Visiting castles while traveling can feel like you’ve escaped to a different world. From strongholds and fortresses to beautifully adorned stone and interior décor, castles transport us to a different world of fantasy and medieval times. I love visiting Poland and believe me when I say some of the best castles to visit reside in Poland.
Here are some of the most stunning castles in Poland that deserve a spot on your “must-see” list and prove why Poland is worth visiting.
The Best 12 Castles in Poland
You could create a European itinerary devoted to seeing the many castles and monasteries throughout the continent if you really wanted to. Just make sure Malbork Castle is on the agenda! Otherwise known as the Castle of the Teutonic Order, this is a medieval castle and religious site that was restored in the 19th and 20th centuries. The castle itself is a rare piece of history as it’s the most complete representation of Gothic style architecture done with brick. Ancient lords and masters walked the castle halls and left a legacy of sanctity, creating a continued fascination with medieval life to this day.
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Warsaw Royal Castle
Located in the beautiful Old Town of Warsaw you’ll find the Royal Castle. Dating back to the 14th Century, the castle is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This beautiful castle has formerly served as the official home of the Polish Monarchs. It’s open to the public as a museum so visitors can take a walk around this historical castle that has been witness to many notable moments in Polish history. Tickets cost 30 PLN but keep in mind it is closed on Mondays and certain holidays.
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Lublin Castle (Zamek Lubelski) is one not to miss when visiting Lublin. Dating from the 12th Century, the castle is one of the oldest preserved Royal residencies in Poland. It was where the Polish monarchy would stay when visiting Lublin in the medieval time. Then during WWI it was used as a detention centre and witnessed the deaths of hundreds of prisoners. Now the castle is part of the Lublin Provincial Museum and includes the Polish National Gallery and the Chapel of the Holy Trinity.
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Wawel Royal Castle
Situated right in the heart of Krakow, the Wawel Royal Castle is one of the largest castles in Poland and was actually the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world. The castle is part of a fortified complex which includes the Wawel Cathedral where Polish Monarchs were crowned and buried. The castle and cathedral are open to be explored, with both permanent and seasonal exhibitions on offer. There is no need to buy a ticket to explore the castle grounds, however, to see inside there are guided tours costing around 30 PLN. Audio guides in multiple languages are available with a small fee.
Goluchow Castle was originally built as a stronghold for an aristocratic family in the 1600s. However, Izabela Działyńska, one of the country’s most prominent citizens, restored the castle to that style of the French Renaissance. She employed French architect Maurice August Ouradou, French painters and sculptors, and many more people of different trades and nationalities to bring the castle to life. The castle is now a museum, showcasing its Gothic Rooms, Polish Room, Portrait Room and many more rooms themed after different periods of time and showcasing treasures from Poland’s past. Ticket costs for visitors into the castle range from 8-12 PLN and it is easily accessible from RouteDK12, 20 km northwest of Kalisz.
Surrounded by the beautiful Lake Czorsztyn in southern Poland, Niedzica Castle sits magnificently atop a hill next to the water. Built in the 1320s, the castle was handed down through history into the hands of various Hungarian aristocrats, including one man who married an Inca princess. Legend has it that their daughter fled a war ridden South America with her son and a set of scrolls that led to a lost Incan treasure. There may still be clues inside the castle as to where that treasure lies, but you’ll have to visit to figure that out for yourself! To enter the castle and the carriage house, you’ll pay 19 PLN. A fair price for extraordinary views from the castle looking out onto the lake.
One of the most well-known monuments in the south of Poland, Moszna Castle was owned for centuries by the Tiele-Winckler family. Located in the Opole Province, the property contains 365 rooms and a total of 7,000 square feet to roam and explore. The castle feels somewhat isolated due to the green space and wilderness surrounding the property, making it a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the day. From January to March and November to December, admission to the castle is free! If you plan to visit during the other months, prices usually range between 6-7 PLN. The castle is easily accessible from main roads and highways, just a 35 km drive away from the town of Opole.
Pieskowa Skala Castle
This castle gets its name from the natural structure on which it sits, the Pieskowa Skala, a limestone cliff that hangs over the River Pradnik. Pieskowa Skala Castle is a Renaissance style castle and one of the best examples of that period of architecture in Poland. While it was restored using Italian style methods of design and décor, the castle holds a history of war as well. At the base of the castle is a mass grave for some 60+ soldiers who were killed in the January Uprising of 1863 against the Russian Empire. Despite its dark past, the castle is a much-celebrated landmark for Poland! You can access the castle through Ojcow park’s northern border via car. Visitors can also access the castle from Krakow via bus, and if you’re up for an adventure, you can also hike along the Ojcow red trail to access the castle.
Located in northern Wałbrzych, Ksiaz Castle is the largest castle in the Silesia region of Poland. The castle earned its nickname as the “Pearl of Lower Silesia” for good reason: its chambers, terraces and gardens are majestic in their preserved state. During World War II, the castle was utilised by Nazi forces as a headquarters and it is believed they used the tunnels under the castle to transport gold into the castle. To spend the entire day at the castle you’ll pay 75,00 PLN. This gets you into the castle and its underground passages with an audio guide headset, the Palm House and the Mausoleum on site. The castle is also extremely close to the Ksiaz Hotel if you’re looking for somewhere to stay!
Nowy Wisnicz Castle
Built in the second half of the 14th century, Nowy Wisnicz was first and foremost a defensive stronghold for the Kmita family. Despite multiple families fortifying the castle over the years, it could not withstand the invasion of Swedish forces in the 17th century. The remains of the plundered structure were restored by the Lubomirski Family Association and has been undergoing restorative work to bring it back to its former glory next to the River Leksandrowka and the dreamy village of Stary Wisnicz. Costs for admission range from 12-18 PLN and is easily accessible by highways and main roads.
Found in the Poznan region of Poland, Kornick Castle is a registered monument for the country and attracts thousands of visitors. Its history dates back to the 15th century and can be traced through multiple lineages of aristocratic families. As a landmark, the castle sits on its own island surrounded by a moat and is quite close to Lake Kornickie. The Kornick Library is one of the most revered libraries in Poland, which is still utilised today by university students. You can visit the castle premises and the library for just 17 PLN.
Polish aristocrats lived and breathed in the halls of Lancut Castle starting in the 1300s. Located in the town of Lancut, the estate is made up of multiple buildings and gardens. The interior design of the castle has been well preserved over the years, and the estate also has a large collection of intricate horse drawn carriages! Hours for visitation and ticket prices will vary depending on the season; however, be sure to check the castle’s website as it closes on public holidays in Europe.
There you have it, 12 amazing castles in Poland that are definitely worth a visit. Which castle will you be visiting first? Any Polish castles not on the list that you’ve been to? Let me know in the comments
Plan Your Trip To Poland
Need some inspiration for planning your Poland itinerary? These posts may help!
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Poland
- Things To Do in Zamosc
- The Ultimate Guide To Lodz
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Grand Krakow
- Things To Do in Lublin
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