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Schindler Museum Krakow

I am in the process of organising my stay in Krakow and looking at options for walks and activities. I am planning to visit the Schindler Museum, Tours seem to start outside the gates and then you are escorted by a tour guide. I am familiar with the history of the museum having seen the movie "Schindler’s List" a few times and read Thomas Keneally’s book as well as information I have seen online.

Is a tour necessary? Or is it possible to get around on my own using audio (if provided) or a guide book? How difficult or easy is it to get there from the Old Town or Kazimierz which is probably the neighbourhood where I am going to stay .

I am anticipating that with the re-release of Steven Spielberg's movie in a remastered version the museum will become an even busier tourist destination.

Posted by
13958 posts

First of all, the Schindler Factory is not about Schindler. It takes its name from being housed in the old Schindler factory building. There is a small exhibit about Schindler. I don't remember if I used the audio guide, but I did visit independently. There are very thorough explanations in English throughout. Take the tram across the river. It's a 10-minute walk from Ghetto Hero's Square. It's a good idea to buy your ticket in advance to avoid the line and possible sell-out. The Jewish free walking tour ends at the museum.

Posted by
16827 posts

Definitely buy your ticket in advance. The day I went last summer, all tickets were sold out (per a sign on the door) when I arrived for my first-time-slot entry. The audio guide is excellent. If you are especially interested in the experiences of some of the folks who worked for Mr. Schindler, there's a place in the museum where you can listen to audio.

I was totally happy with my no-tour experience, but I spent a lot of time there; if your time is limited, a tour will help you focus on key elements of the displays.

Posted by
2075 posts

I did the museum on my own and did not feel I needed a tour. It is about a half hour walk from the old town. Kazimierz is in between the two, so easily walkable.

Posted by
242 posts

All the advice is accurate. I also did a self-guided tour which allowed flexibility. I also managed to Skype my teacher/daughter's class back in the USA> The museum gave me wi-fi access.

Posted by
90 posts

Thank you everyone for your replies. I will do the museum at the end of the free walking tour.

Posted by
1442 posts

"...the museum will become an even busier tourist destination."

The new booking system allows you to book 6 months in advance. (Previously, I seem to recall, you could only purchase tickets a few days in advance.) Looking ahead to June, for example, I see days that are already fully sold out, and others for which many timeslots are sold out.

Here is the museum site, in English:
http://www.mhk.pl/branches/oskar-schindlers-factory

On the right side find the link to the Online Ticket Reservation System.

With your advance purchased ticket, you don't need to wait in the (probable) line but can, instead, enter through a door to the left for advanced ticket holders.

I took the tram from Old Town - to make sure I was there for my scheduled entry time. The tram was "cheap and cheerful" but a bit tricky getting from the tram stop to the museum as there were construction detours (Oct 2018) which may have caused me to miss the early signs providing walking directions to the museum itself. If you're staying in the Kazimierz, that shouldn't be a problem for you.

Posted by
13958 posts

You may find that Mondays sell out more quickly. Tickets are free, but you still have to go through the reservation system.

Posted by
90 posts

Thanks, Chani, On the Monday I am in Krakow I will be visiting Auschwitz which was the first thing I booked after securing my accommodation.

Posted by
13958 posts

It's hardly an expensive sight. Since Monday is out, you shouldn't have trouble getting a ticket. I booked a 12.20 time slot and the walking tour got to the Museum at 12.15, so I left before the guide had finished. So I suggest you book for after 12.30. There's a small cafe inside, so if you are too early, you can relax there. I seem to remember that there were some interesting things to read/look at in the lobby too. After the tour, you may want to go back to Ghetto Hero's Square and visit the Eagle Pharmacy museum on the corner.

Posted by
41 posts

Hi,
Schindler Enamel Factory museum is a great choice if you like history - it presents the life of Jews during WW2 in Poland. I feel that guided tour isn't that necessary. We just bought audio guide and learnt a lot, actually much more than I was capable of remembering ;)
I'd advise to book the tickets online in advance, as the museum tends to get crowded, especially in the summer and weekends. You can do that on the museum's website: https://bilety.mhk.pl/rezerwacja/wydarzenie.html?lang=en
When it comes to transportation, the fastest and most convenient way is to get Uber or taxi.
If you'd like to know a bit more about the Schindler's museum and other attractions in Krakow, you can have a look at those articles:
https://overhere.eu/blog/krakow-zakopane-trip-5-day-itinerary/
https://overhere.eu/blog/9-best-places-to-visit-in-southern-poland/
https://overhere.eu/blog/cracow-there-cant-be-more-history-packed/
https://overhere.eu/blog/not-so-obvious-must-see-when-youre-in-cracow/

Posted by
40 posts

What free walking tour are people referring to? I don't see any mention of it the Rick Steves' Eastern Europe book. Is this something new? A must-do? We were planning on doing the self-guided Kazimierz walk that is outlined in the book.

