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Krakow's Premier Museums 

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Museums in Krakow 

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.

National Museum in Krakow / Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie 

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 exhibitionssometimes 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.

 

Krakow National Museum, Gallery of the 20th-century Art

The Czartoryskis Museum / Muzeum Czartoryskich 

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 Pijarska streets.

Closed for remodeling till  2015, 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 Ermine is to be temporarily displayed in Krakow's Wawel Royal Castle probably till the reopening of the Czartoryski Museum. 

Lady with an Ermine in Krakow's Czartoryskich museum

Royal Castle on the Wawel Hill / Zamek Krolewski na Wawelu

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 and Armory 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.

Wawel head from Krakow's Wawel Royal Castle

 

Palace of Bishop Erasmus Ciolek / Palac Biskupa Erazma Ciolka 

branch of the Krakow National Museum, at 17 Kanonicza street, phone (+48) 124291558 and 12424937. 

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 Mondays.  

Free admission on Sundays.

The museum's main exhibition, i.e. collection of the ancient Polish art, is closed till September 2014.

 

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 outside Poland. 

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. 

National Museum in Krakow - Gallery of the 19th-Century Art in the Cloth Hall on Rynek Glowny central square

 

Archeology Museum / Muzeum Archeologiczne

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.

 

Exhibition in the Museum of Archeology in Krakow

City of Krakow Historical Museum / Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Krakowa

at 35 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. Schindler's Factory, Old Synagogue, and Hipolitow House. 

Krakow Christmas crib
 

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. 

German airplane of 1918 in Krakow's Polish Aviation Museum

 

MOCAK - Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow / Muzeum Sztuki Wspolczesnej w Krakowie 

at 4 Lipowa street, phone (+48) 122634000.
Modern museum built on the grounds of Schindler’s Factory exhibits its modest collection alongside temporary shows. 

Open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Closed on Mondays.  

Regular tickets cost 10 zloty, reduced rate is 5 zloty.  

Buildings of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow and Schindler’s Factory

Archdiocese Museum / Muzeum Archidiecezjalne

at 21 Kanonicza street, phone (+48) 124218963
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. 

 

Ethnography Museum / Muzeum Etnograficzne 

in the Kazimierz Town Hall at 1 Wolnica Pl., phone (+48) 124305575
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
University Museum, Schindler's Factory, 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 Art, Cathedral Museum, Geology Museum, Hipolitow House, Zoology Museum, Museum of Municipal Engineering, Young Poland’s ‘Rydlowka’ Museum, Home Army Museum, Museum of Krakow Theater, Remembrance Museum, Celestat

 

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. .

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