Wroclaw during Christmas time

10 Best Free Things to Do in Wrocław in 2024

Wrocław is a lovely city with lots to do. If you are looking to stretch your wallet farther in this amazing city, here you will find the 10 Best Free Things to do in Wrocław. Wrocław, like most Polish cities, is already a budget destination compared to most places in Europe. But, if you are traveling with a larger group, or are a student like me, you might be interested in seeing as much of Wrocław while spending less or saving money for a fancy hotel or some good food. Beyond staying in a budget hotel, taking advantage of the many free attractions in Wrocław is a great way to save money! 

From some of the most popular things to do in Wrocław, to self-guided walking tours, and a variety of amazing green spaces and parks, Wrocław has a lot of free things to do that could easily fill an entire itinerary if you wanted! Of course, some paid attractions are also worth visiting, and in general, they should not break the bank, but if you are looking to fill the rest of your itinerary, 3-4 of the options on this list could do that nicely. Read on to learn more! 

Planning to visit Wrocław soon?

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🛏️Booking hotels in Wrocław: When looking for hotels, we recommend using Booking.com and Hotels.com. We like the following hotels in Wrocław:

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🛣️Renting a car in Wrocław: Discover Cars is the platform we use when renting a car in Poland.

1. Visit the Old Town Market Square


Description: The Old Town Market Square is the most popular place to visit in Wrocław. And, because it is an outdoor area, it can be visited entirely for free! Every tourist who comes to Wrocław ends up in the picturesque square at some point during the trip. Here, you will find a square lined on all sides with colorful buildings, full of restaurants, shops, bars, and other attractions. On the inside, you will find a dense cluster of apartments and restaurants, with alleyways to get lost in. You will also find here the beautiful Wrocław Town Hall, with its gothic exterior and beautifully painted clock. Getting lost in the nearby streets is also a must. 

The beautiful market square in Wrocław
The beautiful market square in Wrocław. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Because this is the central part of the town, here also you will find a wide variety of events, from concerts to street performers, that you can watch for free. One major event that happens in the Market Square is the Wrocław Christmas Market. Poland is a magical place in the winter, and this Wrocław Christmas tradition is no exception. While most people who come to the market are likely to buy some delicious Christmas food such as oscypek cheese, mulled wine, or hot chocolate, you can also just admire the atmosphere for free. There is a large Christmas tree for photos, as well as lots of lights and ambiance. It can get a bit crowded, just be warned! 

For a more out-there free event, consider visiting the yearly attempt at setting a new world record that happens in the Market Square! Each year, except during the pandemic, thousands of guitarists meet in the square to play a song together! The song is pre-arranged so people can practice, and they all meet to try to set the Guinness World Record for most people playing guitar simultaneously, usually breaking their already-set record! This year’s version happens on May 1st, 2024, so if you are a guitar enthusiast and want to watch, or even take part, you should check it out.  

Poland Insiders writer Jeremy is enjoying Christmas in Wrocław
Poland Insiders writer Jeremy is enjoying Christmas in Wrocław

Opening Hours: You can visit the Old Town Market Square any time. It will be busiest from just before noon until sunset or dinner time, whichever comes first. If you want to explore it in a bit more peace, consider a visit earlier in the morning, while the city is still waking up. Also, note that at night, due to the higher concentration of cheap bars in some parts of the city center, this area will become a hub of nightlife, so it may not be the most family-friendly destination at this point.  

Transit Details: The Market Square is, of course, at the center of everything in Wrocław. You can get there by taking pretty much any tram in the city. As long as the tram or bus stops at either the Swidnica, Rynek, or Galeria Dominikanska tram stop, you will be at the Market Square in no more than 5 minutes of walking. From the central train station, you can get there by a direct tram, or in about 20 minutes by walking. Parking is hard to find, but beyond street parking, there is some parking available underneath Plac Wolnosci.

