Five unforgettable castles in Podkarpacie you must see

Have you ever dreamt of traversing grand hallways and exploring magnificent chambers, just like royalty? Podkarpacie, a captivating region in southeastern Poland, offers a glimpse into this world through its unforgettable castles. While residing in a castle might be a fairytale for most, these historical wonders beckon you to experience a touch of magic on a day trip.

While Poland boasts iconic castles like Malbork, Wawel, and Książ, the southeastern region of Podkarpacie offers a unique charm. Beyond the captivating landscapes that surround these historical wonders, Podkarpacie’s castles hold a special allure: the opportunity to experience a night within their walls.

Intrigued by the idea of transforming your Polish vacation into a regal adventure? In Poland, castles are called “zamek” (zam-ek), and Podkarpacie boasts five unforgettable examples waiting to be explored:

Where is Podkarpacie, Poland?

Nestled in southeastern Poland, Podkarpacie enchants visitors with its captivating blend of history and natural beauty. From the majestic peaks of the Eastern Carpathians to the rolling foothills, the region boasts a rich tapestry of landscapes. Steeped in a history of resilience, Podkarpacie’s legacy unfolds through its many historical wonders, most notably, its unforgettable castles.

Five unforgettable castles in Podkarpacie

For many travellers, exploring a majestic castle ranks high on their travel wish list. While iconic European castles often throng with visitors, Podkarpacie offers a unique opportunity: to experience the magic of Polish castles without the crowds.

Podkarpacie’s historical gems boast a captivating charm, often rivaling their more well-known counterparts. Here, you’ll have the chance to fully immerse yourself in the castle experience, wandering grand halls and exploring hidden nooks without feeling rushed.

Krasiczyn Castle

Podkarpacie boasts numerous enchanting castles, but Krasiczyn Castle stands out as a true Renaissance gem. Erected in the 16th century, this magnificent structure served as the residence of prominent Polish families. While a significant fire during World War II ravaged parts of the castle, meticulous reconstruction efforts have ensured its grandeur endures.

Ariel view of Krasiczyn Castle in Poland. It is one of the most stunning castles in Podkarpacie
Things to see in Poland

Stepping Back in Time:

Guided tours unveil the castle’s restored chambers, each whispering tales of its illustrious past. Undoubtedly, the highlight is the breathtakingly ornate castle chapel, a testament to the artistry of the era.

Experience the Majesty:

Yearning for a royal night’s rest? Krasiczyn Castle offers unique overnight stays in its special chambers, allowing you to truly feel like royalty.

Beyond the Castle Walls:

For a complete experience, venture into the sprawling castle gardens. Tranquil pathways meander amidst a diverse array of plants, inviting exploration by foot or bicycle. Whether you seek a romantic wedding venue or simply wish to savor a delicious meal, Krasiczyn Castle caters to all. An on-site restaurant and café ensure a delightful visit.

Sanok Castle

A Guardian of the San Valley: Unveiling Sanok Castle

Perched atop a scenic hill overlooking the San River, Sanok Castle embodies the enduring spirit of Podkarpacie. This imposing Gothic structure, built in the 14th century, served as a strategic defensive post for centuries. While time and battleships took their toll, the castle has undergone significant restoration in the 21st century, reclaiming some of its former glory.

Castle Sanok in Poland sitting on hillside
Castles are a must-see in Poland

Panoramic Vistas and Artistic Treasures:

A captivating highlight awaits visitors: a magnificent observation deck offering breathtaking views of the San River Valley and the distant southern mountains. Beyond the captivating scenery, the castle houses two renowned museums – the Beksiński Museum, showcasing the captivating works of Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński, and the Sanok Historical Museum, delving into the region’s rich history.

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Who is Beksiński?

Beyond its historical significance, Sanok Castle offers an artistic treasure trove for visitors. The renowned Beksiński Museum showcases the captivating works of Zdzisław Beksiński, a Polish artist of international acclaim. Beksiński’s art is known for its surrealist themes, often exploring dark and introspective subjects like death and depression.

For a deeper understanding of the artist and his creations, guided tours are available in Polish, English, French, and German for a minimal fee. These tours delve into the history of Sanok Castle and illuminate the artistic legacy housed within its walls.

Exploring Beyond the Castle Walls:

Sanok Castle’s popularity extends beyond its own walls. The castle is included on the “Right and Left in the Sanok Land” walking and biking trail, providing visitors with a chance to explore the broader Podkarpacie region.

Lancut Castle

Castle in Łańcut is an incredibly beautiful aristocratic castle, which makes it a must-see location when you are in visiting castles in Podkarpacie.

Gardens and statues at Lancut Castle in Poland
Lancut Castle is one of the top sites in Poland

Podkarpacie’s crown jewels extend beyond medieval fortresses. Łańcut Castle embodies aristocratic grace, captivating visitors with its architectural splendor. This magnificent complex, dating back to the 17th century, has undergone embellishments over time, with its most stunning chambers flourishing in the 18th century.

A Treasure Trove of History and Beauty:

Beyond the castle walls lies a captivating world. The Łańcut Castle complex encompasses stables, a coach house, and the Museum of the History of the City and Region. A highlight for many is the renowned collection of horse-drawn carriages, offering a glimpse into a bygone era. The castle’s exquisite interiors further enthral visitors, showcasing the artistry and grandeur of the aristocratic lifestyle.

