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Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Free Things to Do in Paris Part 4: Museums

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There are many free museums in Paris. For example, all the museums run by the city of Paris are free every day. Many other well-known museums in Paris offer free admission on the first Sunday of every month. It’s important to remember that these free days often draw an incredible number of visitors, which drastically increase wait times.

Looking for more free things to do in Paris?

Check out Part 1: Parks, Gardens & Outdoors, Part 2: Churches & Cemeteries, Part 3: Culture & History, and Part 5: Markets & Shopping 

Hôtel de Ville

Hotel de Ville
Hotel de Ville

Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, 4th Arrondissement

Individual visits to City Hall have been suspended until further notice.

The Hôtel de Ville, which is situated in the 4th arrondissement near the Seine River, is housed in a Neo-Renaissance style building with a beautiful façade containing sculptures of 338 notable Parisians figures. It has been the seat of the Paris City Council since the mid-14th century and also the site of successful free exhibitions centred around the theme of Paris.

Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm
Closed Sundays and public holidays
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
How to get there: Metro Line 1 – Hotel de Ville

Musée Zadkine

100bis Rue d’Assas, 6th Arrondissement

The Musée Zadkine is located near the Luxembourg Gardens, nestled amidst the greenery of a garden peopled with sculptures. This charming museum is dedicated to the memory and the work of Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967), a sculptor of Russian origin, who lived and worked in the house and studios between 1928 and 1967.  A stone’s throw from Montparnasse, where Modigliani, Cendrars, Henry Miller and many others used to congregate, this museum devoted to one of the main representatives of the Paris School is an enclave with a Slav influence just waiting to be discovered. Admission to the permanent collection at the Musée Zadkine in Paris is free, except during the museums temporary exhibition periods. See website for details. Source: http://www.zadkine.paris.fr/en/ 

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Closed Mondays and some public holidays.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
How to get there: Metro Line 12 – Notre-Dame des Champs, or Line 4 – Vavin
RER B – Port-Royal

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 16th Arrondissement

From June 1st, 2018 to autumn 2019, the Museum’s entrance will be on the Seine’s side at 12-14 avenue de New York, 75116.

Located between the Champs-Elysées and the Eiffel Tower, the palace that houses the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is a magnificent example of 1930s architecture. The Museum’s collection of more than 13,000 works makes it one of the biggest museums of modern and contemporary art in France.

The permanent collections present all the main artistic trends from the beginning of the 20th century up to the present day and include major artists from those periods, such as Picasso, Dufy, Modigliani, Derain, Picabia, Chagall, as well as Boltanski, Parreno and Peter Doig.  The museum offers free entry to its permanent collection, however, there is a cost for temporary exhibitions. Source: www.mam.paris.fr/en

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm (last admission 5:15 pm)
Closed Mondays and public holidays
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
How to get there: Metro Line 9 – Alma-Marceau or Iéna

Musée Bourdelle

18 Rue Antoine Bourdelle, 15th Arrondissement

Inside the Musée Bourdelle which was once the artist Bourdelle’s apartment, visitors are free to follow their own path among the sculptor’s work. There are also welcoming gardens that are ideal for a relaxing stroll at the heart of the Montparnasse district. The permanent collections are free for everyone, while the temporary exhibitions range from €8 to €10.  Source: http://www.bourdelle.paris.fr/en

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Closed Mondays and some public holidays.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes, however, the garden is difficult to access for those with limited mobility.
How to get there: Metro Line 12 – Falguière

Petit Palais – Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

Avenue Winston Churchill, 8th Arrondissement

The Petit Palais was built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition and then became a museum in 1902. Currently, the Petit Palais houses a significant collection of decorative murals and sculptures created between 1903 and 1925. The French collection of paintings from major artists of the 19th century includes works by Delacroix, Monet, Sisley, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Courbet, and more. A small courtyard garden adds to the charm of the establishment. Admission to the permanent collections is free. For temporary exhibitions charges, see website for details. Source: petitpalais.paris.fr/en/

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Closed Monday
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
How to get there: Metro Lines 1 or 13 – Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau

Atelier Brancusi

Place Georges Pompidou, 4th Arrondissement

On the piazza opposite the Centre Pompidou, in the Place Beaubourg, lies a reproduction of the studio of the Romanian-born artist Constantin Brâncuși. This free exhibition consists of a collection of 137 sculptures, 87 bases, 41 drawings, two paintings and over 1 600 glass photographic plates and original prints. Source: www.centrepompidou.fr/en/

Hours: Wednesday – Monday  2 pm – 6 pm
Closed Tuesdays.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
How to get there: Metro Line 11 – Rambuteau

Musée Curie

1 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 5th Arrondissement

Located in the former Marie Curie laboratory, the Curie Museum traces the different stages of discoveries of Curie and Joliot-Curie, the family of 5 Nobel Prize winners. Renovated in 2012, a space of 120 square meters combines new technologies and old documents with inestimable value, allowing visitors to discover the history of radioactivity and radiotherapy. The visit is divided into 4 themes: the family of 5 Nobel Prize winners; radium; the Curie laboratory and the Curie cancer care foundation. Entrance to the Curie Museum in Paris is free. However, donations are welcomed on-site or online. Source: musee.curie.fr/

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 1 pm – 5 pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays and during public holidays.
Closed during Summer holidays in August. See website for details.
Closed during Christmas holidays for 2 weeks. See website for details. 
Wheelchair Accessible: Partial
How to get there: Metro Line 7 – Place Monge, or Line 10 – Cardinal Lemoine
RER B – Luxembourg

Musée du Parfum ( Haussmann-Fragonard)

Musée-du-Parfum
The Musée-du-Parfum by Nico Paix on Flickr

5 Square de l’Opéra-Louis Jouvet, 9th Arrondissement

Located in the Opéra Garnier quarter of Paris, the Musée du Parfum Fragonard is a must-see amongst the free museums in Paris. It welcomes both amateur perfume lovers and connoisseurs for a free guided tour unveiling the manufacturing secrets of perfume and its extraordinary history from Antiquity to the present day.  Source: https://musee-parfum-paris.fragonard.com/en/

Hours: Monday – Saturday 9 am – 6 pm
Closed Sundays
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
How to get there: Metro Lines 3, 7, or 8 – Opéra
RER A – Auber

Maison de Victor Hugo

6 Place des Vosges, 4th Arrondissement

The apartment which Victor Hugo rented from 1832 to 1848 at 6 Place Royale (now Place des Vosges) is currently laid out in such a way as to take you through his life, evoking his writing through furniture, objects and works of art that belonged to him or that he created himself. It was here that he wrote several major works including ‘Les Misérables’. Victor Hugo’s life was divided into three major periods: before exile, exile and after exile. The Maison de Victor Hugo has been arranged according to these time periods and is thus organized as a chronological journey. The permanent collections are free for everyone but there is an admission charge for the temporary exhibitions.  Source: http://www.maisonsvictorhugo.paris.fr/en

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday  10 am – 6 pm (last admissions at 5:40 pm)
Closed Mondays
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
How to get there: Metro Lines 1, 5, or 8 – Bastille

Musée de la Vie Romantique

Musée de la Vie Romantique, which is another free museum in Paris,
Musée de la Vie Romantique, which is another free museum in Paris, by Gabriella Alu’ on Flickr

Hotel Scheffer-Renan, 16 Rue Chaptal, 9th Arrondissement

The Museum of Romantic Life is dedicated to art and literature during the Romantic period. Housed in a villa built in 1830, the museum is tucked along a picturesque cobbled lane at the base of Montmartre. This small museum was once home to the Dutch painter Ary Scheffer and was the setting for cultural soirées which hosted notable figures such as George Sand, painters Ingres and Eugéne Delacroix, Franz Liszt, Chopin, and Charles Dickens. Today it showcases exhibits from the era featuring the paintings of Ary Scheffer and personal effects of writer George Sand. The exterior features a hidden courtyard with lush gardens and an outdoor cafe.