2. Have a photoshoot at the Galeria Neon Side


Description: Galeria Neon Side is one of the coolest free things to do in Wrocław. Located in a hidden courtyard, as you enter the alley that leads you there, you may think you are being led to some grungy dead end full of garbage that smells like cigarettes. The exact opposite is the case. You are soon led into the light, with the light shining from the dozens of neon signs that reside in this courtyard! Neon signs are a nostalgic symbol of communist Poland, one of the few privileges allowed by the Soviet-guided Polish government at the time. The signs in Galeria Neon Side are mostly from Wrocław, but you will also find some from other parts of Poland. 

The Vibrant Galeria Neon Side
The Vibrant Galeria Neon Side. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Of course, the main purpose of visiting here is for a photo! Every who comes here will want to take a photo. There are lots of good angles and different backgrounds to try to get the perfect Instagram picture for your story, a post, or a blog about Poland. Of course, that means it can also get quite busy, but that only adds to the atmosphere! You can also enjoy a few bars, both for drinking alcohol and vaping, found in the courtyard. Otherwise, just enjoy the vibes and appreciate that you can get such a great photo without paying anything at all! 

Opening Hours: You can visit Galeria Neon side anytime you want. While at night you will get to see the famous neon lights on and in action, visiting during the day can also be a fun photo opportunity, due to the hidden nature of this area. It will also be almost empty during the day. At night, I recommend going as soon after darkness hits as you can before it gets too crowded with both photo seekers and people enjoying the bars inside the courtyard. Do also note that during the winter, not all the lights may be on due to the ongoing energy crisis (and the Christmas Market gets priority in this case).  

Transit Details: Galeria Neon Side is close to the Rynek tram stop just east of Market Square, with trams arriving here from all over Wrocław. If you are coming from the west of Wrocław, you can get off at the John Paul II Plaza tram stop. Or, if you are already in the city center, it takes about 10 minutes to walk there. In general, the surrounding area is very walkable, with also the vibrant Four Temples District with its lively restaurants and bars right next door. Any parking is limited to street parking in the area.  

3. Take a self-guided dwarf tour

Location: Find throughout the city of Wrocław 

Description: Placed all around the city, Wrocław is home to over 600 dwarves. Each dwarf is unique, with its appearance based on the location, or a backstory. However, the one uniting story behind these dwarves is the Orange Alternative. During the communist period in Poland, young people in Wrocław were hosting non-violent protests against the government. One way in which they did this was by using random symbols as a symbol of protest, symbols that had no real meaning. One popular symbol was a dwarf, which could be found graffitied over pro-communist signs and propaganda throughout the city. Today, the dwarf has remained an enduring symbol of the city. 

Wrocław Dwarves
Dwarves in Wrocław. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

To celebrate these protests, businesses began to make little dwarf statues in front of their business, and eventually, everyone got on board. Now, there are dwarfs for absolutely everything, from a dwarf riding a pigeon to one cutting locks of a bridge, to one advocating for equal representation for disabled persons. So, a free fun activity is to wander the streets of Wrocław, keeping your eyes on the ground to find as many dwarves as possible! While some maps and apps can be downloaded for a cost, this activity can be kept free.  

I did find this map which shows the location of at least 50 of them. Otherwise, enjoy some independent exploring, and you might just accidentally see a lot of the city in the process! 

Opening Hours: As the dwarves are all outside, you can look for the dwarves any time you want. No matter what time of day, as you are walking around Wrocław, make sure to keep an eye out for the dwarves! If you want to do a dedicated walking tour, do it during the day for the best pictures and the opportunity to find them all (well, at least most of them).  

Transit Details: The most famous dwarves, such as the Sisyphus Dwarves, are found in the historic city center, and many are also scattered around the Market Square. Starting here is a good place to find as many dwarves as possible in the shortest amount of time. Otherwise, as you explore other parts of the city, keep your eyes out! If you have one dwarf you want to find, typing its name into Google should guide you to the approximate location from my experience.  

4. Attend a performance at the Wrocław Multimedia Fountain


Description: The Wrocław Multimedia Fountain is the largest in Poland, even larger than its famous counterpart in Warsaw. Located just outside the famous Centennial Hall, which was recently featured as the arena for the newest Hunger Games movie, this fountain is both a chance to see a free show and admire the buildings around it. During the warm season, on the hour for almost every hour, the fountain wakes up, and begins to perform, with water spraying high into the air, lights flashing, and music blasting, to be heard from quite a distance away. At night, the effect of this is amplified as the light shows intensify, and fireworks are even added occasionally.  