An Enchanting Landscape Awaits:

Stepping outside the castle, a sprawling 36-hectare park awaits exploration. Designed in the English style, the park boasts serene walking paths, a captivating Orangery, elegant Stables, and a fascinating Orchid House. For equestrian enthusiasts, dressage displays offer a chance to witness skilled horsemanship.

Łańcut Castle’s captivating blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty has earned its reputation as one of Podkarpacie’s unmissable attractions.

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Baranów Sandomierski Castle

Beyond Podkarpacie’s medieval strongholds, we discover Baranów Sandomierski Castle, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. Often referred to as the “Little Wawel” due to its resemblance to the iconic Wawel Castle in Kraków, Baranów Sandomierski boasts a rich history dating back to the 15th century. An Italian architect designed initially this architectural gem for a wealthy Polish family.

Baranów Sandomierski castle with vines growing up the outside walls in Poland
Visit Poland for historical sites

Baroque Grandeur and Modern Hospitality:

While the castle’s design reflects the influence of the Baroque period, it has undergone restoration following a fire in the late 19th century. Today, Baranów Sandomierski stands proudly welcoming visitors.

A Captivating Experience for All:

Baranów Sandomierski Castle caters to the needs of modern travellers. Guided tours unveil the castle’s fascinating past, while on-site dining options tantalize taste buds. For those seeking a truly immersive experience, overnight stays in the castle’s hotel rooms are available. The castle even transforms into a dream wedding venue, offering special packages for couples.

Planning Your Visit:

Due to its popularity, weekends, mainly Saturdays, can get busy, especially when weddings occur. Consider planning your visit during the week for a potentially quieter experience.

Kamieniec, Odrzykoń Castle

Podkarpacie’s historical tapestry extends beyond grand castles. Scattered throughout the region are remnants of a bygone era, whispering tales of their former glory. These Gothic castle ruins, originally erected in the 14th century, offer a glimpse into the region’s medieval past. While time and events have taken their toll, the ruins stand as a testament to the area’s rich heritage.

Zamek Kamieniec ruins
Tourism in Poland should include visiting castles

A Legacy of Fortification:

During the reign of King Kazimierz Wielki, these fortifications played a crucial role, guarding the Polish-Ruthenian borderland. The eastern side of the ruins is the best preserved, showcasing remnants of chambers and defensive structures.

A Hub of Local History:

Enhancing the visitor experience, a museum nestled within the ruins houses various historical memorabilia. This allows visitors to delve deeper into the castle’s past and the region’s history.

Exploring the Surroundings:

While the ruins themselves may not offer extensive exploration, they provide a captivating historical snapshot. They are a perfect spot for a quick visit and a unique photo opportunity, especially for history enthusiasts.

Frequently asked questions about travel in Poland

Poland is an emerging travel destination in Europe. For many travellers, Poland has not been on their radar, so there are a few frequently asked questions about Poland that we can answer for you.


  • What currency do I need for my trip to Poland?

The official currency in Poland is the Polish Zloty (PLN). You can exchange your currency for Zloty before you travel or use ATMs once you arrive. Consider checking the current exchange rate before your trip.

Travel Insurance:

  • Do I need travel insurance for my holiday in Poland?

Travel insurance is not mandatory but is recommended for all travellers. It can cover medical expenses, trip cancellations, delays, lost luggage, and other unforeseen circumstances. Consider your health insurance coverage and trip itinerary when deciding if you need travel insurance.

Staying Connected:

  • Using your phone in Poland:

While Wi-Fi is available in some cafes, restaurants, and hotels, it’s not always guaranteed. To ensure reliable internet access throughout your trip, consider purchasing a local SIM card upon arrival or renting a mobile hotspot device. Research different phone plans and mobile hotspot providers before your trip to find the best option.

Planning Your Trip:

  • What is the best time to visit Poland?

Poland experiences all four seasons. The best time to visit depends on your preferences. Summer (June-August) is the most popular time, offering warm weather and long days, but it can also be crowded. Spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) offer pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds. Winter (November-March) can be cold and snowy, but it’s a beautiful time to visit for winter sports enthusiasts and those seeking festive Christmas markets.

  • What are some essential things to pack for a trip to Poland?

Packing essentials will depend on the season you visit. Generally, comfortable walking shoes are a must, as many Polish cities are best explored on foot. Layers are recommended, as the weather can be unpredictable.

An adapter plug might be necessary depending on your home country’s plug type. In winter, pack warm clothes, a hat, gloves, and scarves. Research local customs and dress codes for any religious sites you plan to visit.

  • How do I get around Poland?

Poland has a well-developed transportation system. Trains are a comfortable and efficient way to travel between major cities. Buses offer a more budget-friendly option. Domestic flights connect some major cities. Renting a car gives you the most flexibility, but be aware of potential tolls and parking restrictions in cities.

  • Are there any cultural norms or etiquette I should be aware of?

Poles are generally friendly and welcoming. A basic greeting in Polish (dzień dobry – good day) is appreciated. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites. Tipping waiters and waitresses in restaurants is customary, typically around 10% of the bill.

We hope you have enjoyed this post from us here at Poland Travel Expert and it has encouraged you to visit these amazing castles in Podkarpacie. Poland is a wonderful country to visit.

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Author Bio: Mark Wyld

Mark Wyld is a Father, husband, traveller, and writer at Poland Travel Expert and other blogs. I have accumulated a wealth of experience over multiple visits to Poland. Thanks to our friends in Poland, we stay connected to the nation’s pulse, ensuring that our content is up to date with our first-hand experience. The information on this website is backed by genuine expertise.