Warsaw National Museum, locally called ‘Muzeum Narodowe’, is the largest one in Warsaw and one of the largest in Poland. It was constructed more than 150 years ago, in 1862. Thankfully, it was renovated just a couple of years ago, and you will never tell this building has seen two wars.
However, you can suspect something strange when arriving to this museum. You will see it from afar, and never miss it because it is really big. Its size always causes debates among tourists and locals: while some people consider it tasteless and not suitable for the capital, others really admire its pomposity and splendor.
If you, for some reason, didn’t notice the museum from afar, look for a palm tree – it will help you to find the right way. Actually, the big 15 meter tall palm really stands in the middle of the street near the museum. Look at it carefully and try to guess whether it is natural or artificial.
The museum itself is really big, and sometimes finding the right entrance may be a challenge. Don’t head to the big metal gates with the driveway – it is for the cars of the staff. Walk a bit further, until you see a small square with a fountain and a colonnade near the entrance. When you get inside, you need to leave your bags and clothes. Yet, you will get a plastic bag where you can put your valuables.
The museum houses lots of galleries with a great number of collections. Frankly, you can accidentally find out that you have spent the whole day there. Numerous collections of ancient art, exhibitions of Medieval art, a unique selection of the Christian art… If you adore the art of previous epochs, you will be impressed by the collection of 15th century Flemish and Dutch paintings in the Gallery of Old European paintings. Alternatively, if you are the modern art lover, you will be happy to see the 20th and 21st centuries works. They give interesting insight into the mentality and culture of the modern Polish people.
The interiors are done very well, with the gray background walls and polished straw-colored parquet floors. Numerous art experts also appreciate the lighting schemes in the galleries. What is more, for those who are not familiar with the Polish language, all exhibits have English description.
The entrance fee is 15 PLN, and every Sunday the entrance to all the permanent exhibitions is free.