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“A monument to incompetent administration”
Review of Wawel Royal Castle

Wawel Royal Castle
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$5.75*
and up
Wawel Cathedral Entrance Ticket with Audio Guide
Ranked #26 of 264 things to do in Krakow
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

The ticket office of Wawel Royal Castle must be inspired from the communist times of the country. There was practically no information about what to do, so the line took 30 minutes to reach the front, even when we arrived early in the morning.

There is a system with a limited number of tickets and despite there still being plenty of tickets to both the Royal Apartments and the State Rooms, we were told that the earliest possibilities would be very late in the day (after we were leaving the city!).

The ticket office has only one teller and nobody around to provide information, so the teller also ends up talking a lot with each tourist to explain the complicated ticket options. There are ticket machines to worth-while sights like the dragon's den and the castle tower, but there's no information about the existance of these at the entrance. Similarly, there's a huge number of people who seem to be working for the castle who're just lounging around, while the poor ticket officer is overworked.

It would be hard to come up with a more incompetent way to administer a place like this if you tried.

Date of experience: July 2013
8  Thank JohannesBrodwall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,889 - 3,893 of 8,712 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2013

The climb up either of the Wawel Royal Castle paths is worth the effort as the buildings in the castle area are very beautiful. All of the museums are worth a visit as there is a lot of history to the area. The cathedral is beautiful and you can see most of it for free. There is a post office in the visitor centre and the café next to the visitor centre has lovely food. The gardens which have recently been restored are now very beautiful with a wide selection of summer flowering plants. Not to be missed.

Date of experience: July 2013
Thank LizMarcWirralEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

The first thing you notice is that you have to pay a tickets for each part of the castle.. The royal apartments, the apartments, the Da Vinci's painting, the dragon's den.... Therefore we chose just a couple of things. . The best thing is walking in the centre court, a look at the beautiful Church. .

Date of experience: July 2013
3  Thank italian_traveller73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

This was such an interesting complex! The variety of architecture was fascinating and beautiful! We loved the golden dome and dragon water spouts.

Date of experience: June 2013
1  Thank courtney d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2013

The Wawel Castle was not the highlight of our trip to Krakow. First of all, you have to buy a separate ticket for each of the different sections. We chose to see the State Rooms, which didn't take much time at all. Unlike the Mona Lisa, seeing the painting of the "Lady with an Ermine" costs extra (10 zl) and you cannot take pictures. Actually, pictures are not permitted anywhere in the Castle, even without a flash. The staff were very unfriendly about it. There was a notice in the ticket office about a "complaint book" so I'm guessing that staff have been unfriendly one more than one occasion. The only part that was worth the money was the Dragon"s Den which cost 3zl to see a cool-looking underground cave. We should have just taken pictures of the outside of the Castle and in the courtyard, that would have been enough. Don't feel disappointed if you skip this one.

Date of experience: June 2013
2  Thank Roksta79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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