One of the largest aviation museums of the world is in fact located in Krakow, Poland. Thus, it was not that shocking that I had to visit the place when I had been in the city the last time in 2021. Here is my review of the Polish Aviation Museum – or Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie, the full name of the place in Polish.
Polish Aviation Museum – Location & Admission
The museum is located on the Southern part of the former airport Krakow-Rakowice-Czyzyny, which is located Northeast of Krakow city center. The place is a bit of hidden for non-locals, but you can in general easily reach it by public transport, tram and bus stop Muzeum Lotnictwa. This stop is served by numerous services. I visited the museum with the Panek rental car I used during my trip. Parking was rather easy once I got which spots should not be used.
The museum is opening on Tuesdays to Sundays between 9:00 and 17:00 hrs. There are numerous kinds of discounts, but the standard adult admission is 27 PLN, roughly 6 Euro. On Tuesdays, admission to the museum is free.
Polish Aviation Museum – Indoor Exhibits
The area covered by the Polish Aviation Museum is huge and features indoor as well as outdoor exhibition spaces. Apart from the main museum building, which features all service facilities as well, there is the historic main hangar and two minor hangars, which hold host planes and helicopters. Quite a bunch of pre-WWII exhibits have in fact been part of the Deutsche Luftfahrtsammlung Berlin (German Aviation Collection Berlin), there have been some diplomatic discussions about their future.
While the main hall of the museum does not offer too many exhibits, the Pioneers of Flight hangar features some very interesting planes as well as a really rich collection of aviation engines. Even though this space rather comes with average size, it has been one of my favorites during the visit. As over most parts of the museum, the written documentation on the planes, engines, helicopters and other items is in Polish and English.
A lot of WWII Militaria in the Hangars of the Museum
One of my favorites in the main hangar building has indeed been the military version of the Ju-52/3m, just because it is one of my all time civil airplane favorites. Precisely, you see an Amiot AAC.1 Toucan, a French build of the Junkers in the museum. Another very interesting licensed model is the Lissunow Li-2, the Russian version of the Douglas DC-3/C-47.
Polish Aviation Museum – Outdoor Exhibits
The outdoor exhibition space is amazing. The most popular outdoor exhibit of the Polish Aviation Museum is without a doubt the the original helicopter of John Paul II. In contrast to the majority of the exhibits in the museum, you can also enter this one – at least at designated visiting times. There are a lot of different other planes on the museum grounds as well. The most impressive collection is the sheer endless Mig Alley, which features an massive set of the Mikoyan-Gurevich military planes. However, there are also very civil aviation exhibits, like the Polish WSK MD-12F or the Yakovlev Yak-42.
Polish Aviation Museum – Services
Some of the staff members did not speak English, including people at the cash desk etc. Of course, it was somehow possible to manage communication. If you need some hardware to take with you after the visit, the museum is offering a nice gift shop. The main building also features a cafeteria, which I did not have a look into during my visit.
Polish Aviation Museum – My View
Ideally, you have better weather than I had during my visit of the Polish Aviation Museum. Then the visit will be even better than mine. Apart from that, this is a hidden gem and a paradise for aviation enthusiasts. Especially if you are interested in East European aviation history, this one is a treat. However, entering the pope’s heli or exploring all the plane engines will give you memorable experience. If you are interested in the topic and have some three hours time in Krakow, that’s the place to go to. Definitely a Top Pick! place.
Travel in Poland
Here are all my Travel postings related to Poland:
Here are all postings about museums concentrating on aviation: