National Museum or popularly known as MNK, established in 1879, is the main branch of Poland's National Museum, which has several independent branches with permanent collections around the country. The Museum consists of 21 departments which are divided by art period; 11 galleries, 2 libraries, and 12 conservation workshops. It holds some 780,000 art objects, spanning from classical archeology to modern art, with special focus on Polish painting. The National Museum's branches in Krakow is spread around the Main Square. There are a few things to do at National Museum.
National Museum Tour
1. The 19th Century Polish Art
The first thing to do at National Museum is to visit the main building. It is the biggest of all the branches. The main building of the National Museum in Krakow houses three permanent galleries of a variety of arts, as well as a good deal of Polish history. The Main Building also houses the Library of the National Museum in Krakow, which preserves and makes available a specialist book collection in the field of art history, conservation and museology. The showrooms of the Main Building host temporary exhibitions presenting – in keeping with the Museum's mission – works drawn from internal holdings as well as objects on loan from other institutions or private collectors.
2. The Cloth Hall Gallery
The CLoth Hall Gallery is the first outlet of the National Museum in Krakow. It opened in the Cloth Hall in 1879. The Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art is opened from Tuesday till Saturday from 10 a.m. till 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. There is also a cafe with a breathtaking view, available seven days a week from 10 a.m. till 11 p.m.
3. The Matjeko House
Another thing to do at National Museum around Main Square is to visit the Matjeko House. Jan Matejko's swashbuckling paintings were designed to uplift hearts during the long era of occupation. He became a national treasure, and an inspiration to scores of younger artists. Matejko lived at this house for many years, and the interiors have changed little since the museum opened in 1906. The exhibits include everyday objects and memorabilia of the artist and his family.
How to Get Tickets?
The ticket offices of the National Museum in Krakow offer a museum pass which entitles its owner to visit all the branches and permanent exhibitions of the Museum. There are discounted tickets for students, teachers, elderly people, and veterans. If you want to see more than one temporary exhibition, you can also get a discounted ticket. A discount for purchase of tickets to two temporary exhibitions may be obtained only in ticket offices in the Museum branches.
How To Get Around?
You can get around National Museum by walking. The other branches in Krakow are easily reached on foot, they're located at the Main Square. The museums are disabled friendly and accessible by wheelchair.
What Should I Wear?
You can wear whatever you want to visit the National Museum. However, most people wear jeans and a jacket. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes since you'll be walking around the square to visit the museums.
Best Time to Visit
Before visiting the Museum, please visit the Museum's official website to check whether a specific exhibition or gallery is open to visitors on a particular day. The best time to visit National Museum in Krakow is during off-season when it's not too crowded. Early morning is the best time to visit.
Will I Need a Guide?
If you want to understand the history better, we highly encourage you to consider the guided tour, but if that's something you're not interested in – you can simply buy the ticket and visit on your own. You can find everything you need to know on this website to start your tour at the National Museum.
How To Get There?
You can take a bus to get to National Museum in Krakow. Buses number 109, 124, 134, 144, 152, 164, 169, 173, 179, 194, 249, 304, 424, 502, 503 will stop at Muzeum Narodowe and you can walk a little bit to the museum. You can also take tram 20 that stops at Muzeum Narodowe and walk to the museum.
You can purchase the Krakow Card when you arrive in Krakow, it gives you free unlimited public transport pass, as well as free admission to more than 40 museums and attractions, including the National Museum.