Museums and Galleries Walk (Self Guided), Warsaw

There's lots of high quality art galleries to be found in Warsaw, and they are mostly concentrated in the center of the city. Visitors will see artwork from around the world, by artists both known and unknown, as well as local ones. Warsaw also houses many outstanding museums, which offer interesting and exciting exhibitions. Check out these wonderful museums and galleries in Warsaw in the next walking tour!
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Museums and Galleries Walk Map

Guide Name: Museums and Galleries Walk
Guide Location: Poland » Warsaw (See other walking tours in Warsaw)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature (Muzeum Literatury Adama Mickiewicza)
  • Museum of Warsaw (Muzeum Warszawy)
  • National Museum of Archaeology
  • Museum of Independence (Muzeum Niepodległości)
  • Galeria Art
  • Zachęta National Gallery of Art
  • Ethnographic Museum (Muzeum Etnograficzne)
  • Galeria SCHODY
  • Fryderyk Chopin Museum
  • Foksal Gallery
  • Military Museum of Poland
  • National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe)
1
Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature (Muzeum Literatury Adama Mickiewicza)

1) Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature (Muzeum Literatury Adama Mickiewicza)

Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature in Warsaw is named after the famous Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz. This museum was founded in the year 1952 and was destroyed during the Second World War. It was later restored to its original condition.

The museum embraces six Old Town houses and was originally dedicated only to Adam Mickiewicz. It was in 1960 that the exhibits were expanded to include works of other poets and writers such as Leopold Staff, Maria Dabrowska and Julian Tiwim.

Modern literature was later added on and today this museum features a historical collection of Polish literature right from the ancient times till today. Here you can find an extensive collection of Adam Mickiewicz’s works including pages from the popular “Pan Tadeucz”, manuscripts, old prints, letters and poems.

Apart from this, you can also find many decorative arts and crafts, furniture, fine art objects, mementoes and books, sculpture, paintings, drawings and medals, all personal belongings of Mickiewicz and other Polish writers and poets.

If you are deeply interested in literature and history, this museum is the ideal place to visit on your trip to Warsaw. Do not forget to visit the photographic archive of this museum that features 19th century photographs and daguerreotypes portraying the works and lives of poets and writers.

Visual and audio materials including audio recordings of some of the famous Polish writers can be found at the audio department of the museum.

Hours: Mon, Tue and Fri: 10.00 - 16.00; Wed, Thu: 11.00 - 18.00; Sun: 11.00 -17.00
2
Museum of Warsaw (Muzeum Warszawy)

2) Museum of Warsaw (Muzeum Warszawy) (must see)

Located in the Old Town Market, this facility was established in 1936 as the Museum of Old Warsaw. It was then housed in three buildings purchased by the municipality in the market square. The museum, along with the collection, was destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising. After WWII, the museum was reopened under its current name and buildings for it were rebuilt in the years 1948-1954 in the context of the unprecedented reconstruction of historic Warsaw.

The museum's various collections in the fields of archeology, painting, graphics, iconography, sculpture, decorative arts, numismatics and architectural drawings, now exceed 250,000 objects. In addition to its exhibitions, the museum has a strong record of publishing, as well as numerous publications on their own collections and the history of Warsaw. They organize lessons and competitions for schools and conferences and participate in significant events such as: a Night at the Museum, the Science Picnic of Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre, the Festival of Science, and the University of the Third Age. It is also a co-producer of documentary films devoted to the capital.

Visit this museum to soak in the very essence of the wonderful city of Warsaw.

Tip:
Once you get inside, it feels like a maze with lots of rooms and stairs. Don't forget to get a map as well as the well-organized audio tour (English available) so that you won't miss a single room!

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am–7pm
Admission is free on Thursdays
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
National Museum of Archaeology

3) National Museum of Archaeology (must see)

Editor's Note: In connection with the implementation of the program "Modernization of the Northern and Eastern part of Warsaw Arsenal", all exhibitions and educational activities of the museum are suspended from October 1, 2018, until further notice.

