Poland is the home to more than a hundred historical buildings. They include castles and royal residences, palaces, urban complexes, parks, keeps, church complexes, and other monuments that are vital to the country’s history and culture. This fact alone makes Poland a darling destination for history and culture vultures, especially those interested in European culture. However, with a large number of the buildings and the fact that they are located in different parts of the country, it may sometimes be confusing to know which ones to prioritize, especially if you are in the country for a short duration. Scroll down to find a brief description of the best famous buildings in Poland which you should prioritize visiting if you are pressed for time.
The Royal Castle in Warsaw is Poland’s pride. The castle sits majestically at Castle Square, right at the entrance of the Old Town. For centuries, the castle served as the official residence of the Polish monarchs. Have a glimpse into the gigantic structure that speaks of the opulence, power, and glory enjoyed by the special few who had the privilege to rule over Poland. A tour inside the castle will let you have a peek into the lifestyles of the monarchs dating from the 14th century and you will also get a good grasp of how the kingdoms operated and ruled the masses through the various displays and artifacts inside the castle.
Warsaw: Skip The Line Royal Castle Guided Tour
Duration: 2 hour
2. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Wrocław
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is one of the major landmarks of Wroclaw City in Poland and it is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of the same city. Other than its religious significance, this Gothic building is also a display of great architectural skills and a glance at it may make you wonder how such a construction was possible back in the 13th century. Its exterior features beautiful double spires. The interior is luxuriously decorated with a variety of styles and elements, including paintings of Virgin Mary and the largest organ in Poland. If you manage to reach the tower, you will be treated to the most beautiful views of the dazzling city below.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Address: plac Katedralny 18, 50-329 Wrocław, Poland
Website: Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Opening hours: 7am - 7:15pm (daily)
3. Wawel Royal Castle, Kraków
Poland is a land of castles, and though you will have a huge variety to choose from, Wawel Royal Castle is one of the best places to start your tour of these majestic structures. It is a unique sanctuary that holds vital artifacts about Poland’s identity and it is strongly held as a national and cultural symbol. It is believed that the castle was constructed during the 11th century when Boselav the Brave and Mieszko II ruled the country. It features a number of buildings including a palace hall, a residential building, and a courtyard among others. Currently, it is one of the most important museums in the country and a great place to visit if you wish to soak in Polish history.
Wawel Royal Castle
Address: Wawel 5, 31-001 Kraków, Poland
Website: Wawel Royal Castle
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9:30am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
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4. Artus Court, Gdańsk
Artus Court is right at the center of the city of Gdansk. Back in the day, the place was a center of social life and it is where most merchants used to congregate to catch up, hold meetings, make deals, and share more about their businesses. Currently, it is one of the branches of the Gdansk History Museum, and it still serves a social center where both tourists and locals congregate daily to interact with one another.
Address: Długi Targ 43-44, 80-831 Gdańsk, Poland
Opening hours: Tue: 10am - 1pm; Wed, Fri - Sat: 10am - 4pm; Thu: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 11am - 4pm (closed on Mon)
5. The Cloth Hall, Kraków
The Cloth Hall is located in Lesser Poland. It is a historic building built during medieval times and it is regarded by some as the oldest shopping center in Europe. A walk through hall’s corridors will bring you back to hundreds of years ago, with folksy craft stalls that were once occupied by Europe’s most industrious merchants and traders.
The Cloth Hall
Address: Rynek Główny 1/3, 31-042 Kraków, Poland
Website: The Cloth Hall
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 10am - 4pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 6 USD
Centennial Hall was formerly known as Hala Ludawa. It is a historic building whose construction took place between 1911 and 1913 in the city of Wroclaw. The design and all the architectural components of the hall were done by Architect Max Berg. It is a wonderful display of modern engineering and architecture which were purposefully done to incorporate some of the influences of the early 20th century. The hall houses a variety of attractions, including monuments and historic and artistic exhibitions that will tell you more about the country’s culture.
Wrocław: Centennial Hall and Surroundings Private Tour
Duration: 2 hour
7. Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Gdansk
Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Gdansk is the place to be if you want to get the best views of the Old Town. All you have to do is climb the over 450 steps leading to the top, and though the process is torturous, the reward is worth it. This is the third largest brick church in the world and though it has undergone a number of restorations, you won’t help but marvel, and perhaps appreciate its size, Gothic style, and the fact that it has been standing tall since the 13th century.
Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Gdansk
Address: Podkramarska 5, 80-834 Gdańsk, Poland
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 6pm; Sun:1pm - 6pm
8. Palace on the Isle, Warszawa
The palace was originally a bathhouse whose construction was completed in 1863. A few years down the line, a palace was constructed to divide the island into two parts, and also to provide a link between the colonnaded bridges and the surrounding park. What you see here currently is a beautiful neoclassical palace that was once used by King Stanislaw August as one of his residences. Inside the palace, you will find more than 140 paintings and other works of art obtained from the king’s collection. The palace is a real piece of beauty and an incredible source of history that dates back to centuries ago.
Palace on the Isle
Address: Agrykoli 1, 00-460 Warszawa, Poland
Website: Palace on the Isle
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10am - 8pm; Fri - Sun: 10am - 6pm
9. Krzyztopor Castle, Ujazd
Krzyztopor Castle is probably one of the most bizarre ruins in the country. The commissioning of the castle was done by governor Krzyztopor Ossolinski in 1600 and he ensured that the construction of the castle was just as he had imagined it, featuring his passion for astrology and magic among others things. The architecture speaks of opulence and grandeur and it gives a glimpse into the high life of its occupants. Visitors are free to tour the interiors, walk the beautiful gardens, and climb the turrets as you imagine the kind of life the occupants once had.
Address: Ujazd 73, 27-570 Ujazd, Poland
Website: Krzyztopor Castle
Opening hours: 8am - 4pm (daily)
Price: 3 USD
10. Krasinski Palace, Warszawa
Krasinski Palace is one of the best baroque edifices you will find in Warsaw and perhaps in the entire country. It is the home to the National Library’s incunabula and though you won’t be allowed through its doors, you are free to wander in the park behind the castle and walk the same grounds that were used by some of the city’s wealthiest men and women.
Address: plac Krasińskich 3/5, 00-001 Warszawa, Poland
Soak in the rich history of Poland in these famous buildings
Poland is incredibly rich in history and culture. There is no better way to get the most out of it than to visit the very places where history was made or where it is being preserved. Include these best famous buildings in Poland in your itinerary so that you can enjoy the country’s history and culture in the best possible way.
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