Castles and fortresses of Poland: a guide for historical excursions

  • March 27, 2024
Castles and fortresses of Poland: a guide for historical excursions

There are many castles in Poland, and each one is unique. For example, the majestic Wawel Castle in Krakow, where kings lived, or Malbork Castle, the largest fortress built by the Teutonic Knights. There are also lesser-known but no less interesting castles like Ksęż and Dunajec, each with unique architecture and stories. This guide invites you to explore these historical treasures, sharing tips for travelers looking to experience the medieval atmosphere and learn more about Poland's cultural heritage.

Just a little bit of history

In the Middle Ages, Poland was the site of important historical events that affected the whole of Europe. It was a time of wars, alliances and territorial expansion. It was during this era that most of the castles we see today were built. Castles served not only as residences for kings and nobles, but also as powerful defenses that protected the country from enemy invasions. Many of these castles were built on high hills or near rivers for better protection. 

Over time, with the development of architecture and technology, castles became more imposing and beautiful, becoming true works of art. But at the same time more and more useless, with the advent of gunpowder guns. Nevertheless, let's talk about the most beautiful castles in Poland, which are worth a visit for any tourist. 

Wawel Castle - a Gothic masterpiece

Wawel Castle is a real gem of Krakow, a Gothic masterpiece that was home to Polish kings for centuries. The construction of the castle began in the 14th century, and since then its walls have witnessed many historical events. Wawel is not just a castle, it is a whole complex that includes a royal palace, a cathedral where Polish monarchs were crowned and rested in eternity, as well as museums holding unique treasures. Today, Wawel is a symbol of national pride and one of the country's main attractions.

Wawel Royal Castle

Malbork - the largest castle of the Teutonic Knights

Malbork is not just a castle, it is an entire fortress that was once the heart of the Teutonic Order. Built in the late 13th century, it is the largest brick castle in Europe and a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture. With its massive walls and powerful towers, Malbork inspired fear of enemies and served not only as a defensive fortress, but also as the residence of the Grand Masters of the Order. The castle is surrounded by a moat with water, which added to its impregnability. Over time, Malbork became a symbol of the military power and religious influence of the Teutonic Order. Today it attracts thousands of tourists with its history and grandeur.

Malbork Castle in Poland

Ksiaz Castle

Ksęż Castle, located in Wałbrzych, is not as famous as some other Polish castles, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful. Built at the end of the 13th century, it has been rebuilt several times, combining Gothic walls and Baroque splendor. Xenge is known not only for its architecture, but also for the legends associated with its history. One of the most famous legends tells of Daisy, an ethereally beautiful duchess, wife of the castle's last owner.

Ksiaz Castle in Lower Silesia


Dunajec Castle, located in the village of Nedzica, is known for its picturesque location on the banks of the Corszta Reservoir. Built in the early 14th century, the castle stands on an elevated position and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Dunajec Castle is not only beautiful, but also mysterious: it is associated with legends about Inca treasures, allegedly hidden here in the 18th century. Today, the castle is a popular attraction, attracting tourists with its history and architecture, and also functions as a museum and hotel.

Dunajec Castle in Niedzica

Krasiczyn Castle

The Krasiczyn Castle in Krasicin, built in the late Renaissance style from 1598 to 1633, is famous for its unique exterior paintings - sgraffito. Designed by Italian architect Galleazzo Appiani, the castle includes four round towers and attracted many distinguished guests - kings and Austrian statesmen. After World War II the castle was looted, but in recent years it has been thoroughly reconstructed and is now a popular tourist destination.

Read also: Top 10 cheap hotels in Warsaw

The Castle in Krasiczyn

A few tips

The best time to visit castles in Poland is spring and summer. During these seasons, nature around the castles is in full bloom, creating the perfect backdrop for photos and walks. But you need to remember to keep in mind that summer can be busy with tourists, so if you prefer peace and quiet, try to visit on weekday mornings.

To buy tickets, it's best to visit the relevant tour ticket websites in advance. Many castles offer ticket purchase directly at the entrance, but during peak season there may be a queue. Sometimes websites have discounts for students, seniors or family groups, so be sure to check this before buying.

Don't forget that some castles may be closed on certain days, especially on public holidays and national weekends, so always check the castle's opening hours before traveling.

Elena Chernenko

Elena Chernenko

Elena is a recognized expert in the bus transportation industry. With a deep understanding of the industry and a wealth of experience, Elena has earned a reputation for reliability working with both large carriers and private companies. Her expertise includes route planning, safety analysis and efficiency of transportation solutions.

In her blog, Elena offers professional advice, reviews current market trends and shares her experience to help readers better understand the world of bus transportation.

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