Wawel Royal Castle

Wawel Royal Castle, Krakow

Wawel Royal Castle
4.5
Historic Sites • Historic Walking Areas • Castles
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10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Serving as a royal residence and the site where the country's rulers governed Poland for five centuries (1038-1596), this castle is a symbol of the independent Polish state and today contains a priceless collection of 16th-century Flemish tapestries, considered to be one of the largest in the world.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Stare Miasto
Best nearby
Restaurants
1,866 within 3 miles
Attractions
363 within 6 miles
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
10,459 reviews
Excellent
5,336
Very good
3,577
Average
1,186
Poor
245
Terrible
115

MarcusHurley
Bristol, UK8,285 contributions
Sep 2021
We climbed the ramp and went to the ticket office to find that most of the castle was closed on a Monday. Oh joy! I booked the armoury, Royal Gardens and Lost Wawel exhibitions, a total cost of 20PLZ, about £4.

The Lost Wawel exhibition showed ongoing excavations and discoveries and it was quite impressive how far down the original buildings were, considering they were only 900 years old. There were lots of glazed clay tiles and stonework as well as models on what the castle looked like through its various incarnations. A lot of the displays were unlit and the general low lighting made it difficult to read some of the info. The medieval footwear they had on display was amazing though, very intricate.

We left the exhibition and walked around outside, trying to workout where to go. There were maps of the site but helpfully, none of the places we had tickets for were actually marked. Eventually we gave in and (Deb) asked a guide! Second stop was the Treasury and Armoury - this was quite amazing. The stupid glass (a specially inbred museum variety) made it very difficult to take pictures but the weapons were quite incredible works of art. Crossbows, muskets and assorted melee weapons all demonstrated superb carving and inlay work. The Polish weapons and armour were surprisingly eastern and it was good to see the gear of a winged hussar at last.

After all this excitement (!) we needed sustenance so we visited the cafe in the grounds. This was actually excellent and we both had salmon with salad for about the same as a Happy Meal back home! Our next visit was to the Royal Gardens, which were quite small but nicely laid out with roses, an orchard and various other bits that Deb could identify. There were also good views over the city. That was the castle done so next was the cathedral.
Written September 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Big G
Stalham, UK31 contributions
Mar 2022 • Solo
I spent between 3-4 hours wandering around. To begin I walked around the grounds and gardens which was free to access and where there is also an open air cafe. Having got my bearings I decided to pay to visit the State Rooms, the Lost Wawel, Art of the Orient: Ottoman Turkish Tents and Wawel Recovered. 4 buildings within the grounds which can be viewed separately or collectively. The entrance cost for the 4 was 50 Polish Zloty at concession rate. If you're interested in history, art and architecture then like me you will find it worth the entrance fees.
Written March 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lisonholmes
3 contributions
Dec 2019
The Wawel royal castle is a must-see if you are in Krakow. Not only it is a piece of art architecturally speaking. It is also a great witness of the time. Indeed, built between the 13th and 14th century, the castle has known many inhabitants through the centuries. When wondering around the castle one can learn the many legends regarding the building itself or its foundation. Hence the presence of the statue of a dragon spitting fire down Wawel hill. Nowadays one can visit the splendid rooms of the castle which has pretty much become an art museum. The castle overlooking the Vistula river, offers a great sunset at dusk.
Written November 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jamiebeckford
Jersey, UK9 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
We visited the magnificent looking Royal Castle which we viewed from our sumptuous hotel room. It was a warm day and upon our arrival we saw that a que had formed. We realised that there was only one ticket office which at a processing time of approximately 1 customer every 5 minutes meant that those who had formed behind us would have a wait of approximately 2 hours. What beggars belief is that there are members of staff handing out leaflets who could if the management had any sense be issuing tickets via portable ticket machines. When you do finally arrive at the ticket desk you are told that you have to purchase tickets for individual exhibits done of which have a limit on the number of visitors who can be admitted per day. Upon receiving our tickets and walking into the castle itself we discovers that there were lengthy ques to enter the exhibits we had booked. This is a diabolical shambles. An organizational disaster zone in which the loser is the customer who has essentially paid heavily to be stood in ques. I would suggest that the management of this historic venue look to appoint an independent expert to look over the customer experience and to develop a strategy going forward to customer access and ticket sales a more streamlined process. This will avoid customer frustration, reviews like this and make the magnificent building accessible and enjoyed by all those whom frequent its wallsu.
Written August 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

