The city of Warsaw is a rapidly growing and ever-changing town in Europe. Its Old Town is a popular spot to visit since it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the city's most valued areas. Right behind the historic architecture of the Old Town, you will find more modern buildings, like offices and skyscrapers. Over half of the city's grounds are made of parks and nature areas so you will have lots of places to relax or be active if you like to spend time outdoors.
Warsaw is a truly unique city with an interesting past and lots of regular festivals and cultural events. You can learn all about the history of the city and so much more by visiting all of the museums scattered throughout the town. Keep your hands free while you are going in and out of the exhibits by stowing your things at a luggage storage locker in Warsaw.
The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
The stunning establishment that hosts the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews was designed by a Finnish architect by the name of Rainer Mahlamäki. You will recognize the building since it is constructed strategically of concrete, glass and copper, and is home to 43,000 square feet of artifacts and exhibits.
You can find this museum within the Muranów District, precisely on the spot where the Warsaw Ghetto was formerly located. Go to this museum to learn about and appreciate Poland's Jewish community. Its displays include reconstructed synagogues, a Holocaust gallery as well as 3D models of neighborhoods and areas that you can interact with.
The Royal Castle in Warsaw
Near the Warsaw Train Station, this museum used to be a palace that was created from rubble and today is home to some pretty interesting exhibits. The Royal Palace dates back to the 14th century but was reconstructed between 1971 and 1984, and previously served as the residencies for Polish Kings, the president, and also the seat of parliament.
The costs for rebuilding the palace were high but goals were reached through generous donations, which is how much of the furniture found inside was acquired too. Today the building gives back to the population by housing an impressive art gallery and collection and also giving guided tours of the grounds and the royal apartments.
Warsaw Uprising Museum
This is another one of the great Warsaw Museums for you to visit. It is dedicated to the battle for independence that was fought in Poland back in 1944 and also serves as a memorial and replica bomber. The building was formerly a tram power station and it has several levels that add up to 2,00 square meters of space.
In this museum, you will experience the chronological story of the uprising that led to the battle and learn about what life would have been like under Nazi rule. The whole establishment is full of photographs, videos, interactive exhibits and displays.
The National Museum in Warsaw
When you enter the modern building that is home to the National Museum in Warsaw you will find a large collection of artwork. The pieces displayed here range from ancient paintings to contemporary sculptures, drawings or photographs from Poland and other places around the world.
There are over 830,000 pieces of art here, some of which were made by very influential and important Polish artists. The museum itself is one of Warsaw's oldest art museums and is where you can find some paintings by Jacek Malczewski, Henryk Siemiradzki and Maksymilian Gierymski.
The Copernicus Science Center
The Copernicus Science Center is a large building housing some pretty interesting and educational exhibits for everyone to enjoy. The center was funded by the European Union and stands today as one of the city's best tourist attractions.
This science center is most popular among teenagers, although anyone can have a great time here. They have lots of multimedia exhibits and hands-on activities in the Re: Generation Zone where you can learn about sociology, psychology, biotechnology or economics in the 80 different displays.
The National Gallery of Art
You can find lots of great displays at the National Gallery of Art. There is everything from major works created by artists around the world to smaller displays by new Polish creators, and it is the perfect activity for contemporary art lovers.
This museum has some of the finest pieces in its collection and they are even in charge of choosing the displays at the Venice Biennale for art and architecture in the Polish Pavilion. Some of the top exhibits include artwork by Marlene Dumas, Jana Lebenstein, Daniel Libeskind and Pawel Althamer, to name a few.
The Museum of King Jan III's Palace
This is another top museum in Poland's capital and it is housed in the famous 17th century Wilanów Palace. There is lots to explore here including a landscaped park and baroque garden found on-site. Inside the building, you will find a stunning fine arts gallery.
This building survived the destruction of the city during World War II but had to be restored. The palace grounds take up a 100-acre area of green space and are a great place to relax after exploring the museum. Rest here, then set out in search of Warsaw street food.
The Katyń Museum
The exhibitions in this museum, which was relocated in 2015 to the Warsaw Citadel, document what happened during the Katyń Massacre back in 1940. This event in Polish history resulted in the execution of 22,000 Polish officers in a forest in Russia after they were captured by the Soviets.
After the tragic event, the area in Smoleńsk, Russia was searched and some artifacts were recovered. These findings, which are a combination of documents, personal items and other objects, can be seen in the Warsaw Citadel.
The Local History Museum
This building is locally known as the Muzeum Warszawskiej Pragi and is filled with a collection of multimedia displays. This museum of Warsaw tells the history of the right bank of the city through videos, photos and donations from its citizens.