The State Archaeological Museum is situated in a historic building of the former Warsaw Arsenal, which dates back to the 17th century. The museum features various archaeological digs and excavations, including clay vessels, monuments, bronze items, treasure coins and ornaments from the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. It has recently (as at 2014) been heavily modernized and includes detailed displays in both Polish and English.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am–4pm; Sun: 10am–4pm
Last admission to the museum: 3pm
4
Museum of Independence (Muzeum Niepodległości)

4) Museum of Independence (Muzeum Niepodległości)

Every city has its own culture and history. Museums are ideal resources from where you can get a comprehensive picture of the very essence of the country. In Poland, one of the most prominent museums frequented by tourists is the Independence Museum. This museum is located within the citadel in Pavilion X.

It was constructed between 1832 and 1834 by Tsar Nicholas after the November Uprising suppression. You will find powerful garrison surrounding the Citadel.

It showcases historical aspects of Poland that includes its 18th-century division between Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Under the Nazis and the Russian authorities, the tenth pavilion was used as a prison. At this museum, you will find a prisoner’s carriage called Kibitka used by the Russians to lock in political prisoners and send them to Siberia.

At this unique, informative museum, you can also find exhibits that document Polish battle history and the country’s hunger and aspirations for independence. You can find information on various battles including the Kosciuszko Uprising.

Independence Museum has a collection of military items, works of art, postcards, photographs, coins, medals and other national symbols. You can also find commemorative archival materials. This museum is replete with materials that tell you all about the 1970s and 1980s resistance movement. In this aspect, you can call this a Polish martyrdom museum.

Tip:
Come on Thursday – free admission will allow you to better understand how interesting this is for you.

Opening Hours:
Wed-Sun: 12-5pm
5
Galeria Art

5) Galeria Art

Galeria Art is located on Krakowskie Przedmiescie, near the Old Town. This gallery focuses on artworks by famous and unknown Polish artists. Besides its beautiful paintings and interesting graphics, you will find displays of charming small sculptures, as well.
6
Zachęta National Gallery of Art

6) Zachęta National Gallery of Art

There are many exhibition sites in Warsaw and one of the oldest among them is the Zacheta National Gallery of Art. This gallery has a rich tradition that dates back to the mid nineteenth century. Located next to the Saski Park right in the center of the city and close to the Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of Warsaw, this gallery was founded way back in 1860.

The gallery was founded for the express purpose of promoting art for the benefit of the society as well as artists. Works of art were collected to create a national collection. Young artists were benefited by this and interest was stimulated in the art community. Prints of artworks were awarded to the public as prizes.

When the society decided to construct a building for the gallery with the help of contributions from the public, the design contract was handed over to Stefan Szyller. He constructed an urban palace in eclectic style.

Today, Zacheta actively fosters a tradition that showcases the history of success of art lovers and artists. This is evident with the extraordinarily beautiful building that continues to hold several exhibitions and has a vast collection of artworks apart from an exhaustive library.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 12:00 – 8:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Ethnographic Museum (Muzeum Etnograficzne)

7) Ethnographic Museum (Muzeum Etnograficzne)

If you wish to learn more about Polish and international folk culture, Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw is the place to visit. This is the oldest museum of its kind in Poland and was founded in the year 1888. Here you will find an impressive range of international and Polish objects. There are over 80,000 objects here that showcase the essential cultures of Poland, Oceania, Africa and America.

Browse through the interesting collection and you will learn everything you need to know about Polish people, their rituals and material culture. Thematic exhibitions are organized on a temporary basis by the Museum that plays a major role in cultural research, publishing and promotional activities.

Sadly, many tourists overlook a visit to this wonderful museum in Warsaw. It is here that you will find everything important about the cultural heritage of Poland. As you enter the museum, you will be pleasantly surprised by the calm and serene atmosphere. You will also find an attractive collection of handicrafts, costumes, Polish inventions, furniture, photographs and art. All collections are displayed in a superb manner.

You will find exhibitions of Australasian and African ethnographic art here. This active museum organizes a variety of hands-on events and temporary exhibitions.
8
Galeria SCHODY

8) Galeria SCHODY

This art gallery was founded in 1998 and is dedicated to contemporary art. Located on the charming Nowy Swiat street, it focuses on presentation and promotion of the Polish art scene. Here you can also find the works of talented and creative foreign contemporary artists.

