Top 10 castles in Poland Posted by on Mar 16, 2012 in Culture, Places to visit

Poland is famous for its castles. There are around 500 castles there offering a number of attractions to everyone. The most remarkable castles were built by Teutonic Knights including Malbork Castle – the world’s largest brick castle and one of the most impressive of its kind in Europe. It is hard to choose which ones to visit, so I put a list of 10 of them that are definitely worth seeing.

1. Malbork Castle. Meet the knight. 

Once a residence of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights and Kings of Poland, today the castle is a home to weapons displays, amber exhibition, as well as entire rooms showing the Teutonic way of life. Every summer the “Siege of the Malbork Castle” festival takes place with main attraction being a colourful performance presenting the night battle, knight’s tournaments, shooting contest, plebeian plays and fire spectacles. Inscribed in 1997 on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

2. Wawel in Kraków 

Built on the hill, Wawel is an impressive castle, where coronations of Polish kings took place. Today it is an interesting museum with several exhibitions and a most important burial place of Polish kings and national heroes. If you are not into museums, Dragon’s Den (Smocza Jama) is worth a visit. According to the legend, a huge dragon spitting fire used to live there and  use to terrorised Kraków’s residents. Today the cave is free from the dragon and can be safely visited by the tourists.

3. Gniew. Get married in the castle

Gniew castle is a popular tourist destination and offers something for everyone all year round. Enjoy walking through corridors accompanied by sounds of medieval music, meet medieval people and dine in the underground restaurant. Those who are lucky enough might get a change to meet the Ghost of Gniew Castle. The castle is also a popular place for weddings.

4. Niedzica. Dine like a monk.

Niedzica Castle dominates the area and near lake from the top of a steep hill. Enjoy beautiful view over the mountains or take part in “Mediaeval feasts” held in the castle’s restaurant. At such feasts, guests wear monk cloaks and can eat delicacies with their hands or wooden spoons only. Dances and shows of knights at combat add variety to each feast, which usually lasts for several hours.

5. Kwidzyń. Tower Bridge 

Exceptionally preserved castle and the bishops’ cathedral lying on the route of the gothic castles are a great place to visit. The most extraordinary feature of the Kwidzyń castle is a sewer tower which is connected to it by a bridge. If you happen to be around the castle in summer, make sure you attend the opening-ceremony of the museum in Kwidzyn cathedral, and the opening of the crypts of the three medieval Grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary’s Hospital in Jerusalem for the public which will take place on 31st July, 2010.

6. Ogrodzieniec. A night with Dracula

Romantic, fairy-tale-like ruins of Ogrodzieniec castle are the most picturesque in Poland. The castle and surrounding area are a beautiful place to visit during the day, but tourists are also invited to visit the ruins at the dusk, when ghosts of beautiful princess Olimpia or Polish Dracula can be seen.

7. Moszna “Disney” Castle. 

Moszna Caslte is one of secret gems of Poland. Stunning, “Disney-style” castle with unique atmosphere is surrounded by a beautiful park. The castle has exactly ninety-nine towers and 365 rooms.

8. Krasiczyn “pearl”

Located near a crossing of the river San, the castle is currently a modern tourist, hotel and catering base. The top class of this facility and the quality of services was confirmed in 2000 by The European Castle Hotels & Restaurants – a programme grouping hotels and restaurants in historical buildings.

9. Ciechanów. View over mountains

Ciechanów Castle was one of Poland’s most splendid fortresses. Today the castle is in ruins and provides excellent views over the Świętokrzyskie Mountains.

10. Pieskowa Skała

Located just 30 minutes from Kraków,  a castle in Pieskowa Skała is a must seen. The castle features a lovely courtyard with a delicate arcade and a number of  exhibitions and beautiful garden.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. john kantek:

    Fantastic list , I have been and photographed some of the Zemeks but there are other ones on this list that i will go and visit in july 2012. thank you for sharing this top ten

  2. Kuba:

    Thanks for posting this list heading to Poland next month.

  3. Karola:

    So much to see and so little time!

  4. nhtim:

    I have made it to 5 of those you listed – Malbork Castle, Wawel, Gniew, Ogrodzieniec & Pieskowa Skała. I have visited more not on the list, but they are all wonderful to see. I especially like Malbork Castle. I will have to add those others you list to my priority list for my next visit! I have many photos of the castles I visited on my website for those that want to take a look. You will have to navigate through the thousands I have posted via my various menus and indexes.

  5. Anastasiia Babenko:

    Thanks for posting, but I think you should add information about The Castle in Niemodlin, one of the most interesting monuments of Silesia, a star of the screen! In the movie “Jasminum”by Jan Jakub Kolski filmed in 2006.
    The place is absolutely amazing, it can’t be missed by anyone who wants to see the real beauty of the past. I am totally sure that this is one of the most memorable and fascinating historic landmarks in Poland.

    Greeting from Poland