kamila

Can't live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Best Warsaw museums, recommended by locals

(Last Updated On: 30/08/2018)

As a person who’s been living in Warsaw for at least 10 years now I admit I kind of underrate Warsaw museums. I’ve been to few of them and actually loved them, they all were so much better than I’ve ever expected! But I definitely should have spent more time visiting Warsaw museums and admiring great collections they have. Now that’s my plan for the winter time!

But you don’t need to wait for me to visit all the great places in the city! A good friend of mine, Evi, has recently published a great post on best Warsaw museums and she let me translate it so you can have a good use of it too. She asked some of our friends to contribute too so what you find below is a great selection of Warsaw museums chosen by the locals, including me.

That’s the first post from Warsaw I’m publishing after a long time. I’m working on the whole series from the city I live in to give you a local perspective and encourage you to visit Poland. I hope this will help you plan your trip to Warsaw (which you should definitely do as soon as possible!).


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Thank you! And now on to the post!


Best Warsaw museums

What you see below are impressions by my friend Evi, unless mentioned otherwise.

The Museum of Warsaw (Muzeum Warszawy)

The Museum of Warsaw, located at the Old Town Square (Rynek Starego Miasta), is a gem you definitely have to see. Even if it’s not fully ready yet all the open exhibitions are really impressive and seeing them will take you at least 3 hours.

We start from taking the free audioguide, probably the best one I’ve ever had in the museum. The charming man’s voice (sometimes exchanged with woman’s) guide us through rooms, giving the feeling he is next to us. Not only he tells interesting explanations about each exhibition but also shows the direction of viewing. Together with the amazing audioguide we get to know the whereabouts of Warsaw from the times it was founded till today.

The museums occupies 6 floors and on the last one you can find an amazing viewpoint with great view of Old Town Square. Contrary to the current trends the museum isn’t overloaded with multimedia. Simple cabinets, clear infographics and pull-out drawers – these are the core of all the exhibitions. I admit it’s a nice change that shows you don’t need to put all the electronics and multimedia in the museum to make it interesting.

It’s worth keeping the ticket as, once all the exhibitions are ready, it gives you 50% discount for your next visit.


Practical info:
Address: Rynek Starego Miasta 28-42, 00-272 Warszawa
Opening hours: Monday closed, Tuesday-Sunday 10am-7pm
Website: https://muzeumwarszawy.pl/en/
Tickets: Full – 20PLN, reduced – 15PLN. What’s more you can visit the Praga Museum of Warsaw within 7 days (more on that one below).
Getting here: The museum is located in the Old Town and it’s recommended to use the public transport to get there. Numerous trams and buses can take you to the area.

best Warsaw museums


POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Museum of the History of Polish Jews was created on the area of former Warsaw ghetto and shows the 1000-years of the rich history of Polish Jews. From the first traces on the Polish land, through the golden age of the Jewish community in Poland, pre-war times, to the Holocaust and everything that happened after World War 2.

Not only the exhibitions are impressive but also how well prepared they are, using the modern technology, lights and sounds. No wonder in 2016 POLIN got the prestigious title European Museum of the Year, and that’s only one among many awards (also architectonic) the museum got. The impressive, minimalist building was designed by the team of Finnish architects and fits in the area perfectly well.

From the first moments I was enchanted. The Forrest Gallery, that you start your visit at, can definitely give you the vibe of the place and from there it’s only more and more interesting with all the periods and histories. And do you know what the word “polin” means? From Hebrew “you rest here” and it referred to the Polish land, where the first Jews settled.


Practical info:
Address: Anielewicza 6, 00-157 Warszawa
Opening hours: Tuesday closed, Monday, Thursday, Friday 10am-6pm, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday 10am-8pm
Website: http://www.polin.pl/en
Tickets: 25 PLN full price, 15 PLN reduced. It’s worth buying them online in advance. You can choose a specific hour and it’s better to stick to it. Inside the museum you can rent the audioguide, which is highly recommended as with it your visit at POLIN will be complete. Besides it’s better to listen to stories than to read all the descriptions.
Getting there: Buses no 111 and 180 has a stop right in front of the museum (name of the stop: Nalewki Muzeum). You can also take the trams no 17 or 33 to Anielewicza stop or trams no 15, 35 or 70 to Muranów stop and then walk a bit.

best Warsaw museums


The Polish Vodka Museum

Recommended by Przemek from TroPiMy.

