Observations on Wroclaw's Public Transport Network

Wroclaw Travel Blog

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Wroclaw tram

Wrocław's centre is walkable but if you stay and/or want to visit places outside the centre, the trams are the most convenient means of transport. The city has a combined tram and bus network but I have to admit that I entirely relied on the trams and never needed to use any bus apart from the airport line 106. Anyway, both can be used on the same tickets. For the night network other fares apply.

Each tram line runs every 20 minutes during the day, every 15 minutes during rush hours. At most stops there is more than one line. The vehicles in use are a varied mix. You’ll see everything from new, shiny, ultra modern trams to oldies of the „shake, rattle and roll“ type that were roaming the tracks already in the socialist era. The trams reach more or less everything that's of interest to a visitor.

A brand new modern tram
There are several attractions outside the immediate city centre, so the use of the transport network saves you a lot of walking and precious time.

Trams are also great for people-watching. Everyone uses them, there are all kinds of people on board. I was amazed at the politeness I watched and experienced myself. While in my country few kids would even give their seat to an elderly person with obvious walking difficulties, Polish youngsters have been taught better manners. Everyone is observant if an elderly passenger boards. When a young man and a woman around 50 (= me) aim for that one empty seat, the lady gets the seat.

Polish men are still dżentelmen. Yes this is how they spell „gentleman“, LOL. However, Polish men know much better what a real gentleman is, than their counterparts from countries that know how to spell it right.

Trams
Polish men of all ages have preserved that certain chivalry towards ladies which is almost lost and forgotten in our Western societies. Being treated like a lady, being 'taken' to a cafe or restaurant by someone who is just a friend, being offered a seat on the tram - I enjoyed that very much. I hear that even the handkiss is still in use now and then, but I have never observed that, let alone been offered one.

But I got into a situation that describes the Polski Dżentelmen in a nutshell. I was sitting on the tram, one of the rattling oldies, when an old man with a crutch boarded with some difficulties because of the high steps at the door. I immediately offered my seat, so did the girl behind me, but the man put his hand on my shoulder and pushed me back on my seat, then the same to the girl, and he only accepted the seat from a young man further behind us.

Departure board showing line, direction, and departure time
He could hardly walk, but taking a seat from a lady - never!

What are those Football Stickers? 

Most trams sport football stickers attached to the side mirrors and to the front window. Śląsk („Silesia“) Wrocław is the local football (soccer) team and very popular in the city. Their colours are green, white and red, with green being the main colour of jerseys and fan t-shirts. On match days the green colour will be impossible to overlook in the streets...The team is playing in the first Polish league. Their greatest recent success was winning the Polish championship in 2012. Since the Euro Cup 2012 and the completion of the new Stadion Miejski in the western suburbs of the city, this arena has become the team's new site for home matches.

On board

Are the tram drivers all Śląsk supporters? No, not necessarily. But the stickers protect their trams from attacks by local hooligans! Instead of causing trouble the Śląsk fans would rather protect such a tram from the opponent‘s supporters. That indicates that hooligans exist and are a problem. I once ended up in a tram full of Śląsk fans after a match, though, and they were totally unproblematic and peaceful, many families with children among them.

Historical Trams

Historical trams from the pre-war era, carefully restored and maintained, can be spotted on Wrocław's tram rails every now and then. On weekends they do round trips for everyone, you can ride them from the city centre to Hala Stulecia and back.

Tram with football stickers
Special tickets are needed, though, normal tram tickets aren't valid. I imagine they can also be rented for groups.

The tram cars have names. I have seen three different ones. The red „Baba Jaga“ was the one I encountered most often. Then there is a yellowish-white tram named „Juliusz“, and a double streetcar with hanger which are known as „Jas i Małgosia“ (Hansel and Gretel) like the two houses in Rynek.

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Wroclaw tram
Wroclaw tram
A brand new modern tram
A brand new modern tram
Trams
Trams
Departure board showing line, dire…
Departure board showing line, dir…
On board
On board
Tram with football stickers
Tram with football stickers
Tram with sticker on the window
Tram with sticker on the window
On board
On board
Airport bus, then 406, now renamed…
Airport bus, then 406, now rename…
Football...
Football...
Slask sticker on the mirror
Slask sticker on the mirror
Easy-going football fans at the st…
Easy-going football fans at the s…
On board
On board
City bus
City bus
Tram seen from tram
Tram seen from tram
Full speed!
Full speed!
Tram on Sand Island
Tram on Sand Island
Impression from plac Grunwaldzki s…
Impression from plac Grunwaldzki …
Surprised tram driver encounters K…
Surprised tram driver encounters …
Tram top Rynek
Tram top "Rynek"
A pit stop at the pizza stall for …
A pit stop at the pizza stall for…
Baba Jaga passing our student door…
Baba Jaga passing our student doo…
Jas i Malgosia in ul. Szewska, pas…
Jas i Malgosia in ul. Szewska, pa…
Baba Jaga and Hala Stulecia
Baba Jaga and Hala Stulecia
Juliusz - snapshot from another tr…
Juliusz - snapshot from another t…
A rattling oldie meets grandma Bab…
A rattling oldie meets grandma Ba…
Wroclaw General Tips & Advice review
Public Transport: Fares and Tickets
There are a couple of particularities that tram and bus travellers should know. All fares as of 2015. # A single ticket is 3 PLN. This is for one sin… read entire review
Wroclaw General Tips & Advice review
Public Transport: Online Route Planner
The transport network runs an online route planner which is simply genius. The weblink is https://wroclaw.jakdojade.pl It can be switched to English… read entire review
Wroclaw
photo by: anjok