Hours: Monday - Friday 13:00 - 18:00
9
Fryderyk Chopin Museum

9) Fryderyk Chopin Museum (must see)

Chopin was a born and raised Warsawian who is perhaps the most well-known Pole internationally. His work has been performed thousands and thousands of times in different music halls and parlors around the world.

If you love music, your trip to Warsaw is certainly incomplete without a visit to this museum that showcases melodies in their very essence. History and works of the genius composer Chopin are displayed here in the form of documents and original manuscripts written by him, as well as sculptures, photographs and letters, piano competitions, or recitals of his works.

Refurbished for the 200th anniversary (2010) of Frédéric Chopin's birth, this multimedia museum is one of the most modern museums in Poland. Its collections are displayed on five levels of exhibition space in 15 rooms. As you enter the museum you will be struck by the majestic Pompeian style frescoes, stucco, and the rich ceilings. Some museums can be too bright, but this one sets a nice, tranquil mood.

Why You Should Visit:
Even if you're not interested in Chopin's life, this is definitely worth checking out for all the interactive exhibits and, of course, the listening room in the basement. The building itself is gorgeous, making a lovely setting, but not one that is too distracting.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 11am-8pm
Apr 20, Dec 31: 11am-3pm
Free admission: Wednesdays
10
Foksal Gallery

10) Foksal Gallery

On your trip to Warsaw, do not miss out a visit to Foksal Gallery, a popular non-commercial gallery. This gallery was established in the year 1966. Though it is small in size, it is highly reputed internationally and is visited by many tourists from across the world. In keeping with its strong tradition, this gallery showcases work by avant-garde contemporary artists.

A group of Polish artists and critics founded this gallery, as a unique platform where art could just exist without any reference to history or context. It was essentially created to serve as a place without any outside influence or rules. Some of the prominent artist founders of Foksal Gallery include Edward Krasinski, Roman Owidzkiego, Tadeusz Kantor, Henryk Stazewski and Zbigniew Gostomski.

Foksal Gallery is named after the street where it is located. Foksal is a Polish interpretation of “Vauxhall” and was named in the nineteenth century by a merchant when a park area was created here.

This gallery holds the distinction of being one of the most influential galleries in Poland. It showcases artworks of many distinguished internationally acclaimed artists including Joseph Beuys, Henryk Stazewski, Christian Boltanski, Luc Tuymans, Anselm Kiefer, Royden Rabinowitch, Matthew Barney, Douglas Gordon, Leon Tarasewicz, Koji Kamoji, Ian Hamilton, Tadeusz Kantor, Bill Viola, Victor Burgin and Marek Chlanda. If you love art, the Foksal Gallery is a place you must visit on your trip to Warsaw.

Hours: Monday-Friday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Military Museum of Poland

11) Military Museum of Poland

Museum of the Polish Army (Muzeum Wojska Polskiego) is a museum in Warsaw documenting the military aspects of the history of Poland. Created in 1920, it occupies a wing of the building of the Polish National Museum as well as several branches in Poland. It's Warsaw's second largest museum and the largest collection of military objects in Poland. The collection illustrates a thousand years of Polish military history - from the 10th century to the Second World War. The forecourt of the museum houses several dozen armoured vehicles, artillery pieces and aircraft, an eclectic mix of Soviet, western and Polish equipment, mostly from the World War II era. The indoor galleries concentrate on the military history of Poland since the 10th century, and are particularly strong on Poland's era of military greatness in the 17th century, through the decline into anarchy in the 18th century. By far the largest part of exhibition space is devoted to the 20th century, especially World War II. Highlights of the Museum's collection include an extremely rare gilded helmet from the 10th century, which is said to have belonged to a Polish chieftain and the collection of hussars' armour. Additionally there is a permanent exhibition of oriental arms and armour from the museum's own extensive collection, which includes many world-class items from Ottoman Turkey, the Crimean Tatar Khanate, Mongolia and Japan.

Hours: Wednesday: 10 am- 5 pm; Thursday-Sunday: 10 am- 4 pm.
12
National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe)

12) National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe) (must see)

On your visit to Warsaw, a tourist guide would definitely take you to the National Museum – the pride of Poland and the largest museum in the country, displaying more than a million sculptures, paintings, objets d’art, numismatics and drawings collected over a period of over 140 years.

