Are There Any Free Things To Do in Krakow? Absolutely!

Have you ever gritted your teeth looking at the cost of entry tickets to various museums and attractions while planning your vacation? Planning a trip to Krakow with your family and worried that it might leave a big dent in your wallet? Or maybe you’re a student trying to save every penny (though honestly, you’d rather spend it if only you had it to spare)? Well, let me say, I’ve got good news. I present to you my exclusive savings plan – museums and things you can do in Kraków for free.

Let me begin by saying, there are hardly any spots in Krakow you can’t visit without spending a dime. The secret to this, I think, is all in the planning.

Free Things To Do in Kraków This Year

Krakow is teeming with gorgeous sights that you can visit absolutely free. For starters, you can stroll down the charming, atmospheric streets of various Krakow districts and marvel at the unique architecture spanning several eras without paying a penny. I am convinced that Krakow, celebrated for its architecture and religious art, is a treat to the eyes.

Main Square in Kraków At Night

If you’re an admirer, you’re in luck. You can visit the Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque churches all day, free of cost. The only exception is St. Mary’s Basilica. You’d need a ticket if you wish to enter the presbytery and get a close look at the Veit Stoss Altar (it is worth to say, it’s worth it!). But to admire the interior, you can step in through the main portal without any charges.

↳ Make sure to read my guide to the most amazing places to stay in Kraków:
How to Find Best Place to Stay in Krakow Old Town – Your Guide

  • St Mary’s Basilica – Google Pictures and Location: Click Here

Heading over to the Wawel Hill? Guess what? Entrance to the hill and the interior of the Cathedral is also on the house. Though, if you want to visit the crypts and the Zygmunt Bell, you’ll need to buy a ticket. But there’s plenty to see in the temple itself. Plus, you can also enter the famed arcaded courtyard of Wawel Castle for free. So, even if you don’t intend to spend a single zloty, Wawel is worth a visit.

If you’re craving a bird’s-eye view of Krakow, I’d encourage you to visit Krakow’s mounds. While the Kościuszko Mound has an entry fee, you can access Krak and Piłsudski Mounds totally free! The observation tower at the Sanctuary in Łagiewniki also welcomes you for any symbolic donation.

Free Museum Tours in Krakow

If you believe that visiting Krakow’s most captivating museum exhibits would cost you an arm and a leg, let me say, you’re mistaken. Every museum in Kraków opens its doors for free to its permanent exhibitions once a week. If you want to make the most of this, choose the exhibitions that pique your interest and book your tickets in advance.

This is a must for the city’s busiest museums like Wawel, Rynek Underground, and Schindler’s Factory. Now, let me share with you a handy guide to the museums offering free entry on specific days of the week.

Free Entry Days to Krakow’s Museums

Sunday – branches of the National Museum in Krakow:

  • Main Building, Sukiennice, Bishop Erazm Ciołek’s Palace, „Europeum”, Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Collection, Matejko House, Mehoffer House; Archaeological Museum – the main building on Poselska Street; Home Army Museum.

You can visit National Museum’s website and check all the branches they have.

Monday – Branches of the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow:

  • Old Synagogue, Pharmacy under the Eagle, Schindler’s Factory, Archaeological Museum – the basement of St. Wojciech’s church on Market Square, Wawel Royal Castle from April 1 to October 31 (only for individual tourists).

Tuesday – Branches of the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow:

  • Krzysztofory, Rynek Underground in Krakow (except the first Tuesdays of the month when the museum is closed), Celestat, Pomorska Branch and the exhibition „Krakowians against terror 1939-1945-1956”, Polish Aviation Museum, Museum Municipal Engineering (except the interactive exhibition „Around the wheel”; kids under 7 and folks over 70 always get in free); Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology.

Wednesday – Branches of the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow:

  • Hipolit House, History of Nowa Huta.

Other Krakow’s Things You Can Do For Free

Wondering what to do in Krakow when you’re not keen on spending cash? Krakow brims with complimentary attractions you can fit into your weekend or longer vacation itinerary. Let me share with you a mini-guide to Krakow that offers free things to do and a wholesome two-day experience in the city.

Immerse Yourself in Art at Jordan Park

Jordan Park, established through the efforts of the renowned philanthropist Dr. Henryk Jordan, has grown over the years to become a favorite spot for many Cracovians. The park invites you for walks, workouts at the gym, team games, sledding in winter, yoga, or simply sitting with a good book. The park houses both old and new sculptures of eminent Polish personalities, with the oldest ones in aisles I and II. Since 1914, a bust of Henryk Jordan has been the park’s central attraction.

Unwind at Błonia

Błonia in Kraków

A 48-hectare meadow right in the city center? You bet! This is Błonia, a famous Krakow location that has hosted historical events, including the first plane take-off in Krakow, holy masses with John Paul II, and a range of cultural events. Today, it’s a haven of rest and relaxation for thousands of Cracovians, perfect for a picnic, jogging, or rollerblading.

Stroll Through the Wolski Forest

The Wolski Forest Entrance in Kraków – 6 km from City Center

Referred to as the „lungs” of Krakow, the Wolski Forest spans 419 hectares. The city’s Savings Bank purchased this area and gifted it to the city as a park. Over the years, many hiking paths and bike routes have sprung up here. You can bird-watch, admire characteristic gorges, take a walk, cycle, or simply relax on one of the iconic clearings, like the glade of Julius Lea.