Stories are told through the words of locals from the Praga District describing different aspects of their lives, occupation and daily tasks. Every visitor of the city should see this museum to learn about the Praga neighborhood in Warsaw.
The Palace of Culture and Science
The building that the Palace of Culture and Science is housed in was originally a gift from the Soviets during the communist era, justifying the original dislike of it by the general population. Now it is used to host activities and shows in its theater and cinema as well as fun exhibits in the museum.
Today visitors can explore and learn about different fields like science, technology, art and culture. The architecture of the building is also impressive; it is one of the tallest in the city and is decorated with stunning detail and sculptures.
The Geological Museum
The Geological Museum of Warsaw, Poland is sure to amaze all of its viewers with its huge collection of artifacts and attractions. Various fossils, stones and minerals from all over the world and through the ages can be observed here.
Some of the top exhibits include a huge mammoth skeleton, replicas of dinosaurs, and more amazing things recovered from eras before. It is the perfect spot for families with kids to learn about the planet and how it and its inhabitants have evolved.
The Royal Łazienki Museum
Another great spot for travelers who love art is the Royal Łazienki Museum. This place has some stunning drawings, sculptures, paintings and other forms of artwork chosen from a selection of Stanisław August's work.
This museum is housed in the beautiful Lakeside Palace and is found on a huge 180 acres of land. Aside from visiting the art gallery, this location is a nice spot to take a walk and remind yourself to relax.
The Neon Museum
The Neon Museum houses a truly unique collection of vintage artifacts like neon signs dating back to the time of the Cold War. This attraction serves as a nice break from the buildings dedicated to science or art and is the best way to spend a free afternoon.
You can find the collection in the Soho Factory which has more than 60 vintage signs, models and glowing graphical designs that any antique lover will enjoy.
The National Museum of Ethnography
This local attraction is also known by the name of Państwow Muzeum Etnograficzne w Warszawie. It is the biggest museum of its kind in Europe and the oldest in all of Poland as it was created back in 1888. Here you can discover the traditions of Poland, from its colors to its patterns and the way the people and culture work.
You will be kept interested by the creative hands-on exhibits mixed in with the simple viewing displays. If you want to, you can even make your own arts and crafts project to take home.
The Museum of Vodka
This Polish museum is one of a kind and the perfect activity for anybody who has an interest in alcoholic drinks like vodka. Take a tour around the establishment to learn about the history of Poland's traditions with alcohol.
You will also learn about the history of distillation and even get to taste some vodka at the end of your tour. The museum is housed in a retired Koneser vodka factory.
What are the Best Free Museums in Warsaw?
The Geological Museum - Warsaw's Geological Museum is a great place for anyone to visit and getting in won't cost you anything!
The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews - This museum also offers free entry to everyone during their open hours on Thursday of every week.
If you want to explore even more of the best Warsaw museums you should check each attraction's website. This city is great because there are museums that are free to enter on different days of the week. You can learn something new any day and won't have to buy a ticket!
What are the Best Museums in Downtown Warsaw?
The Palace of Culture and Science - The Palace of Culture and Science is found right in the center of Warsaw and should be easy to get to from anywhere in the city.
The National Museum of Ethnography - This is found just a little further away is the National Museum of Ethnography but it is still easily accessible and is right next to the National Gallery of Art, so you can visit both places at once.
Are There any Cheap Museums in Warsaw?
Inexpensive or free things to do in Warsaw are a great thing! The Warsaw Uprising Museum - The Warsaw Uprising Museum is fun and affordable with a price of 20 Polish zloty, or about $4.88, for a regular ticket. This museum offers free entry on Sundays if you want a no-charge visit.
The National Museum in Warsaw - The National Museum in Warsaw has a lot of unique exhibits that you can pay for individually and they are all fairly priced. Access to the permanent galleries will cost you 10 Polish zloty or $2.44, although you can visit them for free on Tuesdays. If you want access to the whole museum as well as other partner museums, the most expensive pass costs around 50 Polish zloty or $12.21 for individual tickets and there are family packs available.
Museums You Need to Visit on Your Trip to Warsaw
You won't have to search for long to find something to do in this city as there are so many festivals, concerts and activities for you to attend. Believe it or not, these are only a few of the museums that you can visit in Warsaw, with each one offering a different exhibition for you to check out.
Since some of them have temporary exhibitions you can visit them every time that you are in the city to see what is new. There are more than just art galleries and displays here, but many of the buildings host workshops and hands-on activities as well.