As one of the most intact relics of Krakow’s medieval defenses, the Great Barbican features on almost all city tours. See it on a Segway, electric-cart, scooter, or bike excursion that stops outside for a guide to point out its historical and architectural highlights—insight you probably wouldn’t get if exploring alone. For a more in-depth look, choose a private walking tour that includes time to go inside and roam the barbican’s courtyard, galleries, and passageways. Other options include buying an admission ticket for a self-guided tour or purchasing a Krakow sightseeing card that provides access to the barbican and other key Krakow sights for one low price.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Great Barbican will appeal to history lovers and all those interested in medieval warfare and urban design.
Choose to view the building’s exterior or interior on a tour for a better understanding of its design and architectural detail.
Admission tickets for the barbican also give you access to Krakow’s defensive walls.
Allow about 30 minutes to see the barbican in full.
How to Get There
The Great Barbican stands on Baztowa Street on the northern fringes of Krakow’s Old Town and is easily accessible on foot from the Main Market Square (Rynek Glowny) or in around 15 minutes from Krakow’s main railway station. The nearest bus and tram stop is Stary Kleparz on Baztowa.
When to Get There
The Great Barbican is open from April to October only. Opening times are Monday–Sunday from midmorning to evening, although the building is closed to visitors on the second Monday of each month.
Things Not to Miss at the Great Barbican
The Great Barbican offers plenty of historical and architectural interest. Check out some of the 130 wall slots that were designed for use by archers and riflemen, and see the floor hatch through which boiling oil was dropped on attackers. Be sure to see the plaque commemorating one of the bastion’s strangest episodes: In 1768, a soldier—having run out of ammunition—fired one of his coat buttons into advancing Russian troops, killing their commander and effectively saving the city.
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