The Wrocław Multimedia Fountain
The Wrocław Multimedia Fountain. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Each performance takes between 4-20 minutes depending on the time of day. The music choice depends on the day, the month, or if there is a special event. When I visited the fountain, I was treated to a variety of top pop hits, from Daft Punk to James Brown. But there are also classical performances, both with Polish artists and other classics such as Beethoven, or special performances geared towards kids, such as Disney music. In general, it is fun and worth visiting, especially since you can watch as many shows as you want entirely for free! For complete information about this amazing attraction, visit the fountain’s website linked here

Opening Hours: The shows can be seen from May until September, so do not be disappointed if it is under renovation when visiting in the winter months! As mentioned, shows run every day on the hour, usually starting at 10 AM, and running as late as 10 AM. Longer performances tend to be at noon and later in the evening, but it completely depends on what the yearly schedule looks like. On Fridays and Saturdays, there are also special shows starting at 9 PM, with special themes and longer run times. Check the website linked earlier for complete information on what is performed and when. 

Transit Details: To arrive at the fountain, take either Tram 2, 4, or 10 to either the Hala Stulecia or Zoo tram stops, and walk past Centennial Hall to get there. There is also a large paid parking lot next meant for the zoo where you could also park for the fountain.  

5. Attend a Wrocław museum on a free day

Location: Click each museum’s name below 

Description: Wrocław has a large list of many fantastic museums to visit! And, like almost every museum in Poland that is publicly funded, there is one day per week that you can visit these museums for free! Super popular museums may not have such an offering, but there are plenty of top-notch museums you can visit for free in Wrocław! Perhaps the best choice is the National Museum of Wrocław, home to the best collection of Renaissance artwork and religious icons in Wrocław. You can also visit its sister museums at the Four Domes Pavilion for a modern art experience, or the Ethnographic Museum to learn about how Silesians lived for centuries. 

Inside the Museum of the University of Wrocław
Inside the Museum of the University of Wrocław. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

If you are looking for a bit more niche experience, the Wrocław Contemporary Museum offers a quirky collection of modern art. For more history, consider visiting either branch of the City Museum of Wrocław, housed in a palace in the city center, or the other branch often called the Museum of Bourgeois Art, which allows you to see the inside of the beautiful city hall. Or, if you are interested in architecture, the Museum of Architecture in Wrocław houses the only collections dedicated to the use of architecture in all of Poland. Whichever you pick, whether 1, 2 or all of them, you will learn a lot, without spending a single grosz! 

One final thing to note is that you can also visit the National Museum in Wrocław, the Four Domes Pavilion, and the Ethnographic Museum for free on any day if you buy a ticket for the stunning landmark Panorama Racławicka. However, you can still visit each of these three museums for free without a ticket to the Panorama, but if the Panorama is on your must-see list, then you can take advantage of the four-museum offer. 

Opening Hours: All opening hours on the free days can be found below. Note they may be subject to change, so visit each of the museums’ websites, which are also linked in the table below. 

Museum Name Free Day and Hours 
Four Domes Pavilion | Website Tuesday, 10 AM – 5 PM 
Museum of Architecture | Website Wednesday, 10 AM – 5 PM 
Wrocław Contemporary Museum | Website Thursday, 12 PM – 8 PM 
City Museum of Wrocław | Website Thursday, 11 AM – 5 PM 
Museum of Bourgeois Art | Website Thursday, 11 AM – 5 PM 
National Museum in Wrocław | Website Saturday, 10:30 AM – 6 PM 
Ethnographic Museum | Website Saturday, 10 AM – 4 PM 

Transit Details: All museums listed above are either within walking distance of Market Square or can be reached by tram leaving from nearby within 15 minutes. The Wrocław Contemporary Museum can be reached by taking a tram west, the Four Domes Pavilion by taking a tram towards Centennial Hall, and the Ethnographic Museum by taking an east. All the rest are in the core of the city. Some have parking, but it will be very limited and paid. 

