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Wawel Cathedral

Chapels filled with religious art, ornate tombs of Poland’s past rulers and a huge 600-year-old bell lie within Poland’s most sacred cathedral. 

Stand beneath the golden dome of the Sigismund Chapel (Kaplica Zygmuntowska) in Wawel Cathedral. The paintings, stuccos and sculptures around you are some of the finest works of Renaissance art in Europe. Investigate the cathedral’s other chapels to view the ornate tombs of almost all of Poland’s past monarchs, and then climb the bell tower to touch the famous Sigismund Bell. 

The Roman Catholic Wawel Cathedral dates back to 1364. It is the most important religious building in Poland. It’s the coronation site of numerous Polish monarchs and the place where all but four of Poland’s 45 previous rulers are buried.

Just inside the entrance, look for the striking red marble sarcophagus of King Vladislav II. Continue on to see further tombs sculpted from white marble, sandstone and precious metals. 

Explore the different chapels to discover fine examples of art from the Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance periods. Don’t miss the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which has preserved stained-glass windows and Russian murals from the 15th century. In the Sigismund Chapel you can observe works by prominent artists of the Renaissance period, including Georg Pencz, Santi Gucci and Hermann Vischer. 

Visit the silver tomb of St. Stanislaus, which rests beneath a black marble canopy in the cathedral’s main altar. The walls around the tomb are decorated with reliefs depicting scenes from his life and his posthumous miracles. 

Make your way up the belfry to see the Sigismund Bell. The huge bell dates back to 1520 and is only rung for important state celebrations. While you’re unlikely to hear it ring, you can reach out to touch the bell if you wish. 

The Wawel Cathedral is located within the grounds of Wawel Castle. It’s an easy walk south from Krakow’s Old Town (Stare Miasto), and is also served by bus and tram. The cathedral is free to enter and open daily, with shorter hours on Sundays. It is closed on public holidays and on state occasions. There is a small charge to enter the museum, bell and tombs.


Guide to Exploring around Wawel Cathedral


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Lodging Near Wawel Cathedral

See all 619 Hotels near Wawel Cathedral
$73
Venetian House Market Square Aparthotel

Venetian House Market Square Aparthotel

Rynek Glowny 11, Krakow
4.6
of 5, from 131 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this apartment is steps from Church of St. Wojciech, Main Market Square, and St. Mary's Basilica. Town Hall Tower and Collegium Maius are also within 5 minutes.

$78
Betmanowska Main Square Residence

Betmanowska Main Square Residence

Ul. Rynek Glowny 44, Krakow
4.9
of 5, from 351 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Amber Museum, Main Market Square, and St. Mary's Basilica. Cloth Hall and Town Hall Tower are also within 5 minutes.

$112
Sheraton Grand Krakow

Sheraton Grand Krakow

Ul. Powisle 7, Krakow
4.7
of 5, from 507 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Sheraton Grand Krakow is located on the bank of Wisla River near famous Wawel Castle with stunning views to both. The Old Town and the famous Kazimierz district is just a 10-minute walk away.

$67
Best Western Plus Krakow Old Town

Best Western Plus Krakow Old Town

Sw. Gertrudy Street 6, Krakow
3.9
of 5, from 228 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Holy Trinity Church, Wawel Castle, and Main Market Square. St. Mary's Basilica and Cloth Hall are also within 10 minutes.

$92
Hotel Polski Pod Białym Orłem

Hotel Polski Pod Białym Orłem

ul. Pijarska 17, Krakow
4.5
of 5, from 106 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Florianska Street, this hotel is steps from City Arsenal, Florian's Gate, and Czartoryski Museum. Main Market Square and Krakow Barbican are also within 10 minutes.

$80
Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow

Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow

17, Straszewskiego Street, Krakow
4.6
of 5, from 320 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Situated in the city centre opposite Krakow's Philharmonic Hall, this hotel is 200 metres from Market Square and Wawel Castle, and within 1 km of Planty Park, Archbishop’s palace, and Czartoryski Museum.

$89
Hotel Legend

Hotel Legend

ul. Sw. Gertrudy 12, Krakow
4.8
of 5, from 218 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Aquarium and Natural History Museum, Wawel Castle, and St. Mary's Basilica. Main Market Square and Cloth Hall are also within 15 minutes.

$69
Wyspianski Hotel

Wyspianski Hotel

Ul Westerplatte 15, Krakow
4.0
of 5, from 554 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bourgeois House, Main Market Square, and St. Mary's Basilica. Florian's Gate and Cloth Hall are also within 10 minutes.