Wroclaw on a budget? Absolutely no problem. Today we are introducing you to the best free things to do in Wroclaw! You will be surprised how easy it is to explore Wroclaw for free – not only in terms of transportation but even attending cultural events and visiting museums for free.
Naturally, we can’t offer free drinks and free food, but still believe that our list which we put together will help you to save some money for sure 🙂 The cost of living in Poland is still below the European average, which means that Wroclaw is definitely a great destination for budget travellers.
Let us introduce you to a free way to travel around Wroclaw!
1. City Bikes (WRM - Wrocławski Rower Miejski)
Let’s start with the city bikes. It is the best idea if you want to see more of Wroclaw and it will help you to reach all parts of the city.
We recommend the city bike system as the area for rentals and returns is really huge and it is possible to return the citybike almost everywhere.
That gives you a lot of flexibility you would not get with any other public transport in Wroclaw.
The best thing about the city bikes is that the first 20 minutes are for free. And that is not even limited to 20 minutes per day, so you can take as many rides as you wish. That is great as most of the places worth to visit in Wroclaw are reachable within this time frame! But no worries if you your ride takes a little bit longer. For everything less than one hour you just pay 2 PLN and then 4 PLN for each additional hour.
We really love to combine sightseeing and being active, so we want to encourage you to try the city bikes and save some money. For all recommendations in this article, city bikes are suitable.
If you are looking for more information on how to get around by tram, bus, scooter, car and every other possible option, here is our guide to public transport in Wroclaw.
2. Palaces of Wroclaw
When it comes to the architecture of Wroclaw, most of the travel blogs don’t mention the beautiful palaces you can find in the city. That’s why we are happy to share two special places with you which are great options if you are interested in travelling on a budget!
The first one is the Leśnica Castle (Zamek w Leśnicy), located in the north-eastern part of Wrocław. It was built most likely in 1132, but since then it has been rebuilt multiple times by changing owners. At present the palace is an example of the Baroque style.
The Leśnica Castle is the headquarter of the Castle Culture Centre and it hosts many events and exhibitions. On their website here you can find the latest schedules.
Another palace we want to recommend to you is the Korn Palace in Pawłowice (Pałac Kornów w Pawłowicach). It was built in neo-Renaissance style in 1895. It belongs to the Academy of Natural Sciences and after the renovation in 2005 a congress centre was opened there.
What we love the most are the parks located around both palaces. It makes them perfect for walking, cycling, having a picnic or just sitting down and enjoying the nature. Don’t miss the arboretum next to the Korn Palace! And here are some pictures:
3. Open Mic Comedy Night
If you think that comedy and stand-up shows in Poland are only for Polish-speaking people with money, Wroclaw proves that you are wrong.
Each Tuesday evening, a group of international people is trying to make you laugh at Czarny Kot. Some of them are professional stand-up comedians and some perform just for fun. If you stay in the city a little bit longer than just a weekend, this is a cool option.
Have we mentioned that the show is for free? Of course, as it is on our list. But what is even more interesting is the fact that you can actually get something. Each volounteer performer is rewarded with a token that can be exchanged for a beer or alcohol free drink. Isn’t that great? One of our friends from Belgium spontaneously got on the stage and he enjoyed that experience.
The event is usually every Tuesday evening around 8pm at Czarny Kot, a student-like venue in the backyards of the neon gallery in the vibrant Four Denomination District (now sometimes also at Mleczarnia, one of our pub recommendations for Wroclaw).
However, better check out the Facebook page of World-Wide Comedy to be on the safe side regarding location and schedule.
4. Enjoy the Słodowa Island
Welcome to the Słodowa Island, where you can feel the real spirit of Wroclaw. The island is popular mostly among the young people, especially students, but we recommend this place to everyone.
As you probably know, Wroclaw is the city of islands (and bridges). The Słodowa Island is just one of them, but probably the most known.
The island is amazingly situated, right next to Ostrów Tumski, the oldest and the most beautiful part of Wroclaw. The views are truly breathtaking. We love lazy weekends when we have some rest and just stare at the river and university.
The Słodowa Island is also the perfect place for a picnic. Another advantage for that is, that public consumption of alcohol is allowed here. But the best about the island is the atmosphere when people get together to have fun, drink and even play music.
If you want to spend some time in a typical way for people living in Wroclaw – just grab some snacks and beer and visit the Słodowa Island.
5. The Multimedia Fountain shows
Did you know that Wroclaw has the biggest multimedia fountain in Poland? And even one of the biggest of its kind in Europe. It is a perfect place if you want to enjoy outdoor performances and explore the surroundings which also offer a lot!
What we like about the Multimedia Fountain is that it doesn’t matter what time you arrive – it is difficult to miss a show. The season starts in May and lasts till September. Normally at every full hour the show starts, with the first one at 10am in the morning. The last show is typically around 9-10pm.
You will find the full schedule here. The music is pretty diverse so it’s easy to find something you like the most.
