Wrocław is by far the most popular point on the map of Lower Silesia, but it doesn’t mean that it is the only place in this area that is worth visiting. There are many areas not far from Wrocław that aren’t so popular but definitely as interesting as the capital of the voivodeship itself. There will be something for enthusiasts of spending time outdoors as well as people interested in visiting the monuments. So, here are the top 10 interesting places around Wroclaw.
1. Topacz Castle and Motorisation Museum
20 minutes by car, 30 minutes by bus
Topacz Castle is an ideal place for demanding clients. Housed in a 14th-century castle, the luxurious hotel combines the features of a historic building with modernity. Visitors can take advantage of the services of the local Art SPA, Wellness Zone, swimming pool, as well as try delicious dishes served in one of the three restaurants in the area of the complex. Those who like sport can take part in yoga and tennis classes, play golf, go on a bike trip or rent a boat and sail in the nearby pond. In addition, the car lovers can go to the nearby Motorisation Museum, where visitors not only can see dozens of antique and luxury vehicles but also can choose one of them and go for a ride around Wroclaw.
2. The Ślęża mountain
50 minutes by car, 1 hour by bus
The Ślęża Mountain is a unique place. Not only because it is the highest peak of the whole Sudeten Foreland, which makes it an interesting place for mountaineers, but mainly because of its history. Some people even call it the Silesian Olympus. Ślęża for many years was a place of pagan worship, associated mainly with solar deities, worshiped by local tribes. With the beginning of the Christianization process of these areas, the character of this place changed as well. Still, along the routes leading to the top of the mountain, there are stone sculptures reminiscent of old times. Anyway, every year, on the night of June 21 to 22, people organize meetings there as part of the celebration of Kupala Night – one of the most important pagan holidays. However, you can come to the top of the mountain throughout the year and climb it using two routes. Tired tourists can rest in the Tourist House situated on the top.
3. Mietkowski Lake
50 minutes by car, 55 minutes by bus, 25 minutes by train
The Mietkowski Reservoir, also known as the Mietkowski Lake, is the largest water reservoir of this type in the entire Lower Silesian Voivodship. However, this is not a natural reservoir, but an artificially dammed lake on the Bystrzyca river. Although it was primarily designed to protect against floods and to even out river flows, it was also adapted for recreational purposes. In Borzygniew, small town located on the shore of the lake, there is a guarded bathing beach, as well as a water equipment rental: water bikes, kayaks, rowing boats, and motor boats. It is a very good place for water sports. Tourists who want to stay there a bit longer can use the accommodation. The offer includes houses for rent, as well as a camping site.
4. Wojsławice Arboretum
1 hour by car, 1 hour 15 minutes by bus
The arboretum belonging to the University of Wrocław is located in Wojsławice, about 50 km from Wrocław. Tourists visiting this place have the opportunity to see an impressive collection of trees, shrubs, and flowers – a total of over 9,000 plant species. The most popular are collections of azaleas, daylilies, and boxwoods. In the arboretum, there are also some monuments, for example, a gardener’s house, a grange or a mill wheel made of sandstone. Furthermore, it is a place adapted for international tourists – each visitor can use a free audioguide in four languages: Polish, English, German and Czech. However, it is worth remembering that this is not a place open to sightseeing all year round. The expedition to the arboretum in Wojsławice should be planned in the period from May to September.
5. Cistercian Abbey in Lubiąż
1 hour by car, 1 hour 40 minutes by bus and train
Lubiąż is a small town in Lower Silesia, but it was this place that Prince Bolesław I Wysoki in 1163 chose as the place where the monastery of the Cistercians brought here was built. This is how the history of the Cistercian Abbey in Lubiąż began. Now it is the second largest sacral building in the world and at the same time the largest Cistercian abbey in the world, as well as one of the most important Baroque monuments in Europe. Although during the Second World War the complex was devastated by both the Nazi and Soviet armies, the renovation carried out, thanks to the activities of the Lubiąż Foundation made the monastery once again enchanting and open to the public. The duke’s room, the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the abbot’s dining room and the refectory is now open to visitors. The tours always take place with a guide and start at full hours. And if you arrive earlier, you can make the most of your wait while eating traditional Polish dishes at the Karczma Cysterska.
