Uniwersytet Wrocławski

Institute of Geography and Regional Development

Faculty of Earth Sciences and Environmental Management
Prezentacja graficzna

Institute of Geography

and Regional Development

 

pl. Uniwersytecki 1,

50-137 Wrocław

 

tel. +48 71 375 22 44

fax. +48 71 343 51 84

 

sekretariat.igrr@uwr.edu.pl

Top 10 Tourist Attractions Near Wrocław You Mustn’t Miss

July 9, 2021 by Amit Chandra

Photo courtesy: Whistling Hound

 

The charm of Lower Silesia rests in its remarkably rich nature spots, historical attractions, and vibrant streets. As the capital of the Lower Silesian region, Wrocław allows you to explore its impressive surroundings and lush nature areas. Being 2-3 hours’ drive from Wrocław, these locations make for the top tourist attractions in Poland.

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Lower Silesia shares its international boundary with the Czech Republic & Germany. The Silesian Lowland, Sudetes Foreland, Sudetes, and Karkonosze Mountains comprise some of the top nature getaways in Lower Silesia. All this magnificence and some prolific architectural wonders like the Church of Peace in Swidnica - the largest wooden baroque church in the world, Książ, and Grodno Castle, account for perfect getaway places near Wrocław.

 

Moreover, there’s plenty more you can explore besides the places suggested below. But in these places lies the best of Lower Silesia that you must visit.

 

Here are the 10 most interesting places to visit near Wrocław

 


 

1. Grodno Castle, Wałbrzych Mountains

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1.5 hours drive from Wrocław, Wałbrzych Mountains are home to some remarkable tourist attractions in Lower Silesia, with Grodno Castle being one of them. Previously known as Kynsburg, Grodno Castle is tucked in Choina Mountains. The Castle rises some 450 meters above sea level in southern Wałbrzych.

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A formidable medieval fortress, Grodno must be visited for its astonishing architecture, rare ensembles, and numerous trophies from the forests of Wałbrzych. Climb to the top of the Main Castle Tower to reach the viewing deck located atop the Grodno Castle. From here, you can catch the glorious views of the Bystrzyca Świdnicka valley. Moreover, you can also see and read about some interesting medieval torture instruments kept in the castle basement. Grodno is a great half-day tour from Wrocław.

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Top recommendations: Castle tour, catching panoramic views from the watchtower, excursion of the castle museums

 

Distance from Wrocław: 68 km, 1 hour 5-minute drive

 

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (all days)

 


 

2. Wielka Sowa, Sowie Mountains

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At an altitude of 3,329 feet, Wielka Sowa is the highest peak of the Owl Mountains (Góry Sowie). Located in the Central Sudetes region, the Sowie Mountains comprise the best of south-western Poland. Wielka Sowa is located in Dzierżoniów County in the Lower Silesia.

Made of metamorphic rocks of the Precambrian rises above the Walim Village near Dzierżoniów, Sowie Mountains attract lots of tourists from Poland and across Europe.

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The surroundings of the Owl Mountains Landscape Park offer endless views of whitewashed landscapes during winter. When the winter in Poland is at its prime, the thick mountain forest stays snuggled under heaps of snow.

 

The Wielka Sowa hike starts from the foothills of the Sowie Mountains at a place called Kamionki. Kamionki Dolne, with a length of about 3.5 km, is a picture-perfect location waiting to greet every nature enthusiast. The magnificent mountain views, livestock grazing the pasture, and hushed outdoors greet you from the moment you step into this part of Sowie Mountains Landscape Park.

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Top recommendations: Hiking, skiing (cross-country), birdwatching, camping, and grabbing a cup of mulled wine at the shelter

 

Top recommendations: Hiking, skiing (cross-country), birdwatching, camping, and grabbing a cup of mulled wine at the shelter

 

Distance from Wrocław: 69.1 km, 1 hour 32-minute drive

 


 

3. “Riese” Complex, Włodarz

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Włodarz peak, at 811 m above sea level, is another prominent tourist attraction in south-western Poland in the Owl Mountains Landscape Park, Central Sudetes. Riese translates to 'Giant' in German. The project was named so because of the construction of seven underground structures across the Owl Mountains in Lower Silesia during World War II. It used to be a German territory back then. Today, Włodarz lies in Lower Silesia in Poland. Underneath the formidable Włodarz Mountains, you can expect to encounter some breathtaking architectural marvels.

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None of these projects could ever be completed. Today, they can be seen in a different phase of completion with a small percentage of tunnels reinforced by concrete. The purpose of the project continues to remain uncertain because of the lack of documentation. Some sources hint that these structures were a part of Hitler’s headquarters, while others mention that it was a combination of headquarters and arms industry.