The Polish Vodka Museum is located in a beautiful old building that once was the actual vodka factory – “Koneser”. Taking a tour through the exhibitions, one can learn almost everything about the rich history of distillation in Poland, as well as about the traditions accompanying the sublime act of alcohol consumption.

Which leads us to the final part of the tour – the vodka tasting itself! You can compare the subtle differences in taste of several Polish Vodkas while being lectured by people full of passion. You can finish your evening in one on the bars in the premises. Highly recommended!


Practical information:
Address: Plac Konesera 1, 03-736 Warszawa
Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 10am-8pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-9pm
Website: https://muzeumpolskiejwodki.pl/en/
Tickets: Full price – 40 PLN
Getting there: The nearest metro stop is Dworzec Wileński on M2 line, from there it’s some 5-10 minutes walking to the museum. You can also go by bus (120, 138, 156, 166, 169, 718, 738, 805) or tram (3, 6, 13, 25, 26, 28) to Ząbkowskia stop.

best Warsaw museums

best Warsaw museums


Geological Museum

The free Geological Museum is located at Rakowiecka 4 street and has a big collections of various stones, fossils and minerals. Even if you’re not all that interested in this topic you will definitely be amazed with the interior. The impressive collection walks you through all the ages, there are also some unusual attractions such as skeleton of the mammoth. The detailed descriptions and nice light guarantee an interesting afternoon.


Practical information:
Address: Rakowiecka 4, 02-519 Warszawa
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9am – 3pm, Saturday closed, Sunday 10am-2pm
Website: http://geoportal.pgi.gov.pl/muzeum
Tickets: the entrance is free of charge
Getting there: The best way is to take the M1 metro line to Pole Mokotowskie station and walk some 5 minutes.

best Warsaw museums


The Praga Museum of Warsaw

The museum is located at Targowa 50/52 street. The history of Warsaw’s right bank is served with the use of numerous multimedia. You can listen to stories of Praga locals telling about their everyday life, the work or businesses they had in Praga. You can look at some archive videos or pictures, even those that locals themselves gave to the museum to show how their houses look like.

Audioguide is a must (and free of charge) – it’s a great add-on to the permanent exhibition.

There’s a part about 10th-Anniversary Stadium where back in the ’90s everyone bought their clothes, shoes or music tapes. But the museum shows older times too, as far as even the 18th century!

The museum is recommended to everyone, not only to Praga or Warsaw locals. The collection of items from the Soviet times will take you back in time but retro is charming!


Practical information:
Address: Targowa 50/52, 00-001 Warszawa
Opening hours: Monday closed, Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday 10am-6pm, Thursday 10am-8pm
Website: http://muzeumpragi.pl/en/
Tickets: Full price – 15 PLN, recuded – 10 PLN.
Getting there: The nearest metro stop is Dworzec Wileński on M2 line, from there it’s some 5-10 minutes walking to the museum. You can also go by bus (120, 138, 156, 166, 169, 718, 738, 805) or tram (3, 6, 13, 25, 26, 28) to Ząbkowskia stop.

best Warsaw museums


National Ethnographic Museum

Recommended by Karolina from Ethno passion blog

Folk culture doesn’t have to be boring! You can see it yourself when visiting the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw which is one of the oldest institutions of that kind in Poland. It shows both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

The museum presents items connected with Poland, its traditions and customs, but also exhibits brought from the field works in Europe, far away areas of Africa, South and Central America or Oceania islands. We can set off for an incredible culture trip around the world, without really leaving Warsaw!

The National Ethnographic Museum is also home to numerous events: meetings, seminars, concerts, movie screenings or fairs. At the end of the visit it’s worth to stop at the museum’s cafe: Bílý Koníček (which means “white horse” in Czech). Beautiful interiors that connects folk culture with modern design help you to relax after the museum tour and before going back to the busy streets of Warsaw.


