The mighty Malbork Castle is Nestled on the banks of the river Nogat in northern Poland. It’s a 13th-century Teutonic castle and fortress that’s listed as the largest castle in the world measured by land area.
Malbork is one of many grand buildings left behind by the Order of the Teutonic Knights and it’s open to the public for guided and self-guided tours all year round.
Malbork Castle tickets
|The Castle Tour (with English, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, or French audio guide)||£9||£7|
|The Night Tour (with Polish, English, German or Russian guide)||£6||£4|
|The Castle Tour (with Polish guide)||£9||£7|
|Castle exterior only||£1.50||/|
- Reduced tickets are for those who can arrive from 5:15pm onwards (leaving you with a two-hour window to explore).
Tickets can be purchased in advance online or on the day from the new museum building found off of Piastoska (note that this is where all audio tours depart from too). If you’re visiting in the low season, you can get away with not pre-booking your ticket.
The Night Tour
7:30pm – 9pm
The castle is open to the public Monday – Sunday all year round. See below for the variation in opening times through the seasons:
- Summer Season: April 15th – September 30th: 9am – 7pm
- Winter Season: October 1st – April 14th: 10am – 3pm
Note that the ticket office opens and closes 30 minutes before the times listed above.
History & more information
Malbork Castle or Marienburg as it was originally named is one of the most famous castles in Poland and best-preserved medieval fortresses. It is considered to be a gothic masterpiece of great scale and was first constructed in 1275.
The castle dates back to the 13th century and was built by the order of the Tectonic Knights, a group of Roman-Catholic crusaders who dominated the area until 1457. Later on, it functioned as one of the residences for Polish kings until 1772.
After the castle was captured by King Jagiellon and Polish forces, it spent the next 500 years changing hands and undergoing transformations under both German and Polish ownership.
During the Second World War, a good half of the castle was completely destroyed and restoration began once Poland took back ownership. Today, the castle stands in all its medieval glory and has retained the impressive title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site to ensuring it’s upkeep for many years to come.
On your visit, be prepared to do your fair share of walking including trekking up and down staircases to reach several rooms. There are three parts to the castle to explore, and these include the lower castle, the middle castle and the high castle.
Points of Interest
The Lower Castle is home to the entrance gate, the drawbridge, and the castle walls.
After passing through a series of bridges and gates in the lower castle, you’ll arrive at the middle castle and step out into the courtyard (there’s a gift shop and a restaurant here).
The High Castle is the oldest part of Malbork Castle and is accessed by a drawbridge.
Grand Master’s Palace
The Grand Master’s Palace is quite possibly the most spectacular part of the castle and its here that you’ll find regal dining halls, royal residences, and opulent meeting rooms.
How to get to Malbork Castle
From Gdansk’s main train station (Gdansk Glowny), the journey to Malbork Castle takes just under one hour with walking time on each side. Second class return tickets are roughly £10.
Note that TLK trains are slightly faster and have fewer stops than the Regio trains, but you’ll pay more per ticket. The fastest train is the EIC train which goes directly to Malbork Castle in just 28-minutes, prices for this start at £20 return. From Malbork Train station, the walk to the castle is just 20-minutes or a five-minute taxi.
The castle is just under an hour’s drive from Gdansk. Take the S7 out of Gdansk and exit the motorway at junction DK55, following signs to Marlbork and then the castle.
The Malbork castle has its own car park though parking is quite expensive here and we recommend you use an alternate car park such as the one found on the opposite banks of the Nogat. From here it’s just a 2-minute walk across a footbridge to the castle.
Best time to visit
To avoid the crowds, try visiting first thing in the morning or a few hours prior to closing. If you arrive after 5:15pm, you’ll enjoy a cheaper ticket price as you’ll only have two hours to explore before closing. If you’re both speedy and savvy, this could be the perfect time for you to visit!
Facts about Malbork Castle
- Occupying an area of 21 hectares (52 acres) Malbork Castle is the largest castle in the world measured by land area. The castle is also the largest brick-built castle in the world and the largest brick building in Europe!
- UNESCO designated the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork a World Heritage Site in December 1997. It’s also one of Poland’s official national Historic Monuments, as designated on 16 September 1994.
- The castle was originally constructed by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic religious order of crusaders, in a form of an Ordensburg fortress.
- During the Thirty Years’ War, in 1626 and 1629 Swedish forces occupied the castle.
- The favorable position of the castle on the river Nogat allowed easy access by barges and trading ships arriving from the Vistula and the Baltic Sea.
- Since the second half of the 18th century, Malbork Castle has provided one of the major sources of fascination with European medieval history and its material remains.
- With the rise of Adolf Hitler to power in the early 1930s, the Nazis used the castle as a destination for annual pilgrimages of both the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls.
- In 1945 during World War II combat in the area, more than half the castle was destroyed. Following severe damage in the Second World War, it was once again restored, using the detailed documentation prepared by earlier conservators.
- The castle was meticulously restored in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the conservation techniques now accepted as standard were evolved here.
- The Teutonic Knights named it Marienburg in honor of Mary, mother of Jesus.
FAQ’s (Things to know before you go)
How big is the Malbork Castle?
Malbork covers an area of 21 hectares (52 acres), making it the largest castle in the world by land area. Additionally, it is the largest brick-built castle in the world.
How many bricks are in Malbork Castle?
It is estimated that the Malbork Castle has over 30 million bricks in the whole construction, whereas 4.6 million of them were used to build the high castle. Many of the bricks are still original, although some have been reconstructed during renovations.
Can I buy tickets to explore the gardens only?
Yes, a separate cheaper ticket is available for those who want to explore the castle gardens and have no desire to enter beyond the walls. The ticket costs around £2.
Is there a time limit for my visit?
No, visitors can spend all day at the castle if they wish!
Is the Malbork castle wheelchair friendly?
Most parts of the castle are wheelchair friendly, though some rooms don’t have access.
Can I bring my own food and water?
Yes, visitors can bring their day bags with them however note that there is a restaurant on site.
Do you have more questions before visiting Malbork Castle in Poland? Leave a comment below!