Castle Square is the gateway to Warsaw’s UNESCO-listed Old Town and, as the name suggests, the location of the city’s fabulous Royal Castle.
Warsaw Old Town Castle Square
With the city walls on one side and the Royal Castle on the other, plac Zamkowy – or Castle Square – is the southern gateway to Warsaw’s impressive Old Town. An organised Old Town tour is an excellent way to get local insight into the history of the square.
Somehow, this large open area feels a little more touristy than the Market Square and it’s certainly a handy place for coach parties to meet. It’s impressive all the same and is a handy place for a break before you head off into the Castle or the Old Town itself.
What To See In Castle Square
One of the first things to strike you is the 22m high column and statue of King Sigismund III Vasa. Actually something of a despot, Sigismund oversaw the expansion of Polish territory, moved the capital from Kraków to Warsaw, and his reign coincided with the Polish Golden Age. The column was originally erected in 1644, some 12 years after his death. It has changed shape and form over the centuries, particularly after the statue was damaged and the column demolished during the German occupation.
The Castle itself is highly recommended and fully covered in our separate guide. You can take a quick peek at the castle courtyard without buying a ticket, and inside the building to visit the gift shop and cafe. The gardens at the back of the grounds are also free to visit.
The bell tower adjacent to St Anne’s Church offers one of the best views in Warsaw. This 360° view of the city looks right over Castle Square.
Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.
How To Visit Castle Square
Castle Square from St. Anne’s Bell Tower
As the Castle Square is a public place, it is permanently open and has no admission fee for visiting. However, taking part in an organised tour will give you more insight into the history of the square.
It’s easy to find. If you’ve made your way to the top of Krakowskie Przedmieście, on foot or by bus, you’re already there. Any of the Stare Miasto tram and bus stops, at the foot of the Castle, are also right next to the square.
Alternatively, if you’ve reached the Old Town via the Barbican, to the north, simply walk down Nowomiejska, via the Market Square, and then take Świętojańska to reach the square.
Castle Square address: plac Zamkowy, Warsaw 01-195 Poland
Old and New Town Districts: Meticulously reconstructed after WWII, Warsaw’s historical Old Town contains many of the city’s key landmarks, including the must-see Royal Castle, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The New Town is quieter and home to excellent boutique hotels, such as the Mamaison Le Regina. The district is full of great restaurants, but try traditional U Barssa on the Market Square, if you can’t decide.
Tips For Visiting Castle Square
Castle Square at night
- There’s not as much to see here as the Old Town Market Square but there are a few surprises and the square is worth more than a cursory glance. Expect to spend about 30 minutes here if you also go to the top of St. Anne’s bell tower.
- There are various places to sit around here, including the steps to the Column and the walls to the right of the Castle. You can also sit inside one of the cafes bordering the square on colder days and still get a good view.
- Though cobbled and stepped in places, the square is still quite accessible.
- Alongside the various chain coffee shops and restaurants around the square, there is also a handy Carrefour Express, where you can get drinks and snacks.
- Tucked into the grounds of St. Anne’s is a small market area where you can buy souvenirs. It’s worth a quick look if you’re going up to the viewing platform, but you’ll do better if you push on into the Old Town itself.
- The building closest to Sigismund’s Column, on the other side of the street from McDonald’s contains a free public toilet, as well as an escalator and lift to the freeway that runs beneath the square, with a number of tram and bus stops. It’s also worth a quick look for the curious Soviet-era control panel opposite the toilets.
Where Is This Place Located?Find this location on the Warsaw Visit Google map:
- Open the Warsaw Visit map
- Click on a marker and it will give you the name of the landmark, with a brief description and links for more information and directions. You can pan, scroll, and zoom around the map, or use the + or – buttons in the bottom left of the map to zoom in and out
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side, sorted by category. Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Each category is on a different layer, which can be switched on and off. So you can just see the Hotel or Restaurant pins, for example
- If you are using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location
Map pins are color coded:
- YELLOW: Warsaw Sightseeing
- BLUE: Warsaw Hotels
- RED: Warsaw Places To Eat – Michelin restaurants are DARK RED
- ORANGE: Warsaw Nightlife
- PURPLE: Shopping In Warsaw
- GREEN: Warsaw Transportation