Top 10: Best Free Things to Do in Krakow

Like A Local Guide • 6 Jun, 2013

Whether you come to Krakow to relax, to party or to soak up the history and culture, you won’t be disappointed. The city’s numerous cafés, restaurants, museums, bars and clubs will keep you coming back for more. The downtown area is full of attractions, but if you’re wondering what the best free things to do are, Greg has some great tips.

1. Climb Kopiec Kraka for beautiful views of the city

It costs nothing to climb up this ancient mound, and the views of Kazimierz and the Old Town are splendid. Its age and original purpose remain a mystery, though it’s assumed to be the resting place of the legendary Prince Krakus. Read more…

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2. Take a relaxing walk through the Wisła boulevards

Sitting on both sides of the Wisła River, the Wisła boulevards are perfect for a stroll, a run and even a picnic. Take a bike, a book or a loved one with you and enjoy the calm atmosphere and scenic views. There are also many events held on the boulevards throughout the year. Read more…

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3. Discover sculptural gems at the Rakowicki Cemetery

Sprawling across about 42 hectares of land, Cmentarz Rakowicki is one of Poland’s best-known cemeteries. It’s an architectural and artistic gem with graves, tombs and mausoleums of many different shapes, sizes and styles designed by different artists.

One of the most beautiful nights of the year to visit is All Saints’ Day on November 1, when the entire cemetery glows with candlelight. Read more…

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4. Cross the modern Kładka Bernatka bridge

Spanning the Wisła River, The Kladka Bernatka footbridge connects Kazimierz to Podgórz. It provides easy access to what used to be the border of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It’s a pleasant way to get to Old Podgórze, leading directly across to a small enclave of restaurants and bars. Read more…

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5–6. Visit the oases of Skałki Twardowskiego and Zakrzowek

Once closed to the public and filled with water, the old Skałki Twardowskiego limestone quarry is now a turquoise oasis that everyone can enjoy. It’s just a short ride from the city centre, and the biking and hiking paths in the surrounding forest make it a great place for a break and some fresh air. Read more…

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It’s also in the vicinity of the Zakrzowek Reservoir. Although you’re unfortunately not allowed to swim here, you can take scuba diving lessons. Read more…

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7. Enjoy the hustle of Plac Nowy

Plac Nowy is the living, beating heart of Kazimierz, brimming with flea markets and antiques bazaars. Fresh produce, sweets and random rubbish are sold here constantly, but the real highlights are definitely the weekend markets.

Krakow’s hip and trendy crowd also tend to hang out at the venues located on this square – here you can spend an entire evening hopping between cafés and bars. Read more…

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8. Museums: days with free admission

Most museums in Krakow offer free admission one day per week. Be sure to check out the website of the museum you wish to visit beforehand to find out when it’s free to visit! Here are a few of our favourites:

Read more…

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9. Admire the iconic Saint Mary’s Basilica

Bazylika Mariacka is a highlight of Krakow’s secular architecture. This legendary and iconic symbol of the Main Square has been standing since the 1200s. Entry is free, excluding the section with the Veit Stoss altarpiece.

Remember to listen out for the famous trumpeter. The trumpet was originally played every hour by the town guard, but since the 19th century this duty has been performed by active members of the fire brigade, who also use the church tower as a lookout post. Read more…

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10. Enjoy watching artists and performers on the Main Square

Although this is probably one of the most touristy spots in Krakow, it’s likely you’ll end up here at some point. Instead of being put off by the tourist masses, why not take pleasure in observing the various artists and performers, many of whom are very talented! Read more…

490439626_d1cf801acf_bPhoto credit: Aidan McMichael

Like A Local Guide
Like A Local Guide is about stepping off the tourist trail and finding cool and cosy spots where locals like to spend their time. We built a website and mobile app to bring insider recommendations from around the world to your fingertips.

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    Pretty sure you have to pay for nr 1 attraction unless you there super early/late and you sneak up the Kopiec.
    Bogna • Apr 11, 2017 • Reply
    1Thank you for the hint! We fixed it!
    Kris Härsing • Oct 23, 2015 • Reply
    Huge error in your description of the "famous trumpeter" at St. Mary's Basilica: the trumpet sound is NOT pre-recorded, as you describe. It is live, as in a REAL trumpeter opens a window high up in the church spire and sounds the "Hejnal" - every hour on the hour - 24/7. You can actually see the trumpeter from down below in the Square. You need to fix your sloppy description.
    Emma • Sep 26, 2015 • Reply
    Last summer I was in Krakow. I live every day in Moscow, so I decided to come on a trip to Krakow. Sorry for my English - it is not good. I wanted to go to Krakow by car to see as much as possible. As it turned out cheaper to order the car came with a driver on the spot in Krakow. In three days I visited Auschwitz, which had on me so impressive, that until now I remember exactly the shoes behind the glass. Something terrible how people can be treated. I spent a night in a salt mine in Bochnia. Very cool that you can sleep there - do not know if somewhere in the world any other mine suggests sleeping underground. We were also in Wieliczka. In the Cracow, did not see anything amazing. Impressive main square, which is huge. Food very good in a few pubs. Fairly cheap but not as cheap as it is now at a price of RUB Russia. As I've included a link to the website of the company, which toured Poland. Great people. Regards, Alex.
    Alex - Auschwitz Tours • Mar 05, 2015 • Reply
    […] of Lesser Poland Voivodeship, but I’m not certain what that really means. I am certain that you need to visit Krakow; trust me, you need to! And, I’m going to give you nine can’t-miss attractions […]
    Top Things to See in Krakow, Poland | Venere Travel Blog • Jan 07, 2015 • Reply
    If you want to do something with your hair or body i recommend Salon Colette at Starowiślna 64 Street. Last time when I was there I cut my hair and did manicure. The hair looked amazing i felt very nicely, The workers were very opened and nice.
    sylwia • Sep 11, 2014 • Reply
    Definitely Days with free admission in museums are really good option.... of course if you are at this time in Krakow ;) btw. I would recommend going to Kopiec Kraka for everyone - there you see how really beautiful Krakow is!
    Michael • Dec 05, 2013 • Reply