6. Milicz Ponds
1 hour by car, 1 hour 15 minutes by bus
Enthusiasts of spending time in the bosom of nature should consider a trip to the vicinity of Milicz, where there is a huge fish pond complex consisting of over 200 water bodies, which is also the largest European breeding center of carp – a species of fish traditionally consumed in Poland during Christmas. Although this may not be so visible today, the creation of these reservoirs is the result of the activities of people, and more specifically the Cistercians, who also brought the first carp to these areas. For hundreds of years, however, this place has been shaped mainly by nature. In addition, it is also a huge concentration of birds – you can observe almost 300 different species, of which over 150 establish their nests here. The best time to observe the local birds is early spring – when they start to settle there after the winter spent in warmer regions – and autumn – when they gather and prepare for departure to the south.
7. Wałbrzych – Książ Castle and Palm House
1 hour 10 minutes by car, 1 hour 15 minutes by train
Książ Castle was founded in the 13th century and since then its history has been very dynamic. Not only its direct owners changed, but also the country in which it was located. It was also affected by the destruction associated with the wars waged in the area. Fortunately, renovations restored its former splendor and made it one of the most visited places in Lower Silesia. It can be visited both individually and in groups, on three specially prepared routes. Every now and then, mainly on Fridays and Saturdays, there is also the option of booking tickets for night tours. If you’ve ever dreamt of spending the night in a gloomy castle – it’s the perfect option for you. Additionally, by buying a ticket to the Książ Castle, you can also visit the Palm House in Wałbrzych, which was created at the beginning of the 20th century as a gift of Jan Henryk XV for his wife. Currently, in the Palm House, there are over 200 species of plants from all around the world.
8. Minieuroland in Kłodzko
1 hour 30 minutes by car, 1 hour 40 minutes by bus, 1 hour 25 minutes by train
Do you want to visit the most important world monuments but you don’t have money for foreign travels? Would you like to get to know Lower Silesia better but you don’t have enough time for a touring trip? Now it is much easier because you can see all these places in one shot by going to Kłodzko where you can visit Park Miniatur Minieuroland. It has an area of 20,000 m² and currently, there are over 30 miniatures depicting the famous buildings, such as Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. An additional advantage of the Park is the fact that it is surrounded by a beautiful garden in which there are many unique species of plants imported from renowned nurseries from Belgium and the Netherlands. And if that was not enough, the youngest visitors can take a break from touring and spend it on the modern playground located in the area of the complex.
9. Fort Srebrna Góra
1 hour 30 minutes by car, 2 hours by bus
Srebrna Góra is a small town that was famous for silver mining between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. However, when it became unprofitable, the potential resulting from the location of this place was discovered by the Prussian ruler, Frederick II, who commissioned the construction of the fortress there. The work was completed in 1777. Since then, over 3,000 soldiers could have been stationed in this self-sustaining defense complex. Today, after years of turbulent history, the Srebrna Góra Fortress is a place open to visitors of all ages. This is an unprecedented opportunity for fans of history and military. During guided tours organized there, you can not only learn about the history of the town and the fortress but also see what the life of the 18th-century soldiers looked like and see the weapons they used. The offer also includes a field game specially created for children, which transports children to the realities of Europe during the Napoleonic Wars and allows them to learn through play.
10. Gold Mine in Złoty Stok
1 hour 30 minutes by car, 2 hours 30 minutes by bus
In the former gold mine in Złoty Stok was opened one of the most attractive museums, not only in Lower Silesia but also in Poland. During guided tours, tourists learn about the secrets of two tunnels of the mine, visit the Museum of Minerals, the Mint, reconstructed laboratory of the inventor of arsenic, J. Scharfenberg, and also have the opportunity to take an underground tram ride that goes straight to the only underground waterfall in Poland. However, these are not all attractions prepared by the museum. Visitors can also take on precious gold prospectors and try to rinse gold, go on an underground boat trip or solve puzzles in a themed escape room. If you plan to visit Złoty Stok with a larger group of friends, you can use the option of exploring with the plot, during which the groups compete with each other performing tasks and collecting gold bars. And at the end of the day, after intensive sightseeing, travelers can have lunch at a local inn.