Practical information:
Address: Kredytowa 1, 00-056 Warszawa
Opening hours: Monday closed, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10am-5pm, Wednesday 11am-7pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12am-5pm
Website: http://www.ethnomuseum.pl/english.html
Tickets: Full price – 20 PLN, recuded – 10 PLN.
Getting there: The nearest metro stop is Świętokrzyska where M1 and M2 lines cross, from there it’s some 5-10 minutes walking to the museum. You can also go by bus or tram, the nearest stops are Zachęta, Królewska or Uniwersytet.

best Warsaw museums


Neon Museum

This one was actually recommended by me as it’s one of my favorite places in Warsaw!

For years neon signs were a big part of city space in the Eastern bloc, however in the post-transformation times they started to disappear. Thanks to the group of enthusiast the first Neon Museum in Poland (and one of very few in the world) was founded, protecting neon signs from the oblivion.

The museum has over 100 neon signs in its collection, including some of the most famous ones from the streets of Warsaw. The institution is located on the premises of Soho Factory, where you also can find neon signs hanging around on the numerous buildings.

It is probably the most unique of Warsaw museums, full of colors and shapes that instantly make you happy. After the visit you can also buy some interesting Warsaw souvenirs here, such as tote bags, cups or books.


Practical info:
Address: Soho Factory, Mińska 25, Praga District, 03-808 Warsaw
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 12am-5pm, Saturday 12am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
Website: http://neonmuzeum.org/pages/index_uk.html
Tickets: Full price – 12 PLN, recuded – 10 PLN.
Getting there: You can take the suburban train (SKM or KM) to Warszawa Wschodnia station and then walk 10 minutes. You can also take the bus (125, 135) or tram (3, 6, 22, 26) to the stop Bliska.

best Warsaw museums


The Warsaw Rising Museum

One of the most important Warsaw museums, a must see for everyone, local or tourist. The Warsaw Rising Museum was among the first most interactive and modern museums in Poland. Even if it was created already in the 1983 we can admire the current look and feel of the place since 2004, when it was opened in the eve of the 60th anniversary of the rising’s breakout.

The setting is already interesting – the museum is located in the former trams depot at Grzybowska 79 street. The exhibitions are obviously focused on Warsaw Rising but you can also see the lives of insurgers after the war. The realistic exhibitions, items from everyday life and war staging, including the replica of Consolidated B-24 Liberator plane that was shut down by Luftwaffe fighters near Bochnia, are located all over 3 floors.

Most of them are really moving, such as the part dedicated to Wola genocide or replica of sewers where insurgers had to hide. Among the attractions is 32-meters tall lookout tower offering good views of the nearby area. One of the most moving exhibitions is the one showing rising bands, often blooded.

The Warsaw Rising Museum is among the most popular museums not only in Warsaw, but in Poland. Coaches bring lots of tourists here both on the weekdays and weekends hence some of the museum’s parts are well used and need a repair.


Practical info:
Address: Grzybowska 79, 00-844 Warszawa
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday-Sunday 10am-6pm, Thursday 10am-8pm, Tuesday closed
Website: https://www.1944.pl/en
Tickets: Full price – 20 PLN, recuded – 16 PLN.
Getting there: The nearest metro station is Rondo Daszyńskiego on M2 line, some 5-10 minutes walking from the museum. You can also take the bus (102, 105, 190) or tram (1, 11, 22, 24) to the stop Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego.

best Warsaw museums


Copernicus Science Centre

Recomended by Tati and Michał from Poszli-pojechali blog

Copernicus Science Centre should be visited by everybody at least once. But the more, the better as exhibitions, workshops and labs are changed on regular basis and it would be a pity to miss something.

Even if the place is mostly visited by families with kids I guarantee no one will be bored here. I was impressed by exhibitions that explains rules of physics, chemistry, gravitation or other phenomenon happening on Earth and space in such an easy, understandable way for children and adults. What’s more you can take the active part in checking how some processes are made and what happens if…

The visit in the Center takes at least few hours as the joy of science really drags in and often surprises you. Together with the Center you can find the Planetarium – I get dizzy every time I think of the space walk but it’s a wonderful place for all the astronomy enthusiasts and dreamers.

Long queues are gone and the ability to check the schedule and buying the tickets online really help you decided what to do on Saturday or Sunday.


