Recently reopened after almost a decade of renovation, Kraków’s Czartoryski Museum is home to a sublime portrait by Leonardo da Vinci. The museum also houses works by the likes of Rembrant and Rafael, making it one of the most valuable collections in Europe.
The Czartoryski Museum – image © Jason Weaver
Tucked just inside the city walls near the Floriańska Gate, the Czartoryski Princes Museum collectively contains what is probably Poland’s most valuable art. Based on a private collection, there’s a sometimes random mix of bits and bobs from across the world and oddities from Polish history, as well as a rather large library.
There’s plenty of interest on show but one item puts the Czartoryski in the Top 5 of things to do in Kraków – Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Lady With An Ermine. If you time it right, this indisputably gorgeous work can often be seen without the crowds you’d find in the Louvre. On my first visit to Kraków, I had the painting completely to myself. you can book in advance with Get Your Guide.
The museum was closed for almost a decade for extensive renovations and reopened in December 2019.
General Information For Entry To The Czartoryski Princes Museum
Entry times are as follows:
- Mon: Closed
- Tue-Sun: 10am-7pm
- Wed-Sun: 10am-6pm
Last entry is 40 minutes before closing.
If you plan to visit the Czartoryski Princes Museum on a public holiday, check ahead. Many attractions will be closed on January 1, December 25, and Easter Sunday.
Entry tickets cost 35zł (25zł for concessions). You can also buy a 4-person family ticket for 70zł. Ticket for ages 7-26 years is only 1zł.
Entry is free on Tuesdays.
Check the official site for the latest information.
The entrance to the Czartoryski Princes Museum is in ul. Pijarska. Enter the Old Town to the north via the Floriańska Gate and take the first right. Follow the town wall for a few minutes. You can spot the museum by the distinctive arch across the street – see image above.
What To See In The Czartoryski Princes Museum
There’s a fair bit to see in addition to the famous da Vinci portrait. Most of the collection was assembled in the mid-18th century by Princess Izabella Czartoryski and was brought to Kraków in 1876. The collection itself, one of the most valuable in Europe, has had a lively history. Much of it was looted by the Nazis, despite attempts to hide it, and nearly 900 pieces are yet to be recovered.
There are always one or two temporary exhibitions on display and the permanent collection covers 21 halls, with paintings from the Middle Ages through to the 17th century. Highlights include Rembrandt’s Landscape with the Good Samaritan, and two monumental genre canvas paintings by Jan Piotr Norblin. There are rooms dedicated to religious work and art from the Far East, as well as sculpture, crafts, and military memorabilia, and curiosities in the shape of Chopin’s death mask and an urn containing the remains of Copernicus.
There is a supplementary exhibition space in the 15th-century Arsenal building called the Ancient Art Gallery, including artefacts from Egypt, Greece and Rome. This can be visited separately or an extension ticket can be bought as part of the general entry to the Czartoryski.
Where Is This Place Located?Find this location on the Visit Kraków Google map:
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- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Each category is on a different layer, which can be switched on and off. So you can just see the Hotel or Restaurant pins, for example
- If you are using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location
Map pins are color coded:
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Things To Do In Krakow
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