Museums in Krakow
boasts the best collections in Poland, and some of its treasures are
the envy of every museum in the world.
Watch videos showing Krakow museums.
at 1 Al. 3 Maja street, phone (+48) 122955500.
Main building of Poland’s richest museum, with branches scattered
all around Krakow’s downtown, is the chief venue for temporary
exhibitions–sometimes sensational, always interesting. The
gallery of the 20th-century Polish art upstairs houses nearly 500
outstanding works by Poland’s modern artists, with a tilt towards
those most important for Krakow. Arranged with regard to schools and
trends rather than chronology the exhibits provide a wide
cross-section of the Polish art, starting from the 1890s up to now.
Also permanent are two other exhibitions: of decorative art and of
the Polish arms and army uniforms.
Closed on Mondays. Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays,
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Free admission on Sundays.
at 19 Sw. Jana street
World-famous for Leonardo's painting
Lady with an Ermine, the museum has other old
masters' splendid works as well, a dramatic landscape by Rembrandt
among them. Other exhibits include masterpieces of ancient European
craft (furniture, china, glass, tapestry, etc.), an excellent
collection of arms, and Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities.
Polish history and national character can be better understood
thanks to the museum’s invaluable display of items pertaining to
Poland's memorable events and personalities. The museum's
old-fashioned arrangement resembles private museums of the past and
makes it truly charming (actually its exhibits were put together by
The Czartortyskis family and given to the nation). The museum is
located in the
Old Town historic area in the complex made
up of the City Armory, the adjacent monastery
library and three old buildings at the corner of Sw. Jana and
Closed for remodeling till 2014, part of the museum's
collections being moved to the Niepolomice castle for an exhibition
there open from April 2010.
Gallery of Antique Art in the Arsenal at 8 Pijarska street is open
every day except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Da Vinci's Lady with an
is to be temporarily displayed in Krakow's
Wawel Royal Castle
probably till the reopening of the Czartoryski Museum.
It was home to three dynasties of Poland's monarchs.
Royal Chambers feature priceless art, best period
furniture and rare ancient objects (the collection of the
16th-century monumental Flemish
tapestries is matchless). Crown Treasury
display the Polish royal memorabilia, jewels and other precious
items, and the 15th to 18th-century arms. The Lost Wawel
is an archeological reserve and multimedia tour through the history
of the Wawel Hill. Oriental Art
includes Turkish tents and banners, Turkish and Persian weapons and
carpets, Chinese and Japanese ceramics.
See Wawel Royal Castle's opening hours.
Palace of Bishop Erasmus Ciolek / Palac Biskupa Erazma Ciolka
branch of the Krakow National Museum, at 17 Kanonicza
street, phone (+48) 124291558 and
Treasures of old art, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance to the
Baroque, fit the early-16th-century Palace of Bishop Erasmus
Ciolek that has been turned into a branch of the Krakow National
Museum. After thorough renovation it has regained its historic
splendor of a lavish aristocratic residence at the dawn of the
Renaissance. Its ground floor contains the museum’s collection of
the Orthodox church art from the 15th to the 20th century, Poland’s
best. Upstairs there is room for the Polish medieval church art of
the 15th and 16th centuries, a collection of portraits of the
nobility from the 16th century to the 18th century, and the ancient
village art. The museum’s crown jewels are two Gothic sculptures,
the Madonna of Kruzlowa from circa 1420 and ‘Gethsemane’ by Veit
Stoss of circa 1485.
Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays,
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on
Free admission on Sundays.
National Museum’s Gallery of the 19th-cetury Polish Art
in the Cloth Hall
amid the Grand Square
Profusion of good to
excellent paintings (plus some sculpture), though little known
Reopened after thorough renovation on September 3rd, 2010.
Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and every weekday except
Mondays plus on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
at 3 Poselska street,
phone (+48) 124227560.
The only place on the earth where one can see a Slavonic god,
because none has been ever unearthed save Krakow’s 8-foot-tall stone
idol of four-faced Swiatowit.
The museum’s permanent exhibitions include ‘Krakow a Thousand
Years Ago’, ‘Ancient and Medieval Malopolska’, ‘Ancient
Egypt', and ‘Gods of Ancient Egypt'. The place is also
known for interesting and ingenious temporary displays. The museum’s
seat used to be an early-medieval fortress and then a palace turned
monastery turned prison.
Open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,
Mondays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 2 p.m.,
Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday 2 p.m.– 6 p.m., and
Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed on Saturdays.
Free admission on Sundays.
City of Krakow Historical Museum
/ Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Krakowa
Rynek Glowny (Grand Square),
phone (+48) 126192300.
History of Krakow and its citizens. Maps, documents and city stamps.
Portraits, scepters and rings of Lord Mayors. Guild utensils. And
the collection of famous Krakow Christmas cribs.
Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed on
Mondays and Tuesdays.
Krakow's Historical Museum has a number of branches scattered around
the city and most of them operate as separate museums, e.g.
and Hipolitow House.
Polish Aviation Museum
Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego
at 17 Jana Pawla II street, phone (+48) 126424070.
Airplanes, helicopters, aircraft engines, etc. on the former Rakowice
Airfield, where the first Polish plane, built in Krakow in 1910,
once landed. Over 200 exhibits, often unique, and in some cases
dating back to the Great War.
Open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m. on weekends. Closed on Mondays.
Free admission on Tuesdays.
MOCAK - Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
Wspolczesnej w Krakowie
at 4 Lipowa street, phone (+48)
Modern museum built on the grounds of
Schindler’s Factory exhibits its modest collection alongside
Open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Regular tickets cost 10 zloty, reduced rate is 5 zloty.
Archdiocese Museum / Muzeum Archidiecezjalne
at 21 Kanonicza street, phone
Mostly John Paul II memorabilia. Also historic church art - from
medieval to the baroque - plus old vestments and goldsmithery. The
museum takes up two palatial Renaissance residences of Krakow canons
at 19 and 21 Kanonicza street. Father
Karol Wojtyla, future Pope John Paul II,
lived here from 1951 to 1963. Visitors can see his recreated rooms
with some of his personal belongings.
Open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on weekends from 10
a.m. to 3 p.m.
/ Muzeum Etnograficzne
in the Kazimierz Town Hall at 1 Wolnica Pl., phone
Polish folklore. Other European folklore. The folklore of Africa, the
Americas and Asia. It’s Poland’s biggest ethnographic museum with
the world’s largest collection of Polish national costumes.
Open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,
Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 11
a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Other Museums in Krakow
Museum of Natural History, Jewish Museum,
Stanislaw Wyspianski Museum,
Jan Matejko's House,
Jozef Mehoffer's House, Pharmacy Museum,
Photography Museum, Gallery of Old Japanese
Geology Museum, Hipolitow House, Zoology
Museum, Museum of Municipal Engineering,
Young Poland’s ‘Rydlowka’ Museum, Home
Museum of Krakow Theater, Remembrance Museum,
Tip: Most Krakow
museums admit visitors free of charge one day every week (see above and
our page about Budget Krakow to find details).
Also, almost each Krakow museum is inaccessible one day a week. Plus the
museums close for major holidays such as Christmas, New Year, Easter,
and November 1 (All Saints' Day. Besides, many a site closes fairly
early, i.e. something like 3 p.m. They may also keep shorter hours or
even stay shut on minor holidays and – in some cases – out of the
tourist season. .