The State Rooms at Wawel Royal Castle

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The State Rooms at Wawel Royal Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

Krakow: Wawel Castle Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

1. Krakow: Wawel Castle Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

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 artefacts 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 Royal Hill Guided Tour

2. Krakow: Wawel Royal Hill Guided Tour

Join a guided tour of the Wavel 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 the 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 the 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 Crypt of the Silver Bells, which is the burial place for President Lech Kaczynski and his spouse. Then, 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: Skip-the-Line Tour of the Wawel Royal Castle

3. Krakow: Skip-the-Line Tour of the Wawel Royal Castle

Step inside the former residence of Polish royalty, Wawel Castle. With your guide, skip the lines and tour the royal residence which boasts a huge collection of paintings, sculptures, fabrics, and priceless furniture. Explore chambers within, which house the famous tapestries of Sigismund Augustus and various Italian Renaissance paintings. Travel back in time as you admire the permanent exhibitions that showcase Renaissance and Baroque decor. Learn about the historical figures who called this castle home and shaped Polish history from your guide. Continue on to the Wawel Cathedral and descend into the crypts.

Krakow: Wawel Castle & Old Town Guided Skip-the-Line Tour

4. Krakow: Wawel Castle & Old Town Guided Skip-the-Line Tour

Discover the highlights of Krakow's history during this walking tour. Start with the top attraction in the city, the amazing Wawel Castle. First, have an opportunity to explore this fascinating castle from the outside, where you will see its most important points like defensive walls, Wawel Dragon, Wawel Cathedral and much more. Outside, your guide will treat you to information about this place and its history. After this introduction, step inside Castle Wawel which is even more impressive than its exterior. Explore the most important parts of the castle, including the royal staterooms. In addition to many precious monuments, the castle is also full of ancient paintings and stunning tapestries, which have been preserved from the interior's original decoration. Next, follow in the footsteps of the Kings of Poland as you explore the famous Royal Route from Wawel Hill to the Old Town. Get to the Main Market Square to admire the Gothic exterior of St. Mary's Basilica. Marvel at the decorative details of the historic Cloth Hall, where traveling merchants would meet to discuss business and barter their wares. Finally, pass one of the world's oldest universities, Jagiellonian University, and go to the green oasis of Planty Park, built on the site of the medieval city walls.

Krakow: Guided Wawel Tour, Lunch, and Vistula River Cruise

5. Krakow: Guided Wawel Tour, Lunch, and Vistula River Cruise

Visit one of Krakow's most important sites, the rocky Wawel Hill, which towers over the bank of the Vistula and has been the seat of secular and church authorities for centuries. See the museum, which today is one of the most visited and important museums in Poland, and see the collections of paintings, graphics, sculptures, fabrics, goldsmiths, porcelain and furniture. Explore the permanent exhibitions in the chateau, which recreate the appearance of the rooms from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and learn about its history with an experienced local guide. Experience the original royal chambers, enter the majestic Cathedral, and learn about the most interesting historical facts intertwined with fairy-tale stories. Enjoy a local dinner at a nearby cafe and take a moment to breathe before boarding a modern catamaran to take an intimate cruise on the queen of Polish rivers - the Vistula, and be able to admire Wawel, the Cathedral and see a little of Krakow scattered on its shores.

Krakow: Skip-the-Line Wawel Castle and Hill Guided Tour

6. Krakow: Skip-the-Line Wawel Castle and Hill Guided Tour

Get an excellent lesson on Wawel Castle and see inside the State Rooms with a local expert guide. Skip the line easily with fast track ticketed entrance to Wawel Castle and save 2-3 hours, leaving you to see as much as you can. Enjoy a small-group experience of no more than 15 participants as you discover Wawel Castle. First, admire the beauty of Wawel Hill and the courtyard. See the defensive walls, giant gates, and towers which served as protection for this important site. Inside the castle, visit the State Rooms which house a variety of exhibitions with historical artifacts dating back to Medieval times. Explore the elegant rooms which have hosted many important royal and political figures throughout the centuries, such as King Zygmunt III and Wladyslaw Lokietek. Discover ancient paintings, amazing furniture, and stunning tapestries as you learn about the history of the castle with your guide. One of the rooms has an extraordinary ceiling - remember to look up and see 30 sculptures of heads placed in the roof. Hear interesting stories about events which took place in these halls, as your knowledgeable licensed guide will tell you everything!

