Macromolecule-protected sub-micrometer polyhedral gold nanocrystals have been facilely prepared by heating an aqueous solution containing poly (N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone) (PVP) and HAuCl4 without adding other reducing agents. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX), ultraviolet-visible-near-infrared spectroscopy (UV-vis-NIR), and x-ray diffraction (XRD) were employed to characterize the obtained polyhedral gold nanocrystals. It is found that the 10:1 molar ratio of PVP to gold is a key factor for obtaining quasi-monodisperse polyhedral gold nanocrystals. Furthermore, the application of polyhedral gold nanocrystals in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) was investigated by using 4-aminothiophenol (4-ATP) as a probe molecule. The results indicated that the sub-micrometer polyhedral gold nanocrystals modified on the ITO substrate exhibited higher SERS activity compared to the traditional gold nanoparticle modified film. The enhancement factor (EF) on polyhedral gold nanocrystals was about six times larger than that obtained on aggregated gold nanoparticles (∼25 nm).