Dwarfs overrun Wroclaw. Walking around the city, you will find a dwarf near most major landmarks, and after a while, you start thinking about trying to see every one of them.
The problem is that there are more than 300 dwarfs around Wroclaw. So, embark on a whimsical journey with us through Wroclaw as the mischievous Wroclaw Dwarfs take center stage.
Spot them near famous landmarks as you stroll around the city. Unleash your inner detective and see if you can locate all the captivating Wroclaw Dwarfs.
Why are there so many dwarf statues around Wroclaw?
This is the question we had once we started researching our trip to Wroclaw at the end of December 2014. Wroclaw, why so many dwarfs? The answer was unexpected and way more interesting than we thought.
Back in the 80s, when communism held power in Poland, dwarfs became the absurdist card of the Orange Alternative movement, which wanted an alternative way of opposing the authoritarian communist regime. They wanted a peaceful protest and found it through painted ridiculous graffiti of dwarves. So, the dwarfs in Wroclaw have a historical and political background dating back to the 80s but why the statues?
In 2001, to celebrate the Orange Alternative movement, a figurine of a dwarf was placed on Świdnicka Street, where the group gathered. This might be one of the few times where a subversive group like the Orange Alternative was honored by authorities.
And it was such a success that, in 2003, Wroclaw decided to start with the dwarf craze in the city. Tomasz Moczek, a The Academy of Art and Design graduate in Wroclaw, designed the next five dwarfs. After that, each year, on average, 30 new dwarf statues are being erected. This is how they reached almost 300 dwarfs on the streets of Wroclaw!
Finding all the Wroclaw Dwarfs
In the Wroclaw tourist information center, you can buy a map pointing to where the dwarfs are. Or you can go to Krasnale.pl and use the online map. It is your choice.
Or you can go crazy as we did, forget about maps, and just walk around the city trying to find where the dwarfs are hidden. This might be more fun, but it is way more difficult since finding 300 dwarfs is not easy.
I believe we found something like 50 dwarfs around Wroclaw. From a dwarf riding a horse to a group of them about to rob an ATM, we saw lots of them, but we needed to get back to Wroclaw again if we wanted to catch them all. But can we catch them all?
Where to stay in Wroclaw
We spent a weekend in Wroclaw at the beginning of January 2015, and it was great. We stayed at the Hotel Duet Wrocław, and if you are looking for great value, this might be what you are looking for.
The rooms were comfortable, the bathroom was spotless, and the wifi worked perfectly. The staff was friendly and helped us in English without any problems, and the breakfast was cheap and huge. You should stay there if you are looking for a hotel near the city center.
You can find some of the Wroclaw Dwarfs on the map above but only the ones in the city center. A pro tip for the dwarf hunters is that the Polish Wikipedia article about the Wroclaw Dwarfs has pictures and the location of every one of the dwarfs; you should use it as a reference for your hunt.