Europe, Krakow, Poland, Weird & Offbeat

Weird And Offbeat Museums: The Pharmacy Museum in Krakow

February 24, 2012
Pharmacy Museum in Krakow
(Last Updated On: August 5, 2016)

Weird And Offbeat Museums: The Pharmacy Museum in Krakow. You know me (like OPP), I’m always hunting down weird and offbeat things to do in order to bring you the best alternative experiences that Europe has to offer. I hit the jackpot in Amsterdam with the Lloyd Hotel which features rooms with swings and beds for eight people and the Katten Kabinet, a museum dedicated exclusively to cat art. Then there was Prague, where I stumbled across all sorts of weird and wonderful things.

In Krakow, it was a little tougher to find such weird and offbeat attractions. While I managed to stumble upon some pretty epic street art and have a fun time at the Jewish flea market, I found the city still possesses a rather serious and somber tone. This is mostly due in part to it’s rather tragic history, which can clearly be seen and felt as you travel around especially at the New Jewish Cemetery.

Weird And Offbeat Museums: The Pharmacy Museum in Krakow

But have no fear, I did happen to find at least one strange place which happens to none other than the Pharmacy Museum (Muzeum Farmacji). Located in a 15th century building, the museum spans over five stories from the basement to the attic still retaining it’s original gothic cellars, renaissance ceilings and even a 19th century fresco.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

Founded in 1946, the history of pharmacy throughout the middle ages to modern times is featured through the 22,000 objects on display including old lab equipement, rare books, glassware, furniture and various pharmaceutical instruments.  

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

In fact, a few full-scale pharmacies from previous times have been painstakingly recreated such as this old apothecary cellar where herbal medicines were hung to dry.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

I quite like this old advertisement. Please, “Tell me, doctor …

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

Although the stairs in the museum appeared normal to me, the staff feel compelled to warn you about metal fittings.

Pharmacy Museum in Krakow.

So if you’re looking for something weird and offbeat to do in Krakow (or like me have a desperate need to escape the cold), then stop by the Pharmacy Museum.

Why not? It’s rare and one of the few of it’s kind in the entire world, the largest of it’s kind in Europe and heck, you may even learn something new. Also, admission is insanely cheap at 2 euros for adults!

Getting There

Pharmacy Museum
Floriańska 25, Kraków, Poland ‎
+48 12 421 92 79

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  • Reply Cathy Sweeney February 25, 2012 at 12:32 am

    This kind of place in right up my alley. Might actually have a chance to visit Krakow soon — I’ll make note of this museum. Went back and looked at your Prague article, too. I must have walked right by that golem and didn’t see it. Does kind of look like Darth Vader!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      @Cathy – Definitely make a stop! Why not … It’s only two Euros. 🙂

      And let me know what you think!

  • Reply Andrea February 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Two Euros is cheap!! You should head to Vienna – there are a few weird museums there

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      @Andrea – I will return to Vienna sometime! I want to go to the mortuary museum. 🙂

  • Reply Jarmo @ ArcticNomad February 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Seems like a cool and quirky little museum! Love the photos

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      @Jarmo – Thanks! It was a fun place to visit. 🙂

  • Reply jade February 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Super cool! The photos are super cool – all the bottle shots!

  • Reply Mauro February 27, 2012 at 10:08 am

    That’s exactly the kind of article I want to see in a travel blog. Offbeat is king 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

      @Jade and @Mauro – Thanks! Hope you make it there to enjoy the museum or city someday. 🙂

  • Reply Cole @ Four Jandals February 27, 2012 at 10:17 am

    That is really great. Love little quirky museum’s. We went to a creepy one in Tasmania once that was only a few dollars as well!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 27, 2012 at 10:28 am

      @Cole – Me too! I have some vague plan to hit up quirky museums all around the world. Europe is the perfect place to begin. =)

  • Reply Jade - February 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Imagine what it must have been like to train to be a pharmacist in that day and age… i would have felt like a wizard or something 😛

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      @Jade – Ha ha! I shudder to think about some of the things they had to when mixing their potions and such. There were some pretty gross ingredients. 🙂

  • Reply Alexa Meisler February 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    No these are places that I am thoroughly interested in. The area where the history of pharmacy took place looks a place for some weird voodoo acts but it still looks really cool. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      @Alexa – Thanks! It is a pretty cool place for sure.

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica February 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Great find! I think this would be pretty entertaining.

  • Reply Laurel February 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Very cool, quirky museums are my favorite. There’s also a Pharmacy Museum at Heidelberg Castle as well, but it looks smaller than this one.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      @Stephanie – It was indeed entertaining! You’d be surprised to learn about some of the lengths people went to for … the sake of sexual health for example. LOL.

      @Laurel – We have a shared love for them. I can hit up some in Berlin with you when you’re here for ITB if you like. And cool, maybe I can check out that one at the castle sometime!

  • Reply Christy @ Technosyncratic March 3, 2012 at 7:04 am

    A pharmaceutical museum just doesn’t draw me in, but there’s something about “apothecaries” that does! It just sounds so…. ancient, and sort of magical. 😛

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 4, 2012 at 10:35 am

      @Christy – I pretty much feel the same, and didn’t stay at the museum long but it ended up being a little more interesting than I thought. 🙂

  • Reply Sophie March 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I think you’d enjoy San Marino (weird and offbeat in itself, as the world’s oldest republic – from 301). There are all sorts of odd museums in this little country: Museum of torture instruments, Museum of curious objects, and much more.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      @Sophie – I’m headed to Italy next month so maybe I can spend some time there and indulge in all things weird.

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