The NBP Money Center is not just another boring museum with display cases and exhibits you can’t touch for anything. It’s not even a museum. This is the place where we enter the world of money and finance, but this world is not just made for people who trade large sums, play the stock market or are fascinated by collectible coins. It is a world full of educational elements and curiosities, where we will learn, among other things. Where money comes from, how to distinguish authentic from counterfeit, what role it plays, and what the stock market is like. Anyway, see for yourself.
The National Bank of Poland’s Monetary Center named after him. Slawomir S. Skrzypek is a venue that has been operating since 2016 at the NBP headquarters in Warsaw, on Świętokrzyska Street. How do you know the entrance? After a long queue outside ;) Probably not the rule, but we spent about an hour and a half waiting to get in, during an autumn, quite cold weekend. Was it worth waiting that long in line? Admittedly, several times we wanted to give up and go somewhere else, but nevertheless we gave it a go and absolutely do not regret that we waited so long.
The queue is due to a simple reason – a limited number of people are allowed inside, and this is very scrupulously observed by the center’s staff. If the maximum number of people inside is reached, more are allowed in only after someone leaves. Unfortunately, there is no way to book seats for a specific time (except for reservations for organized groups) so you just have to stick your neck out or be luckier than we were and hit a less busy day.
Once inside, you still have to go through a security check, head to the checkroom, leave your backpacks and larger bags and you can set off to explore the various exhibits.
Table of contents
A tour of the NBP Money Center.
You can walk through the expositions located on several levels on your own or with an audio guide.
The first part is the Antiquity-Medieval-Modernity room, which introduces us to the history of money – in the room, ancient coins are displayed in showcases. But wait, it was not supposed to be a boring museum after all ;) Well, so here the character of the exhibition is added by the unique arrangement of the room and multimedia screens. On one side there is a sort of golden funnel in the central part, with coins lying underneath it (surprisingly, when the other kids started picking them out no one from the staff paid attention – the kids looked at it for a while and threw it back in, so great), and on the other side there are the so-called “coins”. Wells of knowledge – screens showing economic transformations, trade routes and for children there are simple multimedia games.
Once we have looked at coins and learned about their history, the next parts introduce us to monetary systems, or the conditions that make it possible for us to pay with such coins and banknotes. Next comes the halls showing the history not only of Polish money, but also of people and institutions related to economics and finance in Poland. There is a corridor introducing profiles of famous Polish economists and the history of the country’s financial institutions, and in the round room there is an exhibition dedicated to the central bank (here your attention will surely be drawn to banknotes you may remember from your childhood, which are long gone from circulation).
A very interestingly arranged room is the Numismatist’s Cabinet – there is a multimedia screen mounted on a huge desk, and in the back is another room with an impressive exhibition of more than 900 Polish coins and medals!
Further on, we face a descent down stairs to finally reach the Treasury. The descent itself is already an attraction, as the lighting resembles laser beams, which you have to dodge to get to the most important part in the bank. At the bottom is a large, armored and (fortunately!) open door, and of course you can go inside and see the caches and gold bars (one, worth about 3.4 million zlotys, you can even touch!). At the door are screens with logic puzzles for children, in which they must break the cipher to open the vault.
Downstairs there is also an exhibition about transporting large sums of money, you can see what a million zlotys looks like in 10 zloty bills, and a multimedia game awaits, where you have to safely drive a van driving around the city.
The part where we spent the most time was the one where we learned to distinguish fake money from authentic money (this is the Authenticity Lab). In the numerous display cases, you can try your hand at it yourself and check and mark whether the banknotes on display here are counterfeit (also using UV light).
This is not the end of the tour of the Money Center, although by this stage we thought we had already learned a lot. Further parts bring us closer to the times of World War II and the People’s Republic of Poland, with an emphasis on the state of the economy and the human stories and hardships that society faced in everyday life.
Subsequent exhibitions are closer to our time. Here we can feel as if we are in the stock market surrounded by screens with changing exchange rates, stock prices, see how means of payment have changed, how an ATM works and learn what currency and economic unions are all about. We can even ring the stock market bell here or find out which way of investing is best for us.
