Bolesławiec: 7 Things To Do & Places to See (Local’s Guide)

Update: February 7, 2023 r
Boleslawiec Poland Market Square City Hall
Boleslawiec Poland Market Square City Hall

Bolesławiec is a world-famous ceramics town and one of the most important attractions of Lower Silesia. Tourists from Poland, Europe and even the USA, Australia or the Far East come here to buy ceramics with the characteristic blue pattern.

The town is only an hour’s train journey from Wrocław, so I have sometimes travelled here only to return home with a… beautiful mug. Ceramics, however, is not the only reason to visit Bolesławiec.

In the city, a beautiful market square with colourful townhouses awaits you, as well as many historical monuments and green walking areas along the river Bóbr. Bolesławiec is one of the most unique places to see in Poland and a top tourist attraction in Lower Silesia.

I’ve put together the TOP 7 things to do & best attractions in Bolesławiec, so you can spend a great day or weekend here – especially with tips only a local might know. 😉


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1. Learn about the history of Bolesławiec ceramics and become an artist in a workshop

Before you get caught up in shopping, I recommend you to look at two important points to learn more about Bolesławiec ceramics. Your first stop should be the Museum of Ceramics (Muzeum Ceramiki) at 13 Mickiewicza St.

The exhibition shows the history of ceramics, but you will also have the opportunity to see an extensive collection of ceramic objects from all over the world. After a short history lesson, it’s time to get to work and unleash your artistic soul!

Take a look at the Live Museum of Pottery (Żywe Muzeum Ceramiki) at 30 Gdańska Street to see the entire process of creating ceramics, from the creation of the ceramic mass and the casting of the moulds to the final firing of the finished objects. Lots of stages, but it’s not an easy art!

Be sure to participate in the ceramic & pottery workshops – a unique opportunity for you to create your own ceramic artwork. Check the website for ticket prices and tour details (in English).

Where to buy ceramics as a souvenir or gift?

You can buy ceramics in both of Boleslawiec’s museums. Still, local souvenirs are best purchased in the numerous shops in the town. The largest and most famous of the places that offer Bolesławiec ceramics is Zakłady Ceramiczne “Bolesławiec” store at 11 Kościuszki Street – not far from the railway station.

There are full-priced, expensive sets of ceramics on sale (in the ‘regular’ shop) and discounted wares in the outlet right next to the main shop.

Look at the outlet if you are not a great ceramics expert just looking for a beautiful souvenir. For 30-40 PLN, you can buy a beautiful mug with distinctive blue motifs.

It is also worth visiting the Ceramika Bolesławiecka shop, located at 24a Kościuszki Street, which has an extensive website (in English) and allows you to pick up a mug or jug on your way to Bolesławiec. There is also a good selection on site. 😉

2. Go around the Market Square (Rynek) with colourful townhouses

In my opinion, the Market Square in Boleslawiec is one of the prettiest in Lower Silesia – next to those in Wrocław, Świdnica or Jelenia Góra. It is surrounded on four sides by rows of multi-coloured tenement houses, and in the middle stands a massive Town Hall.

The Baroque Town Hall was built in 1535. It is the seat of the municipal authorities, and the German architect Wendel Roskopf was responsible for its construction. Unfortunately, the Town Hall tower is not open to tourists – which is a shame, as it would make a great vantage point.

Look for the orange building with a semi-circular gate – this is the Piast Gate, where you will find images of the ancient seals of the princes who ruled these lands.

There are several restaurants and cafes in Market Square where you can take a break from exploring the city. I grabbed a morning espresso at Manufaktura Smaku Słodko&Słono and can highly recommend this place. Mexican restaurant Ryõri is also getting good reviews.

Below, you will find suggestions for tours with local guides from Wrocław, which will take you to Bolesławiec but also to Świdnica and the famous Książ castle. The tours are led by local guides who will give you a lot of interesting information. The price of the tour includes transport and the guide’s supervision. 😉

3. Watch the trains on one of the longest railway viaducts in Europe

A unique facility for all lovers of railways, technology and… all kinds of curiosities. The viaduct in Boleslawiec is 490 metres long – one of the longest railway viaducts in Europe.

It was built in 1846 over the river Bóbr and is made of chalky sandstone quarried from a local mine. It is impressive in photographs, but it is only awe-inspiring when standing by the riverbank and looking at its size.

In the surroundings of the viaduct, you will find pleasant walking areas, and on a warm day, you can stop here for a while, e.g. having a small picnic with a nice view. 😉

The viaduct is used by trains going from Wrocław Główny to Zgorzelec and across the German border to Goerlitz and Dresden. It is best to check the timetable of Polish trains on the Portal Pasażera.

4. Feel the atmosphere of a massive basilica with Italian accents

Right next to the market square is the architectural jewel of Bolesławiec: St Mary’s Basilica (Bazylika Maryjna), built in the 15th century. The Italian architect Giulio Simonetti was responsible for one of several reconstructions of the church after its historic destruction.

The white-painted interior is imposing. At the entrance, you will see Baroque altars and statues of saints brought from various places in the city. One of the most striking features is the carved altarpiece by Georg Weber.

