Poland is a country packed with history and tradition, and if you really want to indulge in the country’s past, why not add a visit to a castle on your trip? From eerie Medieval castles that are (apparently) haunted, through to castles that were destroyed during World War II, here are the best castles in Poland that you simply have to check out.
1. The Royal Castle, Warsaw
First up is the Royal Castle in the country’s capital of Warsaw. Between the 16th and the 18th century, the castle was used by the Polish Royal family. It was once an opulent building, however, the castle was destroyed by the German army during World War II and has since been reconstructed. It sits in a beautiful location, right at the entrance of Warsaw’s Old Town.
2. Kórnik Castle, Kórnik
Perhaps one of Poland’s creepiest castles, Kórnik Castle originates from the Medieval era and still maintains some of its original walls. If you like ghost stories, the castle is said to be haunted by a spirit known as the ‘White Lady’ with several people claiming to have seen her. The ghost has been named Teofila, and was supposedly once a well-educated woman. She roams the castle at night, mourning the loss of her beloved. The castle was originally built in the 14th century and has had several reconstructions over the years, as it has passed hands between different families.
3. The Wawel Royal Castle, Kraków
You can’t visit Poland and not go to the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow. Not only is it a great place for history buffs, but it’s also one of the most historically important sites in all of Poland. The royal family lived in Wawel Castle from the 14th century to the end of the 18th century. The Romanesque castle lies on top of a hill (a strategic location making it easy to spot enemies arriving) and has panoramic views of the surrounding city. Since the end of the Roman era, the castle has been updated and today features Renaissance detailing.
4. Moszna Castle, Moszna
Known for its impressive 99 spires, Moszna Castle is a must-visit for history-lovers. The castle was built in the 17th-century and features opulent Baroque and Gothic architecture to make it truly look like something out of a fairytale. Mozna Castle is located in Poland’s Upper Silesia region and is well worth a visit as it’s incredibly picturesque.
5. Czocha Castle, Lesna
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you’re going to love Czocha Castle in Lesna. The magnificent building has been the home of various ‘wizard’ tournaments and events over the past few years, with wizard role-play being its most popular event. The castle was built in the 13th century and suffered damage during World War II, however, it has since been renovated and is an incredibly magical place.
6. Malbork Castle (The Castle of the Teutonic Order), Malbork
As is clear from the name, the Castle of the Teutonic Order was built by the Knights of the Teutonic Order in the Medieval era. It’s one of the largest Medieval castles in Europe that’s still standing and makes for a fascinating day trip. If measured just by land alone, it’s said to be the largest castle in the world!
7. Krzyżtopór Castle, Ujazd
Known as a place where black magic was practiced, this castle isn’t for those scared of ancient witch tales. While Krzyżtopór Castle is yet to be restored, its crumbling walls are incredibly enchanting. The castle is located in the village of Ujazd in southern Poland. It’s relatively off the beaten track, and if you arrive early, you might even have the whole place to yourself to explore.
8. Goluchów Castle, Gołuchów
Goluchów Castle in Gołuchów features a stunning French design and 19th-century furnishings. It’s an opulent castle where visitors can explore the castle, its ground, and its antiques. The castle was built in the 16th century and is surrounded by a stunning landscape park.
9. Ogrodzieniec Castle, Jura
Ogrodzieniec Castle was once an impressive structure, and today its eerie crumbling ruins draw tourists from around the world (it was even used in an Iron Maiden Music video in the 1980s!). Walking through the ruins is definitely a spooky experience.
10. Bolkow Castle, Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Bolkow Castle is a 13th-century structure that was used as a home by monks over the years. While the castle has been renovated, it still maintains much of its original charm and features. That said, the castle has been blasted into the 21st century and is now used as a music festival and event venue.