Kraków’s finest museums: from bagels to bungee trampolines

Kraków is full of extra museums than another Polish metropolis. There’s a lot to see:  venerable age-old edifices, architecturally placing former properties of famend Polish painters, trendy areas showcasing up to date artwork and multimedia exhibitions and quirky little museums devoted to native establishments such because the Kraków bagel.

Some museums are impartial, though a lot of them fall underneath the umbrella of the Museum of Kraków, unfold over 19 venues. A dozen extra are thought of a part of the MNK (Kraków Nationwide Museum). Multi-venue tickets and six-month passes are a terrific approach to save cash; all branches of the MNK are free on Tuesdays and to college students underneath the age of 26. Many museums are closed on Mondays, and a few provide free entry on sure days (verify with particular person museums).

Listed below are one of the best museums in Kraków.

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See historical past underground on the Rynek Underground museum in Krakow © Jaroslav Moravcik / Shutterstock

See hi-tech reveals at Rynek Underground

One of many greatest highlights of the Museum of Kraków is descending to subterranean depths beneath the principle sq. in Previous City and experiencing Kraków’s whole historical past by means of a whirlwind of touchscreens and holograms. On the coronary heart of the museum are archaeological finds – from medieval service provider stalls to authentic stretches of cobbled avenue beneath glass-bottomed walkways – unearthed when Rynek was repaved from 2005-2008.

You will enter by means of a display of fog and look at a brief introductory movie earlier than acquainting your self with shows on commerce by means of the centuries, automated puppets (nice for youths!) and depictions of vampire prevention burials on the stays of an Eleventh-century cemetery.

As a result of museum’s reputation, purchase your timed ticket on-line prematurely. The museum is free on Tuesdays and is closed on the second Monday of every month.

Stroll round a centuries-old college at Collegium Maius

This Gothic college library-turned-museum is the oldest constructing on the campus of Kraków’s famend 14th-century Jagiellonian College. Initially, the professors lived upstairs, whereas college students, together with Nicolaus Copernicus (Fifteenth-century mathematician and astronomer), spent a lot of their time within the floor flooring lecture halls. 

On weekdays, entry is by guided tour solely (select between the 30-minute normal tour or the extra in-depth, hour-long full tour). On Saturdays, you’re free to wander round by your self and take within the previous refectory, the aula (lecture corridor), professors’ quarters, the mechanical courtyard clock and the oldest surviving globe from the 1520s that locations America within the flawed hemisphere.

Discover historical treasures on the Archaeological Museum

Intricately embellished Egyptian sarcophagi, mummified cats and an in depth assortment of pre-Columbian Chimú ceramics from Peru are among the many issues to not miss at this glorious museum. The tour de pressure is the only real surviving ninth-century carved pillar that includes the pinnacle of Swiatowit, the chief Slavic god within the pagan pantheon. Look out for mannequins of “ancestors” within the everlasting exhibit on the prehistory of Malopolska, their faces recreated utilizing the newest forensic science methods. Get pleasure from free entry to everlasting reveals on Sundays.

See Artwork Nouveau on the Józef Menhoffer Home

A part of the MNK, this beautifully-preserved artist’s residence is a necessary cease for any Artwork Nouveau fanatic. Józef Mehoffer (1869-1946) was a turn-of-the-Twentieth-century painter and expert stained-glass artist, notably famend for restoring and restyling quite a few Kraków church buildings. His former house is stuffed with belle époque furnishings, Artwork Deco and impressionist-era artwork, in addition to his personal stained-glass items, together with the immortality-portraying Vita somnium breve (1904). The museum is closed Mondays.

Exhibition on the life of Krakow Jews during the Second World War at Schindler's Factory Museum
See exhibitions on the lifetime of Krakow Jews throughout World Warfare II at Schindler’s Manufacturing unit Museum © Alexey Pevnev / Shutterstock

Be taught in regards to the Holocaust at Schindler’s Manufacturing unit

A part of the Museum of Kraków, the previous enamel manufacturing facility belonging to German industrialist Oskar Schindler is justifiably one in all Kraków’s must-visit museums. Throughout WWII, Schindler saved greater than a thousand Jewish inhabitants of the Podgorzé ghetto by using them at his manufacturing facility, thus maintaining them off the Nazi deportation lists. A lot of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s Checklist was shot in and across the manufacturing facility constructing. 

The highlight right here is on the excellent everlasting exhibition, “Kraków Throughout Nazi Occupation 1939-1945,” which tells the story of on a regular basis life, underground resistance and anti-Semitic repressions within the metropolis, with a selected emphasis on Schindler and different Righteous Amongst The Nations who risked their very own lives to avoid wasting Jews. Interval artifacts, images, archival paperwork, filmed interviews with Holocaust survivors and multimedia installations are used to large impact. Entry is by timed slot; purchase tickets on-line three or extra days prematurely. The museum is closed on the primary Tuesday of each month.