Krakow Old Town: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour

7. Krakow Old Town: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Discover Krakow and learn about the stories, anecdotes, and legends of the city from your expert guide as you visit sites including Grodzka Street and the elegant Wawel Cathedral. Head to St Florian’s Gate, one of the symbols of the city that welcomes visitors arriving in Krakow. Follow the road towards Pijarska Street, one of the most famous streets in Krakow. From here, walk directly to the heart of the city, the Main Market Square. Admire the charming Cloth Hall, Krakow’s oldest commercial center featuring beautiful renaissance architecture. Visit St. Adalbert's Church and the Town Hall Tower standing at an impressive 230 ft. See the Mariacki Square which surrounds St. Mary’s Basilica. Discover the Basilica's high altar by Veit Stossa and the star-strewn murals by Jan Matejko, covering the vaulting. Explore St. Andrew’s Church, one of the oldest churches in the city. Walk along the picturesque Kanoniczna Street which dates back to the 14th century. Gaze at the Wawel Royal Castle from the top of Wawel Hill and enjoy views of the spectacular renaissance palace. Enter the Wawel Cathedral, the most important house of worship in Poland.

Krakow: Wawel Hill Guided Tour with Wine and Tapas

8. Krakow: Wawel Hill Guided Tour with Wine and Tapas

Wawel Hill - a rocky hill towering over the bank of the Vistula River, has been the seat of Polish secular and church authorities for centuries, and today it is the most visited and one of the most important museums in Poland. It collects collections of paintings, prints, sculptures, fabrics, goldsmiths, militaria, porcelain and furniture. Enter the former royal chambers with your guide to see Sigismund Augustus' famous tapestries and wonderful Italian Renaissance paintings. After exploring the original royal chambers that give you an idea of the castle's Renaissance and Baroque décor, take a peek into the majestic Cathedral where many kings were ruled, and learn the most interesting historical facts about rulers, interspersed with fairy tales and rumors. After leaving Wawel, head towards the Old Town to continue exploring Krakow with your guide. Enter a 15th-century cellar and taste delicious wine with traditional Polish tapas. End your trek in a cafe on the roof of one of the tenement houses, from where you can admire the magnificent Royal Castle, Krakow and the Vistula River.

Krakow: Guided Wawel Tour, Lunch, and Vistula River Cruise

9. Krakow: Guided Wawel Tour, Lunch, and Vistula River Cruise

Explore some of the most beautiful places in Krakow on a guided tour of Wawel Hill, Wawel Castle, and the Cathedral. Hop on a cruise along the Vistula River to see the landmarks from a unique perspective. Enter the Castle with your guide and admire a vast collection of paintings, graphics, sculptures, fabrics, goldsmiths, militaria, porcelain, and furniture. Stand in awe as the permanent exhibitions in the chateau recreate the appearance of the rooms from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. After viewing the original royal chambers, go inside the majestic Cathedral, and learn about historical facts intertwined with fairy-tale stories. Then, be invited for dinner at a nearby cafe and take a moment to relax. Finally, board a modern catamaran and take an intimate cruise along the Vistula to admire Wawel, the Cathedral, and some of Krakow scattered on its shores.

Krakow: Wawel Guided Tour with Lunch and River Cruise

10. Krakow: Wawel Guided Tour with Lunch and River Cruise

Discover Wawel Royal Castle and its cathedral on a guided tour. Enjoy lunch at a local cafe. Take a boat cruise on the Vistula to see Wawel Hill and more from the water. Meet your guide in Krakow's old town close to Wawel Hill. Head straight to discover one of the most important museums in Poland, home to collections of paintings, sculptures, fabrics, militaria, porcelain, and furniture. Step back in time with a visit to the permanent exhibition in the State Rooms of the castle, where monarchs entertained their visiting dignitaries. Be immersed in the recreated Renaissance and Baroque decor. Next, enter the majestic cathedral at the heart of the royal complex. Discover its fascinating history intertwined with fairy tale stories. See its 18 ostentatious chapels, the imposing tomb of the former Bishop of Kraków, and the bones of Wawel's dragon. Then, head to a nearby cafe to catch your breath. Enjoy a two-course lunch before boarding a modern catamaran for an intimate cruise on the Vistula. Admire the rocky Wawel Hill as it towers over the banks of the river. See the cathedral and Krakow from a different angle.

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What people are saying about The State Rooms at Wawel Royal Castle

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 936 reviews

Super guiding by the most knowledgeable guide who answered our many questions an comments. An excellent introduction to the rich history of the Wawel heights and the royal Poland. All thumbs up!

A very successful tour, which was carried out according to the wishes and in particular had the expected depth of information. No question remained unanswered. Any time

A great trip, the guide told a very interesting story. Good organization. It's very good that we managed to skip the line because it was really long.

Very knowledgeable guide, with a private tour due to how cold it was! The castle was beautiful and the history was also very interesting

We had a great tour with Krzysztof. He went over and above for us to give us the full Krakow experience. Very informative and fun.