Free access to museums in Warsaw
Where, and most importantly, on what days of the week you can go in Warsaw to look at some art or educate yourself and save on tickets.
The language school Together presents a series of articles on how to spend time and educate oneself in the capital of Poland. Our first article presents an overview of museums that can be visited for free on certain days. Keep in mind that in order to get access to the museums you must have a free ticket, which can be collected at the box office - for the authorities to track the number of people who use the service.
The hardest day of the week can be started with a trip to the Warsaw Railway Museum - Stacja Muzeum. It is located near the Ochota station, in the same building that used to host one of the main transport interchanges of the capital of Poland - Warszawa Główna Osobowa. The museum’s collection contains everything that has to do with the railway: wagons, old railway maps, conductors' uniform, watches and lamps used in the compartments, model railways and much more. For those who want to feel like a real engineer, Stacja Muzeum has a full-fledged locomotive driver simulator (admission to which is, however, is for a fee even on Mondays)
Address: ul. Towarowa 3
You may not have known, but the Poles are surprisingly keen on posters and other printed symbols of a bygone era. The Poster Museum in Wilanów evidently proofs it. The building, built about fifty years ago in style of Polish modernism, sheltered a huge collection of posters: now the museum has about 36,000 exhibits, not to mention temporary expositions. The International Poster Biennale as well as poster salons are also held here.
Address: ul. St. Kostki Potockiego 10/16
One of the main, and certainly absolutely must see, Warsaw Museum welcomes everyone for free on Tuesdays. In Muzeum Narodowe you will find a huge collection of Polish (and not only) paintings, a separate exhibition dedicated to Catholic relics and icons, an amazing section with objects of Polish design and furniture, antique outfits and household items, as well as much, much more. Please note that entrance to the temporary exhibitions is for a fee.
Address: Aleje Jerozolimskie, 3
This tiny museum is supposedly located on the inside of the Krakowskie Przedmiejście - on one of the central, but very quiet Kozia street. The museum collection, which was founded in 1978 by the satirist Eric Lipinsky, hosts about 25,000 caricatures from Poland and other countries. Of course, it conducts thematic exhibitions and international competitions - for example, for the best satirical drawing. And keep in mind: in 2015, the The Guardian (UK) recognized the Warsaw Museum of Cartoon as one of the ten most unique museums in Europe.
Address: ul. Kozia, 11
the Royal Castle
All of you know really well this postcard view of Warsaw: tiled roofs of the old city, the castle square with the Sigismund column and, of course, the Royal Castle. The palace, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is an another must see place in Warsaw, and it has only one drawback: on ordinary days, visiting the castle will cost you 30 zlotys, which is not cheap. To avoid this annoying handicap, use a simple life-hack - just go to the Royal Castle on Wednesdays, when the entrance is completely free.
Address: Plac Zamkowy, 4
Museums in the Lazienki park
Lazenki is undoubtedly the most famous park in Warsaw. Chopin monument by a small pond, neat paths and peacocks, slowly strolling along the lake - all this, of course, is great. But this is not all that Lazenki can offer to those who are interested in history. The Old Orangery, the Myslewice Palace, the White House and, of course, the pearl of the entire park ensemble - the Palace on the Water - all this can and should be visited for free, if you come to Lazenki on Thursday. Don't forget about free Chopin concerts that take place in Lazenki on Sundays, at 12:00 and at 16:00 in the warm season (normally from May to September).
Palace in Wilanow
A classic Warsaw tourist program usually includes a trip to Wilanów, the former summer residence of the Polish kings. The palace, built in 1677 for John III Sobiesky, is an example impeccable baroque. The place is surrounded by a beautifully maintained park, there is a conservatory nearby, and a small lake. Entrance to both the park and the palace is free on Thursdays, but keep in mind that tickets are limited.
Address: ul. Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16
National Gallery of Art "Zahenta"
Perhaps the most famous gallery of modern art in the whole Poland is proud of tis rich collection of Polish artists - painters, graphic designers, sculptors and creators of video installations. Also, temporary exhibitions are often held here – mostly they are utterly peculiar and unusual. By the way, thanks to “Zahenta” a full-fledged Polish pavilion appeared at the Venice Biennale. Which is great news itself and for all modern Polish art.
Address: pl. Małachowskiego, 3
Have you ever thought about what would happen if you make a museum of modern art in the former royal residence? Practice has shown that it will be something like the Uyazdovsky Castle - a place where fationable performances, experimental film screenings, non-banal exhibitions and other performances take place in elegant interiors. Sometimes it all looks interesting, sometimes it’s strange or a little crazy, but always exciting. And on Thursdays it’s also free. Therefore, even if you realise there that contemporary art is not your cup of tea, you will do so without spending a single zloty.
Address: Jazdow, 2
POLIN, Museum of the Polish Jews History
The POLIN Museum, absolutely amazing inside and amazingly perfect outside, is perhaps the most interesting museum in the whole Warsaw. Modern and interactive, it will tell you the full story of Polish Jews in a variety of decorations - from the newly emerging market squares of old Krakow to the cobbled streets of Warsaw on the very day when the Second World War began. At least that is why POLIN, which won the title of the best museum in Europe in 2016, is an obligatory item in the cultural program of everyone who comes to Warsaw. In addition, the option of being in the Jewish themed atmosphere without spending a shekel is of a great value.
Address: ul. Mordechaja Anielewicza 6
Polish Army Museum
Anyone interested in the military history, should find some time on a Saturday afternoon and visit the second largest museum in Warsaw - the Museum of the Polish Army. Weapons, Polish uniforms and a rich arsenal of military equipment from different epochs are exhibited here. The exhibition goes beyond the museum walls - on the lawn near the entrance you can find planes, helicopters and even tanks.
Address: Aleje Jerozolimskie, 3
Frederic Chopin Museum
It is incredible, but true: the museum in honour of one of the main Polish classical composer is ever as modern as possible. Audio and video installations, tactile objects, unusual concerts and the most unexpected ways to look at Frederic Chopin from a new perspective – it's all there. It is possible (and necessary!) to go around all five floors of the museum absolutely for free on Sundays.
Address: ul. Okolnik 1
Warsaw Uprising Museum
The Warsaw Uprising is one of the most important landmarks in the modern history of Poland. During 63 days, the inhabitants of Warsaw, in their fight for freedom from Nazi regime, had experienced the whole range of emotions known to man: from the hope of salvation to insane, exhausting and petrifying despair. Those who for some reason are not familiar with these events should go to the building of the former tram depot, where the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising is located. Modern and as interactive as possible, it will help you learn and feel many events that happened to ordinary people some 75 years ago, from August 1 to October 2, 1944.
Address: ul. Grzybowska 79