6. Walk along the Oder River

Good Starting Location 

Description: The Oder River is one of the most important rivers in Poland, flowing up from the Czech Republic before forming much of the western border of Germany and Poland. Wrocław would not exist without the Oder, and thus a walk around the Oder is one where you can imagine what the city once looked like. There are many islands, canals, and tributaries of the Oder to explore here, making it a great place for a relaxing walk along the river. To me, walking along the river felt like a quieter version of Amsterdam, with the many bridges and architectural styles. 

The Oder river in Wroclaw
The Oder river in Wroclaw. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

A good place to start a walk is by the market hall Hala Targowa. From here, you can cross the beautiful Most Piaskowy onto one of the many islands found here. Here, you can admire the beautiful cathedral, and continue onwards over many other bridges and the islands. It is also cool to see the trams go over the bridges. Once you finish with the islands, you can walk along the river for quite a while, walking by more of the many beautiful bridges of Wrocław, such as the especially stunning Grunwald Bridge. If you walk far enough you can look at the working cable car that goes over the river (but is not free to use).  

All in all, a walk along the Oder will introduce you to more of the city and be beautiful to boot. 

Opening Hours: You can take a run or walk along the river anytime. At night, the river becomes alive with activity, and you can also watch the sunset from here if you would like. During the winter, it is not as nice to walk due to cold winds, but it is still beautiful when there is snow. 

Transit Details: A good place to start the walk is near the Hala Targowa tram station, about 10 minutes on foot from Market Square. But you can walk in many places along the river, including in a location featured later on this list.  

7. Visit Szczytnicki Park


Description: While there are many great parks and green spaces in Wrocław (some of which will be featured later on this list), Szczytnicki Park rises above the others as the best park to visit in Wrocław. Part of this is that this park is one of the largest, with lots to explore. Paths are winding throughout the park, with lots of different natural environments to walk through. There are small forests, many grassy fields perfect to lie down on and enjoy a sunny day, and small creeks and ponds to sit on a bench by and admire the ducks and swans.  

Inside Szczytnicki park
Inside Szczytnicki park. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

With such a large area covered, this is a great free place to take your kids to run off some energy. There are multiple playgrounds throughout the park, many great tree groves for playing hide-and-seek, as well as the ducks. For the adults, there are also rock gardens and rose gardens, as well as a running track if you want to get a workout in. Its location next to some major attractions of Wrocław, including the Multimedia Fountain, the Four Domes Pavilion, and Centennial Hall means it is super easy to take a break in the park, and I recommend a visit.  

Opening Hours: You can walk around the park whenever you want, but of course, it only makes sense to visit when the sun is up. It is a great place to visit in the morning, where you can walk with the locals taking their kids or dogs for a stroll. It is also a great place in both the fall, for the beautiful fall color, and the winter, when there is snow cover.  

Transit Details: Szczytnicki Park is found over in the second hub of Wrocław activity by Centennial Hall. But many tram lines run to the park from the city center. If you want to arrive at the north end of the park, where the trees and child-friendly activities are, take Tram 9, 17, or 33 from any of the stops near the center. If you want to go to the southern end of the park, closer to the pond and the gardens, take tram 2, 4, or 10 to get there. Parking is limited, so taking public transport is advised. 

8. Stroll around Ostrów Tumski


Description: Ostrów Tumski is a great free place to visit in Wrocław, mainly because it is where Wrocław started. Many centuries ago, the first settlements along the Oder were situated here on the northern bank in what is today called Ostrów Tumski. Here the first churches were built, and that is what stays. It feels like an entirely different city here, more Polish than other parts of Wrocław, with red roofs and cobblestone streets. The older feeling is kept in that the lamps are still lit using candles, and there is a lamplighter dressed in a heavy black cloak, who every day both lights the candles and snuffs them out in the morning.  

Ostrów Tumski
Ostrów Tumski is the most historic part of the city. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

The other thing to do for free in the area other than walk around and take a picture on the beautiful Tumski Bridge, is to enter the churches. While the view towers and more fancy cathedrals cost money, you can see the inside of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist for free. The exterior is also beautiful, with its exterior looking more like a church you would find in France than in Poland. Its beautiful gothic style makes it stand out in this area of the city. You can also visit an even older church, the Collegiate Church of the Holy Christ, and St. Bartholomew, which was first built at the end of the 13th century.  