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Find more details on their official website

 

Top recommendations: Guided tour of the underground complex, hiking in the Owl Mountains

 

Distance from Wrocław: 75.5 km, 1 hour 15-minute drive

 

Hours: 9 am to 6 pm (all days)

 


 

4. Książ Castle, Wałbrzych

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Tucked in the vastness of the Wałbrzych Mountains, Książ Castle is the largest castle in Lower Silesia and a must-visit to visit tourist attraction in Poland. The castle, located in Książ Landscape Park, is a protected area in the Wałbrzyski foothills.

 

The first mention of the castle dates back to the 13th century. Książ remained the place of residence of different royal families since then. It was damaged from time to time because of foreign invasions, yet it stands tall and is a prominent tourist attraction in Lower Silesia today. Tourists visit the castle for the magnificent surrounding views and marvellous architecture. Some intriguing facts about the “Pearl of Lower Silesia” are:

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  1. Książ is one of the largest castles in Europe, the third-largest castle in Poland, and the largest in the Dolny Śląsk region (Lower Silesia).
  2. Complete reconstruction of the castle didn’t commence until 1972. The latest period of restoration finished as late as 2005.
  3. The castle premises were refurbished mid 16th century onwards, in a rich Renaissance style.
  4. During World War II, Książ was seized by the Nazis in 1944. The Nazis tore Książ Castle of its ensembles, making it a critical part of the “Riese Project”.
  5. The facility comprised an extensive plan to create an underground military-industrial complex equipped with tunnels, roads, rail links, and subterranean arms factories.
  6. After the war, the castle was used as a recreation home and cultural centre by the communists. Lately, significant parts of the castle interiors have been suitably restored.

 

Find more details on their official website

Photo courtesy: Whistling Hound

 

Top recommendations: Guided castle tour, hiking in the nature areas Wałbrzych mountains nearby

 

Distance from Wrocław: 81 km, 1 hour 11-minute drive

 

Hours: 9 am to 6 pm (Monday to Friday), 9 am to 7 pm (Saturday-Sunday)

 


 

5. Underground City Osówka (Podziemne Miasto Osówka), Wałbrzych

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Osówka Underground City is another pearl from the Lower Silesia and a prominent name from project Riese tucked in the lush Sowie Mountains. A popular tourist attraction in Poland, Osówka exhibits the perfect blend of Polish history and nature, located in the vicinity of Wrocław.

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Another of Hitler's alleged escape plans, Osówka is an architectural marvel and a top tourist attraction in Poland. The strategic location of the “underground city” speaks volumes of its creators. As you enter the tunnel and take the guided tour of Osówka, you’ll be overwhelmed by the way history comes alive in front of you. Most of which are gruesome and beyond our comprehension. The complex is so well-placed that there is no way you can even see it from a distance. Don’t miss this popular tourist attraction near Wrocław!

 

Find more details on their official website

Photo courtesy: Whistling Hound

 

Top recommendations: Guided tour of the underground complex, hiking in the Owl Mountains

 

Distance from Wrocław: 81 km, 1 hour 36-minute drive

 

Hours: 10 am to 5 pm (all days)

 

Must read: 10 Must-Visit Wrocław Attractions For Every Tourism & Hospitality Student

 


 

6. Adršpach, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

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Exciting sandstone cliffs, deep ravines, gorges, and stunning viewpoints carpeted in the thick forest canopy make Adršpach an allure for every outdoor lover. Fine bent trails, colourful and distinct rock forms, and a turquoise lake near the entrance are some of the peculiar features of the park that make Adršpach a great tourist attraction near Wrocław.

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Adršpach is a great day trip from Wrocław that you can plan on a weekend. Make sure to check and compare the group or weekend ticket offers from Koleje Dolnośląskie. It turns out to be a super-saver option for students.

 

Must read: 10 Life Hacks For Every Student In Wrocław

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Top recommendations: Hiking, boating, and nature excursion

 

Distance from Wrocław: 103 km, 1 hour 43-minute drive

 


 

7. Rudawy Janowickie, Sokolik

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If you fancy a lush natural area to go hiking near Wrocław, Sokoliki in Rudawy Mountains is the perfect walk amidst lush nature I would like to recommend. Sokoliki is also a top pick among rock climbers in Lower Silesia. The best part about Rudawy Mountains is its location, which is an almost 2-hour drive from Wrocław.

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Some stunning 360-degree views from the vantage point located atop the rocks are one of the rewards of the hike. Sokoliki is also referred to as Falcon Mountains in the region. The region can be easily accessed by a Koleje Dolnośląskie train from Wrocław to Trzcińsko. If you decide to drive there, you must park your vehicle at Karpnicka Pass. The hike from the base takes almost 1 hour. The hike is easy & doable for people of any age group.

