Ever thought you could explore Paris museums without emptying your pockets? Good news: you can! Paris isn’t just about fancy restaurants and expensive tickets. There are plenty of museums where you can dive into art and history for free. We’ve got a list ready for you. So, why pay when you can see some cool stuff for zero euros? Ready to check it out?
Museums that are free all year round
Atelier Brancusi – Centre Georges Pompidou
The Atelier Brancusi is a mesmerizing testament to the genius of the renowned sculptor Constantin Brâncuși. Nestled within the iconic Centre Georges Pompidou, this workshop offers visitors a unique glimpse into Brâncuși’s artistic world, showcasing his original studio setup and a vast collection of his masterpieces.
A must-visit for art enthusiasts and history buffs, the Atelier Brancusi promises an intimate journey through the life and works of one of the 20th century’s most influential sculptors. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness his iconic pieces, from the sensuous ‘Kiss’ to the ethereal ‘Bird in Space’.
Address: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris.
The Musée Curie unveils the captivating world of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie and her illustrious family. Nestled within the historic Institut Curie, visitors are beckoned to explore her original laboratory, marvel at an array of scientific instruments, and immerse themselves in the groundbreaking research on radioactivity.
Perfect for science aficionados, budding researchers, and history enthusiasts, this museum provides a deep dive into the life, challenges, and triumphs of one of history’s most formidable scientists. Step in and journey through time, witnessing the legacy of a woman whose work forever changed the course of science.
Address : 1 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005 Paris.
Le Plateau – Centre d’art contemporain
Le Plateau stands as a beacon for avant-garde artistry and innovation. As one of the city’s premier contemporary art centers, it boasts a dynamic program of exhibitions, showcasing both established and emerging artists from France and beyond. Le Plateau offers a refreshing perspective on art’s role in today’s society, often pushing boundaries and challenging traditional notions.
Art enthusiasts, culture seekers, and curious minds alike will find themselves immersed in thought-provoking installations, multimedia works, and interactive exhibits. Dive into the pulse of modern creativity and let Le Plateau inspire, challenge, and transform your understanding of art in the 21st century.
Address : 22 Rue des Alouettes, 75019 Paris.
Musée de la Préfecture de police
Ever delved into Paris’s mysterious criminal past? The Musée de la Préfecture de Police unveils the city’s gripping police history. Discover infamous cases, old uniforms, and investigative artifacts. A must-visit for true crime aficionados and history enthusiasts, this museum offers a rare glimpse into Paris’s law and order legacy. Dive into tales of intrigue that have shaped the city’s vibrant history.
Address : 4 Rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, 75005 Paris.
Mémorial de la Shoah
The Mémorial de la Shoah stands as a solemn testament to the six million Jewish lives lost during the Holocaust. This poignant memorial delves into the heart-wrenching narratives of persecution, resilience, and memory. Through meticulously curated exhibits, personal testimonies, and archival materials, visitors are invited to bear witness to one of history’s darkest chapters. A visit here is not just a historical journey, but a profound experience of remembrance and reflection.
Address : 17 Rue Geoffroy-l’Asnier, 75004 Paris.
Musée de la Légion d’Honneur
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.
The Musée de la Légion d’Honneur offers a captivating journey through the history of France’s highest civilian and military decorations. Admire a stunning collection of medals, insignia, and portraits, each telling the story of bravery and commitment. This museum stands as a tribute to the heroes and luminaries who have shaped the nation. A visit promises not only a lesson in history but also an inspiration in courage and dedication.
Address : 2 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
Museums offering free admission to their permanent collections
There are a number of museums offering free admission for major permanent collections. To see the temporary exhibitions you will have to pay.
Maison de Victor Hugo – Hauteville House
Step into the world of Victor Hugo, the literary giant behind “Les Misérables” and “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”. The Maison de Victor Hugo – Hauteville House, once his sanctuary during 15 years of exile, offers an intimate glimpse into his life, showcasing original furnishings, personal artifacts, and manuscripts. Experience a journey that transcends time, immersing visitors in the heart of literary brilliance.
Address : 6 Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris.
The elegance and charm of 18th-century Parisian life at the Musée Cognacq-Jay. This hidden gem boasts a splendid collection of art and artifacts, from delicate porcelain and miniatures to masterpieces by renowned artists such as Rembrandt and Canaletto. Each piece tells a story of a bygone era, reflecting the tastes and passions of its founders, Théodore and Marie-Louise Cognacq-Jay. A visit here is a delightful journey through time, offering a taste of the artistry and sophistication of the Enlightenment.
Address : 8 Rue Elzévir, 75003 Paris.
Immerse yourself in the pivotal moments of World War II with a visit to this triad of museums dedicated to Paris’s Liberation. Here, you’ll delve into the heroic tales of General Leclerc, Jean Moulin, and the French Resistance. Explore authentic underground bunkers, personal artifacts, and stirring exhibits that capture the spirit and determination of those who fought against occupation.
A powerful testament to resilience and heroism, this museum complex ensures that the legacy of these heroes and the story of Paris’s liberation remain forever etched in memory.
