As the second-largest city in Poland, and one of the oldest, it’s no surprise that there are so many amazing museums to visit in Krakow. From ancient roots to World War II upheaval, and from contemporary art to old-school games, there’s plenty to learn about during your next visit.
Oskar Schindler’s factory
One of Krakow’s most celebrated former residents is Oskar Schindler, a former Nazi spy who saved the lives of 1,200 Jews. He got to know these people as the owner of this factory and his story was immortalised by Stephen Spielberg in Schindler’s List.
The museum housed in Oskar Schindler’s Factory tells the story of how World War II affected Krakow’s inhabitants and is made all the more poignant when you know the building’s history.
Stained Glass Museum
For a window into the world of stained glass production, visit this museum and workshop.
The beautiful art form adorns many buildings throughout the city, and you can see exactly how it is produced from start to finish, as craftsmen work before your eyes in the Stained Glass Workshop and Museum.
Beneath Krakow’s Main Market Square lies a treasure trove of secrets about the city’s past. Tunnels discovered and excavated by archaeologists now make up the unique Rynek Underground museum, filled with artefacts found on the site and enhanced by high-tech wizardry.
Set aside at least two hours for your visit and make sure you pre-book tickets.
Galicia Jewish Museum
With a history in southeast Poland stretching back over 800 years, this museum celebrates Jewish culture and commemorates victims of the Holocaust.
The Galicia Jewish Museum’s main exhibits are comprised of excellently curated contemporary photography, which capture relics of the area’s Jewish past still visible today.
Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
Spacious, modern and bright, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow has been a breath of fresh air since opening in 2011.
Packed full of local and international pieces from the last two decades, this museum’s mission is to highlight the importance of art in everyday life.
Krakow Pinball Museum
If you were a fan of these retro arcade games growing up—or if you still are—the Krakow Pinball Museum is an unmissable attraction.
All your favourites are here, including The Who’s Tommy, The Addams Family, Revenge From Mars, Batman Forever and many more. Pay for a day pass and play to your heart’s content.
Museum of Pharmacy
In a beautiful townhouse that dates back to the 15th century, you’ll find the Museum of Pharmacy.
Explore a reconstructed apothecary lab, learn about different treatments for ailments through the ages and discover the story of Tadeusz Pankiewicz, a pharmacist who worked in the Jewish ghetto throughout World War II and chronicled the plight of the Jews under the Nazis.
It’s also a great place for anyone who adores tiny little glass bottles and ye olde medicine accouterments.
Where to stay?
Krakow has loads of great value hostels, so it’s easy to find something to suit you. The Little Havana Party Hostel is the perfect choice if you want to stay up late after your day at the museums. It’s close to lots of bars and clubs, plus has good drink offers. We love that it really does feel a little bit like Havana inside. Another central option is the newly renovated Atlantis Hostel, which boasts a range of mixed dorm and private rooms. Free tea and coffee all day, Wi-Fi and lots more makes your stay even better.
Thanks to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Jorge Láscar, mararie, Bruno, Krakow Pinball Museum and Krakow Workshop and Stained Glass Museum for use of their great images under the Creative Commons license.