Overall, the beauty and peace of this area make it worth a visit as a free thing to do in Wrocław.  

Opening Hours: You can walk around Ostrów Tumski whenever you would like, and it is a very nice place to walk at night when it is lit up. Additionally, you can enter the churches for free from Monday to Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM, and on Sundays from 2 PM to 4 PM.  

Transit Details: Ostrów Tumski is close to the center, making it a short trip to get there. The two closest tram stops are the Hala Targowa tram station to the south, or Pl. Bema to the north. From there, you can reach Ostrów Tumski by crossing onto the islands of the Oder and crossing Tumski Bridge. Parking is available in a limited quantity on streets nearby as well. 

9. Visit one of the many green spaces of Wrocław

Location: Click on each park’s name for location 

Description: There are many other great parks and green spaces in Wrocław other than Szczytnicki Park. Read a few sentences about a few of the many good ones listed below (in alphabetical order): 

  • Copernicus/Staromiejski Park: Nicolaus Copernicus Park, also called Staromiejski Park, is found right in the city center along Fosa Miejska, the canal that surrounds the Old Town. The park itself is gated and small, but with lawns to relax on, a small playground for kids, and seasonally, a merry-go-round. You will also find a fountain, and various statues, including one of the famous Wrocław dwarfs. The final point of interest is the birdhouse, which houses some pigeons cared for by the popular ZOO Wrocław. This park is convenient and great for kids, or as a resting point when walking around the city.  
  • Górka Szczepinska: Górka Szczepińska is a small park found along the banks of the Oder River in the western part of the city. While small, it is a great place for a barbeque, or sports, with a field perfect for football, as well as tennis and basketball courts. There is also ample lawn space for picnics and a small hill with a great panorama of both the city skyline and the river.  
  • Las Rakowiecki: Las Rakowiecki is a small forest within the city limits of Wrocław. Found east of the city center, here you will find hiking trails winding their way through tall leafy trees. This is a great place to visit in the autumn when all the leaves change colors and create a beautiful picture of fall colors. It is also a great place to let your kids run free to explore if they need to use up some energy.  
  • Park Polana Popowicka: Found across the train tracks from Górka Szczepińska, Park Polana Popowicka has a little bit of everything. There is a small forest to walk around and sit on one of the many benches. There are two playgrounds, as well as a semi-ugly monument that is now a favorite hide-and-seek spot for kids. You can also walk down some dirt paths down to the banks of the Oder, to enjoy the view and maybe have a snack (or drink). Park Polana Popowicka is a simple park, but a very nice one. 
  • Park Południowy: Park Południowy is located in the southern part of Wrocław. It is a tree-filled park, with lots of lawns to rest on, as well as a small duck pond. Here you can admire the view from the viewing point on the southern part of the pond or feed the ducks (but not with bread!). You will also find a small playground, an outdoor gym, a variety of manicured gardens, and a statue of the famous Polish pianist Fryderyk Chopin.  
  • Park Stanisława Tołpy: Park Stanisława Tołpy is a small triangle of green space found in the northern part of Wrocław. It is a great place to go for a run, take a rest, or let your kids play. There is a large playground, as well as a duck pond to walk around. The park also has a great view of some surrounding architecture, including a beautiful church and university building. It is in general a beautiful place to relax for a while.  
  • Park Wschodni: Park Wschodni is a massive park found in the eastern part of the city, with many kilometers of walking trails through forests, fields, and over creeks. There is even a small waterfall, which in a tongue-in-cheek manner is called “the Small Niagara.” You will also find a natural playground, a variety of fields to relax in, as well as some “megaphones” that might interest your kids.  
  • Park Zachodni: Park Zachodni is one of the largest parks in Wrocław, so large that it is divided into two sections by a major road in the middle. Each section has multiple trails through dense tree cover, as well as fields to relax in. There are also multiple playgrounds to choose from, with perhaps the best one found in the northern part, which includes a mini rope course that is free to use! For a more solemn experience, there is also a small Jewish Cemetery in the western corner of the park. It is a big park, and it is a bit far from everything, so I would only visit it if you were in the area. 