Address : 4 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris.
Musée de la Vie romantique
Discover the enchanting world of the Romantic era at the Musée de la Vie romantique. Nestled at the foot of Montmartre, this museum transports visitors to 19th-century Paris, where art, literature, and passion intertwined. Wander through the former residence of painter Ary Scheffer, surrounded by art, memorabilia, and personal belongings of iconic figures like George Sand and Frédéric Chopin.
The museum’s serene garden and tearoom further enhance the experience, making it a perfect haven for those seeking a blend of history and romance.
Address : 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris.
Musée Carnavalet (Museum on the history of Paris)
The heartbeat of Parisian history resonates within the walls of Musée Carnavalet. Spanning from ancient times to the present, the museum provides a detailed narrative of the City of Light’s monumental events, diverse cultures, and iconic figures.
Set within two majestic Renaissance-era mansions, it showcases a vast collection of artifacts, paintings, and period rooms, each reflecting a distinct chapter of Paris’s storied past. Whether you’re drawn to the French Revolution or the glittering Belle Époque, Carnavalet captures the essence of Paris’s rich heritage.
Address : 23 Rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris.
Musée Cernuschi (Museum of the Asian art of Paris)
One of Paris’s treasures, the Musée Cernuschi stands as a premier museum of Asian art. Founded by the traveler and collector Henri Cernuschi, this museum offers an exquisite collection that spans from ancient bronzes to delicate ceramics, highlighting the art and civilization of China, Korea, and Japan. Positioned near Parc Monceau, its elegant interiors coupled with its impressive exhibits provide a serene escape into the vast and intricate world of Eastern artistry.
Address : 7 Avenue Vélasquez, 75008 Paris.
Nestled in the heart of Montparnasse, the Musée Bourdelle pays homage to the works and life of the renowned sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. Within the walls of his former studio and residence, visitors can admire a vast array of his bronze, marble, and plaster sculptures, punctuated by sketches and personal belongings. The museum’s gardens, adorned with Bourdelle’s monumental works, offer a tranquil retreat, making this destination a blend of art, history, and serenity.
Address : 18 Rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris.
Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris
Located a stone’s throw from the Seine River, the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris stands as a vibrant celebration of 20th and 21st-century art. With a collection that boasts over 10,000 works, visitors can journey through the evolution of modern and contemporary art, encountering pieces by Picasso, Braque, Delaunay, and many other artistic luminaries. Its sleek architecture, paired with its expansive collection, offers art enthusiasts a rich exploration of movements from Fauvism to New Realism.
Address : 11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris.
Maison de Balzac
In the picturesque Passy district, the Maison de Balzac stands as a tribute to one of France’s literary giants, Honoré de Balzac. This preserved residence, where Balzac penned many sections of “La Comédie Humaine,” offers a deep dive into the writer’s life and era. Visitors can explore rooms filled with personal memorabilia, manuscripts, and illustrations, providing a tangible connection to the world of the author. It’s a haven for literature lovers and those keen to discover the intimate spaces where Balzac’s genius flourished.
Address : 47 Rue Raynouard, 75016 Paris.
Tucked away amidst a lush garden in the Montparnasse district, the Musée Zadkine offers a serene exploration of the works of Russian sculptor Ossip Zadkine. This museum, once Zadkine’s home and studio, showcases a harmonious blend of art and nature. Visitors can admire a variety of his sculptures, ranging from wood and stone to bronze, all while meandering through the tranquil outdoor spaces. It’s a unique escape into the world of modern sculpture, where art seamlessly intertwines with its surroundings.
Address : 100bis Rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris.
An architectural gem in the heart of Paris, the Petit Palais stands as a testament to the city’s rich artistic heritage. Originally built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle, it now houses the Museum of Fine Arts of the City of Paris. Its collections span from antiquity to the early 20th century, featuring masterpieces by artists such as Rembrandt, Monet, and Delacroix.
Beyond the art, visitors are captivated by the building’s Beaux-Arts architecture, its grandiose staircase, and its tranquil inner garden. A visit to the Petit Palais is a journey through time, celebrating the beauty and creativity of ages past.
Address : Avenue Winston-Churchill, 75008 Paris.
Musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris
Situated within the elegant Petit Palais, the Musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris offers a rich panorama of art from antiquity to the early 20th century. This museum boasts an eclectic collection, including masterpieces from renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Monet, and Delacroix. As visitors meander through its galleries, they are transported through epochs of artistic brilliance, all while being surrounded by the Beaux-Arts architecture of the Petit Palais itself.
Additionally, the serene inner courtyard garden provides a perfect backdrop for reflection, making the museum a harmonious blend of art, history, and architecture.
Address : Avenue Winston-Churchill, 75008 Paris.
Museums that are free on the 1st Sunday of the month
Remember to book online to be sure of getting in.
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
Located in the Marais area of Paris, this museum is all about hunting and nature. It has a mix of old hunting tools, animal displays, and modern art that talks about how people and nature get along. The inside looks like an old fancy house, making you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It’s a great place for those curious about animals, hunting history, and art.