Finally, we saw one more room: the Money Maker and Production. And our only regret is that we got here at the end, because after the tour of the Money Center so far, we were already a bit tired and even overwhelmed by all that we managed to experience and see. And it’s a shame, because this room was just as interesting! Here they zoom in on how money (banknotes and coins) is made from the very beginning – the idea, the design, all the way to printing. There is also a separate section here called Money in the Arts.
NBP Money Center for families with children
The NBP Money Center is a place suitable for both adults and children. The exhibits are geared for children roughly from the age of 6, and we can definitely confirm that the 6-year-old got the most out of her visit. Younger children will also find something to enjoy, but not as much. We really liked that there are additional screens for children in many places, with simple games and activities that educate about finance and economics, and many of the exhibits are at the eye level of younger visitors.
There are many amenities for families with children, which we found out about after the fact ;) We were not offered a special audioguide adapted for the little ones or the so-called “tour”. plaques, or interactive maps, with which one walks around the Money Center and solves various tasks. They may not have been there yet at the time of our visit, but it would probably be an interesting addition to the tour.
Practical information about the NBP Money Center
Facilities for families with smaller children
When deciding to visit the Money Center with a young child, you need to know that this is a place where it is darker at times, there are various colored lights – if your child is sensitive to such stimuli it is better to postpone this visit.
The center is adapted in terms of movement with a baby stroller, except for going down the stairs to the Vault. In addition, there is a public elevator that will take you to other expositions.
Prices – how much does a ticket to the NBP Money Center cost?
Entrance to the Money Center is completely free! It is not possible to book seats for specific times, so you may have to stand off in line, as we did, but we assure you that it is worth it.
Opening hours of the NBP Money Center
The Money Center is open Tuesday through Sunday from: 10 am – 6 pm (on Thursdays the facility is open longer – until 8 pm).
Getting to the NBP Money Center
The Money Center is located at the NBP headquarters in Warsaw at 11/21 Swietokrzyska Street. Parking in the area can be difficult, as it is the center of the city and parking spaces are occupied. You can look for places at Powstańców Warszawy Square and nearby streets (this is a paid parking zone).
For those traveling by public transport: the nearest ZTM stops are Ordynacka, pl. Powstańców Warszawy, Nowy Świat (buses) or Świętokrzyska and Nowy Świat (subway).
NBP Money Center
Street. Świętokrzyska 11/21
phone: +48 22 185 25 25
Where to stay overnight near the NBP Money Center?
You can easily find accommodations in Warsaw, it’s all a matter of price ;) We, as a rule, come to the capital either for a day or for business, so we often have hotels already selected and paid for.
Here are some sample accommodations in the center of the city and one a bit remote but worth a look (the first 4 we tested):
- ibis Styles Warsaw Centrum
Address: 1A Zagórna Street, Downtown, 00-441 Warsaw
Prices: from 450 PLN for a double room
- Mercure Warszawa Centrum
Address: Zlota 48/54, Downtown, 00-120 Warsaw
Prices: from 570 PLN for a double room
- Vienna House by Wyndham Mokotow Warsaw
Address: ul. Postępu 4, Mokotów, 02-676 Warsaw
Prices: from 450 PLN for a double room
- Sofitel Warsaw Victoria
Address: ul. Krolewska 11, Downtown, 00-065 Warsaw
Prices: from 700 PLN for a double room
- Motel One Warsaw-Chopin
Address: 38 Tamka, Downtown, 00-349 Warsaw
Prices: from 380 PLN for a double room
- Hotel Metropol
Address: ul. Marszalkowska 99a, Downtown, 00-693 Warsaw
Prices: from 420 PLN for a double room
- Holiday Inn – Warsaw City Centre, an IHG Hotel
Address: Twarda 52, Wola, 00-831 Warsaw
Prices: from 420 PLN for a double room
Our opinion about the NBP Money Center.
The NBP Money Center in Warsaw is, in our opinion, a place that everyone should visit, not necessarily as a tourist attraction, but necessarily as an educational center.
The site allows you to learn about the history of money in a very engaging way, see how coins and banknotes are made, how the central bank works, the treasury and unique coins…. We could list a lot more, but it’s better to just come here and see for yourself :)