Hours: All these parks, except for Copernicus Park, are open 24/7. Copernicus Park is gated and thus is only open from 9 AM – 9 PM. However, it only makes sense to visit during the day. There is no specific time to visit any of these locations, all will be busy depending on the weather, but not so busy that you cannot enjoy yourself. Copernicus Park might have a bit more action, but even then, there should not be that many people.  

Transit Details: All parks can be reached within 15-20 minutes from the city center by bus or tram. Copernicus Park is in the center, and the quickest to reach, reachable on foot from the Market Square in 10 minutes. For exact instructions, click on the name of each park above to see the location. I would recommend visiting whichever one is closest to you if you do not have a preference, as I selected parks found all around the city.  

10. Take a self-guided architecture tour

Location: These buildings can be found throughout the city of Wrocław 

Centennial Hall
The Centennial Hall in Wroclaw. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Description: Wrocław is home to many beautiful buildings in many different styles! There is reinforced concrete, renaissance, gothic, baroque, and brutalist architecture spread throughout the city. This article provides a good start, as well as some of the places I have already mentioned in this article! But you can find a few interesting buildings, with details, below. 

  • Centennial Hall: This monumental building was built between 1911 and 1913 and is an early example of the reinforced concrete style of architecture, which allowed it to be built very rapidly considering its size. Today it hosts a variety of events, and it was even used in the latest Hunger Games movie. Another stunning feature of this building is the many windows of the building. Going inside costs money but is worth it in my opinion.  
  • Wieża Ciśnień Borek we Wrocławiu: This is a historic water tower found in the middle of a major street in Wrocław. It was built in the early 1900s and has a unique appearance. Made of sandstone, with many different towers, platforms, columns, arches, and windows, it looks more like a fantasy tower than a water tower. It was built with elements of Art Nouveau and Gothic art styles. It is worth a visit if you are into architecture! 
  • University of Wrocław Main Campus: While a major university in all of Poland, the main campus itself is also stunning. The Collegium Maximum building replaced what once was a castle and was built in a baroque style in the 1700s. As you cross over Most Piaskowy, the old cathedral today hosts a university library as well as a few faculties of the university. The main library, with its gothic appearance and clock tower, is also worth a visit. All in all, this is the most beautiful university campus in Poland, and it is worth a visit. 
  • Hala Targowa: Another stunning example of the Gothic architecture style is the Hala Targowa in Wrocław, which translates to market hall. Inside you will find fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers. Outside, you will find a brick exterior, with an arched facade full of glass windows to allow lots of natural light inside the building. There is also a large clock tower to go with the main building. It is a beautiful building to visit, both inside and out.  
  • Wrocław Train Station: If you are arriving by bus or train, you will certainly see this stunning building. While a busy hub of transportation for the city, its bright yellow exterior is stunning. Originally built in the 1800s, when Germany was in charge, and designed by a Prussian, it is perhaps the most German-looking train station in Poland. It also has a wonderful neon side, as well as large halls with massive ceilings for lots of open space. While usually busy, it is also a nice building to admire.  

Beyond these buildings, you can find some brutalist buildings in an area called Manhattan near Plac Grunwaldski, and the Old Town itself is home to many beautiful buildings.  

Hours: All these buildings can be viewed from the outside at any point, and most are well-lit up for nighttime photography as well as daytime photography.  

Transit Details: You will find many examples of architecture throughout the city. Click on the names of the 5 buildings mentioned above for an exact location! If you want to go all over the city, getting a 24-hour transit ticket might be worth it, even if this means the activity is not free (but you will probably need a transit ticket at some point anyway). This is not a great activity with a car, as changing parking spaces constantly will be quite costly. 

Conclusions: Best Free Things to Do in Wrocław

So, while Wrocław in general is a budget destination in Europe, there are also many free things to enjoy if you want to save some money! Even if you were to just do the free things on this list, you would see a lot of major places in the city, as well as be able to visit some museums, without spending anything beyond food and lodging! Of course, many of these free activities require lots of walking, so be prepared for that! Otherwise, I wish you the best as you explore Wrocław, my favorite city in Poland! 

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