Wawel Castle

Krakow featuring a lake or waterhole and a garden as well as a couple

Wawel Castle

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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.

Top Trending Hotels Near Wawel Castle

Hotel Wawel Queen
Hotel Wawel Queen
4 out of 5
Straszewskiego 12, Krakow, Lesser Poland, 31-101
The price is £62 per night from 5 Jun to 6 Jun
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Krakow. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast and room service. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (158 reviews)
"We had an amazing room with a balcony and were very close to the centre and Wawel Castle"

Reviewed on 8 May 2022

Hotel Wawel Queen
Sheraton Grand Krakow
Sheraton Grand Krakow
5 out of 5
Ul. Powisle 7, Krakow, Lesser Poland, 31-101
Fully refundable
The price is £106 per night from 22 May to 23 May
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Krakow. Enjoy free WiFi, a rooftop terrace and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in their ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (986 reviews)
"Nice hotel and amazing breakfast"

Reviewed on 27 Apr 2022

Sheraton Grand Krakow
Hotel Unicus Palace
Hotel Unicus Palace
5 out of 5
ul. Florianska 28, Krakow, Lesser Poland, 31-020
The price is £121 per night from 31 May to 1 Jun
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Krakow. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in their reviews. Popular ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (613 reviews)
"Super professional, clean, and so helpful my entire weekend here!"

Reviewed on 9 May 2022

Hotel Unicus Palace
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Top Hotel Deals

Amber Design Residence
Amber Design Residence
4 out of 5
ul. Sw. Marka 35, Krakow, 31-024
The price is £51 per night from 18 May to 19 May
Amber Design Residence
Sheraton Grand Krakow
Sheraton Grand Krakow
5 out of 5
Ul. Powisle 7, Krakow, Lesser Poland, 31-101
The price is £106 per night from 22 May to 23 May
Sheraton Grand Krakow
Hotel Unicus Palace
Hotel Unicus Palace
5 out of 5
ul. Florianska 28, Krakow, Lesser Poland, 31-020
The price is £121 per night from 31 May to 1 Jun
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Hotel Wawel Queen
Hotel Wawel Queen
4 out of 5
Straszewskiego 12, Krakow, Lesser Poland, 31-101
The price is £62 per night from 5 Jun to 6 Jun
Hotel Wawel Queen
Metropolitan Boutique Hotel
Metropolitan Boutique Hotel
4 out of 5
ul. Berka Joselewicza 19, Krakow, Lesser Poland, 31-031
The price is £62 per night from 25 May to 26 May
Metropolitan Boutique Hotel
Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow
Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow
5 out of 5
17, Straszewskiego Street, Krakow, Lesser Poland, 31-101
The price is £86 per night from 22 May to 23 May
Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow
Betmanowska Main Square Residence Adults Only
Betmanowska Main Square Residence Adults Only
4 out of 5
Ul. Rynek Glowny 44, Krakow, 31-017
The price is £79 per night from 8 Jun to 9 Jun
Betmanowska Main Square Residence Adults Only
Hotel H15 Luxury Palace
Hotel H15 Luxury Palace
5 out of 5
Sw Jana 15, Krakow, 31-017
The price is £129 per night from 5 Jun to 6 Jun
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Novotel Krakow Centrum
Novotel Krakow Centrum
4 out of 5
ul. Tadeusza Kosciuszki 5, Krakow, Lesser Poland, 30-105
The price is £69 per night from 6 Jun to 7 Jun
Novotel Krakow Centrum
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.