Exterior of the Kraków Barbican

©Filip Stańczyk/Lonely Planet



The most intriguing remnant of Kraków's medieval fortifications, the Barbican is a powerful, circular bastion adorned with seven turrets. There are 130 loopholes in its 3m-thick walls. This curious piece of defensive art was built in 1498 to protect the Florian Gate, and was once connected to it by a narrow passage running over a moat. These days, the Barbican and Florian Gate form a small museum on warfare called the City Defence Walls. One entry ticket gets you into both.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kraków attractions

1. Florian Gate

0.04 MILES

This attractive stone gateway is the only one of the city’s original eight gates that was not dismantled during the 19th-century modernisation. It was…

2. Grunwald Monument

0.05 MILES

This imposing monument celebrates the epic 1410 Battle of Grunwald, when a joint army of Poles and Lithuanians defeated the Teutonic Knights. This statue…

3. Planty Park

0.05 MILES

Tracing the path of the medieval city's moat, wrapping around the Old Town from Wawel Castle, the Planty Park is an everyday piece of people's lives in…

4. City Defence Walls

0.05 MILES

This small museum includes entry to both the Florian Gate and Barbican, among the few surviving remnants of the city's medieval defence walls. The Florian…

5. Czartoryski Museum


The Czartoryski boasts the city's richest art collection, including Leonardo Da Vinci's 15th-century masterpiece, Lady with an Ermine (1489–90). Other…

6. St Florian’s Church

0.16 MILES

This 12th-century church’s location was chosen by the oxen that carried the remains of St Florian from Rome. When the beasts would go no further, it was…

7. Museum of Pharmacy

0.17 MILES

The name of this museum doesn’t sound that exciting, but the Jagiellonian University Medical School’s Museum of Pharmacy is one of the largest museums of…

8. HistoryLand

0.25 MILES

Modern, kid-oriented historical exhibition that uses both LEGO building blocks and virtual-reality technology to tell key stories of Poland's national…