The very symbol of the nation, the hilltop Wawel, pronounced vah-vel; is more steeped in Polish history than any other place in the country. It was the seat of the kings for over 500 years from the early days of the Polish state, and even after the centre of power moved to Warsaw in the late 16th century it retained much of its symbolic power. Today it is the silent guardian of a millennium of Polish history and the most visited site in the country.
The way to Wawel Hill begins at the southern end of ul Kanonicza, from where a lane leads uphill. Past the equestrian statue of Tadeusz Kościuszko, it turns to the left leading to a vast open central square surrounded by several buildings, of which the Wawel Cathedral and Wawel Castle are the major attractions. Plan on at least four hours up here if you want anything more than just a glance over the place. In the southwestern part of the complex you'll find a visitors centre as well as a gift shop, post office and café with outside terrace.
Wawel Hill is a short walk from the Old Town of Krakow. Or catch a number 10 tram but be sure to validate your ticket onboard as there are often inspectors roving around. Be aware of the different opening hours of all the attractions. In summer it's best to come early as there may be long queues for tickets later in the day. Alternatively, you can prebook your tickets in advance.