Municipal Stadium - Wroclaw

Name Municipal Stadium - Wroclaw
Year Completed

The brand-new Municipal Stadium in the west of the city in the Maslice district. Shaped in the form of a Chinese lantern, the ground has room for almost 43,000 spectators and with its translucent outer 'skin' has something of the look of Munich's Allianz Arena about it. 

The venue can be reached by tram or bus in around 15 to 20 minutes. Jump on bus 103, 403 or 435 or tram 3, 10, 20, 32 Plus or 33 Plus. Alternatively take the special tram line (T1) which runs from the Galleria Dumninikanska mall downtown to the stadium. By car, the stadium is just off the A8 highway.

Where to go, what to see

The capital of Lower Silesia and Poland's fourth-largest city, Wroclaw has so much going for it, not least the rich multinational influences which have shaped its soul. Bohemian, Austrian and Prussian influence is scattered across a city notable for its magnificent architecture, manageable size, current role as the country's economic boom town and the vibrancy and sheer joie de vivre generated by its substantial student population. 

No doubt about it, Wroclaw - pronounced Vrots-Waf in Polish - will make for a wonderful backdrop for Euro 2012. A city of twelve islands linked by more than a hundred bridges and dominated by dozens of spectacular Gothic churches, Wroclaw totally lives up to its nickname of 'The Venice of Poland', a visually-stunning city with the oval-shaped Old Town the jewel in its crown. 

The main square (Rynek), the second-biggest in the country after the one in Krakow, is the spot every visitor naturally gravitates to, drawn in by the beauty of the grand houses surrounding it, the sumptuous City Hall and the teeming restaurants, cafes and bookshops. As the heart of Wroclaw, Rynek was always going to be the focal point of the Euro 2012 festivities, hence the decision to locate the official Fan Zone both here and in a nearby square (Plac Solny). 

This Supporter City will be able to take up to 30,000 fans and will have the usual features: three big-screens for live match feeds, food and drink stalls, live music, five-a-side tournaments etc. You certainly will not be short-changed when it comes to meal time in this city. Whether looking for typical Polish specialities such as 'pierogi' (a type of ravioli), 'bigos' (a meat and cabbage stew) and 'placki' (potato pancakes) or a more cosmopolitan plate, you can be sure of well-cooked, flavoursome grub in large quantities and at reasonable prices. 

Fancy a real taste of Wroclaw? Then head to the centrally-located Kurna Chata at Odrzanska 17. As popular with locals as tourists this rustic chalet-like emporium of calories and carbs, never fails to satisfy, dishing up both mouth watering local staples and great fries. A special mention for the pea soup, blood sausage and their extraordinary Meat Platter, a mountain of grilled chicken, chicken wings, pork, bacon and sausages. 

Another highly-recommended haunt is the Pod Papugami Cinema Cafe on Sukiennice 9A in the middle of the Rynek. While it may be a little cheesy with all of its movie memorabilia, the food is good - especially the schnitzel and the roast pork with spinach - the atmosphere is jovial and there is live music to enjoy four nights a week. Further options: the brilliant salads and crepes on offer at Le Bistro Parisien (ul Nozownicza 7) and the above-average Tex-Mex fare at Mexico Bar on ul Rzeznicza 34. Lively bars - most of which have vast ranges of vodkas - abound between the Old Town and the university quarter on the northern fringes of the centre. Beer aficionados will particularly appreciate Spiz, a brilliant combination of micro-brewery, bar and restaurant tucked away in the basement of the town hall. 

Mleczarnia (Dairy Farm) is an equally atmospheric bar close to the synagogue on ul Wlodkowica 5. Just like all modern-day cities, shopping malls are springing up left and right. The best of the genre in Wroclaw are the 250-store Magnolia Park (ul Legnicka 58) and the five-star Arkady Wroclaskie, a bright and shiny temple to retail therapy complete with multiplex cinema and supermarket. Very conveniently situated between the main square and the train station to the south of town. You will not expend too much energy stepping out in Wroclaw. 

All the major sights are within easy walking distance of the central area and should you want to explore further afield, the city has a most efficient network of trams and buses. Available from newspaper kiosks, single journey tickets cost 2.50 zlotys. The city's principal railway station, Wroclaw Glowny is on ul Pilsudskiego, a 20-minute stroll from the Rynek. 

The main bus station (Dworzec PKS) sits right behind the rail terminus on ul Sucha. The city airport, where a new terminal recently has opened, lies 13 km to the west of town. Bus number 406 leaves here very 20 minutes for the city centre. If you do need some help, head for tourist office slap bang in the Rynek, where staff speak better English than most in the UK. 

Make sure you pick up the 'Open Wroclaw Card' here, a passport for reductions at restaurants, clubs and local events. So when would be the ideal moment to plan a visit Wroclaw this summer? It has to be around June 16th, the day Poland play host to close neighbours Czech Republic, when passion and culture are guaranteed to mix and great a unique atmosphere in Wroclaw.