Free Museums in Paris

Top 10 free museums you don't want to miss

Paris is well-known for its architecture, fashion, food and also its museums... a lot of museums. You must know about the Louvre, and Centre Pompidou but it's not all. Going to the museum is a favorite thing of Parisians, and they enjoy the free accessibility throughout the year (the first Sunday of each month, European Heritage days, the night of Museums in Paris,...).

Must do in paris free museums

But in traveling, it's not sure that you can enjoy these opportunities. Don't worry! In Paris, you can find also a lot of free museums and expositions every time. In this article, we will show you our top 10 free museums that you can visit and enjoy when you come to Paris, like a Parisian!



Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris

Free Museum in Paris

What is the first thing you want to know about a city? Come to Paris, a city with a long story, you may not want to go back without discovering a bit of its history. The Carnavalet-History of Paris Museum, one of France's largest museums with more than 625 000 works is the fastest way to learn about Paris from prehistory to the present. Also, being the oldest City of Paris museum, it was opened to the public on February 25, 1880, located in the Marais, which is an area in Paris that is often referred to as the "SOHO".

Address: 23 rue Sévigné 75003 Paris
Transportation: Metro line 1 Saint-Paul station / line 5 Breguet-Sabin station / line 8 Chemin Vert station
Opening hours: Tue - Sun 10:00 - 18:00 (closed on 1st January, 1st May, and 25th December)



Maison de Victor Hugo

top free museums in paris

Nearby the Musée Carnavalet you can find another free "museum" and also the real apartment of Victor Hugo in Paris. He rented this apartment and lived from 1832 to 1848, and writed Ruy BlasLes Voix intérieures, the begin of Les misérables... 

 Champ de Mars

While visiting, they bring you through his life with furniture, objects, artworks... that belonged to him or evoked his writings or even himself, you can stay in and see his everyday view also.
You can adjust these two museums to your day in the Marais district. We have another article about this district, you can click here if you need more information.

Address: 6 place des Vosges 75004 Paris 
Transportation: Metro line 1 Saint-Paul station / line 1, 5, 8 Bastille station / line 8 Chemin Vert station
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10:00 - 18:00 (Closed on holidays)



Musée de parfum Fragonard

perfume museum in paris

Fragonard perfume museum purpose not only the free entrance but also a free guided tour of about 30 - 45 minutes in different languages, it's a rare thing in France. While the tour, you can learn about the history of perfume, how to make perfume in the past and the present, and test your sense of smell by trying to identify different scents. Visit France, the country of perfume, and try to learn just a bit about this treasure is a very interesting thing to do.
You can click here to have more information about this place.

Address: 3-5, square de l'Opéra Louis Jouvet, 75009 Paris
Transportation: Metro line 3, 7, 8 Opéra station
Opening hours: Mon - Sat 9:00 - 18:00



Le Petit Palais

Instagrammable Spot In Paris

Its facade with the golden portal photogenic is very popular with tourists. Located in the 8th arrondissement, in front of the Grand Palais, this "small palace" - Petit Palais built for the 1900 Paris Exposition is now a Museum of Fine Arts. You can find here a collection of paintings and sculptures acquired by the City of Paris, the collection of pre-modern art bequeathed in 1902 by Auguste and Eugène Dutuit, and a lot of donations year after year. This museum is also known for interesting exhibitions like Homage to Pablo Picasso, 1966-1967 (Hommage à Pablo Picasso), Tutankhamun and his Time, 1967 (Toutankhamon et son temps)...

Address: Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris, France
Transportation: Metro Line 1 Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau, Metro Line 13 and Line 8 Invalides Station, RER Line C Invalides Station
Opening hours: Tue - Sun 10:00 - 18:00



Musée de la Vie romantique

hidden place in paris - musee de la vie romantique

This secretly hidden museum and quaint cafe are a secret among Parisians. On weekends, it will be better to visit in the morning or around lunchtime to get seats. It is the perfect place to visit to enjoy a museum and a romantic cafe at the same time. You can click here to our article about this place.

