I was in Poland for 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!
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
Booked myself a tiny @airbnb in Wroclaw and so in love with the morning light and brick walls that I’m like showing it off as though I designed it!! Hahahahahah. Shot this by precariously balancing my s9 on a lamp that’s why u can see the camera trying to pull focus at some points.. but I was lazy to refilm it so I decided to leave it in since it can pass as art direction. Right?? If no, don’t tell me cos I don’t wanna hear it. 😂
***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. ***
Total cost: 89SGD
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!
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.
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..
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.
Total Cost: I cant remember. Bahaha.
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/
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.
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.
Royal Palace, Wrocław (City Museum)
Kazimierza Wielkiego 35, 50-077 Wrocław, Poland
Total cost: 4Zlt/ 1.2SGD
*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!