Virtuoso pianist and Romantic composer Fryderyk Chopin was a key creative figure in Poland’s quest for independence. This state-of-the-art museum takes a comprehensive look at his life and work within a splendid palace building.
Fryderyk Chopin Museum
Housed within the reconstructed Ostrogski Palace, itself a building with a complicated and fascinating history, the Chopin Museum is an appropriately comprehensive multimedia engagement with Poland’s famous composer. In fact, he is referenced all over Warsaw and several excellent Chopin tours include the museum.
The fully multimedia museum opened in 2010, to celebrate 200th anniversary of the composer, and has been one of the city’s most popular attractions ever since. Based around a huge collection of memorabilia, and a complete catalogue of Chopin’s music, it helps demonstrate his role in Poland’s struggle for independence.
The museum sits next to the university’s music school, which gives it suitably sonorous surroundings, and located close to Nowy Świat’s bus and metro stops, it is very easy to reach.
What To See In The Fryderyk Chopin Museum
Fryderyk Chopin Museum
The Chopin museum was designed to be a fluid visiting experience, with no set route through the collection, and engagement with state-of-the-art interactive technology providing the narrative, based on which items catch your interest.
Broadly speaking, however, the ground floor looks at Chopin’s Warsaw period, before moving onto the Paris period on the first floor, and an in-depth look at Chopin’s work as a composer and pianist on the lower level. The museum is divided into 12 themes over four floors.
Much of the museum is made up of manuscripts and letters, as well as drawings and other depictions of the composer. Other artefacts belonged to Chopin, including a gold watch and a diary, and the Pleyel grand piano of his Paris years. Though not unique to this museum, the cast of Chopin’s left hand helps conjure the museum back to life. Fittingly, this is also an exhibition filled with music.
The highlights of the museum can be engaged with online.
The building itself has a fascinating history and was, according to legend, the home of the mythical Złota Kaczka or Gold Duck.
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How To Visit The Fryderyk Chopin Museum
Fryderyk Chopin Museum
Fryderyk Chopin Museum address: Okolnik 1 The Gniński Palace, Warsaw 00-368 Poland
Although the museum lies on a bus route, it is probably best to navigate on foot from one of the nearby Nowy Świat bus stops or the Nowy Świat-Uniwersytet Metro station, some 7 minutes away.
The museum also sits on the end of the Skwer Bohdana Wodiczki park and makes for a nice musical walk from Warsaw Powiśle train station. The music school is adjacent, so the sounds of students playing and practising wafts across the area.
You can find the ticket office on the ground floor of the museum, at the bottom of the external staircase, facing Tamka.
The museum and ticket office are open as follows:
- Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm
- Mon: Closed
Last entry is 45 minutes before the museum closes.
Note the following public holidays:
- 24-26 December: Closed
- 31 December: 10am-3pm
- 1 January: Closed
Entry is 25zł (15zł for concessions). Group and family tickets are also available – see the Museum of Chopin website for details.
Children under 7 enter for free, and all people with disabilities and their assistants are entitled to tickets for 1zł each.
Entry is free on Wednesdays.
Tickets to the Chopin Museum can be purchased online in advance.
Non-Polish guided tours cost 150zł and last 60 minutes. Alternatively, consider taking part in a Chopin tour through Get Your Guide.
The museum is staffed by qualified explainers, who can offer background information on the exhibits. There are also short tours in English and Polish for selected areas of the museum, included as part of the ticket price at 12noon, 2pm, and 4pm.
Powiśle and Northern Śródmieście Districts: Sometimes referred to as ‘downtown Warsaw’, Śródmieście contains the Royal Route of Nowy Świat and Krakowskie Przedmiescie – two historic streets crammed with things to see and do. The area is also home to the iconic Palace Of Science And Culture and the stunning InterContinental Warszawa hotel. These districts are peppered with amazing restaurants, including the Michelin listed Szóstka.
Tips For Visiting The Fryderyk Chopin Museum
- There is a strict number of 60 tickets sold per hour and visitors are requested to turn up as close to the allotted timeslot as possible. You may not be allowed in, if you arrive late!
- Expect to spend 2-3 hours visiting the museum, although you could stay much longer if you listened to the composer’s complete works!
- The museum operates a Bring Your Own Device policy that enables your smartphone to act as a guide. Don’t forget your headphones!
- The strict number of tickets sold mean it rarely feels crowded in the museum. There is also some seating, where you can listen to Chopin’s music.
- There is a free cloakroom for coats and bags. Large luggage is prohibited and you are required to leave backpacks in the cloakroom. Small bags are fine, especially if they contain items for health or childcare.
- Photography and filming are allowed but no tripods or flashes.
- Though some children might find the subject matter a bit dry, much of the museum is interactive and there is a dedicated room for children. I know it is a hit with some pre-teens.
- The museum offers an online accessibility guide and encourages visitors to reach out in advance to help make the experience as enjoyable as possible.
- The museum itself does not have a cafe or (strictly speaking) anywhere to eat, but there is a French-style bakery next to the ticket office on the ground floor.
- There is a smart gift shop with books and music, as well as souvenir mugs, toys and games, and fancy chocolate biscuits.
- Card payments are encouraged throughout the museum, although cash will be accepted.
- Warsaw has a number of other Chopin landmarks, including the Chopin monument at Łazienki Park and the Holy Cross Church, where his heart is contained in an urn. There are also 15 musical Chopin benches scattered around the city. When you find one, you can scan the QR code and download the accompanying app.
- The official Chopin Museum website has a 3D walkthrough with information about the exhibits.
Where Is This Place Located?Find this location on the Warsaw Visit Google map:
- Open the Warsaw Visit map
- Click on a marker and it will give you the name of the landmark, with a brief description and links for more information and directions. You can pan, scroll, and zoom around the map, or use the + or – buttons in the bottom left of the map to zoom in and out
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side, sorted by category. Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Each category is on a different layer, which can be switched on and off. So you can just see the Hotel or Restaurant pins, for example
- If you are using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location
Map pins are color coded:
- YELLOW: Warsaw Sightseeing
- BLUE: Warsaw Hotels
- RED: Warsaw Places To Eat – Michelin restaurants are DARK RED
- ORANGE: Warsaw Nightlife
- PURPLE: Shopping In Warsaw
- GREEN: Warsaw Transportation