How to get around Polish Aviation Museum?
Good to know stuff before tour

08.04.2024

The Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow is a place where history and the present live together. It takes us into the world of aviation, uncovering the mysteries of flying machines, heroes of epochs that changed the face of the skies over Poland, and even the whole world. Crossing its thresholds, we become witnesses not only to technological achievements in the field of science, but also and above all, to the courage and passion of people who dreamed of conquering the sky.   

Welcome to the second article in a series on Krakow's museums (check out How to get around Oskar Schindler Museum?)! This is not just a dry account, but a personal journey through time and space. In this series, I will be wandering in the footsteps of the past, discovering places that hide extraordinary stories. 

Prepare yourselves for a thrilling journey through time and space, because it's not just a museum - it's real wings for the imagination! 


RAKOWICE-CZYŻYNY AVIATION  

To begin this journey, it is necessary to go back in time to the beginning of the 19th century, or more precisely to 1912. Let us try to imagine it. Krakow, or more precisely the village of Rakowice. The south of Poland is under Austro-Hungarian rule. It is a time of fear and enslavement that has lasted for 117 years, and suddenly an airport is created. An airport that initially opened the Poles to the world, being one of the staging points of a regular airline. After independence was temporarily restored, it was taken over by the Polish army, only to be bombed by German Luftwaffe planes in 1939.  

Today, on this site, which was bombed and used by enemy troops for years, stand the walls of the Aviation Museum and this place, and its exhibits, I would like to introduce you to more closely.  

THE FIRST EXHIBITION  

The Museum of Polish Aviation in Krakow, located on the site of the former Rakowice-Czyżyny airport, is a depository of the rich history of aviation. Its first exhibition took place from 23 August to 12 September 1964, organised on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the People's Republic of Poland. The area where the museum is now located witnessed the dramatic events of the Second World War. 

In the inter-war period, Rakowice-Czyżyny airfield was the base of the 2nd Airborne Regiment, and the war left its tragic mark on it. After the war, in 1963, the airport was closed down due to the expansion of Nowa Huta, but thanks to the existence of the museum, the site has retained its unique cultural and aviation function.  

  

HEAVY AIRCRAFT FLIGHTS  

The Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow is home to more than 200 exhibits, including unique aircraft, gliders, helicopters and more than 140 aircraft engines. Among them are machines that reflect the development of powered aviation, such as:  

  •  Wright Brothers Aircraft: brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright are widely acknowledged as the designers of the first aircraft capable of flight. Their famous 1903 Wright Flyer was powered by an internal combustion engine and became a milestone in aviation history. The museum has a replica of the Wright brothers' aircraft. This is the only flying replica of the Wright brothers' pioneering aircraft in the world, and it is housed in the museum's Large Hangar. The replica is based on the Wright Flyer III model produced in 1910 and has been certified in Europe and the USA.  
  • Powered flying machines: The history of powered aviation dates back to the end of the 19th century, when Clément Ader made an uncontrolled jump of about 50 metres with his Éole aircraft, which was powered by a steam engine. It was the first manned aircraft to take off under its own power. Each of these exhibits tells a story of courage, innovation and the drive to push the boundaries of human possibilities. 

    How to get around?

 To get to the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow, the most convenient way is to use public transport. For those visiting the city for the first time, here is a simple guide:  
 
- Tram: You can take tram line 52 from the Słowackiego Theatre stop and get off at the Aviation Museum stop. The tram journey takes around 18 minutes. Check out Polish app/website jakdojade for more info.

- Bus: Another option is bus line 424, which leaves from the Bagatela Theatre stop and goes to the Ugorek stop. The bus journey takes around 30 minutes. 

- Taxi: If you prefer a more direct mode of transport, a taxi from the centre of Krakow to the museum will take about 10 minutes. Check out Uber, Bolt, Freenow

The easiest way to get tickets is to buy them here: 
Polish Aviation Museum- Museum Ticket

Reserve a place to visit the museum on your own. In terms of ticket availability, entry to the museum is free on Tuesdays, with a limited number of tickets that we are unable to book through the museum website.
 
People fall into 2 camps: people who love guided tours and those who prefer to explore on their own. I belong to this 2 group of people. Why? I can answer this in a very simple way. A guide is given a script which he has to stick to, and even if he tells the story of a place in the best way possible, this is his vision of events. When we visit on our own, we know very well what interests us and what we want to pay attention to. We are able to interpret a particular painting, monument or, as in this case, aircraft in our own and private way. We are able to let ourselves be absorbed by the story and become part of it too.  

Follow my blog for more articles like this!


Article by: Julia Jagieła  

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