Wavel Castle
and Cathedral

Travel tips you can trust


Wawel Castle
and Cathedral
are special

These Krakow landmarks rate high in both historical and sightseeing value.

Wawel Castle
and Cathedral
tips and insights


It royally sits on a hill overlooking Krakow city and the Vistula River. Wawel Castle dates back to the 11th century and has been damaged, reconstructed, and expanded a number of times. Today, it's in good condition.

Top 2 highlights:

Royal Apartments and State Rooms

They are furnished with period furniture. The Flemish tapestries are the star attraction.


This large space is lined with remarkable balcony architecture.

Other notable attractions include:

Crown Treasury and Armory

Houses the crown jewels and the fabled Szczerbiec sword.

Lost Wavel

Features archaeological findings.

Dragon's Den

A cave with an interesting tale.


Nearly all the several dozen Polish kings were crowned and buried here. The cathedral is jammed with tombs and is venerated by the Poles.

Ticket system

Unfortunately, this is the weakest point of the Wawel Castle and Cathedral complex. Tickets to some interior attractions are sold separately, limited, and time-sensitive. Buy them as early as possible if you will be there during the peak tourist periods.


You do not require a ticket if you stay outside. Just walk through the front gate and enjoy the castle grounds and courtyard.

How to pronounce

Wawel = vah-vell

Nearby wonders

Up the street is the Krakow Market Square, and a half-hour out of town is Weilicska Salt Mine. Both win Hillman Wonders bronze medals.

Location in Poland

Know these Poland tips and insights


Photo by Jakub Halun - CC BY-SA 3.0


Polish National Tourist Office