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  • Writer's pictureDamian Brzeski

Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk - not only for history fans

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk is not only the largest museum devoted to this conflict in Europe, but also one of the most modern and interactive.


You will find here over 2,000 exhibits that tell the story of people during the war, both at the front and in everyday life. You will see original items, documents, photos, videos and historical reconstructions. You will experience emotions, surprise and emotion. You will learn a lot of interesting facts and history. And most of all, you will understand how much impact World War II had on the world we live in.


The museum in Gdańsk is not only an attraction for history fans. It's also for those who want to have fun and learn something. The museum offers many activities for children and teenagers, such as educational games, workshops, shows and activities. You can also use an audio guide or a mobile application that will facilitate your tour and provide additional information. And if you get hungry or tired, you can rest in a cafe or restaurant on the museum grounds.


This is a place worth visiting. Not only will you learn about history, but you will also be inspired to reflect on the present and the future. Do not hesitate and plan your visit today!


View of the building of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk after sunset

How was the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk created and what is it?


The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk is a state cultural institution established on September 1, 2008 by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. It was originally going to be called the Westerplatte Museum, but the name was changed to the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk on November 26, 2008. The museum was opened to visitors on March 23, 2017.


The museum is subordinate to and supervised by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Its director is dr hab. Grzegorz Berendt, and previously prof. dr hab. Paweł Machcewicz, who was also the representative for the Museum of the Second World War.


The museum's task is to disseminate knowledge about World War II, show the Polish perspective on the greatest conflict in the history of mankind, cultivate the memory of the victims of totalitarian systems and the heroes of the fight for freedom of many nationalities.


As part of the Museum's exhibition, scientific and educational activities, Poland is promoted as the country of the "guardian of memory" of Europe and the world about the years 1939-1945, knowing and honoring the value of freedom and civic attitudes.


The museum is located on pl. Władysława Bartoszewski 1 in Gdańsk, near the Gdańsk Shipyard and the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers. The seat of the museum is a modern building designed by the architectural studio Kwadrat from Gdynia. The building has the shape of a cuboid with a shifted upper floor and a characteristic glass entrance. On the roof there is an observation deck with a panorama of the city.


The museum has one of the largest exhibition areas in Europe - over 23,000 square meters. On level -2 there is the main exhibition, which covers over 5,000 square meters and presents over 2,000 exhibits related to the history of World War II.


Exhibition at the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, terror

The exhibition is divided into three parts: Roads to War, Horror of War and Long Shadows of War.


The exhibition shows the fate of people during the war, both at the front and in everyday life. Here you can see original objects, documents, photos, films and historical reconstructions.


On level -1 there are temporary exhibitions that deal with various aspects and topics related to World War II. So far, there have been exhibitions: "Fighting Poland", "Westerplatte - the beginning of the road to freedom", "War in the Pacific", "Independence", "War and occupation in the eyes of a child" or "Underground Poland".


These exhibitions present not only the Polish but also the international perspective on the war and its consequences. You can see many interesting and rare exhibits here, such as the Enigma cipher machine, the Soviet T-34 tank or a boulder from Krępa Kaszubska commemorating Hitler's birthday.


View of the World War II museum from above, with the marked entrance and car park entrance

How to plan a visit to the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk?


If you want to visit the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, you need to prepare accordingly. The museum is very large and rich in content, so it's worth planning your time and way of visiting. In this chapter, we'll tell you how to buy tickets, how to get to the museum, what are the opening hours and rules of visiting, and how to use the facilities for people with disabilities.


Let's start with tickets. You can buy them online or at the museum's ticket offices. If you want to avoid queues and be sure of your place at the main exhibition, we recommend purchasing online at www.bilety. museum1939.pl . After paying for the transaction, tickets are available in the customer panel. You can print them out or show them on your phone at the entrance.


If you prefer to buy a ticket at the museum's ticket offices, you must be aware that there may be no more free places for the main exhibition on the selected date. The museum's ticket offices are open on museum days from 9:30 am. The box offices close one hour before the closing of the main exhibition.


