Malbork Castle is one of the few fortresses in Europe with a world-class reputation, and it holds the top spot as the largest castle in the world. Located in Northern Poland, Malbork Castle is one of the most well-preserved castles in Poland, as it takes you back in time in an incredible fashion. The castle’s interior reflects the variation of different periods.
Malbork Castle is one of the reasons why many people visit this beautiful country, and you shouldn’t hesitate either. The castle is proclaimed a UNESCO heritage site.
Amazing, isn’t it?
To understand why tourists flock to this attraction annually, you may need to visit this castle in person to experience it firsthand.
When was Malbork castle built?
Malbork castle was first constructed in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights, a Catholic religious order. The castle was initially known as Marienburg and served as the home of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order until 1525.
The essence of the castle is to further make stronger the Teutonic Knights’s control in the area. The castle’s strategic location on the banks of the River Nogat makes it easily accessible to both the Baltic Sea and the Vistula.
Covering over 52 acres of land, the castle holds the position as the world’s largest human-made brick structure. The castle is indeed a masterpiece of fortification.
At a time, the complex accommodated more than three thousand men. More than five centuries after it was completed, Malbork Castle changed hands several times. During the Second World War, more than half of the castle was utterly shattered and left in ruins.
To get the most out of your visit to Malbork Castle, it is recommended that you tour the castle in the company of a well-trained guide or follow the voice prompt from your audio guide. The audio guide does a great job taking you through the different parts of the castle.
No need to worry as it knows your current location via GPS. This means you don’t have to bother pressing the buttons or looking for the next number on the wall. It tells you exactly what to do and how to do it. More so, the audio guide provides you with all the information necessary about a place.
Whether you’re visiting Poland on a short or long break, a visit to Malbork Castle is highly recommended.
Why is Malbork Castle Famous?
Malbork Castle stands as the most important monument of Medieval Europe and is perhaps one of the most famous castles in the world.
Today, it remains one of the most-visited tourist destinations in Poland, attracting more than 500,000 visitors each year.
Its stunning brick façade and intricate towers have captivated guests for centuries. At night, it is commonly illuminated with colorful lights for a particularly magical effect.
People come from far and wide to explore its fascinating history and admire its grandeur — no wonder Malbork castle is so famous!
Is Malbork Castle Worth Visiting?
If you’re one of those who need more convictions than just the reputation it holds as the world’s biggest castle, then this is for you.
- Proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- It presently consists of 15 million bricks. In its glory days, the castle was way bigger as it consists of 30 – 50 million bricks.
- A masterpiece that will wow every architecture lover – even in the medieval time, the castle comes equipped with a central heating system
- Its strategic location between two lakes makes the castle an ideal place to experience activities such as biking and sailing. You can also relax here.
- Impressive attractions that are sure to wow you
Malbork Castle’s Significance to the Polish Culture
This magnificent castle plays a significant role in the country’s rich history and culture. Poland takes pride in the fact that it is the country that, together with the forces of Lithuania, won the battle of the century at Grunwald in 1410 over the Teutonic Order. Every year the battle which happened at Grunwald is being re-enacted. This will give visitors a glimpse of its long history.
Malbork was the setting for the movie Kryzacy, literally meaning Teutonic Order. The movie became so popular and was seen by over 30 million people in Poland alone. The movie also drew international attention, and it was seen by millions of viewers across the world.
What to See?
Wondering what there is to see and do here? A castle of this magnitude never disappoints those who choose to take a tour around the facility. Be prepared to do a lot of walking. Check out the few things to see here.
Are you military personnel? Perhaps, you’re interested in military history, then Malbork’s Castle Armory has got you covered. The Armoury Rooms house consists of historical artifacts that will leave you stunned.
The Chapel is yet to be completely restored. Upon entering the room, the first thing that strikes your eye is the beautifully decorated walls with its ancient paintings.
The major highlight of the Chapel is the beautiful altar of St. Mary with Jesus. The stunning, gothic chandeliers make the room look more attractive.
