It is not a real danger, but someone could miss his/her train due to the fact that all Polish rail stations inform only about the platform (peron) where the trains are located, and not about the exact track (tor). So, when you watch the timetable, always keep in mind that it is the platform, not the track shown there.
City under construction
The city of Wroclaw is making substantial investments in the renovation and improvement of its historic buildings and cobbled pathways and is continuing to do so.
Unfortunately, as a result of this you will find many construction sites and scaffolded buildings all over the city. Of course the good news is that in a few years everything will be beautifully restored.
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It is generally forbidden to photograph or to film inside the building hosting the Panorama Racławicka. However, when you buy your ticket, you can also buy a permission to take photos (zezwolenie na fotografowanie) or to film (zezwolenie na filmowanie). The cashier will give you a cash voucher which you'll have to exhibit before entering the hall with the painting. Otherwise, you will be asked to leave your camera in the wardrobe.
When you arrive at the hall, another person will give you a card like the one in the pic which you will put around your neck.
Rynek in the rain
During our three-week stay in Polska, the forecast said almost every day it would rain in Wrocław. I don't know if this was always true, but I know that the second and last day we spent in Wrocław was the worst of our holidays. We went to the Rynek in the morning, but it was raining as much as it must have rained during the Flood. Although we had covered ourselves well, we couldn't stand in the rain because it was also very windy.
Luckily enough, it didn't rain in the afternoon (but the sky was very cloudy anyway), so we could visit the square.
As you may see in this photo, taken in the morning, the Rynek had turned into a lake. So, if you happen to be there in the rain, be cautious because you could slip, since the paving is very smooth.
Pedestrians are mistreated!
The evidence that Wrocław is not yet a touristic city is provided by the little space pedestrians enjoy. Apart from the Rynek, closed to traffic, and from some pedestrian areas, cars dominate the daily life in Wrocław. There are few pedestrian traffic lights and, where there isn't one, car drivers certainly don't stop to let you cross the street. So, if you are a pedestrian, you will be in danger for most of the time you spend in this city. Bikes are a threat, as well, because you don't hear them and they can pass just few centimetres from you, scaring you quite a lot!
UPDATE: this was the impression I had when I visited Wrocław in 2006. It seems the situation has improved in 2011...
The trams have right of way, especial when they take a turn.
Also do not use the area with tram tracks in the road, especial at bus stops.
Passengers have the right of way at tram stops without a traffic island.
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Someone too gentle??
I don't know if this is more common in Wroclaw than everywhere in the world, so I just write here what has been our experience when we arrived at the train station with the bus from the airport. We knew we could get to the hostel by walking 20 minutes but were a bit lost with the direction, so we asked informations to a guy passing and he said it was better to go by bus and that he could show us the bus stop. He was insisting that by foot was too far, however we knew it was not so far. When the bus arrived, he said he would come with us (we started to think that the situation was strange because when we met him he was walking the opposite direction from the one we were taking now).
We knew that our stop was the 6th stop cause we checked before getting on so we were counting them while the guy started to send messages with his mobile. When we arrived at our stop, we knew we had to go on the right, but he wanted us to follow him on the left, descending into a passage. We said not to worry too much for us as now we knew where to go and started to walk on the direction we wanted to take. We then saw him moving fast far from us and making a call. At that point we decided to enter the first bar we found because we were feeling a bit unsafe and the guy came into the bar asking why we went away. We said we would stay there for a coffe and said again we could now go on our own and said thanks to him. So, he left.
What a let down - Spitz
Six travellers, three different guidebooks and a good trawl through websites like this one led us to believe that Spitz would be the best place to eat drink and be merry in Wroclaw. What a let-down!!
Poor service, we were virtually ignored by the waiting staff.
Mediocre food and the portions were a bit on the lean side too.
Even the much vanted beer wasn't up to much.
We had a far better pair of meals at the Bistro Parisien - what great value, cheery service and lashings of good, draught beer.
Spitz - keep it!!
Taking taxi from the airport.
Ask how much the ride would cost before you get into the taxi.
Don't pay more than 40 zł (10 Euro) from the airport to the city centre. The price you should exactly pay is about 32 zl. (January 2007)
- Budget Travel
Express Shuttle Bus from the WRO-Airport
The express shuttle bus from the Wroclaw airport to the Main Railway Sation costs according to www.airport.wroclaw.pl 2GBP. What's a shame!!!!!! It's connected with the Ryanair flight from London and operates once a day. The normal bus 406 costs 2 zl (0.35 GBP) and circulates to the Main Railway Station every 20-30 minutes too. It doesn't stop at every bus stop. Maybe it goes 10 minutes longer.
- Budget Travel
Be careful of pick pockets!
Makes sure to have your purse/wallet close to you at all times. Do not let go out of when you sit down in a restaurant/pub especially if its an ourdoor one. Don't carry too much cash around and have it in more then one spot on you (purse, pocket etc.). Also, watch your back when you come out of "Kantors" (money exchange points), many times they will be people waiting outside for you to ask for change.
Take enough money if you go to Boleslawiec
If you decide to pay a trip to the pottery region, you could well run out of money, the items are so attractive. So make sure you have enough with you to avoid disappointment.
See much more about Boles³awiec Pottery under 'Off the Beaten Track'.
When not to say THANK YOU
Tipping is now common in restaurants and service has improved greatly over the last few years. 10-15% is an average estimate, if your service is good.
BUT, and this is a warning, when you hand over your money to the waiter/waitress, DO NOT SAY THANK YOU. If you do, you are implying that they should keep the change, and they do. My son was stung like this when he gave a 100z³ note for a 26z³ bill. And the waitress was far too attractive for him to lose his cool by asking for the rest.
So wait until your change arrives, then say thank you and leave your tip.
Beware of rain drops on your...
Beware of rain drops on your camera lens as it makes for smeary images and in trying to avoid that, can interfere with photo composition. ;> This could have been a lovely shot of the Town Hall if the sun was shinning...lol.
DON'T HIGH HEEL!
This sign makes me puzzle.
Maybe it's more a warning not to wear high heels walking the cobblestone pavement.
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