Address : 62 Rue des Archives, 75003 Paris.
Musée Gustave Moreau
This museum, found in the 9th district of Paris, is dedicated to the artist Gustave Moreau. Inside, you’ll see Moreau’s home and studio filled with his paintings and drawings. The place has a special feel, like you’re exploring an artist’s secret world. It’s perfect for art fans or anyone wanting a closer look at one artist’s life and work.
Address : 14 Rue de la Rochefoucauld, 75009 Paris.
Musée Jean-Jacques Henner
Free on the first Sunday of every month.
this museum is all about the artist Jean-Jacques Henner. Visitors can explore Henner’s old home, seeing many of his paintings and sketches. The museum gives a cozy, personal feel, letting you get a glimpse into the life and times of the artist. It’s a nice spot for those who love art and history.
Address : 43 Avenue de Villiers, 75017 Paris.
Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou
Admission is free for the permanent collection and the Children’s Gallery.
Right in the center of Paris, this museum is a big deal for modern art lovers. Housed in the famous Centre Pompidou with its unique design, it holds a huge collection of modern and contemporary art. From paintings and sculptures to photos and films, there’s a lot to see. It’s a must-visit for anyone wanting to check out the latest in art and design.
Address : Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris.
Musée des Arts et Métiers
Admission is also free every Friday from 6pm to 9pm.
This museum in Paris is a wonderland for those curious about inventions and technology. It’s filled with old machines, tools, and gadgets that show how people have come up with new ideas over the years. From the first planes and cars to early computers, there’s so much to explore. It’s a fun place for both kids and adults who want to learn about the history of science and innovation.
Address : 60 Rue Réaumur, 75003 Paris.
Museums that are free on the 1st Sunday of the month for under-18s
The Musée Cluny is the national museum of the Middle Ages. It’s set in a beautiful old building that used to be a medieval mansion, and even has ancient Roman baths inside. The museum is packed with art, tapestries (including the famous “Lady and the Unicorn”), and artifacts from medieval times. If you’re into history, knights, or just want a feel of old Paris, this is a great spot to visit.
Address : 6 Place Paul Painlevé, 75005 Paris.
Musée de l’Orangerie
Tucked away in the beautiful Tuileries Garden in Paris, the Musée de l’Orangerie is a haven for art lovers. It’s famous for its large oval rooms showcasing Monet’s water lily paintings, creating a peaceful and immersive experience. Alongside Monet, the museum also features works by renowned artists like Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso. A visit here is a deep dive into the world of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, set in a picturesque location.
Address : Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris.
Set in a grand old railway station alongside the Seine River in Paris, the Musée d’Orsay is a treasure trove of art from the 19th and early 20th centuries. With its vast collection, visitors can marvel at masterpieces by Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and many more. The museum’s iconic clock and stunning architecture add to the charm. It’s a must-visit for art enthusiasts and those keen to experience the rich artistic heritage of the Impressionist era.
Address : 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris.
Nestled in the historic Marais district of Paris, the Musée Picasso is a tribute to the genius of Pablo Picasso. Inside a beautiful old mansion, visitors will find over 5,000 works, showcasing the artist’s incredible range and evolution. From paintings and sculptures to ceramics and sketches, the museum offers a comprehensive look at Picasso’s creative journey. It’s a must-see for art lovers and anyone interested in diving deep into the world of one of the 20th century’s most iconic artists.
Address : 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris.
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine
Located near the Eiffel Tower, the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine is a celebration of France’s architectural heritage and design. Inside, visitors can explore detailed models of famous French buildings, historical monuments, and even full-sized church replicas. The museum also dives into modern architecture, showcasing the evolution and innovation of design over the centuries. For those fascinated by buildings, urban planning, and the art of construction, this museum offers a rich and enlightening experience.
Address : 1 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris.
Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration
In the vibrant 12th district of Paris, the Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration delves into the diverse stories of those who have come to France from afar. Through artifacts, photographs, and personal accounts, the museum sheds light on the challenges, contributions, and rich cultural tapestry woven by immigrants over the years. It’s a thought-provoking space that celebrates the shared history and resilience of people seeking new beginnings.
Address : 293 Avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris.
Situated in the 16th district of Paris, the Musée Guimet is a renowned museum dedicated to Asian art and civilizations. With its vast collection, visitors can travel across India, China, Japan, and many other Asian countries, discovering ancient sculptures, delicate ceramics, and vibrant textiles. Founded by the traveler Emile Guimet, this museum offers a deep exploration of the diverse art forms and rich histories of Asia. It’s a must-visit for those interested in the art, culture, and traditions of the vast Asian continent.
Address : 6 Place d’Iéna, 75116 Paris.
Musée du Quai Branly
Just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower, the Musée du Quai Branly is a gateway to the arts and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Set in a modern building surrounded by lush gardens, the museum showcases a rich collection of masks, textiles, sculptures, and other artifacts. It’s a vibrant space where tradition meets contemporary, offering visitors a unique insight into the diverse cultures and histories of non-European civilizations.
Address : 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris.