Although Poland may not have as many castles as Germany or France, it is home to one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing castles–Malbork Castle. This castle is located in the north of Poland and it’s famous for being the largest castle in the world. However, there are plenty more reasons to visit Malbork Castle other than its size. Those who take a trip to this attraction will find out that there’s much more to see and do here than meets the eye.
If you’re planning a trip to Malbork Castle from Gdansk, there are a few things you’ll need to know in order to make the most of your trip. First and foremost, you’ll need to have a valid passport. The passport cost can vary depending on your country of origin, but it’s important to have one nonetheless. If you don’t have a passport, you can still visit Malbork Castle, but you’ll need to obtain a tourist visa from the Polish embassy or consulate in your home country first. Secondly, it’s important to note that the castle is located in the town of Malbork, which is about an hour and a half drive from Gdansk.
If you’re looking for detailed information about Malbork Castle in Poland, this is the guide for you. We’ve included directions on how to get there as well as what essential parts of the castle you won’t want to miss.
A Brief History of Malbork Castle
It’s no surprise that Malbork Castle took so long to build, given its size. The Teutonic Knights began work on this enormous fortification in the 13th century, but it would take many centuries and numerous additions before it was completed. By 1406, the castle at Malbork was the world’s largest brick fortress and largest fortified Gothic structure. Today, it is also recognized as the world’s biggest castle by land area, firmly establishing this Polish award in history books.
Grand Master Siegfried von Feuchtwangen decided to make Malbork Castle the headquarters for the Teutonic Knights in 1309, which then led to expansions and fortification upgrades for the castle. By 1457, during the Thirteen Years’ War, Poland had taken over control of the castle. For centuries following that war, different political entities would take ownership of Malbork before it ultimately fell into disrepair in the 1750s.
Gdansk to Malbork Castle: How to go about it
Malbork Castle is a vital tourist destination in Poland, so there are a few ways that you can get there from Gdansk. Your method of transportation will depend on your budget and what other activities you have planned while in Poland.
- On a Tour: The tour is the simplest way to see Malbork Castle because then you don’t have to stress about finding your own transport or getting lost. When you go on a tour, the company will take care of transportation and guiding you through different parts of the castle–allowing you to focus solely on enjoying the experience. Of course, there are different types of tours with varying inclusions like an audio guide or live English-speaking guide; it simply depends on what interests you most.
- By Train: To reach Malbork from Gdansk without relying on public transport, the quickest way is by train. Although it is more expensive, the intercity train journey takes only 25 minutes. If you are traveling on a budget, you may want to instead take the regional train which costs considerably less but Journey time is twice as long. From Malbork Train Station, Castle convoluted 20-minute walk through town center.
- By Car: If you’re looking to explore more of Poland, you may want to consider renting a car for your trip. Driving from Gdansk to Malbork Castle takes only slightly longer than an hour, making it a great day activity if your plans include driving from Gdansk to Warsaw.
When is the Best Time to Visit Malbork Castle?
The weather, as well as the time of year, can impact what it’s like to visit Malbork Castle, which means there are certain times that are better than others. When you visit Poland in the summer months of June through August, be prepared for crowds of other travelers and queues for tickets. However, you should skip a trip if you don’t want to wait in line or watch other tourists. The one disadvantage is that each July Malbork Castle stages a thrilling reenactment of the important Siege of Malbork battle.
Spring or fall are the ideal seasons to visit Malbork Castle for frequent visits. The castle’s beautiful scenery is complemented by the blooming flowers from March through May and the brilliant hues of October and November. These months aren’t as hot or crowded, so it’s a much more pleasurable experience to tour during these times of year.
Planning Your Stay at Malbork Castle
From there, your itinerary to Malbork Castle is determined by your preferences. The town of Malbork and Gdansk are the most frequent starting points. A day trip to Malbork from Gdansk is popular with tourists, but people who want to take their time may prefer to stay in the region.
Although small, the town of Malbork has many tourist-friendly lodging options near the castle. Staying overnight will give visitors more time to explore not just the castle but also its picturesque riverside surroundings and humble streets.
Although luxury accommodations are limited, Hotel Centrum Malbork offers a mix of style and comfort in the heart of town. This three-star hotel boasts contemporary rooms complete with free breakfast and an airport shuttle service for guest convenience.
Consider renting the beautiful Apartament Scandic if you’re searching for a comfortable place to stay with plenty of space. This one-bedroom apartment is located not far from the railway station, and it includes features such as a kitchen and laundry. It provides simple yet pleasant rooms and a shared kitchen that is ideal for frugal travelers looking to save money on meals outside the B&B, and it’s only minutes away from the castle.
It’s also popular among tourists to tour the castle from Gdansk. Furthermore, Gdansk is a major tourism destination in its own right and is jam-packed with restaurants, bars, nightlife, and, most significantly, accommodation. You’ll find all types of accommodations in Gdansk, ranging from basic hostels to high-end luxury hotels. To really pamper yourself, stay at the magnificent Hotel Gdańsk Boutique on the city’s waterfront. This five-star hotel is set in a restored 18th-century granary and offers spacious rooms with traditional decor. The Stay Inn Hotel in the Old Town is a cost-effective alternative that provides comfort and stunning city views. Budget accommodation is straightforward to locate in Gdansk, but Hostel 22 Stare Miasto stands out as one of the best options.
Additional suggestions for visiting Malbork Castle
Here are a few more ideas for seeing Malbork Castle from Gdansk: Here are a few more suggestions for seeing Malbork Castle from Gdansk:n
1. Arrive Early or Late
Many tourist traps are less crowded if you go in the morning or midmorning. If you want to avoid the crowds at Malbork Castle, try going between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., as that is when tour groups usually visit right before lunch or early afternoon hours onwards. You could also come in the late afternoon or evening, but that works best during seasons with more daylight like summertime
2. Night Tours
One option for touring Malbork Castle is to take the castle’s special night tours available only during summer. A person dressed as a Teutonic Knight will guide you through courtyards, terraces, and select illuminated castle interiors.
There are no elevators inside the castle, and individuals with disabilities may have difficulties during their visit. There is a lot of uneven cobblestone ground around the castle, but there are staircases and passageways that might limit accessibility for wheelchair users or persons with mobility difficulties when they go inside.
Unfortunately, seeing Malbork Castle may take up to three hours, which might make tourists hungry. There are several alternatives for food at the castle as well as in the town of Malbork. The Piwniczka Restaurant is located within the castle, and outside of it there are several food stalls selling snacks and drinks.
Best Things to Do in Malbork Castle
Now that you have all the details you need to plan your trip to Malbork, it’s time to focus on what attractions and sightseeing opportunities await you once you arrive. Although much of your visit will be guided by a tour or audio guide, there are still some parts of Malbork Castle that shouldn’t be missed. Here is a look at some of the best features of this historic site.
We’ll skip some of the rooms on account of there being so much to see both within and outside the castle. Instead, we’ll just go through the highlights and most essential things to check out at Malbork Castle during your stay.