St. Mary's Basilica (Kościól Mariacki)
St. Mary's Basilica (Kościól Mariacki)

St. Mary's Basilica (Kościól Mariacki)

Plac Mariacki 5, Krakow

The basics

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, the current structure was consecrated in 1320 after being rebuilt from the foundation of the original church, which was destroyed during a Tatar invasion. The most prominent features of the exterior are the two, uneven towers. During the 15th century, the northern tower was added on to and was designed as the city’s watchtower, though today it's better known as the Bugle Tower. The interior, on the other hand, is a work of art with its elaborately carved altarpiece, stained-glass windows, and starry blue ceiling. This is a must-see during your visit to Kraków and some tour operators offer skip-the-line privileges.

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Krakow Old Town Guided Walking Tour
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Krakow Old Town Guided Walking Tour
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Things to know before you go

  • Entry tickets to the church can be purchased in a separate building across from the tourist entrance.
  • It is free to enter St. Mary’s Basilica for worship and travelers are kindly asked not to visit during service.
  • Since it is an active church, visitors are asked to keep voices low and noise to a minimum.
  • You can also climb to the top of the towers, but it requires a separate entrance fee. There are a limited number of tickets sold each day and you cannot pre-purchase tickets ahead of time. Admission to the Bugle Tower tends to sell out by morning.
  • Children under seven are not allowed to climb the Bugle Tower, and no children are allowed to go up the Bell Tower.
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How to get there

St. Mary’s Basilica is centrally located in Old Town. From the main railway station (Kraków Główny) it’s a 4-minute drive or an easy 12-minute walk to the main square.

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Trip ideas

When to get there

The main church is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30am to 6pm, and on Sunday from 2 to 6pm after mass. The ticket office closes 15 minutes before closing. Other than the months of January and February the Bugle Tower is open daily except for Monday and certain religious holidays. The Bell Tower is open from April to October, Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 2pm.

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Stay and Listen for the Bugle Call

Plan your arrival or departure to/from St. Mary’s Basilica at the top of the hour when a trumpet sounds (called the Hejnał mariacki) from the top of the taller of the two towers. The bugle call breaks off mid-melody to commemorate the 13th-century bugler that was shot in the throat by the invading Mongol army.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to St. Mary's Basilica (Kościól Mariacki)?
What else should I know about attractions in Krakow?
As well as visiting the St. Mary's Basilica (Kościól Mariacki), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: