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Wawel Royal Castle

Travel back in time to medieval Poland at this former seat of royal power.

Wawel Royal Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

Krakow: Wawel Castle & Cathedral Guided Tour

1. Krakow: Wawel Castle & Cathedral Guided Tour

Step into history with a guided tour of the former residence of Polish kings and a symbol of statehood, Wawel Castle. Discover the castle, which became a museum in 1930, and hosts a vast collection of paintings, graphics, sculptures, fabrics, goldsmiths, military items, porcelain, and furniture. See inside the chambers that display the famous tapestries of Zygmunt August and the magnificent renaissance Italian paintings from the Lanckoronski collection. Explore the Wawel collections of eastern art, one of the largest and most important collections of tents in Europe. Learn all about how the castle is also an important center for the conservation of art. Feel like you’re walking back through time as you discover the permanent exhibitions which decorated the way they would have been during the renaissance and baroque periods.

Krakow: Wawel Royal Hill Guided Tour

2. Krakow: Wawel Royal Hill Guided Tour

Join a guided tour of the Wawel Royal Hill, one of the most important hills in Poland. This was where Polish kings and queens reigned over Poland. Your guide will tell you about the secrets of the royals and show you the most important places within Wawel Hill.  After meeting your guide, you will pass by the most expensive hotel in Cracow, which has hosted HRH Prince Charles and President Bush. You are then going to stop by the house of Jan Długosz, the legendary Polish historian, from where you will have a magnificent view over Wawel Hill. Then, start to go uphill, passing through the Arms Gate, and stopping by the monument to Tadeusz Kościuszko, one of the most important Polish heroes. Walk past the entrance to the Wawel Cathedral. Continue in the direction of the center of Wawel hill and the medieval courtyard, and head to the Austrian Hospital, from where you will be able to see a beautiful panorama of Krakow. You are then going to pass by Sandomierska Tower and go downhill through the Bernardyńska Gate, eventually leading to the cave of the Wawel Dragon. 

Krakow: Wawel Castle Guided Tour with Entry Tickets

3. Krakow: Wawel Castle Guided Tour with Entry Tickets

Wawel Castle was the residence of the royal family of Poland till 1795. It is a source of great Polish pride and stands as one of the most spectacular buildings on the top of Wawel Hill.  During your tour of the castle, you will get the chance to witness the grandeur of Poland’s past as you pass through the magnificent halls of the castle. Presently, the castle also houses a museum that includes beautiful artifacts preserved from the historic times when kings and queens ruled the country. During your tour, you may also visit the Royal private apartments adorned with exquisite tapestries, paintings, and chandeliers.  The castle serves as a premier art museum and also includes an Oriental Art section with the largest collection of Ottoman tents on the European continent. This 14th-century castle built by King Casimir II the Great was at the top of its opulence in the 16th century when King Sigismund the Old commissioned the castle to be expanded and built into what it looks like today. Once you are in the castle, you will be transported into the era of kings and queens as your guide shares information about the royals who once lived in the castle and the myths surrounding this beautiful place. You may also get to see the Wawel exhibition, which displays objects uncovered during archaeological excavations around the region. It also includes scale models of buildings and other architectural elements.  Wawel Castle is recognized as a Unesco World Heritage site and is known to have immense cultural and historical significance in Poland.

Krakow: Wawel Hill Audioguide Tour

4. Krakow: Wawel Hill Audioguide Tour

After collecting your audioguide at the local Tourist Information Centre, listen to the commentary as you walk along Kanonicza Street to the Wawel Hill. Wawel has been the monarch’s residency from the 11th century and is also the site where Polish royals were crowned and buried.  Once you've arrived at the Royal Castle, hear about the role of each building, and the stories behind them. You will learn about the history of Main Courtyard, the Arcaded Courtyard, as well as the Crown Treasury and Armory. End the tour at the famous Dragon’s Den.

Krakow: 1-Hour Evening Vistula River Cruise

5. Krakow: 1-Hour Evening Vistula River Cruise

After registering your ticket at the kiosk, meet your crew whom you with travel with throughout your cruise down the Vistula River. The royal city of Krakow is full of interesting and entertaining places, many of which you pass throughout this experience. Sail past picturesque landscapes including Wawel Castle, the Dębnicki Bridge, the Monastery of the Norbertan Sisters, the junction where the Rudawa River flows into Vistula, the Dębniki district, and the John Paul II Family Home. You later encounter the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, various other bridges, the Cricoteka Museum, the Kazimierz district, and the Church on the Rock. This cruise is the perfect way to relax and take some rest, accompanied by the sound of the waves lapping up against the side of the boat. At the conclusion of your experience, your boat returns you to your tour starting location.

Krakow: 2-Hour Segway Tour of the Old Town

6. Krakow: 2-Hour Segway Tour of the Old Town

Maximize your enjoyment of the idyllic city of Krakow, as you discover its beautiful architecture while experiencing the excitement of a Segway tour. Have memorable fun with family and friends while admiring the many charming sights the city has to offer, from the market squares of the Old Town to the Jewish Quarter. See the highlights at speed as you cruise along the Royal Route, and marvel at the Wawel Royal Castle. Enjoy the ride as you take a whirlwind tour of 4 churches. Visit the famous Wawel Dragon Cave, and the scenic Vistula embankment, and learn captivating stories about the Old Town. Gain fascinating insights into the history and culture of this city of UNESCO World Heritage sites from a knowledgeable guide.