- Malbork Castle Museum
Art lovers will have lots of things to savor here. The castle’s museum boasts an extensive collection of furniture, paintings, religious artwork, ceramics, and many more.
Additionally, the complex has stores where you can buy souvenirs, restaurants for fine dining, and performances in the complete medieval outfit.
Enjoy the best of time relaxing on the lounge chairs in the small secret garden filled with roses.
- Palace of Grand Master
Shortly after the victory over the Teutonic Kings, the castle was ruled by Polish royalty and Prussian at different periods. Each family that took over possession of the property left their mark on it. Take a walk in history and explore the Palace of the Grand Master.
Malbork Castle has always been known to entertain visitors. If you’d like to see the castle from an entirely different angle, head to Nogat Rivers.
The river is located just behind the castle, making it a great spot to admire the awesomeness of the castle. From this spot, you can see how big the castle is.
You can choose to book a boat cruise along the waters. This means there are lots of exciting things to do nearby the castle.
- View from the Tower
Unfortunately, many people miss out on this fascinating experience. A climb to the top of the tower offers stunning views over the castle. Most audio guides don’t mention this tower; hence they skip it.
The ticket to the tower can be purchased on the second floor of the high castle. Access to the tower requires a completely separate ticket.
Once done, then you’ll have to climb a series of the staircase to the top of the tower. The views from the top of the tower will make up for the stress.
Best Time to Visit Malbork Castle
Malbork Castle can be visited all year round. However, note that visitors are sometimes restricted from accessing some rooms within the castle and outdoor grounds on Mondays and major holidays.
For budget travelers, ticket prices for the castle are lower during winter months. The most popular time of the year to visit is during summer.
With clear, pleasant weather, you’ll spend more time exploring both the interior and exterior of the complex.
How to get to Malbork Castle from Gdansk?
For some, the easiest option is to take the organized tour from Gdansk; this way, travelers get door-to-door transportation and don’t have to worry about getting lost or navigating the countryside.
For those on a budget or interested in getting off-the-beaten path, getting to Malbork Castle from Gdansk by car rental is an appealing choice.
Car rental gives the added advantage of getting up close and personal with the nearby countryside and getting there via winding roads and unexpected detours.
By train, travelers can explore more of what Poland has to offer while getting to their ultimate destination.
The train takes at most 55 minutes to get to Malbork Castle from Gdansk. However, your choice of train determines the travel time. Some of the options include:
- Regio (R) trains – Very slow and extremely affordable. This is the cheapest option available. It takes around 55 minutes to get to Malbork Castle as it makes several stops along the way. Remember to come early if you’d like to go with this option, as seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’re late, then you may have to use the standing room available all through the journey. The ticket price is PLN 13.50 one way (about $3).
- TLK trains – This train is faster than Regio trains because it makes no more than two stops on the way. TLK train travel time from Gdansk is approximately 35 minutes. Ticket prices start at PLN 17 one way (about $4) for 2nd class and PLN 23 (about $6) for 1st class.
- EIC Train: This is by far the most expensive yet fastest way to get to the castle, as it takes passengers directly to the castle. There are no stops on the way. Travel time only takes 28 minutes. Ticket prices start at PLN 54 one way (about $13) for 2nd class and PLN 89 (about $22) for 1st class.
You can choose to buy your train tickets over the counter at the train station. To save yourself time and stress, consider purchasing your tickets online.Upon arrival, Malbork Castle is just a few minutes away from the train station. You can either take a 5-minute taxi ride or walk to the castle.
High Season (April to September) 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Low Season (September to April) 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Some parts of the castle will be closed to the public on Mondays and selected public holidays, including Christmas and New Year. On these days, you can only explore the castle grounds.
- Adults 19 PLN
- Students 12 PLN
Ticket prices include audio guides.
Tips for Having the Best Experience
The best time to visit the castle is either in the early hours of the day or a few hours before closing time. By 10 am, the ticket line begins to grow, and by noon it might take over an hour to get your tickets.