The Wawel hill was a shelter for people as long as 100,000 BC ago. It became the residence of the kings of Poland in mid-11th century. The Episcopal See of Cracow was established in A.D. 1000 and the first cathedral on the site was built shortly thereafter. Wawel’s importance changed when Sigismund III Vasa moved the court to Warsaw in 1609-1611 but it remained as official royal residence and the site of coronations and funerals of Polish kings. The castle became a residential museum since 1930. (Source: Wawel Royal Castle brochure)
The castle today has 5 permanent exhibitions and 3 seasonal routes opens from April to October. There are available information at the visitor information centre or the ticket counter to read on what each exhibition displays.
Each exhibitions has different admission fee and timing. One thing to note is the admission time is controlled in batches. So, you may not be allocated the time you wanted. So, it will be best that you allocate a full day to visit the castle and cathedral.
You will need to be sure which exhibition you would like to visit. At the ticket counter, there are number of tickets available shown for each exhibition. The State Room has the most visitors. This exhibition displays appearance of royal residence in 16th and early 17th centuries. Some of the interesting things that you could see are many reowned tapestry, leather wall decorations, and coffered ceiling with wood carvings of human heads.
Here’s how the ticket looks like with admission time. They will still allow you to enter even if you missed the admission time especially if you are not in a big group. Big bags or luggages must be deposited at the luggage room available.
Admission ticket to the cathedral is different from the castle. You can visit the ticket counter in front of the cathedral. It is a recommended place to visit. I enjoyed the cathedral more than the castle, especially when I don’t have a guide with me to explain more of the history of the castle.
Operating hours: Weekdays during April to September 9.00am – 5.00pm ; October to March 9.00am – 4.oopm; Sundays and holidays 12.30 – 5.00pm
Ticket prices: Adult 12 Zloty, Reduced 7 Zloty
Behind your ticket is this map, you can follow the map to see the whole cathedral.