A trip to Wawel Castle promises visitors deep insights into various stages of Polish history. It is more than just a castle. Located on Wawel Hill, surrounded by beautiful tree-lined avenues and parks, as well as the winding River Vistula on one side, it is in a wonderful setting. The hill is made of Jurassic limestone rock and is thought to have been inhabited since the 7th century. It is still an important part of the city today.
Attractions and exhibitions in the complexThe fortified complex contains a beautiful courtyard at the heart of the castle. From here, there is access to several rooms and exhibitions, each one, leading you on a journey through Polish history.
State Rooms – The main exhibition of the castle’s rooms showcase state apartments, some of which served as the suites of the Governors of Krakow. This display includes an enviable collection of vintage furniture, large tapestries, paintings and renaissance wooden ceilings.
Royal Private Apartments – Situated on the first floor these apartments also include guest and court member’s chambers. Styled in a gothic and renaissance design, larch wood ceilings, painted wall designs, tapestries and European artworks decorate this part of the castle.
Crown Treasury Armory – Once the Crown Treasury, this exhibition represents the independence of the Kingdom of Poland. The halls are filled with armory including cannons, soldiers armor, swords, rifles and much more, many dating from as early as the 14th century. It holds the remaining treasures of Polish royalty, including the coronation sword Szczerbiec.
Oriental Art – A display of artefacts showcasing part of Poland’s heritage when trading with the orient countries. Items include carpets, silks, tapestries and armory, to name a few.
Beyond the castle complex - Within the rest of the grounds, exhibitions include Lost Wawel, a display of architectural discoveries, and the Dragon’s Den, the legendary home of a fire-breathing monster. For stunning views of the city, climb Sandomierska Tower. From the top level, you can see 360° views through the windows, including towards the rest of the charming Old Town and across the meandering river.
Wawel Cathedral – The first cathedral dates back to the year 1,000 so there is much history on this site. It is home to the Zygmunt bell, one of the world's largest. St Leonard's Crypt, held beneath the cathedral, contains graves of many important Polish individuals. These include Casimir the Great and two Polish saints, Stanislaus the Martyr and Hedwig the Queen.
You can choose to see all the attractions or just some of them. When you purchase your ticket, you will be allocated a time slot for entrance to each attraction. The reason for this is to keep visitor impact to a minimum.
The stylish Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow is just a short walk away from the city’s historic attractions, including Wawel Castle, Market Square and Barbican Fort, as well as the Old Town’s streets and alleyways.