thrisey
Llanddulas Wales UK96 contributions
Feb 2022
Grounds and building are really nice , pre booked the Turkish tents which was great although a small exhibition, we also booked the state rooms....
Well what a waste of money you book your your slot so they can control the amount of people instead the exabition understandably. However with a lack of disable signage you don't realise it's a ONE WAY SYSTEM, did,t see any on walls and deffinatly none on the floor couple of the rooms where packed with your groups so you where glared at by the guide and some of the people on the tour because you wanted to have a look as well so we missed a couple of the rooms he to them being full so we carried on wandering around through the rooms thinking we will go back to them in a minute we went into a room full of tapestries only to find ourselves at the exit door, oh we thought, we have only been in about 20minutes so we turned around to go visit the rooms we missed as they where full, apart from some extremely rude, abrupt Polish woman sitting in a chair told us NO entry back EXIT and pointed toward the way out so be warned it's one way so forget social distancing and push your way into all the rooms, being considerate to others means you will miss out so a bit of warning it was one way only might have been helpful then we would not have to had endured the rude woman loving the power of her job, all in all disappointing 20 minutes of our lives, after that didn't bother booking any more, manners cost nothing!
Written March 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert O
Rotterdam, The Netherlands3,128 contributions
Oct 2020
Since Wawel hill has been occupied by those who held power (roughly since around 1000 AD), the site has been the scene of construction, decline and reconstruction. The result is a complex that for an outsider is rather confusing to understand. The help of guides is on offer ( at a price), but to absorb their stories and appreciate what they are showing is hardly possible, if you do not have at least some knowledge of Polish history. So come prepared after some study.

Also helpful is to make up your mind about what you prefer to see beforehand. In my case I focussed on architecture especially from the late 1500s period (Poland's Golden Age). E.g. the Renaissance style inner courtyard is outstanding. It feels almost as if you are in Italy. For me another highlight are the Coxie tapestries (Flemish) from the Jagiellonian period. I skipped almost all that was built and collected after 1600 when Krakow ceased to be the capital of Poland.
Written February 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

pawel_hbg
Sopot, Poland9,382 contributions
Jun 2020 • Couples
Wawel is a limestone hill in the centre of Krakow upon the Vistula River with a complex of impressive historical monuments of unique historical, artistic values and is Poland's national and cultural symbol. It is huge castle with many things to visit inside. You can visit Royal Private Apartments for 25 PLN adult ticket, Crown Treasury and Armoury for also 25 PLN. Moreover Royal Gardens for 5 PLN, Sandomierska Tower for 5 PLN, Dragon's Den for 7 PLN. Furthermore separately for 12 PLN The Royal Sigismund Bell with Royal Crypts, Cathedral Museum and Wawel Cathedral.
Complicated? Even more if you cannot buy tickets online, on the place you need to stand in 2 different queues. It is complete lack of organisation. All complex is a must in Krakow, it is amazing but it can make you tired because of that.
Written June 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ryan W
Nottinghamshire, UK105 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
We were very interested in visiting the castle and it’s grounds but found the booking in system very confusing, no real queuing system or guide as to what you’re actually paying for.

Ended up in all parts of the ground and up the tower to the big bell.

A good experience to pass a couple of hours, wouldn’t bother going back if ever in the city again though...
Written October 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Roger B
Rugby, UK12 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
We visited the Royal Apartments and Castle Gardens. Bought tickets from the ticket booth, first thing in the morning, no problem with availability.
Royal Apartments were a massive disappointment. The apartments are on 3 floors, the ground floor and the 2nd floor are entirely closed for restoration. The key rooms on the first floor were also closed, meaning none of the main sights in our guide book were accessible.
The Palace Gardens were nice, some good photo opportunities and a nice view down.
Written May 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LadyKJohn
Exeter, UK7 contributions
Feb 2020
As the castle looms over the city of Krakow it's essential that you pay it a visit if you're staying in Krakow. You can walk in and around the exterior of the buildings for free but if you want to go inside there are two separate ticket offices for the castle and cathedral. When buying castle tickets you have to choose which areas you want to go to which is annoying as you don't know if you've never been there before! We chose the Armoury and the State Rooms which worked out to be about £4 each and were worth a visit. When we tried to get in one of the exhibitions at the end of the State Rooms, we were told we needed yet a further ticket, which a helpful couple told us they'd been given while in the Cathedral.
While the buildings and architecture are stunning, we found buying tickets all too confusing!
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Wawel Royal Castle

Wawel Royal Castle is open:
  • Sun - Sun 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Tue - Sat 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Wawel Royal Castle tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 164 Wawel Royal Castle tours on Tripadvisor