Cultural offer for foreigners in Wroclaw

Whether coming to Wroclaw to work, or just as tourists, foreigners usually know that the city is the European Capital of Culture 2016. As a result, they expect not only to explore the city in their spare time, but also enjoy some interesting cultural events. And they are right. The city has prepared many projects also with them in mind.


In an evening off, they can go to the cinema, to a concert, to an exhibition or to the theatre. The choices are multitudinous.

A little something for cinema-goers

For many foreigners staying in Wroclaw for longer, one of the most popular pastimes is going to the cinema or theatre.

"When I have an afternoon off, I go with my fiancée to the cinema," says Paul Morgan from the Netherlands, who has been living and working Wroclaw for several months. "Language problems are hardly non-existent, as the majority of films in Wroclaw cinemas is played in the original version, with Polish subtitles. There is a bit of a problem, however, when the film is Polish or French, because I don't speak in any of these languages.

The needs of foreign enthusiasts of good cinema were catered to by Kino Nowe Horyzonty at ul. Kazimierza Wielkiego. This is where special screenings take place, as part of the cycle "Polish Cinema for beginners." It is a series of encounters with the most interesting works of Polish cinema, dedicated primarily to foreigners. All films are shown with English subtitles, and are preceded by a lecture by an expert of the film world, who introduces the subject and the socio-historical context of the presented work. The screening is followed by a discussion. The language of the event is English. A detailed repertoire is available here.

In summer, Kino Nowe Horyzonty hosts the T-Mobile New Horizons Festival, known not only in the country, but also abroad, in which all films have English translation. Also, the language of both meetings with artists and information materials is English.

Spotlight on theatre

Also theatre-goers will find something for themselves. In this case, they can certainly count on the Polski Theatre at ul. Gabrieli Zapolskiej, which translates some of their performances into English. Special subtitles appear on a screen above the stage, with the entire transcript. Most often, at least one performance of a given running cycle is translated. The audience of of the Main Stage and the Scene in Świebodzki can count on such performances. Information on such performances is available at Teatr Polski's website, where all information is available in English.

For foreign visitors interested in theatre, a good choice might be the Wroclaw Pantomime Theatre, where obviously hardly any words are used. This theatre also offers its repertoire translated to English.

A little something for music lovers

Surely all music lovers will find something for themselves in Wroclaw. Particularly interesting proposals are offered by the National Music Forum, where no translator is needed. Apart from the regularly scheduled concerts, foreign visitors are attracted here by many world-famous music festivals. Among them are: Vratislavia Cantans, Jazztopad, Musica Polonica Nova and Leo Festival. Information on all concerts is available in English at the NFM's website.

Also, Wroclaw Opera is completely open to foreigners.

"Guests from abroad are welcome to all of our performances," says Anna Leniart, Head of Promotion and Audience Service at the Wroclaw Opera. "The Opera's printed materials, such as leaflets and posters are also available in English, and all the shows are performed in their original languages. Each programme includes also the English translation of the libretto. All in all, music enthusiasts from abroad will surely have no problem understanding a performance.

In this case, the repertoire and all important information on the planned performances is available in English HERE.

How about an exhibition?

All those wanting to have an interesting time in the capital of Lower Silesia can also go to one of the interesting exhibitions, e.g. in one of Wroclaw's museums. There, foreigners have been thought of, too. Not only the content websites is translated into English, but also on-site information on specific exhibitions and exhibits, for example in Wroclaw City Museum in the very heart of the Market Square, the National Museum at Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 5, the Four Domes Pavillon, located just by the Centennial Hall at ul. Wystawowa 1, the Museum of Architecture at ul. Bernardyńska 5,the BWA Awangarda Gallery at ul. Wita Stwosza 2, or in the Panorama of Racławice. In some museums and on their websites, you can also find information in German.

Reliable information

All foreign guests looking for artistic experiences in Wroclaw can freely use the Infopunkt of the European Capital of Culture 2016, which is located in the Bar "Barbara" in ul. Świdnicka 8c in Wroclaw. (write at: infopunkt@wroclaw2016.pl, or call: +48 71 712 75 74). There, they will get comprehensive information about all the cultural events taking place in the capital of Lower Silesia in the next few months.

"Usually the most detailed information we give is about all sorts of exhibitions, performances and demonstrations held within the next month," says Monika Ratajczak with the Infopunkt of the European Capital of Culture 2016. "We have information regarding the later events, but in such case we sometimes don't yet know, e.g. the exact time of a performance or the full cast.
Every day Infopunkt of the ECC 2016 is visited by a few to a dozen foreigners, and even groups.

"Usually, most foreigners looking for information here come Germany, Spain and Ukraine," says Monika Ratajczak. "Usually, they simply ask about current events. It also happens that someone interested in only one area, e.g. classical music or theatre.

Foreigners speak of the city's cultural offer

Since February 2016, Erik Maita has been working in Wroclaw's branch of Google. He is 27 years old, and comes from Lima, the capital of Peru. When he's got the time and mood, he uses the cultural offer of the city. He's already been to the cinema and to a film festival. "I know that Wroclaw is the European Capital of Culture, and there's much going on in the city. Google employs a person who helps finding interesting offers. I often walk and read posters in the street, this is also a good source of information," he adds. Will he benefit from the stay in Poland ? "I can't say exactly what I will learn. I lived in France, and could get to know those people and their culture, and now it's the same. I know Spanish and English, and I'm learning the basics of Polish. I will be easier for me to get to know other Slavic countries like Russia or the Czech Republic.

Raghavender Balasubramanian from India, has been working and living with the family in Wroclaw for 2 years.

"There is a large range of leisure activities for our whole family here. But coming to Wroclaw, I thought more people spoke English here, but apparently there is a problem with that," says Raghav.

Selected cultural events prepared with foreigners in mind:

    • Wratislavia Cantans - a classical music festival, the programme in English is available on the website of the National Forum of Music: tutaj The festival runs until September 18, 2016
    • Regular lectures on architecture held by foreign guest speakers - see here
    • Theatre performances in ancient Greek, prepared by a group of resident actors, on September 16, 2016 - see here
    • International Children's Theatre Festival - majority of performances is based on music and pantomime - see here
    • A residency program for foreign artists - WRO ART. CENTER - see here
    • Exhibition of the Polish contemporary art collection in the Four Domes Pavilion - see here
    • Exhibition "Art in search of IQ" in the lobby of the National Forum of Music - see here
    • Exhibition "Dependence degree - young Ukrainian artists" at the Gallery BWA Awangarda - see here

Upcoming events

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The feature was prepared in collaboration with the Wroclaw Metropolitan Area Development Agency