The permanent galleries feature a large collection of artworks, with paintings hung not chronologically, but thematically: genre painting, still lifes, landscapes, cityscapes, biblical, mythological, nudes. Works by Italian, Flemish, Dutch, German and Polish artists are hung together, making it easy to observe and compare similarities and differences. The Gallery of Ancient Art, Faras Gallery, Gallery of Medieval Art, Gallery of Old Masters, Gallery of 19th-century Art and the Gallery of 20th and 21st-century, includes the works of Polish painters and sculptors and are displayed in the context of art in other countries and in different epochs. The galleries reflect the richness and diversity of traditions and historical experiences of individual nations, which, however, built their cultural identity on the same foundation of Greco-Roman antiquity and the Christian religion.

Why You Should Visit:
To see the nation's most famous artwork, sculptures, and medieval religious artifacts that are fascinatingly old and not very often seen outside of Poland.
The museum also has some very good temporary exhibitions. There's a restaurant downstairs and a good café in the adjacent courtyard to the museum entrance.

Tip:
Particularly recommendable galleries are: the Faras Gallery which contains frescoes from a Nubian monastery which Polish archaeologists helped salvage during the building of the Aswan dam (you will not see any comparable art in Europe); the Medieval Art gallery which has some fantastic altar-pieces combining painting and sculpture; the gallery of European Art which has only been recently opened and combines painting and applied art (furniture, clothes, porcelain, etc) from the Renaissance and Baroque in some fascinating displays.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Thu, Sat, Sun: 10am–6pm; Fri: 10am–9pm; last entry 30mins before closing times
Free admission to permanent galleries on Tuesday (entry passes available at ticket office)
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Warsaw, Poland

Create Your Own Walk in Warsaw

Create Your Own Walk in Warsaw

Creating your own self-guided walk in Warsaw is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Warsaw without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Warsaw, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Jewish Warsaw Tour

Jewish Warsaw Tour

It's hard to imagine, except what we know from history, that on these beautiful Warsaw streets, thousands of Jews were herded and forced into cattle cars, on their way to concentration camps in the 1940s. Here, in the location of one of Europe's biggest concentration camps, about 400,000 innocent Jews suffered and died. Take the following tour to visit some of the places relevant to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Warsaw Religious Buildings Tour

Warsaw Religious Buildings Tour

Warsaw is home to many magnificent religious buildings, including 17th century churches, outstanding cathedrals, and marvelous places of worship. Most of them were destroyed during World War II and restored later. Take the following self-guided tour to see Warsaw’s prominent sacred places!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Warsaw Landmarks Walking Tour

Warsaw Landmarks Walking Tour

Warsaw is home to various unique landmarks, including a 19th-century fortress, old Fort Legionów, striking Pałac Sapiehów, remarkable Barbican, fourteenth-century City Walls, Old Town Square, outstanding Royal Castle, and the famous King Sigismund's Column. Check out all of Warsaw’s prominent landmarks in the next walking tour!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
South Warsaw Walking Tour

South Warsaw Walking Tour

Warsaw’s Southern part houses a number of magnificent attractions, including splendid Royal Baths Park, which contains the Palace on the Water, Roman Theater, White House, Myślewicki Palace, old and new orangery, fabulous Belweder, beautiful Ujazdów Castle, and the prominent Chopin monument. See the most popular attractions in Warsaw’s southern part in the next walking tour!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Warsaw Famous Monuments

Warsaw Famous Monuments

Warsaw is home to various monuments, dedicated to celebrated and great people, like Adam Mickiewicz, Prince Józef Antoni Poniatowski, Józef Piłsudski, and Nicolaus Copernicus. These great personalities did a lot for Poland and now the city monuments and statues stand to honor their contributions to the country’s development. Check out Warsaw’s famous monuments in the next self-guided tour!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


15 Distinctively Polish Things to Buy in Warsaw

15 Distinctively Polish Things to Buy in Warsaw

A country with a great deal of taste and turbulent history, Poland has a lot to offer those with the eyes to see and mouth to savor. And Warsaw is, perhaps, the best place to find all things Polish brought together. Here's the list of the most distinctive Polish goods, caringly drawn by a...