  • Forest Pictures and Google Maps location: Click Here

Meander around Planty

Planty Park in Kraków

Planty is a 4 km city park surrounding Krakow’s Old Town. It was developed after Krakow’s medieval fortifications were demolished. Though the old walls no longer exist, in their place stands one of Poland’s most famous parks, populated by chestnuts, maples, and poplars. The Planty comprises eight separate gardens, which you can traverse starting and ending at any point. As you stroll, you can admire some of Krakow’s finest monuments, a pond, and numerous memorials, including those of Grottger, Copernicus, Boy Żeleński, Adam Żeleński, murdered in Lviv Sapieha, and Jadwiga and Jagiełło kings.

  • Planty Pictures and Google Maps location: Click Here

Bird Feeding at the Vistula Boulevards

Vistula Boulevards in Kraków

Feeding waterfowl has become a popular pastime for Krakow visitors of all ages. Ducks and swans can be found in many places, especially along the renowned Vistula Boulevards. These boulevards run on both sides of the Vistula River and carry a history of over 100 years. Remember, swans and ducks prefer boiled potatoes, bird food, or cereals over bread or rolls. So, let’s leave those salted Krakow bagels for ourselves!

Take in the Sights at Krakow’s Park

Established in 1885 at the behest of Stanisław Rehman, Kraków’s Park, now called Grechuta Park, is another must-visit spot. Here, you can find a recently renovated pond and fountain, play areas for children, and some fascinating (though somewhat controversial) sculptures from the 1970s.

  • Park Pictures and Google Maps Location: Click Here

Bask in the Sun by the Vistula Near Wawel

Czerwiński Boulevard, situated between Dębnicki Bridge and Grunwaldzki Bridge, is a picturesque spot at the foot of Wawel Royal Castle. In the summer, the banks of the Vistula River turn into a sunbathing hotspot for local students and hundreds of tourists. The view of the once majestic Villa Rożnowski, which sadly no longer exists, adds a historical touch to the sunbathing experience.

Witness the Wawel Dragon’s Fiery Breath

Kraków’s Dragon

According to legend, a troublesome dragon once lived in a cave, now called the Dragon’s Den, at the foot of Wawel Hill. This infamous creature used to terrorize local cattle breeders and feast on sheep, until a brave shoemaker tricked it with cattle hides filled with sulfur.

  • Dragon Pictures and Google Maps Location: Click Here

A statue commemorating this fiery creature now stands near Wawel. Every three minutes, the dragon spews fire, making it a thrilling spectacle for visitors, especially the young ones.

Heed the Bugle Call from St. Mary’s Tower

A melody steeped in history, the bugle call is a time-honored Krakow tradition. Legend has it that the melody, composed in F Major, originated during the Tatar invasion when the bugler warned the city of impending danger.

The tune abruptly ends because an enemy arrow supposedly hit the bugler. Today, the bugle call emanates every hour from the tower of St. Mary’s Church, reaching the four corners of the world from a modest room 81 meters above Market Square.

Pigeon Feeding

Whether you love them or not, pigeons are an intrinsic part of Krakow’s Market Square. These feathered locals have endured for centuries, their droppings leaving a mark on Krakow’s monuments. Despite the pigeons’ potential harm to historical sites, tourists and locals alike can’t resist feeding them. However, instead of bread or bagels, consider feeding them cereal grains – a healthier and safer option for our feathery friends.

Explore the Historic Cloth Hall

Cloth Hall – Kraków

Krakow’s Market Square may lack a grand town hall, but it’s home to the fascinating Cloth Hall – a hub of trade for centuries. Once known for trading various goods, today it houses stalls offering souvenirs and jewelry. Walking through the ancient market hall at Rynek Główny 3, you can soak in its vibrant atmosphere without buying a single thing.

Stroll Across the Bernatka Footbridge

Bernatka Footbridge in Kraków

The Bernatka Footbridge, a pedestrian-only bridge connecting Krakow and Podgórze, stands as a symbol of unity and love. This modern steel structure, featuring a 145-meter-long arch and two 130-meter-long platforms, was commisioned in September 2010.

  • Bridge Pictures and Google Maps Location: Click Here

Over time, it’s become a lovers’ landmark, with couples attaching padlocks to its railings as a symbol of their enduring love. The footbridge’s night-time illumination creates a romantic and captivating spectacle that you should definitely not miss.

Feast Your Eyes on Krakow’s Street Art

Art enthusiasts looking for a modern flair will delight in Krakow’s vibrant street art scene. Across the city, especially in the districts of Kazimierz and Podgórze, murals by contemporary artists adorn the walls, creating a lively, open-air gallery. Not only is it a feast for the eyes, but it also serves as an excellent Instagram backdrop – and it’s all completely free of charge.

Enjoy an Old Car Rally

With the arrival of warmer months, Krakow’s streets become a playground for vintage car lovers. The city hosts weekly old car rallies, known as Krakow Classics. Watch as these age-old, valued vehicles bring back the charm of bygone eras. And the best part? Admision is free!

Experience Slavic Traditions

Every year, Krakow celebrates a time-honored tradition known as the Rekawka holiday, held on Lasota Hill and under the Mound. Each Tuesday following Easter, historical reenactors and traders congregate here to bring history to life. Expect to see battle recreations and demonstrations of ancient ways of life.

Attend the Late-Night Mass

Krakow’s Market Square is home to the Church of St. Adalbert, one of the city’s oldest temples. This petite church, initially built in the Romanesque style and later converted to a Baroque temple, offers a unique opportunity to attend the city’s latest Mass. Starting at 21:37, the service commemorates the hour of the Polish Pope’s passing.

Plane Watching in Balice

Balice Airport – Kraków

If you prefer a dose of modern marvels, head to the airport in Balice. The airport’s vantage point at ul. Spacerowa is a popular spot among aviation enthusiasts and photographers, offering fantastic views of planes in action. It’s a thrilling sight and, like all the best things in life, it’s completely free.