Opening hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 10-17
Wednesday 11-19
Thursday 10-17
Friday 10-17
Saturday 10-18
Sunday 12-17
Opening hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9-15
Wednesday 9-18
Thursday 9-15
Friday 9-15
Saturday 10-18
Sunday 12-17
Opening hours:
Monday Closed
Opening hours:
Monday Closed

About us

The whole world in one place

The National Ethnographic Museum is a space where the achievements of world culture meet with individual sensitivity, becoming an inspiration to discover the beauty of diversity.

In modern interiors, we present permanent and temporary exhibitions of interdisciplinary character and diverse themes. The autonomous structure of our institution is dedicated to the youngest Children’s Museum, where you can touch everything. The museum also has a library and the Antropos cinema with an unconventional repertoire. In the Bílý Koníček café you can get acquainted with the offer of the bookstore and shop while drinking coffee. In addition, the museum hosts trade fairs, special events, meetings with authors, workshops and seminars. Therefore, we encourage you to actively participate in culture – children, youth and adults.

Our mission is to collect diversity and richness of cultures around the world and present their values ​​as a nationwide good, thus contributing to the development of an open society.

Our team

Get to know us better!

The history of the museum

Founding of the museum in 1852

The oldest in Poland and one of the largest ethnographic museums in Europe was founded in 1888. Jan Maurycy Kamiński and Jan Karłowicz formed an organizational committee and thanks to their work the Ethnographic Museum at the Warsaw ZOO was opened, with Stanisław Ciszewski as its first custodian.


Opening of the “Permanent Ethnographic Exhibition” - 1892.

Initial successes ended with the closedown of the Warsaw ZOO. Since the authorities planned to transport the entire collection to St.Petersburg, the museum founders bought it out with their own money. Because Russian authorities adamantly refused to re-open the museum, the “Permanent ethnographic exhibition” was installed in a building in Krakowskie Przedmieście 17.


New location in the Museum of Industry and Agriculture - 1897

After a short time, the collection returned to the Frascati Palace and then they were moved to a location in Nowy Świat 26. To avoid frequent relocations, Karłowicz, Janikowski and Majewski decided to place the collection in the Museum of Industry and Agriculture, in Krakowskie Przedmieście 66.


The creation of the Ethnology Laboratory - 1912

It was Stanisław Poniatowski’s idea to create the Ethnology Laboratory, whose main aim was to conduct studies and systematic inventory of ethnographic collections. WW1 forced a few year long break of these fruitful project.


Eugeniusz Frankowski becomes the museum’s director - 1921

Eugeniusz Frankowski took over the Ethnographic Collection. At the time the Ethnographic Museum officially became a central institution. Frankowski turned out to be as excellent manager as he was ethnographer, and the museum flourished.


New location in Podwale 15 - 1937/38.

Thanks to the President of Warsaw, Stefan Starzyński’s decision the museum was given a permanent seat in a building in Podwale 16. Tadeusz Dziekoński was its new director. In 1939 the Museum of Industry and Agriculture was completely destroyed in bombardment. All the collections of the Ethnographic Museum perished in fire.


Rebuilding the museum and a new location in Młociny - 1946

After the war Jan Żołna-Manugiewicz directed the restoration effort. The historic 18th century Brühl palace was selected as the temporary location of the Folk Cultures Museum, as the post-war institution was re-named.


The first post-war exhibition - 1949

On 22 May 1949 the first, although still a bit makeshift, exhibition was opened, presenting Polish traditional folk costumes. Moreover, exhibition pavilions were erected, which soon housed the first non-European collection: “The Art of Black Africa and Oceania peoples.”


Museum on the Bat river barge - 1952-1954

A branch of the museum opens on a floating, specially prepared river barge named Bat. Two exhibitions were presented there: “The Mazovian Art” and then “Polish traditional folk costumes.”


Museum on the Złota Kaczka river barge - 1955-1967

Due to the continued growth of the collection and the lack of space lead the permanent exhibitions were closed and the space they occupied was used as storage. Exhibitions were organized in the museum’s branches. Moreover, the exhibition barge Złota Kaczka’s river cruises were resumed, and the boat visited 180 places on the Vistula, Noteć, Odra Rivers, and in the Mazuria region.


More changes - 1955

That year the institution’s name changed to the Museum of Folk Art and Culture. A year later Ksawery Piwocki, a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, became the director.


New seat in Kredytowa 1 in Warsaw - 1960

In 1960 the Presidium of the National Council’s decision gave the museum a permanent location in the building that once belonged to Towarzystwo Kredytowe Ziemskie, located on the corner of Kredytowa and Mazowiecka streets.


National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw - 1964

The change of the name also entailed a new statute and new goals, tasks, forms of activities and a new management structure.


Moving to the new building - 1971-1973

In 1971, after the building in Kredytowa 1 was officially taken over, it was time to move in. The new museum building was opened in December 1973. The operation was coordinated by Kazimeirz Pietkiewcz, who had been the museum’s director since 1969.


100th anniversary and a visit of an African king - 1988

To commemorate the 100th anniversary two temporary exhibitions were prepared, one of them presenting the African collection. A guest of honour graced its opening with his presence: the king of the Bakuba tribe from Zaire, Kwete M’Bokashanga with his retinue.


The status of a national cultural institution -1992.

The museum was given the status of a national cultural institution. A few years later, in 1998, due to the Public Administration Reform, it became a regional cultural institution operating under the local authorities, with the Mazovian District marshal as its founding institution.


Adam Czyżewski appointed as the director - 2008.

Adam Czyżewski has been the museum’s director since 2008. An anthropologist of culture, graduate of Jagiellonian University, Mieczysław Porębski’s and Czesław Robotycki’s student, author of works about urban anthropology, visual culture, and anthropology of objects.


Changes: Modernisation and creation of the Children’s Museum - 2013

The Children’s Museum is created – the first place like this in Poland, where children learn about culture and art that is outside display cases. After years of modernization works in the museum’s interior, we were able to create new permanent exhibitions: the “Celebration time” presenting a beautiful collection of  Polish and European traditional folk costumes and “The Order of Things. Piotr B. Szacki’s storeroom” with over 3,000 objects used for farm work and handicraft.


New era: EMYA award nomination - 2016

The Museum entered a new era. The jury of the European Museum Forum recognized the transformation by nominating the museum for the European Museum of the Year Award, a prestigious title sought by the best European institutions.


Our mission

We collected the proofs of diversity and wealth of the world’s cultures, making their values international, a shared commodity of the open society.
18.10 - 30.06.2020

Disco Relaks exhibition

23.02 - 23.02.2028

The Korean gallery