Address: 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris
Transportation: Metro line 12 Saint-Georges station / line 2, 12 Pigalle station / line 2 Blanche station
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10:00 - 18:00



Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris

Le Jardin de Reuilly

Located near the Eiffel tower, beside the Seine river, an exceptional emblematic palace of 1930s architecture is now the Museum of Modern Art, Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris. Including more than 15,000 works from the 20th to the current scene, it is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in France. Its permanent collections present the major artistic, illustrated by significant artists in the history of art: Picasso, Dufy, Modigliani, Derain, Picabia, Chagall, etc.
In addition to the artwork, the architecture is stunning and there is a terrace where you can see the most beautiful Eiffel view in Paris.

Address: 11 avenue du Président Wilson
Transportation: Metro line 9 Alma-Marceau station
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00  



Musée de la Préfecture de Police

Hidden museum in paris

While visiting Paris, you may not have reason to go to a national office like a local one. Is it interesting to visit a police station? It will be possible for visitors to the Museum of the Prefecture of Police. Located in the police station of the 5th and 6th arrondissements, this hidden museum in the 3rd floor of the real police station. To come in, you need to ask the police agents and walk through two doors with security access, like a citizen. At the information desk, you can ask for entry to the museum and they will send you upstairs. Not like the image of the police, the agents are very welcoming, can speak English, and will introduce to you the collections in the museum.

paris unique museum

The Prefecture of Police Museum was created in 1909 by Louis Lépine with pieces collected for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. It has been at 36, Quai des Orfèvres then moved to 4, rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève (the 5th arrondissement) in 1975 where it is still located in June 1975. The museum's collections were supplemented by regular acquisitions and donations. The two most important donations are the Macé donation and the Péchard donation.
Not only the collections in the museum, but you can also see where the agents work every day.
It's recommended to reserve before coming, you can click here to book.

Address: 4, rue de la montagne Sainte-Geneviève 75005 Paris
Transportation: Metro line 10 Maubert-Mutualité station
Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri 9:30 - 17:00 / Thu 9:30 - 19:00 / 10:30 - 17:30 on the 1st and 3rd Sat of each month



Musée national de la Légion d'honneur et des ordres de chevalerie

to go near musee d'orsay

It is located just beside the Musée d'Orsay, but not many tourists know about this place. The National Museum of the Legion of Honor and Orders of Chivalry is a French national museum of orders of merit and orders of chivalry.
Since 1804, this building has been called the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur, and it is the seat of France's highest honors. Today's museum was built between 1922 and 1925 on the site of the former stables of the Hôtel de Salm, overlooking the forecourt of the Musée d'Orsay. It presents a history of France's honors, medals, decorations, and chivalric orders from 1789 to the present day. It is the only museum dedicated to Phaleristics.

Address: 2 rue de la Légion d'honneur 75007 Paris
Transportation: Metro line 12 Solférino station / RER C Musée d’Orsay station
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 13:00 - 18:00



Musée Cognacq-Jay

Free museum 3rd arrondissement paris

Located in the Hôtel Donon in the 3rd arrondissement, the Cognacq-Jay museum presents the exceptional 18th-century art collection of Ernest Cognacq and his wife Marie-Louise Jaÿ, founders of La Samaritaine department store. Upon his death in 1928, Ernest Cognacq bequeathed these artworks about 1200 fine art and decorative items to the City of Paris.

Address: 8 Rue Elzevir, 75003 Paris
Transportation: Metro line 1 Saint-Paul station / Metro line 8 Chemin-Vert station / Metro line 11 Rambuteau station
Opening hours: Tue - Sun 10:00 - 18:00



Maison de Balzac 

Museum with Eiffel tower view

Hidden place on the hillsides of Passy, the Maison de Balzac (Balzac's house) is the only one of the novelist's Parisian residences that remains today. It was where Balzac corrected, from 1840 to 1847, the whole of La Comédie Humaine. You can know more about Balzac with the presentation of his portraits, characters, paintings, engravings, drawings, and original scenography.
This modest house with a garden is also popular with a good view of the Eiffel tower.

Address: 47, rue Raynouard 75016 Paris
Transportation: Metro line 6, 9 La Muette station  / RER C Boulainvilliers station / RER C Avenue du Président Kennedy Maison de Radio France station
Opening hours:  Tue-Sun 10:00 - 18:00 (Closed on holidays)


Author: Phan Thanh Thuy

Photograph: O'bon Paris team