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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Wawel Castle

See the coronation sword of Polish kings, opulent royal apartments, Renaissance paintings and an underground cave system at Krakow’s biggest castle. 

Explore the former bedchambers and staterooms in Wawel Castle. See Flemish tapestries and paintings by Rubens. Head to the Treasury to view collections of armor and royal jewelry and explore the castle’s past in an exhibit dedicated to archaeological finds in and around the grounds. Visit a cave where legend says a dragon once lived or relax with a stroll around the Royal Garden.

A castle was first built on the Wawel Hill as far back as the 14th century, but the building you see today is largely the later work of King Sigismind I. In the 16th century he brought the finest sculptors, builders and artisans from Italy and across Europe to create a fashionable, Renaissance-style palace. Perched high above the Vistula River, it remains one of the most prominent sights in Krakow today.

Start your exploration of the castle in the Treasury. Here you will find the sword used to swear in Polish kings, as well as a large collection of armor and royal jewelry. Visit the top floor to find more royal riches in the king’s apartments. See art by Rubens and other Renaissance painters, original furniture and portraits of the rooms’ former inhabitants. Enjoy sweeping views across Krakow from the Hen’s Foot Tower. 

Delve into the castle’s past in the Lost Wawel exhibit, a collection of archaeological finds from as far back as the 10th century. Enter the cathedral and visit the ornate tombs of bygone kings. Descend into the labyrinth known as the Dragon’s Den, a cave system beneath the castle. The entrance is easy to find thanks to the large bronze dragon that breathes fire at regular intervals throughout the day. 

Wawel Castle is a 10-minute walk from the main town square in central Krakow. It is open daily. Check the castle’s official website for opening hours, as these vary. Be aware that daily visitor numbers to the castle are limited, so it’s best to arrive early in the day during summer and on public holidays. All areas of the castle, such as the Dragon’s Den and the Treasury, have separate entrance fees.


Guide to Exploring around Wawel Castle


Best Lodging Options Near Wawel Castle

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Sheraton Grand Krakow $124
Sheraton Grand Krakow

Sheraton Grand Krakow

Ul. Powisle 7, Krakow, Lesser Poland
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of STU Theatre and Smok Wawelski Statue. Stained Glass Museum and Planty Park are also within 10 minutes. Krakow Glowny Station is 24 minutes by foot.

    Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow $77
    Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow

    Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow

    17, Straszewskiego Street, Krakow, Lesser Poland
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Krakow hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Krakow Philharmonic, Main Market Square, and Wawel Castle. Cloth Hall and St. Mary's Basilica are also within 10 minutes. Krakow Glowny Station is 18 minutes by foot.

      Hotel Legend $55
      Hotel Legend

      Hotel Legend

      ul. Sw. Gertrudy 12, Krakow
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wawel Castle, St. Mary's Basilica, and Cloth Hall. Main Market Square and Dragon's Den are also within 15 minutes. Krakow Glowny Station is 14 minutes by foot.

        Aparthotel Stare Miasto $86
        Aparthotel Stare Miasto

        Aparthotel Stare Miasto

        Ul. Golebia 2, Krakow, Lesser Poland
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Old Town, this boutique aparthotel is steps from St. Francis of Assisi Church and Monastery, Main Market Square, and Cloth Hall. St. Mary's Basilica and Krakow Barbican are also within 10 minutes. Krakow Glowny Station is 14 minutes by foot.

          Parkside Apartments Old Town $56
          Parkside Apartments Old Town

          Parkside Apartments Old Town

          ul. Kopernika 8, Krakow
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Planty Park, Main Market Square, and St. Mary's Basilica. Cloth Hall and Krakow Barbican are also within 10 minutes. Krakow Glowny Station is 8 minutes by foot.

            Too-good Apartments $50
            Too-good Apartments

            Too-good Apartments

            sw. Jana 18, Krakow, Lesser Poland
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Old Town, this aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cloth Hall, St. Mary's Basilica, and Main Market Square. Krakow Barbican and Wawel Castle are also within 1 mi (2 km). Krakow Glowny Station is 9 minutes by foot.

              Queen Boutique Hotel $82
              Queen Boutique Hotel

              Queen Boutique Hotel

              Ul. Dietla 60, Krakow, Lesser Poland
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Aquarium and Natural History Museum, Tempel Synagogue, and Jewish Cemetery. Remu'h Synagogue and New Square are also within 10 minutes. Krakow Glowny Station is 18 minutes by foot.

                Betmanowska Main Square Residence $85
                Betmanowska Main Square Residence

                Betmanowska Main Square Residence

                Ul. Rynek Glowny 44, Krakow
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Amber Museum, Main Market Square, and St. Mary's Basilica. Cloth Hall and Krakow Barbican are also within 10 minutes. Krakow Glowny Station is 11 minutes by foot.