Once the capital of Poland, Krakow may be best known for its castle and charming old town. But those who want a deeper introduction to Polish history can head to the city’s plethora of interesting, informative museums. Here are a few top picks.
Interactive Museum of Obwarzanek (Zywe Muzeum Obwarzanka)
Ignacego Paderewskiego 4, Krakow, 31-157
An important part of Krakow’s culinary heritage, obwarzanek krakowski have been made and eaten in the city for more than 600 years. This interactive museum pairs visitors with a chef who shares the treat’s history, explains how it differs from a pretzel or bagel, and guides visitors through the creation of their first obwarzanek. Most travelers visit Zywe Muzeum Obwarzanka independently, though it does feature on the itinerary of some private guided tours of Krakow.
Things to Know Before You Go
Workshops at the Zywe Muzeum Obwarzanka are available in English and Polish at different times.
The workshop is best suited to kids aged 4 and up.
These popular workshops fill up fast, so book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Expect to spend around one hour at the Zywe Muzeum Obwarzanka.
This activity is not suitable for people with wheat or sesame allergies.
The museum is not wheelchair-accessible.
When shopping for obwarzanek from street-side stalls or shops, keep in mind that they’re best within three hours of coming out of the oven.
How to Get There
Located on Kleparski Square, just north of the Main Square in Krakow’s Old Town, Zywe Muzeum Obwarzanka is very close to major tourist attractions, many hotels, and the Krakow Glowny railway station. Numerous buses and trams stop within easy walking distance, and the stop nearest the museum is Stary Kleparz.
When to Get There
Zywe Muzeum Obwarzanka is open every day, with extended hours on weekends. English-language workshops are held just twice a week, so book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine
Another attraction that has been important in Krakow’s culinary development is the Wieliczka Salt Mine, about 8.5 miles (14 kilometers) southeast of Krakow. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has been a source of salt since Neolithic times. Now there are elaborate and decorative underground chambers that visitors can tour while staying in the Krakow area.
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- Great Barbican
- St. Florian's Gate (Brama Floriańska)
- Jama Michalika
- Jan Matejko House (Dom Jana Matejki)
- Juliusz Slowacki Theatre in Krakow (Teatr im J. Slowackiego w Krakowie)
- Chopin Concert Hall (Chopin Gallery)
- Historical Museum of the City of Krakow
- Krzysztofory Palace
- Hipolit House (Kamienica Hipolitów)
- St. Mary's Basilica (Kościól Mariacki)
- Rynek Underground (Podziemia Rynku)
- Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)
- Adam Mickiewicz Monument (Pomnik Adama Mickiewicza)
- Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art (Galeria Sztuki Polskiej XIX Wieku w Sukiennicach)
- Maly Rynek (Small Market Square)