Touted as one of the most high tech in Europe the museum officially opened in the spring of 2010 to help mark the 200th anniversary of one of Poland’s most famous sons. Taking up four floors the museum features an interactive style and shares in the life of Chopin from start to finish leaving absolutely no detail out. Among the 5,000 exhibits are a lock of hair, his school exercise books, a sweet box, a gold watch presented to the ten year old Frederic by an admiring Italian singer and the passport he used to enter England. So comprehensive is the collection it even features the last letter he wrote to his family and dried flowers from his deathbed. Also, of course, are several paintings and sculptures (including his death mask), and a recreation of his Paris drawing room and even an intriguing section on the women who made the man.
However, what really revolutionises this museum is the way your route is conducted. Aside from an avalanche of e-books, audio-visuals, music games and touchscreen options, the museum allows visitors to ‘adapt their trip to their particular circumstances’. Put simply those entering can choose exactly what they want to see, and how much they want to know about it. Even better are the micro-chipped tickets that can be swiped along different interactive exhibits to allow the visitor to hear music, stories or watch a film. One area that was particularly popular is the musical Twister game, which had normally stoic middle-aged tourists leaping from spot to spot as music played. Mr Chopin, welcome to the 21st century.
As for the building, that’s worth getting to know as well. Located in the Ostrogski Palace the structure housing the museum is something of a Warsaw landmark, and was originally designed by Tylman van Gameren. In the past it’s been home to everything from a Napoleonic military hospital to the riotous Morgan’s Pub, and its catacombs are said to be home of the legendary Golden Duck - a princess charmed by the devil before being transformed into a beaked amphibian.
Admission 22/13zł, family ticket 62zł, Sun free. Number of visitors is restricted, so we suggest reserving tickets in advance via the website. Guided tours in English 120zł and Polish 100 zł, available by prior arrangement.