Wawel Royal Castle

Wawel Royal Castle, Krakow

Wawel Royal Castle
Historic Sites • Historic Walking Areas • Castles
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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
Neighborhood: Stare Miasto
Best nearby
1,814 within 3 miles
289 within 3 miles
Popular mentions

10,434 reviews
Very good

Bristol, UK7,498 contributions
Superb displays and bargain price
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.

Krakow, Poland4 contributions
Excellent views from top
Sep 2021 • Couples
When you reach Wawel you really understand why Krakow is called cultural capital of Poland. Nice view from the top of the castle.
Written September 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Warsaw, Poland8 contributions
Great exhibitions
Aug 2021 • Couples
It’s a great historic place when one can learn a lot about Polish heritage. Absolutely stunning art and historic pieces with opportunities for amazing pictures. Highly recommend to everyone who want to discover some Polish history.
Written August 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Saint Paul, MN773 contributions
Some Excellent Museums in the Royal Castle
Aug 2021
Wawel Castle was great. The exterior of the castle is quite nice and makes for some excellent photo opportunities. This castle has some remnants of the medieval fortifications but it is primarily a royal castle rather than a defensive castle. I was able to visit the temporary "All the King's Tapestries" exhibit which was amazing. There were some great tapestries with fantastical animals. The "State Rooms" were good but not a must-see. "Art of the Orient: Ottoman Turkish Tents" was also amazing. The tents were pretty cool but there were sabers, guns, armor, and horse tack mostly seized from the siege of Vienna as loot when the Ottomans were defeated which were spectacular. The "Crown Treasury and Armory" was also well-worth a visit with plenty of great weapons and armor including original Polish Hussar armor complete with feathered wings. "Sandomierska Tower" had some nice views and did not take long but it isn't absolutely necessary. There are a couple of other museums in the royal castle complex which I did not see. All in all, it was great fun and a very enjoyable way to spend a day.
Written August 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jersey, UK9 contributions
Wawel Royal Castle
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.

Prague, Czech Republic67 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
Must see in Krakow. Nice and not big castle with garden, small entry fee, well organized, 2 hours are ok.
Written July 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Frank P
Arlington, VA324 contributions
Worth the visit
Jun 2021
My wife and I walked around the castle during our first day and Krakow and it was great. The castle is very beautiful with so much to see. There is so much history in this location. I highly recommend spending a few hours at the castle.
Written June 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert O
Rotterdam, The Netherlands2,606 contributions
So much to see
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.

Matthias W
Vienna, Austria425 contributions
Alright but a bit underwhelming
Jan 2020
This was my second visit to Wawel, this time with an audio guide and now a guided tour. Since we visited previously the Wieliczka salt mine we didn't arrive before early afternoon. I had seen both the state apartment and the royal apartments previously on two yours in 2013. Compared to then the ticket selling was much more quicker, they did even have tickets left for both tours, we opted for state apartments. Hardly anything of the furniture remains, but the tapestries/paintings or ceilings are still nice to see, but not too outstanding. Unfortunately the no photography policy didn't change (similarly for the cathedral). If you have to decide to see either the royal palace or the cathedral, so the cathedral which is outstanding. The Royal palace is nice and pleasant though too. We spent a bit less than 45 minutes inside.
Written December 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK7 contributions
Top attraction in Krakow
Oct 2020
Poland is a wonderful country to visit, you can see lots of stuff. Once, Krakow was the capital of Poland, that's why there are so many wonderful and historic sites to see. One of them is the Wawel. If you are in Poland you have to see the Wawel! It is nice to look at the Architektur but also has a historical background that is worth reading. If you got a guide you can see more, the guide will also tell you stories that nobody knows! Highly recommended !!!
Written December 26, 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
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