The church is free to enter, but do it between masses. I’m not a big fan of visiting churches (we have a lot of them in Poland, maybe even too many), but this one made a big impression on me. The interior is pleasantly cool, so it’s worth going inside on a hot day 😉

5. Take a walk along the medieval town walls

City walls were an essential element for the security of cities in the Middle Ages. In the beginning, Boleslawiec was surrounded by ramparts of wood and earth, and later stone walls were built and surrounded by a moat. Sounds like something safe!

In 1813, French troops blew up all the gates and part of the walls, and later the walls were gradually dismantled. Fortunately, their fragments have still survived – you can see them in A. Mickiewicza Street, B. Kubika Street or Partyzantów Avenue.

Take a stroll along the former city walls of Bolesławiec along a charming walking route that passes by a pond and a fountain with a heron.

You can make a short stop in a small park and then make another stop by a small pond close to the former fortification. The walls blend in beautifully with the greenery. 😉

Not far from the city walls, the soaring 73-metre tower of the Baroque church (Kościół Matki Bożej Nieustającej Pomocy) will catch your eye. It’s a landmark on your walk through Bolesławiec. You can look inside the church, but its interior is not as impressive as the basilica.

6. Look for beautiful architecture in the centre of Bolesławiec

The centre of Bolesławiec is not extensive, but it hides quite a few examples of interesting architecture. Take a look at Teatralna Street, where you will find the Old Theatre (Teatr Stary).

It was the first representative building erected on the promenade surrounding the centre of the old town. Visit the website to find admission prices and upcoming events.

Walking a few metres further, you will notice the neo-Gothic building of the District Court (Sąd Rejonowy) with its distinctive tower. It has been virtually unchanged for almost 100 years – surviving the turmoil of the Second World War unscathed. It cannot be visited inside, but the exterior is also beautiful.

Take a stroll down Sądowa Street, and then look at Prusa, Daszyńskiego and Sierpnia 80 streets leading to the Market Square. On the ground floors of the townhouses, you will find several recommended restaurants (if you like Japanese cuisine, check out KOKU Sushi at Prusa 8).

7. Discover the overlooked Southern Quarter

The Southern Quarter is a villa district of Boleslawiec modelled on Berlin’s Westend and a hidden treasure of the city rarely visited by tourists.

Among the Komuny Paryskiej, Wybickiego, Opitz and Brody streets, you will find classicist and neo-Renaissance villas of Bolesławiec’s wealthy inhabitants.

The houses in the area were considered prestigious because of their impressive size, exciting architecture and extensive gardens. The passage of time is evident in some buildings, but this does not take away from their beauty.

The district lies a few minutes’ walk south of Market Square. Ceramics, however, draws visitors to Boleslawiec so strongly that there is rarely enough time to visit other attractions.

You are unlikely to meet other visitors here, so you can have the district all to yourself. 😉


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Where to sleep in Boleslawiec?

You will find quite a few hotels and flats in Boleslawiec. After all, the city is one of Lower Silesia’s popular attractions among foreign tourists.

I have selected a few places that meet my standards – comfortable and reasonably priced, close to the centre. This should make your choice easier. 😉

How much time do I need to visit Boleslawiec?

You can easily visit Boleslawiec in one day, as all the city’s important attractions are within walking distance. You need about 3-4 hours to see the essential points.

It is always a good idea to come to the city for a weekend and divide your time between sightseeing and walking along the Bóbr river, relaxing in the Bolesławiec Thermal Baths and “decompressing” in one of the local restaurants in the evening. 😉

You can take part in interesting tours from Wrocław covering Boleslawiec and other exciting places in Lower Silesia – including a Polish pottery tour. You will then be able to see many of Lower Silesia’s treasures in a short time.

Where to eat in Boleslawiec?

It’s time for the restaurant tour! Exploring local flavours is one of my favourite things on a trip. Here are a few of my recommendations – restaurants and cafés in Bolesławiec that are worth a stopover from sightseeing:

  • Piwnica Paryska (43 Komuny Paryskiej Street) – one of the most exciting places on the gastronomic map of Bolesławiec. Reasonable prices, a wide menu with classic Polish dishes, and tasty steaks. A bit out of the city centre.
  • Dobra Pierogarnia (11a Piaskowa Street) – a restaurant with a rustic décor worth a visit for any “pierogi” (Polish dumplings) lover. The choice of dumplings is significant – from sweet to salty and vegetarian. You can try all the flavours you are interested in.
  • JAK W DYM pizza & wine (Market Square 9/10, place no. 8) – the perfect place to have lunch in the city centre. If you are okay with gluten, they serve Italian-style pizza here, on a thin crust, with fresh tomatoes.

How to get to Bolesławiec?

To get to Bolesławiec, I recommend you use Koleje Dolnośląskie trains (modern trains painted in yellow and white), which reach Bolesławiec from Wrocław several times a day. The train station is a few minutes’ walk to the Market Square in Bolesławiec and not far from a ceramics shop.

You can check the timetable in the KOLEO app and buy tickets easily (you can pay by credit card, BLIK or bank transfer). You can use the website as well.

You have just learnt about my list of the most exciting places and things to do when visiting Bolesławiec. As a local, I know which places appeal most to tourists – so I think your stay in Bolesławiec will be a pleasure. Enjoy your visit!


Looking for exciting places to see in Lower Silesia? Want to save time on planning?

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