP.
Money matters – Currency, Credit, Cash.
Poland uses their mercedes benz fashion week blogger so dear own currency, the zloty. The exchange rate is about 2.74 in our favor. If you change your money literally anywhere besides the airport, you’ll get a pretty decent rate. But it’s worth noting that Poland is super credit card friendly, even random pushcarts selling coffee are likely to have credit card machines, so I’d only change a small amount of zloty (30 euros maybe?) and charge the rest to a miles card if I were you. This is also because the chances of being able to change zloty back to SGD is pretty low, Singapore doesnt even stock the zloty so you’d have to change it to euro then from euro back to SGD.. it’s just a whole hassle. Most places also have paywave enabled, so if you have a paywave card youre basically just tapping as you go, it’s mega convenient and way better than trying to sort out your zloty. The only things I needed cash for were those random toilets that charged entry fees, luggage storage/lockers, and like this one super obscure hot dog stand that only accepted cash.
Connectivity – Data, calls, etcetera
As mentioned in my Broke Student’s Guide to Warsaw, data in Poland is very, very affordable. In fact, the only other city I’ve been to with such sick rates for data is Helsinki, which was 3.99Eur for unlimited 7 day data. For Poland, I paid 7zlt (2.50SGD) for 7GB of data with 30 day validity. The carrier I went with was Orange, one of the biggest carriers in Poland, and I got the SIM card from the Warsaw Chopin Airport.
There are hostels aplenty in Wroclaw, but I booked myself an airbnb because I wanted a private space for myself and the extra cost was worth it to me. I paid 89SGD/2 nights for this gorgeous space. Main considerations I had when looking for a space was that it had to either have an elevator or be on the first floor of the building since I was travelling alone and I’d pulled a muscle in my arm previously from trying to lug a giant suitcase up 8 flights of stairs lol. This airbnb was on the first floor (meaning just one flight of stairs up, they go by Ground, 1, 2, 3, etc) of the building, which was perfect for me!
Link to my airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/19632795. Kindly sign up for airbnb at airbnb.com/jemma to get 45SGD off your first booking so that I can also get money off my bookings and therefore fund future broke student guides thank you.
The average cost of a hostel bed in Wroclaw is about 18-20SGD / night but i wasnt in the mood to share a dorm with 11 other young men and women haha, some trips I dont mind but this time i wanted some quiet time. Either way its good to know the option is there!
Total cost: 89SGD
Wroclaw is a very walkable city, otherwise there are trams and citybikes you can pay for. I dont know anything about those because I walked EVERYWHERE. I didn’t even have to uber from the train station to my accommodation, it was a 10 minute walk, and from my apartment, another 10 minute walk into the Old Town.
And Wroclaw is super pretty so walking everywhere is totally enjoyable! Just have to put this out there in case the idea of lots of walking is off-putting to some of you!
The walk from my airbnb to the city center was super nice too
Here are the prices for the bikes anyway
Total cost: Free
The cheapest way of feeding yourself is to locate the nearest milk bar and start off your day there. Despite the name, milk bars dont actually sell milk, they’re a kind of Polish canteen that was popularised in the post-war period as an affordable alternative to the more expensive, and therefore, capitalist, restaurants. They were mostly state subsidized as part of the welfare system, and put in place so the poorer people had somewhere to eat. At some point there were milk bars everywhere in Poland, but after the fall of the communist system they started to fold. However, you can usually still find a couple in each polish city – and they serve traditional and often home made polish food, which is awesome!
And they weren’t joking when they said milk bars were cheap. The only thing though, is that they’re catered to Poles and not to tourists haha so everything on the menu is in Polish. I just randomly pointed at something on the board and hoped for the best. Turns out I got a drink, salad, soup with noodles, main course (pork cutlet) and side (potatoes), all for 14.90zlt. That’s 5.40SGD. Amazing. And everything was really yummy too. It’s not only affordable, it’s also mad filling, because there’s just so much food, so if you start your day off eating here you probably won’t get hungry again till much later at night…
The milk bar I visited was right outside Renoma, the biggest shopping mall in Wroclaw.
Everything is in polish, so.. yolo!
It really looks more like a nice cafe than a budget milkbar!
Mystery juice. I still have no idea what this is.