Also, the only day we have to see the museum is Monday, June 3 (it is closed June 4-the first Tuesday of the month) and we have moved on to another city by Wednesday. It appears one has to reserve their ticket online via the reservation system and the 3rd is all grayed out...looking like there is no more availability. Should we pay the extra money to hire a tour guide who might have already gotten tickets for that day? Does anyone have a particular recommendation? And tips/help for this would be appreciated.

Posted by
16827 posts

I'm surprised to hear that a date as far ahead as June 3 is already fully booked. I'd keep checking every single day in hopes that the situation changes. However, the Schindler Factory does sell out, at least some days. Krakow has become an extremely popular destination in recent years. It is no longer "the next Prague"; it is "another Prague".

Posted by
90 posts

Trip Advisor for Krakow probably lists tours of the Schindler Museum. You will invariably see the name of the tour company and probably their website.

Posted by
1442 posts

I found availability with GetYourGuide for June 3 at 10am and 12:15pm. I successfully added 4 adult tickets to the cart, so there is some availability. Please hurry if the tour interests you! (I did not take this tour, but it offers free cancellation up to 24 hours ahead.)

Kraków: Schindler's Factory and Former Ghetto Tour
https://www.getyourguide.com/krakow-l40/krakow-schindler-s-factory-and-former-ghetto-tour-t181988/#booking-assistant
€ 23.69 per person

It is more than just the factory tour:

Visit the former Ghetto terrain located in Podgórze district
See the important remnants telling the story of the war and holocaust
Tour the famous Oscar Schindler's factory
Travel in a comfortable electric car equipped with an audio-guide system

Posted by
1442 posts

GetYourGuide has other tour options available on June 3 as well, which also include the Schindler Factory. The link I provided is just the first one I found with June 3 availability!

Posted by
40 posts

Thanks for the tips! It's hard for me to pay $26 when the factory would otherwise be free on that day. I'll have to talk it over with my sister and possibly sign up for that tour. We've been thinking about the salt mines too, but we may not have enough time for that. I did email the museum and they said we could show up that morning and see if they have any openings available even though all the online slots are gone.

Posted by
199 posts

I understand that with the Cracow card, you can skip the lines for tickets, and walk right into the museum at any time, no reservation required. Is this correct?

Posted by
1878 posts

My wife and I were there last May, and there was a big line to buy tickets. Fortunately we had bought our tickets at a TI or similar office in the central market hall structure on the town square. There was no audio guide available, I don't think a live guide is necessary but it is a long museum to walk through with lots and lots of reading. We tried to get there on public transit, got lost and ended up taking a taxi called from a hotel. Be aware the taxis waiting outside after your visit may be the kind that try and charge you an inflated fixed fare off-meter, this is what happened to us.

Posted by
40 posts

I emailed about the Krakow Card and they said you have to have a reservation along with the card. So not sure if that's true in practice or not but that's what they said.

Posted by
40 posts

I did as the email suggested and we arrived at the museum before it opened to get in line. We were able to get in for one of the first time slots. I did notice when we were done with the museum, that there was a sign saying all the tickets for the day were gone. Nothing was available anymore. We were so relieved that we were still able to see the museum even though the online booking system showed no availability. And it was the 1st Monday of the month, so it cost us nothing! :)

Posted by
1442 posts

Fabulous! So glad you got in, and thanks for taking the time to report back for the benefit of everyone!

Posted by
90 posts

I visited the museum in early May. It was a Sunday and the museum was busy even at the early time I was there. After posting the question I decided to pay the small extra amount to go on a guided tour which meant I did not need to bother booking a ticket. And my accomodation in the three Polish cities I visited, staying in Airbnb’s, was good and also inexpensive. So my Polish travel costs were low.
The guided tour, which was one offered by Walkative, was good as were other tip based ones offered by the company which I joined in Wroclaw, Krakow and Warsaw.
I ended up walking to the museum from where I was staying close to the main square of Krakow. The day before I had taken the Kazimierz walk, after which I crossed the river to the area where the Jewish ghetto was located before it was liquidated. The Schindler factory museum was easy to find as there were quite a few signs.
You could do the tour by yourself, but as I found on many occasions you get to hear insights from tour guides that you probably would struggle to find out about by yourself. As I was interested in taking a closer look at some of the exhibits, at the end of the tour the guide spoke to the ticket security guard who allowed me to go back in.
It is certainably a not to be missed item on a trip to Krakow.

Posted by
13958 posts

Thanks for coming back and letting us know how it went. I'm glad it all worked out well for you and the info you added will be useful to others.