Immerse your self within the Polish resistance on the Museum of the Dwelling Military

A must-see for WWII buffs, this comprehensive museum contained in the renovated Austrian army headquarters charts the mass resistance that the Polish inhabitants put up in the course of the Nazi occupation. Efforts ranged from organized underground army campaigns to boy and lady scouts who delivered packages, undertook reconnaissance duties and engaged in sabotage.

Company will obtain a media card that triggers video shows as they stroll round. It’s price reserving a tour a day prematurely in the event you’d like to listen to intimately about Operation Storm – the joint 1944 Soviet and Polish marketing campaign to liberate Vilnius and Lviv, in addition to the Warsaw Rebellion of the identical yr. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Soak up Jewish historical past on the Galicia Jewish Museum

This somber museum covers the previous Habsburg province of the Austrian Empire (stretching from Kraków to Ternopil in present-day Ukraine). Traces of Reminiscence is a poignant assortment of photos by photographer Chris Schwartz that depict former dying camps and the deserted and derelict cemeteries and synagogues of southeastern Poland. Preserve an eye fixed out for momentary reveals regarding Jewish historical past within the transformed warehouse. Head out into the backyard to view murals of Marek Edelman (chief of the failed Warsaw Ghetto Rebellion) and Irena Sendler (Righteous Among the many Nations).

The Museum of Municipal Engineering in Krakow, Poland.
See Nineteenth-century trams at The Museum of Municipal Engineering in Krakow, Poland © travellifestyle / Shutterstock

Motorcar fans will love the Municipal Engineering Museum

Fashionable with youngsters and adults alike, this Nineteenth-century tram depot within the Kazimierz neighborhood is dwelling to an intensive assortment of classic buses, tramcars and swanky Nineteen Fifties saloons made by Warsaw Car Works. Despite the fact that the brand new everlasting exhibition is underneath renovation until late 2022, you possibly can go to the revamped Trams on Wawrzyńca show with the “sort C” Polish tram carriage as its star (there are solely two in existence). 

Try the 1957 Smyk mini-car, with the driving force and passengers alike having to clamber in by means of a hinged bonnet within the absence of doorways, and signal your youngsters up for workshops within the Creativity Zone. The museum is closed on Mondays.

For colourful Polish people tradition, attempt the Ethnographic Museum

If recreated peasant interiors from the Kraków area and colourful people costumes float your boat, then you definitely’ve come to the fitting place! Three flooring of this revamped 14th-century city corridor are stuffed with intricately crafted scale fashions, conventional musical devices, painted picket furnishings and farming implements. The floral motifs adorning the cottage from Malopolska are notably spectacular, and in the event you haven’t but encountered pisanki (painted Easter eggs) and szpoki (brightly painted Nativity shows), you’re in for a good introduction. Lovers of the weird shouldn’t miss the straw effigies burned at Shrovetide or the dying’s head and stork masks historically worn by Christmas carolers. The museum is closed on Mondays.

For contemporary artwork, MOCAK is a must-see

Occupying a clutch of renovated buildings that have been previously a part of Schindler’s manufacturing facility, in addition to a model new avant-garde exhibition house, Kraków’s Museum of Up to date Artwork incorporates a everlasting assortment of post-1980 Polish greats and incessantly altering, provocative high-profile exhibitions. Don’t miss Krystian Lupa’s interactive set up Dwell Manufacturing unit 2, which pulls on Warhol’s cult NYC studio for inspiration, and look out for Malgorzata Markiewicz’s images with regards to motherhood, in addition to sculpture by Miroslaw Balka. The museum is cloed on Mondays. 

The child in all of us will love the Stanislaw Lem Backyard of Experiments

This open-air attraction is known as after longtime Kraków resident and science fiction author, Stanislaw Lem, and gives a splendidly hands-on approach of educating youngsters in regards to the legal guidelines of physics. It is a large instructional playground that offers guests the chance to swing on the top of a large pendulum, discover optical illusions, take a look at the resonance of various supplies by banging on a particular xylophone and experience a bicycle on a tightrope, amongst dozens of different enjoyable reveals. There’s additionally an onsite planetarium, greenhouse and herb backyard. A few of the sights for older youngsters – human gyroscope, bungee trampoline, zorbing – price further. The museum is open from mid-April to late October.

The outside of the Museum of Obwarzanek in Krakow, Poland
Be taught all the things you ever wished to learn about bagels on the Obwarzanek Museum ©DDiana / Shutterstock

Every thing bagels? Go to the Obwarzanek Museum

Distributors promoting obwarzanek – a cornerstone of Kraków delicacies – may be discovered on each nook in Previous City. These chewy, parboiled dough rings (plain, or topped with poppy seeds or sesame seeds) have been “beloved by residents, vacationers and pigeons” for greater than 600 years, in keeping with the museum. Discover out what makes them so particular, and bake and pattern your individual. English-language excursions happen at 2pm on Wednesdays and midday on Saturdays.