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In a city abundant with cultural treasures, Krakow's museum landscape is an expansive tapestry that's challenging to unravel in just one visit. The wealth of historical gems and artistic marvels may seem daunting, but fear not – we've crafted the ultimate guide to assist you in navigating this museum maze. Immerse yourself in Krakow's vibrant cultural heritage with our Museums guide. From the Czartoryski Museum to Rynek Underground, explore top cultural institutions, exhibitions, and historical artifacts. Plan your visit with insightful tips to maximize your museum experience in this captivating Polish city.


Krakow, a city steeped in rich history and vibrant culture, boasts an array of museums that cater to art enthusiasts, history buffs, and curious minds alike. Among these cultural gems, the National Museum in Krakow stands out as a premier institution, holding the title of the oldest and largest museum with the adjective "national" in its name in Poland. Established in 1879 by a resolution of the Krakow City Council, this museum has played a pivotal role in preserving and promoting Polish and foreign art throughout the ages.

The National Museum in Krakow, with its main headquarters situated at Aleja 3 Maja 1, is a testament to the city's commitment to preserving its cultural heritage. The museum's collections, exceeding an impressive 900,000 exhibits, reflect its enduring mission to disseminate artistic treasures to the public. Even after the upheavals of World War I, it remains the institution with the largest number of collections, buildings, and permanent galleries in Poland.

To delve into the diverse offerings of the National Museum in Krakow, visitors can explore twelve branches spread across the city and beyond. The Main Building, hosting the Artistic Crafts Gallery and the XX + XXI Gallery of Polish Art, serves as the central hub for art enthusiasts. Additionally, the Cloth Hall at Rynek Główny 3, the museum's oldest branch, houses the renowned Gallery of 19th-century Polish Art. This collection is widely celebrated as one of the most prestigious museum exhibits in the country. 

For those seeking a more intimate connection with great Polish artists, the museum's biographical departments are a must-visit. Jan Matejko's House at ul. Floriańska 41, the residence of the renowned historical painter, and Józef Mehoffer's House at ul. Krupnicza 26, featuring a meticulously recreated garden designed by Mehoffer himself, provide unique insights into the lives of these artistic legends.

The National Museum in Krakow extends its influence beyond the city limits, with a branch located in Zakopane at 19 Kasprusie Street. This branch is dedicated to the great Polish composer Karol Szymanowski and is housed in the picturesque wooden villa "Atma." Moreover, should you choose to venture beyond Krakow and maximize your visit, we strongly advise perusing our article on Zakopane or book your guided tour to this unique city through GetYourGuide.


A noteworthy addition to the National Museum in Krakow is the Princes Czartoryski collection, which became an integral part of the institution on December 29, 2016. Home to masterpieces like Leonardo da Vinci's "Lady with an Ermine," this collection enriches the museum's offerings with its exquisite representation of European art spanning centuries.

Lady with an Ermine

To make the most of your museum exploration in Krakow, consider obtaining the Krakow Card, which provides complimentary admission to 40 museums, including the National Museum. Additionally, for a curated selection of the city's top museums, we recommend reading our Top 5 Museums article.

For more information and to plan your visit, explore the official website of the National Museum in Krakow: Moreover, explore the diverse tapestry of Krakow's museums beyond the National Museum branches, catering to varied interests. From the mind-bending illusions at the Museum of Illusion to the rich aviation history at the Polish Aviation Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the eclectic Arcade Museum, and the poignant narrative of Schindler's Factory, visitors can immerse themselves in a spectrum of captivating experiences tailored to their preferences. Immerse yourself in the cultural tapestry of Krakow, where each museum unveils a unique chapter of the city's illustrious history and artistic legacy.


We recommend considering the purchase of a Krakow Card before your arrival in Krakow. With a 1-, 2-, or 3-day card, you can easily access 40 museums and explore the city at your own pace. You have the option to choose between a City Card with or without public transportation. It's important to note that the Krakow City Pass - Museums and Transport (1, 2, or 3 days) allows you unlimited use of public transport, (including buses and trams), throughout the day and night. This ensures that with the Krakow Card, you can take a bus to Wieliczka or travel to the airport. Access all the necessary information by clicking HERE and determine whether any of the options suit your needs.


The Krakow Card serves as a comprehensive tourist city pass, granting hassle-free access to key attractions in Krakow. It provides complimentary admission to 40 museums, free entry to Schindler's Factory, and unlimited use of the city’s public transport system. The complete list of attractions and museums accessible with the city pass is available on the official.

Please be advised that Schindler's Factory, Krakow's underground museum, Sukiennice Gallery, and The Czartoryski Museum are very popular attractions. Facilities may deny you access to their property without prior booking via phone or website. To avoid unpleasant disappointment and ensure guaranteed entry at a specific time, it's essential to make a reservation. 

Don't miss out on this opportunity to enhance your Krakow experience and book your Krakow Card now.

Krakow Card
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