An exhibition with suitcases of concentration camp prisoners

Ticket prices for the Museum of the Second World War are as follows:

  • Regular ticket - PLN 29

  • Reduced ticket - PLN 22

  • Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children up to 19 years old ) - PLN 65

  • Regular group ticket (more than 10 people + 1 guardian per 10 people free of charge) - PLN 29

  • Reduced group ticket (more than 10 people + 1 guardian per 10 people free of charge) - PLN 22

  • Audioguide - PLN 12


image of a Polish city before the outbreak of the war, exhibition at the museum of the Second World War

Reduced ticket is entitled to i.a. children and school youth, students and doctoral students up to the age of 26, people with disabilities and their assistants, seniors over 65, retirees and pensioners.


Free ticket to the museum of the Second World Waris entitled to, among others: benefactors of the museum, persons decorated with state orders and medals, individuals awarded the badge "For the care of monuments", the honorary badge "Zasłużony Dziecz Kultury", "Meritorious for Polish Culture" or the honorary title "Meritorious for National Culture". Detailed information on discounts can be found on the museum's website.


You can visit the exhibitions for free every Tuesday, but you must collect a ticket at the museum's ticket offices on the day of the visit. One ticket is valid for one visitor.


The ticket to the main exhibition also entitles you to enter the exhibition for children "Travel in Time". Individual visits to the main exhibition are recommended with an audio guide.


Audio guidescan be rented after paying a fee of PLN 12 at the museum's ticket offices.

The audioguide is available in 5 languages: Polish, English, French, German and Russian. Applies only to the main exhibition.


The hall of the Second World War museum

How to get to the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk?


  • You can use public transport to reach the museum or your own car. The museum is located on pl. Władysława Bartoszewski 1 in Gdańsk, near the Gdańsk Shipyard and the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers. The nearest bus and tram stops are: Museum of the Second World War, Targ Rybny and Plac Solidarności. You can also take the SKM train to the Gdańsk Główny station and walk from there for about 15 minutes.


  • If you are driving your own car, you can use the underground car park under the museum or the above-ground car park at ul. Wałowa. Underground parking is paid and has a limited number of places. Surface parking is also payable according to municipal tariffs, but has a larger capacity.


  • The best option is to walk or take a taxi, The museum is within walking distance 10-20 minutes walk from most of the most important hotels in Gdansk. A taxi can take you directly to the entrance to the museum and the cost is a maximum of PLN 15-25 from the Center or from the Lower/Old Town.


Torpedo in the museum

Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk opening hours


The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00. The museum is closed on Mondays. The last entry to the main exhibition is possible one hour before the museum closes.


Plan your visit so that you have enough time to explore. The average time of visiting the main exhibition is about 3-4 hours.


Soviet tank against the background of the destroyed city, exhibition

The museum is adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. The museum has lifts, ramps, toilets and cloakrooms for the disabled:

  • Wheelchair users can use electric wheelchairs for free or manual ones available at the museum's ticket offices.

  • People who are blind or have low vision can use free audioguides with descriptions of the exhibitions and with tactile maps and 3D models of some exhibits.

  • People who are hard of hearing or deaf can use free subtitle tablets and sign language translation.

We hope this information will help you plan your visit to the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the museum by phone or email.


Summary - why is it worth visiting the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk?


The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk is a place worth visiting for many reasons.

  • First of all, is the largest museum dedicated to this conflict in Europe, which presents over 2,000 exhibits related to the history of World War II.

  • Second is a museum that shows the Polish perspective on the war and its effects, but also takes into account the experiences and fate of other nations.

  • Third is a museum that uses modern technologies and forms presentations to interest and move visitors.

  • Fourth is a museum that offers many activities for children and young people, such as educational games, workshops, shows and activities.

  • Fifth, it is a museum that is easily accessible and friendly for people with disabilities.

  • Sixth is a museum that has interesting architecture and location in the historic place of Gdańsk.

This facility is not only a museum of history, but also a museum of memory and values. It is a museum that inspires reflection on the present and the future. This is a museum that shows how important freedom is and how hard it is to get and keep it. It is a museum that teaches respect and tolerance for other people and cultures. It is a museum that makes us proud of our Polishness and Europeanness.


We invite you to visit this extraordinary place. We hope you will spend a nice and useful time here. Share your experiences and opinions with us.


See you soon!


Stuka suspended from the ceiling in the museum in Gdańsk

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