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Karpacz, Poland

Muzeum Zabawek (Toy Museum)

The largest toy museum in Poland showcases Europe's history of childhood. 

This two-story toy museum on the Czech-Polish border is a repository for the beloved children’s toys of generations gone by. 

Established in 2002, the museum features thousands of toys, dolls, and childhood accessories from throughout Europe’s history, making it the largest collection of playthings in Poland. Visitors can stroll through the museum’s shelves of dolls, dollhouses, spinning tops, and teddy bears dating from the 18th to the early 20th century, or simply become entranced by the many ornate marionnette and puppet stages. There is even a room dedicated to the metal toy cars which were so hard to come by during the inter-war periods when the materials were scarce, and another filled with dolls the size of actual children, staring blankly into space. The museum is also very informative, with captions for each piece provided in Polish, German, and English.

Bearing witness to castoff toys is always a little sad, but the amount of cultural history that the toys impart make the Muzeum Zabawek a must-see attraction. 

Know Before You Go

Some maps in the local tourist information center list the museum as outside the city but in fact it's right in the middle of the city. Once you see the optometrist's, take a left into the mini-street and go up the stairs. The first room you will enter is the reception and souvenir shop.