Museums of Krakow
With over 20 museums, Krakow offers a breadth of culture through its numerous art collections and public galleries. Visit any or all of these museums to step back in time and learn how the nation was shaped over the years.
Wawel Castle National Collections
Wawel Castle is a national art museum and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the first stops for visitors and for a good reason. It contains many exhibitions within its walls featuring furniture, paintings by Polish artists, and a display of 16th-century Flemish tapestries. The Treasury and Armory Houses feature royal memorabilia, jewels, and arms. You can also visit the Royal Apartments.
The National Museum is the city's largest and has multiple branches, including the Main Building and Barbican. The Main Building is home to three permanent galleries: Gallery of Arms and Uniforms, Gallery of Decorative Arts, and Gallery of 20th Century Polish Art. The museum ranks among the richest in the country. It has a collection of over 750,000 items including sculptures, armory, coins, paintings, and other art works, including permanent displays from the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Jan Mostaert. It also hosts many temporary exhibitions.
Barbican City Gate
This is not your typical museum, but definitely worth a mention. This outdoor museum is open from April to November. It is one of the remaining pieces of the city's defense walls and was once the main city gate surrounded by a moat and accessible by drawbridge. The Barbican was built to protect the entrance to the city in the 15th century. Known as a masterpiece of Medieval engineering, it is one of a kind in Europe. Barbican is surrounded by a beautiful green park, also worth strolling through.
This is only a glimpse into the city's cultural offerings. There are many other museums and institutions worth visiting such as St. Mary's Basilica, the Museum of Pharmacy, Museum of Amber, and more.