Royal Castle, Warsaw

Royal Castle, Warsaw (must see)

The Royal Castle as it stands today was rebuilt and restored in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Germans had destroyed it during World War II, but the foundation and many components were rescued and used in the reconstruction.

The original structure was built in the Middle Ages. Sometime around 1410, the first parts of the Curia Maior, or Big Manor, were built. It functioned as a prince manor. When Masovia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland in 1526, the building became a royal residence. Between 1569 and 1572, King Sigismund II Augustus began altering the structure to accommodate the new parliament. Next to Curia Maior, the king built a Renaissance-style building known as Royal House, where he resided when parliament was in session. Over the years, the castle continued to expand.

The castle was destroyed during The Deluge from 1655 to 1657 when Sweden and Russia invaded. Reconstruction began in 1657, but the royal purse was stretched, so construction was limited to rebuilding what had already been there.

Why You Should Visit

The castle operates as a museum while also being the setting of state functions. Inside the castle, you'll see one of the most impressive art collections in Europe.

The Jagiellonian Rooms contain the modern Gallery of Painting, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts. The Houses of Parliament, where the world's second-oldest constitution was signed into effect, is available to be toured. The Royal Apartments provide a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles of the royal families and the chance to view many masterpieces from the 1700s. The Lanckoronski Collection includes two Rembrandts and a Stradivari violin.

The castle, together with Old Town Warsaw, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Opening Hours:
Mon: 10am-6pm (May-Aug); Tue-Thu, Sat: 10am–6pm; Fri: 10am-8pm; Sun: 11am–6pm
On Wednesdays, admission to the permanent exhibitions of the Castle and the Under-Roof Palace is free (abbreviated route)
The Grand Courtyard, the Kubicki Arcades, and the Upper Garden are available for no charge until 5pm and on Fridays until 7pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Warsaw. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Royal Castle on Map

Sight Name: Royal Castle
Sight Location: Warsaw, Poland (See walking tours in Warsaw)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Warsaw, Poland

Create Your Own Walk in Warsaw

Create Your Own Walk in Warsaw

Creating your own self-guided walk in Warsaw is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Warsaw's Praga Walking Tour

Warsaw's Praga Walking Tour

Praga is an old district in Warsaw, situated on the East bank of the river Vistula. The area used to be off-limits to Western travelers due to its high crime rate. But in recent year, the district has been transformed into a hipster neighborhood due to the influx of investment and students and artists who were drawn by the area's affordable living. Take this self-guided walking tour to visit...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Warsaw Introduction Walking Tour

Warsaw Introduction Walking Tour

Warsaw rose to prominence when King Sigismund III moved the nation’s capital from Krakow in the 16th century. The city was widely known as the “Paris of the North” thanks to the beautiful boulevards lined with grand architecture. The center of the city is called Old Town, and it has many historic buildings like the Royal Castle on Castle Square and the Presidential Palace. Old Town is a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Monuments and Statues

Monuments and Statues

Warsaw is home to various monuments, dedicated to celebrated and great people, like Adam Mickiewicz, Prince Józef Antoni Poniatowski, Józef Piłsudski, and Nicolaus Copernicus. These great personalities did a lot for Poland and now the city monuments and statues stand to honor their contributions to the country’s development. Check out Warsaw’s famous monuments in the next self-guided tour!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Jewish Warsaw Walking Tour

Jewish Warsaw Walking Tour

It's hard to imagine, except what we know from history, that on these beautiful Warsaw streets, thousands of Jews were herded and forced into cattle cars, on their way to concentration camps in the 1940s. Here, in the location of one of Europe's biggest concentration camps, about 400,000 innocent Jews suffered and died. Take this self-guided walking tour to visit some of the places that...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Warsaw's Historical Churches

Warsaw's Historical Churches

Poland is one of the most religious countries in Europe, so it is not surprising that Warsaw is home to many magnificent religious sites: centuries-old churches and cathedrals. Roman Catholicism has been the dominant faith in the country since the Baptism of Poland in 966. This self-guided walking tour takes you to see some of Warsaw’s most prominent places of warship.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


15 Distinctively Polish Things to Buy in Warsaw

15 Distinctively Polish Things to Buy in Warsaw

A country with a great deal of taste and turbulent history, Poland has a lot to offer those with the eyes to see and mouth to savor. And Warsaw is, perhaps, the best place to find all things Polish brought together. Here's the list of the most distinctive Polish goods, caringly drawn by a...