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Top recommendations: Hiking, rock climbing, skiing (during winter), getting a stamp on Książeczka GOT PTTK, and visiting Szwajcarka Chalet near the parking

 

Distance from Wrocław: 110 km, 1 hour 45-minute drive

 


 

8. Stołowe Mountains, Stołowe Mountains National Park

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Stołowe Mountains (Table Mountains) is a popular tourist attraction in the Sudetes Mountains. If you’re looking for a perfect nature escape near Wrocław, where you can enjoy a lovely hiking experience, Stołowe mountain is the place to be. Positioned in the heart of Sudetes, the Stołowe Mountains National Park is a part of the 42-kilometre-long mountain range from Poland to the Czech Republic.

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If you fancy a great hiking trail studded with surreal landscapes, visit this place. The winter views in this place are breathtaking. From the base to the top of the Table Mountains, the hike takes around 1.5 hours. It shouldn’t take more than 2 hours to complete this hike.

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Top recommendations: Hiking, skiing (during winter), snowshoeing, grabbing a mulled wine at the mountain shelter, exploring Polanica-Zdrój, getting a stamp on Książeczka GOT PTTK, and nature photography

 

Distance from Wrocław: 122.3 km, 1 hour 48-minute drive

 


 

9. Śnieżne Kotły, Karkonosze National Park

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Located in the foothills of the Karkonosze Mountains, Szklarska Poręba is a picturesque town that draws a large number of tourists around the year. Its proximity to Wrocław makes it a popular destination for nature and outdoor enthusiasts in Poland and beyond.

 

The famed winter in Poland tempts adventure seekers, and nature enthusiasts around the world, thanks to places like Szklarska Poręba. Besides hiking and skiing, Szklarska Poręba is also preferred for outdoor activities like sleigh riding, rink, snowshoeing, snow tubing, and winter camping.

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Also, there are hundreds of mountain trails from the mountain town that lead to the vastness of Karkonosze. Śnieżne Kotły is two glacial cirques located on the Poland-Czech border atop a scenic cliff in Karkonosze National Park in the Sudetes.

Photo courtesy: Whistling Hound

 

The mountain top offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the mountains, frozen alpine, the fells from the Czech Republic side, and the uninterrupted views of Szklarska Poręba town. The strategic location of Śnieżne Kotły in the Karkonosze National Park with numerous trails from the Czech Republic and Poland make it an exciting prospect for all nature enthusiasts.

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Lower Silesia’s local train network is excellent, and apparently, the best means of transport for anyone planning a quick trip in the region. The KD trains are super-fast, clean, comfortable, cheap, and cover the most scenic routes of the Dolny Slask region.

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Top recommendations: Hiking, skiing (during winter), getting a stamp on Książeczka GOT PTTK, and nature photography

 

Distance from Wrocław: 131 km, 2-hour drive

Suggested read: Śnieżne Kotły In Karkonosze National Park Is A Perfect Winter Hike Near Wrocław

 


 

10. Zgorzelec & Gorlitz, Poland-Germany

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Gorlitz is a delightful town located on the Poland-Germany border. It is one of those attractive places near Wrocław that must be explored by everyone tourist and resident of the city. Located in Southeastern Germany, Gorlitz and Zgorzelec often mentioned together. The towns are separated by the scenic Lusatian Neisse River flowing quite close to the town centres.

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If you are someone looking for a quick city break, you are going to like the twin towns. Relaxed city residents sipping beer, crowd-less market square, elegant decorations near the town centre and Sts. Peter and Paul Church make for a pleasant sight on a beautiful day. Movie enthusiasts can draw a lot of inspiration from the fact that these towns were shooting locations to be featured in the iconic Hollywood movies - The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inglorious Bastards, and The Reader.

 

Top recommendations: Visiting Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Silesian Museum, historical spots in the town centre like - The Grand Budapest Hotel shooting location, crossing the border to enter Germany from the Polish side and vice-versa, exploring the 1 EUR shop

Photo courtesy: Whistling Hound

 

Distance from Wrocław: 175 km, 1 hour 53-minute drive

Photo courtesy: Whistling Hound

 


 

Which is your favourite place from the list above? The Lower Silesia region in Poland has many more such exciting locations. Let us know how many of them have you already explored. Follow us on social media, Facebook & Instagram for more such content on life & studying in Wrocław.

 

Further read: Dos & Don’ts For Every Student & Expatriate in Poland

Amit Chandra

Amit is a travel writer & founder of the blog Whistling Hound. A perpetual nature lover, Amit moved to Wrocław, Poland, three years ago. Ever since, he has been gallivanting around European countries, soaking up the best of places & sharing his experiences across digital media. From working as an Aurora Guide in Lapland to walking the streets of Naples & Rome like a local, Amit has done it all. Currently, he's treading through the best of southwestern Poland & is not stopping anytime soon!