Learn A Lot & Save Euros At These Free Museums In Paris

You don't have to spend a Euro at these fascinating free museums. One of the greatest innovations instituted by former mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe was making all the museums in Paris owned by the city free! Just another example of why we love Paris — things are always getting better. Here are the top free Paris museums to add to your planning list. Most can be visited in a hour or two, leaving plenty of free time to explore the neighborhood.


The Best Louvre Museum Tours

Skip-the-line Guided Tour of the Louvre Museum
Skip the Louvre lines with an expert guide to get past the crowds and into the museum to visit the masterpieces.
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Evening Louvre Tour & Wine Tasting
Skip the line on an evening tour of the Louvre. Afterwards, attend a guided tasting of French wine at a classicParisian bar.
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1. Le Petit Palais – Museum of Fine Arts

Le Petit Palais

This elegant building built for the Exhibition of 1900 is today the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts. Highlights include 19th-century paintings by Monet, Sisley, Cézanne, and Modigliani plus medieval and Renaissance paintings. There is also a charming café set in the interior garden court.

  • Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008
  • Metro: Clémenceau
  • Open Tues to Sun, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Website

2. Musée Carnavalet – Museum of the History of Paris

Musée Carnavalet

Musée Carnavaletis closed for renovation until 2019

Set in two rambling mansions in the Marais (one was originally home to Madame Sévigny, the famous 17th-century diarist) Musée Carnavalet is a great place to discover the history of Paris.

It's rarely crowded and has many fascinating permanent exhibits as well as a pretty garden to relax in. We love wandering its hallways and discovering hidden corners and unusual objects from the past of Paris. There's also a very good historic photo collection.

  • 23 rue de Sévigné, 75003
  • Metro: St Paul
  • Open Tues to Sun, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Website

3. Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris

This spacious museum is dedicated to the art of the 20th and 21st centuries. It's located in the Palais de Tokyo, which was built for a 1937 exhibition in Paris, and it's choc-a-bloc with the best-known painters of the modern era — Picasso, Matisse and an entire generation of similar painters.

The museum was the site of a burglary in May 2010 when five modern masterpieces were stolen, including Picasso's Le Pigeon Aux Petit Pois. Both the thieves and the painting are still at large. So, if you find a Picasso or Matisse for sale cheap on eBay, you know where it probably came from.

  • 11 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116
  • Metro: Alma-Marceau or Iéna
  • Open Tues to Sun, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Website


4. Musée Cognacq-Jay – 18th Century Arts & Furniture


Ernest Cognacq, a business magnate of the Belle Époque era, and his wife Théodore-Ernest, founded La Samarataine, one of Paris' grands magasins, back in 1869. When they died in the 1920s, they bequeathed their possessions to the city of Paris. It is a beautiful collection of fine art and decorative items focusing on 18th century France. The museum is housed in a hôtel built in the Marais in 1575.

  • 18 Rue Elzevir, 75003
  • Metro: St-Paul, Chemin Vert, Rambuteau
  • Open Tues to Sun, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Website

5. Musée Jean Moulin – French Resistance and WWII

& Mémorial du Maréchal Leclerc

Musee Jean Moulin

The Second World War was one of the darkest periods in the history of Paris. But, there were some bright spots. Discover the poignant stories of the iconic French World War II leaders — Marshal Leclerc and resistance leader Jean Moulin.

The museum was built in 1994 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of Paris. Jean Moulin remains the most famous member of the French resistance in World War II. He was arrested in 1943, tortured and murdered by the Nazis. His ashes were moved to the Panthéon in 1964.

Marshal Leclerc was a French general who fought in many theaters of World War II and was instrumental in the liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944. He died in a plane crash in 1947.

  • Above the Montparnasse train station
  • 23, Allee de la 2e DB, Jardin Atlantique, 75015
  • Metro: Montparnasse Bienvenue
  • Open Tues to Sun, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Website

6. Musée Bourdelle

Musée Bourdelle

A student of Rodin, sculptor Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) created stunning bronze and marble sculptures. Now — in the 15th Arrondissement, very near the Montparnasse train station and the Musée Jean Moulin — you can visit the gardens of the house as well as studio where he lived and worked.

  • 18 Rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015
  • Metro: St-Paul, Chemin Vert, Rambuteau
  • Open Tues to Sun, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Website

7. Musée de la Vie Romantique

la Vie Romantique

"The Museum of the Romantic Life." Just the name puts you in a good mood, doesn't it? The museum is housed in two 19th-century mansions. The front mansion houses a tribute to the poet George Sand with artifacts from her amazing life. You may also see temporary exhibits in the main building. Take your time, then sit in the pretty garden and enjoy tea. It's a perfect location to set off to explore Montmartre.

  • 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009
  • Metro: Pigalle
  • Open Tues to Sun, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Website


The Most Popular Ways to Visit Versailles

Best of Versailles. Skip the Line, with Hotel Pick-up & Lunch
This day trip from Paris gets you inside the royal estate without waiting in the long lines. Included is a 3-course traditional lunch by the Grand Canal.
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Skip-the-Line Guided Tour to Versailles, with Hotel Pick-up & Return
Small-group or private tours in the morning. The best of Versailles including the King's Apartment & the Hall of Mirrors. Stroll in the magnificent gardens.
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Other Free Museums

The City of Paris owns and operates additional museums, and most of them are also free to enter. Here are a few of the others —

    The home of the celebrated French author has been turned into a museum examining his life.
    47 Rue Raynouard 75016
    The home of another famous French author turned into a museum. Located on beautiful Place de Vosges.
    6 place des Vosges 75004
    The 19th-century mansion of the Duchess of Galliera houses the city's history of fashion museum.
    10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie 75116
    Our Review
    The Museum of Asian Arts
    7 Avenue Vélasquez 75008
    Our Review

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