We finally also managed to make a little video clip with a couple of recordings that we made ourselves at the shows!
The Multimedia Fountain is situated right next to some other places worth to visit. Check them out:
- The Centennial Hall and the Four Domes Pavilion – click here to find out more about them
- The Pergola is an outdoor garden feature forming a shaded passageway
- The Japanese Garden – a beautiful place and great if you want hide a bit from the sun
- The Iglica – is a needle monument just in front of the Centennial Hall. It is 96 meters tall and was constructed by Polish Communists after the war.
6. Visit museums for free
We truly believe that the museums in Wroclaw deserve all the money as they deliver a great cultural experience. However we understand that not everybody can afford to visit a museum and that is why we created a list for you to see on which days you can enter the museums for free.
Before the visit please check the website as most of the museums are closed on Mondays and due to COVID-19 there might be additional requirements.
Clicking on the links will bring you directly to the websites of the museums.
7. Free Walking Tours in Wroclaw
Creating our list we couldn’t miss free walking tours. We are big enthusiasts of them and have joined already a couple of them in Wroclaw!
Wroclaw is definitely well prepared for tourists. Apart of classic tours around the Old Town, you can join for tours of Jewish traces, the Second World War, Dwarfs, and the Island & Bridges tours.
What we can really recommend to you is to check Łokietka 5 – the infopoint for Nadodrze. They organise great free walking tours in Nadodrze, the most alternative district of Wroclaw. The tours are not on regular basis but give you an opportunity to explore the city from a new perspective (e.g. filmmaking in Nadodrze).
Most of the tours are guided in Polish, English, German, Ukrainian and Spanish. Typically the meeting point is the historic market square, but it can be different depending on the tour.
8. Visit Nadodrze district to find Murals & German signs
Only 10-15 min walk from the city centre you can find the most alternative area of Wroclaw – Nadodrze. It used to have a very bad reputation but it has luckily changed and turned into a vibrant place full of small shops, art galleries and so on. More about Nadodrze you can find in our article about this district.
Visiting Nadodrze gives you a chance to do time travelling and discover street art the same moment. How it that possible? Let us explain it to you. During World War II, Nadodrze wasn’t damaged as badly as the other parts of Wroclaw. When the city became Polish, German buildings were not renovated too much. That’s why even after 75 years some of the Germans signs are still visible. Thankfully the city has started to restore the tenement houses. On some of them the original signs have been renovated too!
But Nadodrze is not only about the traces of History. It’s also an area full of street art. The unique atmosphere encourages artists and ordinary people to use their creativity. The most famous example of such a collaboration is the Roosevelta street. The whole backyard is covered by graffiti. You can’t miss it! Of course there is more street art to be discovered by yourself.
9. The Market Square (Rynek) and Dwarf Hunting
The list would not be complete without the Market Square and the Dwarfs as they definitely are symbols of Wroclaw.
It might happen that you are only passing the city or your time in Wroclaw is limited. In this case you should see the Market Square. Take a look at the beautiful old townhall, stroll along the tenement houses which represent almost each architecture style – Renaissance, Baroque, Secession and Modernism. Right next to the Market Square you can find the Salt Market with 24/7 flower shops!
When you visit the Market Square for sure you will notice plenty of dwarfs. Most of them you will find in the city centre, however they clearly have taken over whole Wroclaw as there are almost 500 of them (according to some sources). Dwarf hunting is a great fun and if you have time just take a map from the tourist information points and try to find them all.
There is an interactive online map of the dwarfs available too, but unfortunately it is not exhaustive. Especially the numbers are different depending on the language that you pick. Nevertheless, here you can find the online-map of dwarfes in Wroclaw.
10. Flea Markets
For some pleople flea markets are places where they can buy cheap items. We also go to flea markets to enjoy the specific atmosphere. In Wroclaw you can easily find many flea markets – the regular ones which occur frequently or the one time events supported by local communities. Each of them has their own style and range of products. It depends on what are you looking for.
The two big flea markets we want to draw your attention to are “Targowisko na Świebodzkim” and “Targowisko Młyn Sułkowice”. What makes these places very special is their location.
“Targowisko na Świebodzkim” is situated in an old train station and “Targowisko Młyn Sułkowice” is close to an unused mill. Both offer a wide range of items starting with brand new clothes and ending with handmade art.
“Targowisko Młyn Sułkowice” seems to be a little bit more alternative. If you prefer to see more of antique stuff you should check “Targi Staroci Pod Iglicą”.
Navigate to the flea markets:
- Take me to Targowisko na Świebodzkim
- I want to go to Targowisko Młyn Sułkowice
- Let me check out the Targi Staroci Pod Iglicą
If you like markets in general, we recommend you to check out our dedicated post for local markets in Wroclaw – including some food markets where you get amazing breakfast!
