Krakow Landmarks and Monuments

(Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland)

Picture of the Barbakan (Barbican)The Old Town area of Krakow (Stare Miasto), is where many of the city's best landmarks of the past remain, although following the city's major modernisation plans during the 19th century, many were destroyed. At this time, sections of the city walls were taken down to make way for roads and allow expansion, and today only one of the city's eight gateways still remain standing, Krakow's famous Florian Gate (Florianska Gate).

In 1820, the original 13th-century Town Hall (Ratusk) was sadly demolished to allow improvements to the Main Market Square (Rynek Krakowski). The actual Krakow Town Hall Tower remains and suggests the grandeur of the building that once stood here, and interestingly, this landmark is actually linked with the Sukiennice (Cloth Hall) by an underground passage. Today, the Town Hall is now housed within the Wielkopolskich Palace

However, there are still a number of beautiful Gothic monuments to the past remaining in Old Town Krakow, providing an important character to this part of the city. These important landmarks include the Barbican (Barbakan), Bishop's Palace (Palac Biskupski) and the Krzysztofory Palace, which presides over the northerly side of the Old Town Market Square

Further view of the Barbakan (Barbican)

Barbakan (Barbican)

Address: Ulica Basztowa, Krakow, PL-31157, Poland, PL
An intriguing landmark remaining from the city's extensive medieval fortifications, the Barbakan is an eye-catching circular bastion, or brick construction. Boasting no less than seven turrets and around 130 loopholes, the thickness of the Barbakan walls measures around 3 metres / 10 feet in thickness, a good indication of how strong this building remains, despite being over 500 years old. The Krakow Barbakan was originally built to protect the nearby Florian Gate and is one of only a handful of such structures remaining in Europe.
Open hours: April to October, daily - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts available

Picture of Wawel Castle (Royal Castle)

Wawel Castle / Royal Castle

Address: Wawel, 5, Krakow, PL-31001, Poland, PL
Tel: +48 012 422 5155
The very political centre of the country until the beginning of the 17th century, Wawel Royal Castle remains an iconic symbol of modern-day Poland. Replacing Krakow's original 11th-century royal residence on this site, which was badly damaged by fire in 1499, King Zygmunt Stary soon commissioned a much larger, grander palace just 30 years later. The Renaissance-style Wawel Castle of today remains standing, although slightly altered and extended. Inside the castle itself, the two most impressive rooms are the Senators' Hall and the Throne Hall, while the armoury, crown treasures and royal private apartments also come highly recommended.
Open hours: Tuesday and Friday - 09:30 to 16:00, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday - 09:30 to 15:00, Sunday - 10:00 to 15:00
Admission: charge, discounts available

Photo of the Bishop's Palace (Palac Biskupski)

Palac Biskupski (Bishop's Palace)

Address: Ulica Franciszkanska, Krakow, PL-31004, Poland, PL
Tel: +48 012 421 8963
Constructed during the 14th century, the Bishop's Palace is better known in Krakow as the Palac Biskupski. The palace is perhaps most famous for once being the residence of the late John Paul II, who lived here until 1978 as the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Krakow, before his status was elevated to pope. The Archdiocesan Museum is located onsite and contains a range of papal memorabilia.
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday - 10:00 to 16:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 15:00
Admission: charge

Church of St. Aldabert

Address: Old Town Square, Krakow, PL-31042, Poland, PL
One of the most historic buildings still standing in Krakow, the Church of St. Aldabert dates back as far as the 11th century and resides within the district of Stare Miasto, on the Old Town Square itself. Interestingly, it was necessary to elevate the church during the 15th century, since the continual repaving of the square raised the surface. The original entrance to the Church of St. Aldabert actually lies far beneath the current pavement.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free, donations suggested

View of the Old City Walls

Old City Walls

Address: Old Town, Krakow, Poland, PL
Once surrounding much of the Stare Miasto district, some long stretches of Krakow's medieval Old City Walls remain in surprisingly good condition. Originally around 3 km / 2 miles in length and boasting fortress-like towers, only three of the actual towers still remain, along with one of the original eight gateways, the famous Florian Gate (Florianska Gate). The Old City Walls date from the 13th century and have always been an integral part of this historic Polish city.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Krzysztofory Palace

Address: Rynek Glowny 35, Krakow, PL-31011, Poland, PL
Tel: +48 012 422 9922
Krzysztofory Palace dates back to the 17th century, when it actually replaced a much earlier building. With breathtaking Baroque architecture, a large courtyard and many exquisite features, the Krzysztofory Palace remains a particularly lavish Krakow landmark. Be sure to leave time to explore the Historic Museum of Krakow, which resides on the first floor and is saturated with local artefacts and treasures.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Photo showing the magestic Wawel Cathedral

Wawel Cathedral

Address: Wawel 3, Krakow, PL-31001, Poland, PL
The iconic Wawel area is famous throughout Krakow and Poland, and as such is overflowing with Polish history. Few sights in Krakow come grander than Wawel Cathedral itself, which is regarded as a national temple and has played a key part in the coronations of many Polish monarchs. The present-day cathedral is actually the third church to stand on this very site and was completed in 1364, after almost 45 years of construction. Look out for the golden dome, the many important crypts, and the highly detailed decorations.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 12:30 to 17:00
Admission: free, donations suggested

View of the Krakow Town Hall (Wielkopolskich Palace)

Krakow Town Hall / Wielkopolskich Palace

Address: Plac Wszystkich, Krakow, PL-31004, Poland, PL
Currently used as the city's Town Hall and also housing the mayoral office, Wielkopolskich Palace was completely destroyed during Krakow's famous fire of 1850 and needed to the rebuilt. However, many years later after a major renovation project, the palace doors opened once more, in all their splendour.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:00 to 18:00
Admission: free