Rozowa Krowa Świdnicka 38, 11-400 Wrocław
Other than milk bars, there are also plenty of affordable food options around the city. I hit up this pub called Pre-war (Przedwojenna) on my first night there, which was so awesome. All the food and drink options were painted on the wall, and the pricing system was straightforward – 4zlt for drinks, 8zlt for food. That’s SGD1.40 for a beer and SGD2.90 for a main… Again, everything was in polish, so I actually mistook the entire place’s concept and thought they were some kind of tapas bar because of the prices. I accidentally ordered two main courses instead of two tiny side dishes as I expected..
I feel like I gotta put the prices here just as proof or no one will believe me!
Prewar Świętego Mikołaja 81, 11-400 Wrocław, Poland Open 24 Hours
The only ‘expensive’ thing I did was splurge on a 12zlt beer in this nice sports bar, 1450 Smokehouse & Cocktail, because the Poland vs Senegal World Cup match was showing on a big screen and I wanted to catch it. 12zlt is pricey for a beer (to me) because I was comparing it to the 4zlt beer I had the night before.. But it’s still SGD4.30 for a beer, yknw? Haha.
Oh yes, and the day I left, I hit up a pretty great cafe where I had a life changing experience with some focaccia. While that wasn’t expensive, it also cost slightly more than the rest of the food I had on the trip.
Total Cost: I cant remember. Bahaha.
Things to do
This is an actual thing. It’s almost like Wroclaw’s national thing by now, to be honest. You see these gnomes on magnets and stuff! But yes, these little metal sculptures pop up all over the city, and they’re hilarious. As are the random tourists you’ll see chasing them down at most corners! I didn’t go out of my way to look for them but I did follow the trail of a couple of them, and I was pretty amused everytime I came across another. There are apparently over 400 gnomes in the city now!
Beyond being a fun quirk, the gnomes actually have a really interesting back story – they were created as symbol of anti-Soviet resistance group, the Orange Alternative, as a way of protesting freedom of speech amongst other things. Long story short, it made authorities look like fools every time they tried to clamp down on them, because theyre freakin cute gnomes, for goodness sake! Anyway, the gnomes now are so popular amongst locals and tourists alike that they have their own official website with backstories and dwarf gossip, HAHA. Here it is – http://krasnale.pl/en/
Check out their modern art
I find modern art in Poland fascinating because it is so heavily influenced by their post-war identity. Wroclaw is especially interesting because it used to be part of Germany (Breslau), and so its identity is steeped in the fact that it was actually on that side of history. Wroclaw was actually a pretty pro-hitler town before the war, actually, and it’s something they confront regularly in their documentation of history and art. I went to the BWA Wroclaw Galleries of Contemporary Art and loved it! It wasn’t very big but all the exhibits were well thought out and fascinating.
If you have a student card this will cost 4ZLT instead of 8.
As you can tell, I have been unabashedly abusing my student card
BWA Wroclaw Galleries of Contemporary Art Wita Stwosza 32, 11-400 Wrocław, Poland
Check out the city museum at their Royal palace
The ex-royal palace has since been remodelled into a museum which houses cultural artefacts from Wroclaw’s history, detailing everything from fashion to furniture, from religious movements to Wroclaw’s involvement in World War II. I was actually really taken by the third level of the museum, which focuses on the post war Soviet occupation. I previously visited the Neon Muzeum in Warsaw which exhibits restored neon signs, relics from the Cold War era in Poland, and this kind of expanded on what I saw there.
And of course, any history museum in Poland focuses in part on the war..
Entry: free Website
Royal Palace, Wrocław (City Museum) Kazimierza Wielkiego 35, 50-077 Wrocław, Poland
Total cost: 4Zlt/ 1.2SGD
Solo in Wroclaw = lots of selfies..
I absolutely loved Wroclaw and I’m so so so glad I decided to make a solo trip here instead of staying in Warsaw for a few more days! Don’t get me wrong, I do love Warsaw, but Wroclaw is very different in terms of character and charm, and a lot of this has to do with its history, I think. As with the rest of Poland, Wroclaw is relatively affordable compared to most of Europe, and if you’re in the area I definitely recommend making a two or three day trip here. Hope this guide was helpful and if you’re headed that way, and if youre not, make plans! x
This Broke Student Guide was brought to you by me. Everything you see here was paid for on my own coin, in true broke student style. Enjoy!