11. Sculptures of Wroclaw
It’s time for a little bit of art. But no worries – you don’t have be an art critic to enjoy sculptures in Wroclaw. Apart of the most famous – dwarfs, you can find dozens of sculptures in each corner of the city. Many of them commemorate famous people, for example the monument of Aleksander Fredro (a poet), next to the Old Town Hall.
Another type of sculptures are the religious ones. At the entrance to Ostrów Tumski there is a statue of Bolesław Kominek, the Cardinal, who fighted for the normalization of diplomatic relations between Poland and Germany.
In Wroclaw you can also spot a pretty remarkable sculpture named “Memorial to Slaughtered Animals” – Stare Jatki. It is one of the most photographed attractions. Another “must see” object is definitely the big, 8 meters-tall chair at Rzeźnicza. It was designed by Tadeusz Kantor.
If you are interested in mondern art don’t miss the “Monument to the Anonymous Pedestrian” at Świdnicka or the “Train to Heaven” which is literally a train pointing towards the sky at the Strzegomski Square.
These ones are only a few examples of the amazing sculpures in Wroclaw. There are many more and we highly encourage you to discover them on your own! Of course also the Neon Side Gallery should be mentioned here, which is a backyard illuminated with old neo signs. You will find more information about it here in our alternative things to do in Wroclaw article or here in the Four Denomination District page.
12. Parks in Wroclaw
We love to spend time outdoors and thankfully, Wroclaw has many parks to offer. In fact, it is the greenest city of Poland with 25sqm of parks per inhabitant.
Why not taking the bike and making a park tour of Wroclaw? Maybe you have a slack line, some boardgames or want to prepare a barbecue or picnic? Every green piece you see on the map is perfect for that, in particular the river banks of the Oder River!
Our favourite park is the Park Szczytnicki which is the largest park within the city. It is beautiful, usually quiet and not far away from some of the impressive buildings you will learn about in the next item, for example the Centennial Hall.
Also very popular and beautiful is the Grabiszynski Park in the south of Wroclaw which you can combine with a visit of the water tower, one of the most impressive water towers in the whole world.
Closer to the city centre, don’t miss a walk around the old city borders which is today the Podwale promenade, also cyclists love it.
13. Visit the most impressive buildings
We have already mentioned the Market Square with its town hall, the Centennial Hall and the palaces. But Wroclaw has much more to offer! That is why we recommend you visit more buildings. Because of the long history in Wroclaw you can find examples of almost each architectural starting from the late Romanesque!
14. Check free cultural events
What we love about Wroclaw is that there are countless cultural events which are completely for free! Seriously, sometimes it’s very difficult to choose between them.
The range of events is pretty overwhelming. You can join a small poetry slam or big festivals with hundreds of people. Workshops, exhibitions, concerts and many many performances happen all the time in Wroclaw. Make your choice!
Thankfully there is the “Wrocław Cultural Guide” (“Wrocławski Niezbędnik Kultularny”). This amazing magazine will help you to find everything about cultural life in the city. You can get a free copy in around 300 different places or download it from their website. Enjoy the lecture and culture in Wroclaw!
15. Grab a free postcard
You want to keep a nice memory of Wroclaw? Maybe you want to bring a little souvenir back home? Or surprise somebody with a nice postcard in the middle of the adult life mail like invoices, insurance letters, etc?
Here in the picture you see our cover postcard from our alternative guidebook to Wroclaw, but we like the cover so much, so we decided to print a couple of thousand postcards with it, just to give them away for free 🙂
Enjoy and spread the (Wroc)love!
Cheap accommodation in Wroclaw
Well, staying for free in Wroclaw would be a bit too much, don‘t you agree? However, there are numerous hostels like the Bemma Hostel or Mleczarnia Hostel where you can stay for really affordable prices per night (sometimes even as low as 45 PLN / 10 EUR per night).
And on top of that, here is an overview of the latest hotel deals from Booking.com:
The Facebook Group for Expats
Of course there are also plenty of Expats living in Wroclaw and a huge community has formed. In their group on Facebook you will be able to get in touch with all kinds of international people and of course you certainly will get help if you plan to move to Wroclaw. Events and group trips are also being shared in the group, if you travel on your own to Wroclaw you might find some nice companionship there.
One More Free Thing...
Be sure that you would create a lot of smiles if you try to speak a few words of Polish 🙂 We recommend Babbel, which is an online language training – you can attend the first Polish lessons for free!
It works as application and online, by showing you the most important words in multiple ways, we are sure that you will be very successful.
We hope that you enjoyed the best free things to do in Wroclaw as much as we do! Don’t forget to check out some other very hipster things to do in Wroclaw!
If you want to plan your trip to Wroclaw, here is all about how to get to Wroclaw and here we prepared our favourite accommodations in Wroclaw for you – including some low budget hostels with cool vibes.
Do you have some comments on this article? Maybe we missed some really cool free things? Help us and also help other visitors by leaving your feedback in the comment section below!