Poland’s largest museum has a dizzying 830,000 items in its collection to choose from. A showcase of the country’s artistic heritage, the National Museum also features a unique collection of Medieval Nubian painting and works from many other countries.
The National Museum In Warsaw
Finiding its permanent home in this huge 1930s building, the National Museum In Warsaw has a staggering collection of over 800,000 works, across every different medium. Much of this covers Polish artists and craftspeople, probably unknown to most foreign visitors. Additionally, the museum stretches across time and continents, from some gorgeously modern Medieval Nubian to Italian and Dutch masters.
Organised tours are sometimes available via GetYourGuide and the museum itself offers them – see below. These are the best way to get much more from your visit.
What To See In The National Museum
The National Museum In Warsaw
The vast collection is split over three floors, broken down into different collections: Ancient Art, Medieval Art, Old Masters, 19th-Century Art, and Polish Design. Additionally, there are temporary exhibitions and the Faras Gallery of Medieval Nubian paintings from the Nile River Valley – the only such gallery in Europe.
Highlights include a Madonna and child by Botticelli, portraits by Rembrandt and Tintoretto, and religious paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder and van Dyck. The design collection is a real treat, as well.
In truth, this branch of the National Museum could probably do with a bit of an overhaul. Things are a bit disorganised, so finding your way around can be a bit confusing, and the floors are creaky. All the same, it is an excellent place to get a crash course in pre-contemporary Polish art and there is plenty to be taken away.
Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.
How To Visit The National Museum In Warsaw
Charles de Gaulle roundabout and the National Museum
Tickets are valid for any time on the day they were purchased for, except for temporary exhibitions, which are assigned a timeslot.
Last entry is 30 minutes before closing.
National Museum In Warsaw address: ul. Aleje Jerozolimskie 3, Warsaw 00-495 Poland
The National Museum opening hours are as follows:
- Tue-Thu / Sat / Sun 10am-6pm
- Fri 10am-8pm
The museum is closed on Mondays. Museum opening hours is also different during most public holidays – see the official National Museum website for the most up-to-date information.
Entry tickets cost 25zł or 10zł for concessions and per person for groups of 10 or more people. Anyone aged 7-19 and students under 26 get entry for 1zł. Children under 7 years get free admission. There are also special temporary exhibitions with an additional charge.
You can buy tickets in advance from the official MNW online ticket office. Unfortunately, there is no English version of the interface. Click the WYBIERZ button next to the GALERIE STAŁE category. This allows you to choose a date and buy a ticket that gives you entry at any point throughout the day. Things are even more problematic if you wish to visit one of the temporary exhibitions. It is probably better to chance your luck and buy tickets on the door.
Entry is free for all permanent exhibitions on Tuesdays and all tickets get a 50% reduction between 5 and 8pm on Fridays.
Guided tours are available in Polish for 250zł (per group) and in English, German, Italian, French, Russian, and Spanish for 350zł (per group).
The museum is served by a number of buses and trams, including any of the Muzeum Narodowe stops. You can also get off at any of the Nowy Świat stops, such as Foksal. It’s also a pleasant 9-minute walk from the Nowy Świat-Uniwersytet M2 metro stop.
Southern Śródmieście District: The southern end of Śródmieście contains a number of important attractions, not least Łazienki Park, a huge complex of gardens, palaces, and museums. The area is also one of Warsaw’s best for eating and drinking, with Michelin listed restaurants, including Rozbrat 20 and kontakt wino & bistro. You’ll also find the full range of accommodation here, from the Sheraton Grand to the more budget-friendly Hotel MDM.
Tips For Visiting The National Museum In Warsaw
National Museum In Warsaw main entrance
- There are restrictions on the number of visitors to the museum but this should only be a problem with the most popular temporary exhibitions. These have a timed entry.
- You can easily spend 3 hours in the museum and it’s probably best to put aside half a day, especially if you see one of the temporary exhibitions too.
- Online audioguides are available, which you can use with your smartphone. Make sure you bring your headphones, so you don’t disturb other visitors!
- Comfort guide. There are quiet hours between 4 and 6pm on the second and third Wednesday of the month.
- There are lockers for coats and bags, which you are required to use. These take 2zł coins, so make sure you bring some change.
- Photography and filming are permitted without the use of flash or other lighting , or any kind of tripod.
- The museum is popular with children and they get in for virtually nothing.
- Strangely, there is no serious accessibility programme at the museum or any information on their website. Wheelchairs should be able to navigate through the galleries, but movement between floors is limited and some areas may be inaccessible. This really needs to be addressed!
- The museum café in the basement is actually a Michelin-listed restaurant called Muzealna. The food here is very good and reasonably priced. You can eat outside on the museum grounds on nice days and there is plenty of choice in nearby Nowy Świat.
- There’s a good gift shop selling books, postcards, and all sorts of imaginative knick knacks.
- Card payments are encouraged.
Where Is This Place Located?Find this location on the Warsaw Visit Google map:
- Open the Warsaw Visit map
- Click on a marker and it will give you the name of the landmark, with a brief description and links for more information and directions. You can pan, scroll, and zoom around the map, or use the + or – buttons in the bottom left of the map to zoom in and out
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side, sorted by category. Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Each category is on a different layer, which can be switched on and off. So you can just see the Hotel or Restaurant pins, for example
- If you are using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location
Map pins are color coded:
- YELLOW: Warsaw Sightseeing
- BLUE: Warsaw Hotels
- RED: Warsaw Places To Eat – Michelin restaurants are DARK RED
- ORANGE: Warsaw Nightlife
- PURPLE: Shopping In Warsaw
- GREEN: Warsaw Transportation