High culture is a quintessential part of Paris’ personality, and nowhere is that better expressed than in the city’s wealth of world-class museums. From art-world heavyweights to modernist stylings, here are six of the City of Light’s top museums.
Carnavalet Museum (Musée Carnavalet)
16 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris , France
One of the few examples of Renaissance architecture in Paris and one of the oldest town houses in the city, the Hôtel Carnavalet was first acquired by the city in 1866, under the advice of Baron von Haussmann. The museum opened within the manor in 1880 and quickly grew; just over a century later, the Musée Carnavalet officially expanded into the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau, another impressive manor located just next door. In 2016, the museum closed to the public to undergo a major renovation,which is ongoing.
The Musée Carnavalet is included on walking tour itineraries of the Marais and is also easy to visit independently.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Musée Carnavalet is one of Paris’ oldest museums and welcomes upwards of 400,000 visitors annually.
The landmark is as renowned for its architectural beauty as its collection and has been a certified Historic Monument since the mid-19th century.
Following its revamp, the Musée Carnavalet will be fully accessible to disabled visitors.
As part of its renovation, the museum is host to a new tearoom, which overlooks its gardens and is accessible even when the museum is closed.
The museum has its own smartphone app, which visitors can use to purchase tickets, source information, and embark on an audio tour of the collections.
How to Get There
The museum is conveniently located in the heart of the popular Marais district. If traveling by Metro, take line 1 to Saint-Paul or line 8 to Chemin Vert. It is also served by bus lines 29, 69, 76, and 96 and can be reached on foot, by car, or by Vélib’ bike.
When to Get There
The Musée Carnavalet is closed for renovation until the beginning of 2020, after which it opens Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm. The museum hosts an array of temporary exhibitions, as well as workshops and other events, so it’s worth making return journeys.
The Musée Carnavalet features a wide range of collection highlights, from a 16th-century scale model of Paris to objects that belonged to Napoleon and Émile Zola. Other notable items include paintings by Jacques-Louis David and a reconstruction of the room where Marcel Proust wrote his masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time.
Please note: The Musée Carnavalet is currently closed to the public for renovations. The reopening is scheduled for 2020.
- Things to do in Île-de-France
- Things to do in Marne-la-Vallée
- Things to do in Blois
- Things to do in Deauville City
- Things to do in Lille
- Things to do in Dijon
- Things to do in Brussels
- Things to do in Bruges
- Things to do in Zaventem
- Things to do in Luxembourg City
- Things to do in Horley
- Things to do in Nantes
- Things to do in London
- Things to do in Normandy
- Things to do in Nord-Pas de Calais
- Picasso Museum (Musée National Picasso Paris)
- Museum of Jewish Art and History (Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme)
- Place des Vosges
- Le Marais
- Maison de Victor Hugo
- Museum of Magic (Musée de la Magie)
- Mémorial de la Shoah (Shoah Memorial)
- 4th Arrondissement
- Marché des Enfants Rouges
- Ile Saint-Louis
- 3rd Arrondissement
- Hotel de Ville
- Centre Pompidou