Caste near Gdansk – Malbork Castle

written by Maciek Bogdanski

Malbork Castle near Gdansk

Teutonic Knights’ medieval Malbork Castle – the most popular castle near Gdansk, is located 60 kilometres south of the city. It is the biggest and the most popular castle in Poland, and one of the two castles near Gdansk, with the other one being a castle in Gniew.

If you come to Gdansk by train from the south of Poland, look to the left just after you pass Malbork. Teutonic Knight’s medieval Malbork Castle, the gem of medieval architecture will be clearly visible there. Brick walls and towers are very photogenic from the other side of Nogat river, as they reflect in the water.

Malbork castle near Gdansk
Malbork castle near Gdansk

History of Malbork Castle

Invited to Poland in 1228, Teutonic Knights rose in power in northern Poland during the so-called “Christianization” of pagan tribes. In 1280, they started to build a Malbork Castle, which after a couple of phases was finally finished in the XVth century. The Castle in Malbork became a capital city of Teutonic Knights’ lands and the headquarters of the grandmasters. Poland took over the castle in 1457, and until 1772 it served as a king’s residence. Since then Malbork castle has been devastated, and although it underwent reconstruction before the Second World War, the original shape was never restored.

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During the liberation of Malbork in 1945, the castle was part of the resistance line of German soldiers. It resulted in about 50% destruction, and the authorities considered demolishing the remains. Instead, the process of reconstruction started, which lasts until today. In 1997 Malbork Castle was placed on UNESCO World Heritage List.

Malbork castle
Malbork castle – the largest castle in the world measured by land area

Siege of Malbork castle

Just after the Battle of Grunwald, the Malbork castle was besieged by Polish king Wladyslaw Jagiello, but it didn’t surrender. Since 2000, sieges take place every year, in the middle of July. 3 day event is full of performances and presentations, not only for kids. Tickets are usually sold out before the siege, so make sure you buy yours early enough.

Malbork Castle tickets and opening hours

In 1961 Malbork Castle museum took over the stronghold and the castle is available to visit. The museum offers a visit to most of the castle sites, including the High Castle, the Middle Castle, and the Grand Masters’ Palace. During the visit pay attention to bricks – it may be sometimes clear which are original and which were produced after WWII to restore the castle. If you are lucky, you’ll notice the dog’s hands stamped on the medieval bricks,

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Malbork Castle opening hours

1 May-30 September9.00-19.00
1 October – 30 April10.00-15.00

Opening hours may be different on national holidays. Please consult the museum’s website.

Malbork Castle ticket price

Ticket prices depend on the route, but there are some general rules:

Children under 7 need to pick up a free ticket at the cash desk.

On Mondays the entrance is free, but only the green route is available

There is a family ticket available (2 adults, 2 children) with a small discount

Museum tickets are available at ticket offices, ticket machines and online. Online tickets may be presented electronically

Audioguides are available in Polish, English, German, Russian, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Czech, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish Sign Language

Historical route

The Historical Route is available from Tuesday to Sunday. It covers the Malbork castle grounds and the historical-exhibition interiors.
The Historical Route is open from 9 am to 3 pm, with the last entrance at 1:00 pm. The visit lasts about 3 hours.

A regular ticket to the Malbork Castle Museum Historical route costs 70 PLN. A guide or audio guide is included in the ticket price.

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Starting from the 1st of May, the Historic Route is open from 9 am to 7 pm, with the last entrance at 5 pm, and the ticket price will rise to 80 PLN.

Green route

The tour includes part of the Pre-Castle, the gate passages, the courtyards of the Middle and High Castles, St. Anne’s Chapel, the terraces including the garden of the Grand Masters, the moat and the inter-mural.

It is available:
Monday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday – Sunday, 1:15 pm – 4 pm
Last entry at 2:30 pm

The ticket price is 30 PLN and the visit lasts about 1,5 hours. Free entry on Mondays (but you still need to pay 15 PLN for the guide).

Starting from the 1st of May, the Green route will be available from 5:15 pm – 8 pm, with the last entry at 6:30 pm and the ticket will cost 40 PLN.

Malbork Castle Tower

The Castle Tower is open to the public from June 13 to September 10. Entrances are in groups of 20, every 15 minutes accompanied by a guide. Ticket (15 PLN) is available for purchase at the entrance to the tower.

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Night tours

The museum offers night tours.

The tour lasts 1.5 hours and takes you through the castle grounds through courtyards, terraces, cloisters and selected castle interiors.

Tour dates, days and times:
February – March: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 6 p.m.
April – May: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 8 pm
June – August: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 9 p.m.
September – October: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 8 p.m.
November – December: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 6.00 pm

Reservation of the tour at least 2 days in advance is mandatory (e-mail: karwan@zamek.malbork.pl).

Ticket for the group up to 15 visitors costs 800 PLN/group

For groups over 15 visitors, the ticket price is 60 PLN.

Malbork castle – Practical Information

Getting from Gdansk to Malbork castle

Gdansk to Malbork castle by train

There are frequent trains from Gdansk. The trip should take around 40 minutes, the ticket price starts from 13,5 PLN depending on the train. From the railway station, you need to walk for about 15 minutes to the castle.

Gdansk to Malbork castle by car.

It takes about 50 minutes to get from Gdansk to Malbork castle by car. The fastest route goes by A1 highway, You’ll need to pay a toll at Stanislawie (3,5 PLN). Beware, that during high season there may be traffic jams at the tolls, and this may prove to be the slowest route. Another fast route is the S7 until Nowy Dwor Gdanski and then turn towards Malbork.

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Malbork castle parking

If you choose to get there by car, be aware that it might be difficult to find a car park close to Malbork Castle, and you may need to pay for it. But be careful, as private parking slots next to the Malbork Castle are very expensive, and you may pay over 50 PLN for parking during visiting the castle. So look for municipal parking areas, where the rates start from 1 PLN/hour and are charged only Monday-Friday from 8.00 to 15.00.

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