Krakow: Evening Cruise with an Optional Glass of Wine

7. Krakow: Evening Cruise with an Optional Glass of Wine

Sail on the Vistula River and enjoy an evening of sophistication in the royal city. Experience the breathtaking views by night, marvelous city lights, and the unique atmosphere that the river has to offer. Choose to include a glass of wine to enjoy during the cruise. The tour starts near the Wawel Castle, then continues upstream to the Convent of the Norbertine Sisters and the home of Pope Jean Paul II. Further on, the boat takes a route downriver, passing by the historical Wawel Castle and the Church on the Rock, then revealing the beauty of the Kazimierz and Podgórze districts with its distinctive bridges. The cruise finishes back at Kapitan Victor's mooring.

Krakow: Sightseeing Cruise with Audio Guide

8. Krakow: Sightseeing Cruise with Audio Guide

During this one-hour boat cruise on the Vistula River in Krakow, customers can experience the city's rich culture and history while enjoying stunning views of its landmarks and skyline. The cruise begins at the dock, where passengers board the boat and embark on a scenic journey down the river. The first stop is the iconic Wawel Castle, the former residence of Polish kings and queens. Passengers will have the opportunity to admire the castle's stunning architecture and learn about its fascinating history from an expert tour guide. As the boat continues down the river, passengers can take in the panoramic views of Krakow's most famous landmarks, including the Kazimierz district, the Bernatek Footbridge, and the Vistula Boulevards. Along the way, the tour guide will provide interesting historical and cultural insights about each of these sites. The cruise concludes back at the dock, where passengers can disembark and continue exploring Krakow on their own. With its stunning views and expert tour guide, this boat cruise is a must-do experience for anyone visiting Krakow.

Warsaw: Full-day Tour to Krakow and Auschwitz by Train

9. Warsaw: Full-day Tour to Krakow and Auschwitz by Train

Following an early morning pickup from your accommodation in Warsaw, get transferred to the train station with a private vehicle. Your English-speaking driver will assist you with the check-in and wait until you are boarded for the train to Krakow. After a short train ride, you will be welcomed by a local English-speaking driver and start your tour via shared transportation to Auschwitz. Embark on a 3.5-hour guided group tour of Auschwitz and Birkenau. Start the tour with a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp where you'll learn about how its establishment by German Nazis on the outskirts of the town Oswiecim in 1940. After the war, the camp was turned into a museum displaying evidence of the genocide, which you will have the opportunity to browse. In the museum watch a film made after the liberation of the camp shown in various languages. After spending time in Auschwitz continue the tour to the Birkenau section of the concentration camp. Discover how, in 1941, the German Nazis established a new camp called Auschwitz II Birkenau. Between 1942-1945, approximately 1.5 million people lived and died here. Around 90% of them were Jews, others were Poles, Gypsies, Russians, and prisoners from 28 countries of Europe. In 1979, Auschwitz–Birkenau Concentration Camp was listed as a UNESCO World Culture and National Heritage Site. Depart Auschwitz-Birkenau for a 1.5-hour journey to Krakow. You will have three hours of free time to see the Main Market Square in Krakow, the biggest Medieval old town square in Europe. In the Old Town, visit Wawel Hill where the Cathedral and the Royal Castle are, the Town Hall Tower, St. Mary’s Basilica, Krakow Barbican, and Sukiennice, famously known as the Cloth Hall. Absorb the city's unique atmosphere with its thousands of bars and delightful regional restaurants, historic buildings, and horse-driven cabs. During the trip, there will be time to eat lunch in a restaurant. After your time in Krakow board the train at about 7.30 PM, get picked up at the platform and be transferred from the train station back to your hotel in Warsaw.

Krakow: River Cruise with Audio Guide

10. Krakow: River Cruise with Audio Guide

Krakow is home to a suite of visual delights: from the majestic Wawel Castle to the historic Zwierzyniec and Kazimierz districts, there's plenty to see in this beautiful city. Vistula River cruises remain one of the best ways to discover all that Krakow has to offer. The river flows through the heart of Krakow, which happens to be home to some of the most iconic landmarks in Poland. You'll have the chance not only to see the city's primary attractions, but to fully immerse yourself in the spirit of Krakow thanks to the comfortable pace of the tour. The cruise begins at the foot of Wawel Castle. From there, the boat glides along the picturesque boulevards first in the direction of Zwierzyniec, passing by the Convent of the Norbertine Sisters, the house of the pope John Paul II, and then in direction of Podgórze and Kazimierz districts. Pass well-known sights like Church on the Rock, Mangha Museum, Bernatka Footbridge, and Cricoteka. The tour ends back at the Wawel Castle.

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What people are saying about Wawel Royal Castle

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 2,580 reviews

Our guide was wonderful and knowledgeable, she explained the history of the castle and cathedral in a way that kept your interest. We learnt so much, yes the castle doesn’t have as many artifacts as you would expect but she did a great job explaining why and the history behind what was missing and what existed. I wish I remembered her name but I strongly recommend this tour !

An amazing time with Christoff. He is so informative and knew so much about the history of Krakow. He spoke amazing English. Even though it was winter it was a beautiful day. I cannot recommend this tour enough! A far better was of seeing the city than on foot! Thank you so much

The guide was very prepared and explained the structures visited impeccably. The palace and the cathedral are two must-see sights when visiting Krakow.

A good half day tour (it’s actually about hour and a half but you can stroll around after gbr official tour has fimished.

We really enjoyed it at guide was very nice and informed