The permanent exhibitions at the museum are free to enter but the temporary exhibitions have an entrance fee. Source: museevieromantique.paris.fr/en 

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Closed Mondays and some holidays.
Wheelchair Accessible: Ground floor only
How to get there: Metro Line 12 – Saint-Georges or Pigalle, or Line 2 – Pigalle or Blanche

Cernuschi Museum (Museum of the Asian Arts of Paris)

7 avenue Vélasquez, 8th Arrondissement

This former mansion by the edge of Monceau Park was donated to the city of Paris by financier Henri Cernuschi in 1896. It holds an impressive collection of Chinese art which stemmed from pieces acquired by Cernuschi during his travels. The collection has since been enhanced by many acquisitions and gifts including Neolithic pottery, archaic bronzes, funeral statues as well as a very beautiful collection of classic and modern Chinese paintings from the 20th century.  
Source: http://www.parismusees.paris.fr/en/

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Closed on Mondays and public holidays.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
How to get there: Metro Line 2 or 3 – Villiers

Musée Cognacq-Jay

Musée Cognacq-Jay in Paris, where admission to the permanent collection is free
Musée Cognacq-Jay, where admission to the permanent collection is free, by ANSEM PALLÀS on Flickr

8 rue Elzévir, 3rd Arrondissement

The art collections at Musée Cognacq-Jay are housed in a beautiful historic hotel at the center of the Marais district of Paris. The display at
Musée Cognacq-Jay primarily features 18th-century artwork which was bequeathed to the City of Paris in 1928 by Ernest Cognacq, founder of the Samaritaine department stores, and his wife Marie-Louis Jay. Admission to the permanent collection is free. The temporary exhibitions vary in cost. Visit the websites exhibition pages for prices.
Source: http://www.parismusees.paris.fr/en/

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm (Last entry at 5.30 pm)
Closed on Mondays and public holidays.
Wheelchair Accessible: No
How to get there: Metro Line 1 – Saint-Paul, or Line 8 – Chemin-Vert

Museum of the General LeClerc and the Paris Liberation

The Museum of the General LeClerc and the Paris Liberation is currently closed to the public. It will re-open in August 2019 at its new site in Place Denfert-Rochereau.

Maison de Balzac

47 Rue Raynouard, 16th Arrondissement

The museum is closed for works until summer 2019. The library is open by appointment.

Nestled on the hillsides of Passy, the House of Balzac is the last famous Parisian novelist’s house to exist today. The museum holds numerous original editions, manuscripts and illustrations. You can also see paintings, engravings and documents about his loved ones. Source: maisondebalzac.paris.fr

HoursThe museum is closed for works until summer 2019. The library is open by appointment.
Wheelchair Accessible: No
How to get there: Metro Line 6 – Passy, Line 9 – La Muette
RER C – Boulainvilliers or Radio France

Musée Carnavalet

23 Rue de Sévigné, 3rd Arrondissement

The Carnavalet museum is closed for renovation until the end of 2019.

The musée Carnavalet which opened in 1880 highlights Paris’s past and reveals the city’s diverse personality. Although it is essentially a history museum, the musée Carnavalet is nevertheless an art gallery exhibiting mostly original works in keeping with the spirit of the genius of Paris. With around 600,000 exhibits spread over more than one hundred rooms, the musée Carnavalet houses the largest overall number of collections in the city of Paris. Aside from the permanent exhibits, the museum also houses a collection of graphic art forming a major archive of drawings, etchings, photographs and posters, as well as a remarkable coin collection, both of which can be visited by appointment.  There is free access to permanent collections and themed exhibitions displayed in the museum’s connecting galleries. There is a cost for temporary exhibitions. Source: http://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/en/

HoursThe Carnavalet museum is closed for renovation until the end of 2019.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
How to get there: Metro Line 8 – Chemin Vert, or Line 1 – Saint Paul

Le Palais Galliera

10 avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie, 16th Arrondissement

The Palais Galliera is temporarily closed for major refurbishment. It is scheduled to re-open at the end of 2019.

Additional sources: www.atlasobscura.com/, en.parisinfo.com/,  http://www.parismusees.paris.fr/en/ 

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