Practical information:
Address: Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20, 00-390 Warszawa
Opening hours: Monday closed, Tuesday-Sunday 9am-7pm
Website: http://www.kopernik.org.pl/en/
Tickets: Full price – 27 PLN, recuded – 18 PLN.
Getting there: The nearest metro stop is Centrum Nauki Kopernik on M2 line. You can also go by bus no 100, 102, 162 to the stop “Metro Centrum Nauki Kopernik”

best Warsaw museums


Museum of Life under Communism

Recomended by Kasia Tutko from Połącz Kropki

In the Museum of Life under Communism we can travel back in time and get to know better ups and downs of life in the Soviet times. You will find lots of souvenirs and symbol of the times that happened not so long ago.

Museum isn’t big but it’s full of interesting items. We can visit the political room, full of propaganda posters. My favorite place here was the room filled with old toys and school items. Next to the ticket office we can see a replica of Milk Bar or even try the famous soft drink and play old chess.

Classic counter, fridge or scale only remind us about the shops from the old times. I was really impressed with coupons for meat or food vouchers. Old radio and tapes reminded me of holidays I spent at my grandparents’ in the childhood. I could go on and on about all the items I’ve seen there. I highly recommend the place!


Practical information:
Address: Głucha 3A, 03-807 Warszawa
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday-Sunday 11am-5pm
Website: http://czarprl.pl/
Tickets: Full price – 8 PLN, recuded – 5 PLN.
Getting there: You can take the suburban train (SKM or KM) to Warszawa Wschodnia station and then walk 10 minutes. You can also take the bus (125, 135) or tram (3, 6, 22, 26) to the stop Bliska.

best Warsaw museums


National Museum

Gallery of Polish Design

A small gallery on the first floor shows everyday items of Polish people since the year 1890. All the exhibits: furniture, dishes, textiles, toys led visitors through following decades until the current times. Simple exhibitions (don’t miss gems hidden in the drawers under cabinets that no one will tell you about!) emphasize design of each era, for many this will be a trip down the memory lane too. Many of the vases or ashtrays, not to mention the toys were part of the everyday life of people who were born in 1970s and 1980s.

The exhibition is small but it has many items, not only in the cabinets but also furniture. The items are described with numbers and you can find out more about each piece in the exhibition guide. Too bad the drawers aren’t described with numbers from the outside (they are seen only once you pull out the drawer) – the guide doesn’t mention it and besides us only few people had the idea to check them (and found beautiful textile).

best Warsaw museums

Gallery of 19th Century Art

With one, 20 PLN ticket for the permanent exhibitions besides Gallery of Polish Design you can also see other exhibitions, like my favorite Gallery of 19th Century Art. First it was only the Gallery of Polish Art, today paintings collected here are part of the European art collection.

Besides the classic such as Matejko and the impressive “Battle of Grunwald”, in this gallery we will also find masterpieces by Józef Chełmoński, Ferdynand Ruszczyc or Henryk Siemiradzki. Of course to carefully see them all you would need at least few hours but it’s worth to stop here even for an hour or two.

best Warsaw museums

Gallery of 20th and 21st Century Art

Gallery of 20th and 21st Century Art or Gallery of Modern Art – to be honest it’s not my favorite one as I often don’t really understand it but there are the exceptions here too. In the collection you will find paintings, sculptures, graphics and sketches from 1920s and 1930s, Polish avant-garde movies, photography, selected works of 1980s independent culture as well as video and performances from last 40 years.

Among the artists you will see Witkacy, Tamara Łempicka, Natalia Lach-Lachowicz and others. The gallery has a really impressive collection gathered on 700 square meters.


Practical information:
Address: Al. Jerozolimskie 3, 00-495 Warszawa
Opening hours: Monday closed, Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday 10am-6pm, Friday 10am-9pm
Website: https://www.mnw.art.pl/en/
Tickets: Full price – 20 PLN, recuded – 12 PLN.
Getting there: You can take the buses (111, 117, 158, 507, 517, 521) or trams (7, 9, 22, 24, 25) to the stop “Muzeum Narodowe” or buses (E-2, 111, 116, 128, 175, 180, 222, 503, 518) to the nearby stop “Foksal”.

best Warsaw museums


And here is the map with all the mentioned Warsaw museums. You can download it (.kml file), save it on your phone and use it online during your stay in Warsaw.


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