The History of Paris –
The Museums

There's a Lot of History,
& It Takes a Lot Of Museums to Cover It

Paris historical museums – what better place to brush up on the history of Paris than at these specialized museums, geared to telling the complicated story of Paris?

There are many to choose from, large and small. Some specialize in the Big Picture, like Musée Carnavalet, where the sweeping story of Paris is told through art, architecture and artifacts.

Some focus on a specialized topic in the history of Paris or France, such as the National Naval Museum. Then there are the quirky museums, like the Postal Museum where you'll learn about the role communication has played in the history of France.

Whatever your choice, the History Of Paris Museums will educate and enlighten you about the brilliant history of the French capital.

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Musée National du Moyen Age

Musee National du Moyen Age

Reach back to the Middle Ages at the Hôtel de Cluny, a mansion from Medieval Paris. Discover the collection of ancient tapestries, including La Dame a la Licorne (The Lady And The Unicorn), considered the greatest work of art from the Middle Ages.

Cluny: History of the Middle Ages Museum
6, place Paul Painlevé, 75005
Metro: Cluny-La Sorbonne, Saint-Michel
Open: 9:15 am to 5:45 pm
Closed: Tuesdays and public holidays
Website »
Free Entrance with the Paris Museum Pass »

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Musée National de la Marine

National Naval Museum

Voyage through the history of French navy frigates, steamers and battleships at the National Naval Museum. The artifacts and exhibits date back to Louis XV and capture the spirit of naval adventure.

National Naval Museum
Palais de Chaillot, Place du Trocadero, 75016
Metro: Trocadéro
Open: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Fri. until 9:30, Sat & Sun. until 7:00pm
Closed: Tuesday and public holidays
Website »
Free Entrance with the Paris Pass »

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Musée Carnavalet

A Paris Insiders Guide favourite

Musée Carnavalet

600,000 exhibits. 100 rooms. 5 centuries of history. This is the place to discover the history of Paris. It's rarely crowded and when you've had your fill of history, there's a pretty garden to relax in.

Carnavalet: The Museum of the History Of Paris
23 rue de Sévigné, 75003
Metro: St-Paul, Chemin Vert
Open: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Closed: Monday and public holidays
Free Admission
Website »

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Musée Cognacq-Jay

Musée Cognacq-Jay

Ernest Cognacq and Théodore-Ernest Jay, the power couple from the Belle Epoque era, founded La Samarataine, one of the grands magasins (big department stores). When they died in the 1920s they left their possessions, including a beautiful collection of fine 18th century art and decorative items, to the City of Paris. The museum is housed in a mansion built in the Marais in 1575.

Cognacq-Jay Museum
8 Rue Elzevir, 75003
Metro: St-Paul, Chemin Vert
Open: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Closed: Monday and public holidays
Website (French) »

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Musée Nissim De Camondo

Musée Nissim De Camondo

This beautiful and haunting museum was once the private home of a wealthy Jewish Parisian family whose legacy ended when the last surviving members were murdered by the Nazis. What's left is an impressive collection of their furniture and objects from 18th century France. It's just part of the complex history of Paris.

Nissim de Camondo Museum
63 Rue de Monceau, 75008
Metro: Monceau, Villiers
Open: 11:00 to 6:00 pm
Closed: Monday and public holidays
Website »
Free Entrance with the Paris Pass »

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Musée de la Poste

Musée de la Poste

Postal Museum: Boring? Not at all. Semaphore, telegraph, and telephones, this fascinating Paris museum follows the story of communication and includes works by Alexander Graham Bell.

Postal Museum
34 Boulevard de Vaugirard, 75015
Metro: Montparnasse-Bienvenue (exit #2: Place Bienvenue)
Open: 10:00 - 6:00 pm. Thursday until 8:00 pm
Closed: Sun and public holidays
Website »
Free Entrance with the Paris Pass »

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Musée Jean Moulin & Mémorial du Maréchal Leclerc

Musee Jean Moulin

Learn about France's World War II. This museum tells the poignant stories of the iconic French WWII leaders: Marshal Leclerc and resistance leader Jean Moulin.

Jean Moulin and Marshall Leclerc Museum
23, Allee de la 2e DB, Jardin Atlantique
(above the Montparnasse train station), 75015
Metro: Montparnasse-Bienvenue
Open: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Closed: Mondays and holidays
Website »
Free admission

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The Paris Story

Plunge into the history of the city we love at this unique museum that takes you on an 3-D interactive journey through prehistoric settlements, Middle Ages, revolutions and wars. This is a good choice for families.

The Paris Story
11 Rue Scribe, 75009
Metro: Opera
Open: Daily 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Closed: Never Website »
Free Entrance with Paris Pass »

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