The “City of Light” is known for many things – from its freshly-baked boulangerie treats to its high fashion, chic street-side cafes and stunning landmarks. Here are the ten best free museums in Paris.
Paris is the city of lovers; the city of light. A steadfast cultural capital for the past few centuries, Paris attracts tourists worldwide each year who want to soak up its effortlessly cool energy.
For those who seek a healthy dose of culture on their Parisian adventure, read on: these are the ten best free museums in Paris that you need to check out!
10. Musée d’Archéologie nationale – for naturalists
For those who channel Indiana Jones, Jacques Cousteau or David Attenborough in their dreams, this one may be for you!
The Musée d’Archéologie nationale in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a short journey outside Paris city, but is well worth a visit, being one of France’s leading archeology museums. It is free to visit on the 1st Sunday of the month, year-round.
Address: Place Château, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
9. Rodin Museum – a treasure trove of art
Dedicated to the work of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, the Rodin Museum is one of the top cultural centres to visit in Paris.
Opened in 1919, the Rodin Museum holds more than 6,600 sculptures, 8,000 drawings, 8,000 photographs and 7,000 objets d’art! Visitors can come free of charge on the 1st Sunday of the month, from October until the end of March.
Address: 77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, France
8. Musée de la Vie Romantique – for the romantics
Located near the iconic area of Montmartre is the Musée de la Vie Romantique – a hidden gem for those looking for something unique to explore in the city of Paris.
Although closed Mondays, the museum is otherwise open all week and is free throughout the year. There is much to love about this museum, with studios, a greenhouse, courtyard, and cafe to discover.
Address: 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris, France
7. Nouveau Musée du Parfum Fragonard – for fragrance lovers
Also known as the Musée du Parfum, the Nouveau Musée du Parfum Fragonard is another one of the best free museums in Paris.
As you may imagine, it is dedicated to all sweet-smelling things and offers unique insight into a city synonymous with scents.
Address: 9 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris, France
6. Musée Carnavalet – for history buffs
For those who like to explore the rich tapestry of a city through its storied past, Musée Carnavalet may be one of the best free museums in Paris.
Dedicated to the city and its rich history, the museum is set across two grand mansions that sit side-by-side. The museum is free to visit year-round.
Address: 23 Rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris, France
5. Picasso National Museum – for Picasso fans
Although forever-linked with France, the iconic artist, Picasso, was in fact Spanish. He spent much of his glory years in Paris, brushing shoulders with other 20th-century greats and his presence is still remembered there today.
The Picasso National Museum is a must for culture vultures and is free to visit on the 1st Sunday of the month, all year round.
Address: 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris, France
4. Petit Palais – an often overlooked gem
Paris is a haven for museums and cultural centres, so it is easy for some to fall into the background. Often, Petit Palais (meaning ‘small palace’) would be one of them.
It is a fantastic experience, so make the visit, if possible. One of Paris’s most architecturally impressive free museums, Petit Palais is located in the 8th arrondissement.
Address: Av. Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris, France
3. Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris – one of the best free museums
Also known as the MAM Paris, this is without a doubt one of the best free museums in Paris.
Housing modern and contemporary art belonging to 20th and 21st century visionaries, this is an experience to remember. And, it is free year-round.
Address: 11 Av. du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France
2. Louvre Museum – the ultimate Parisian museum
A trip to Paris should be on every traveller’s bucket list, and usually the first stop is to the Louvre. Although a well-trodden stop along the tourist trail, no trip to Paris would be complete without visiting this iconic spot.
Home to celebrated masterworks, including the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, it is safe to say this will be an experience not soon forgotten. The Louvre is free to visit on the 1st Saturday evening of the month.
Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
1. Palace of Versailles – a quintessential Parisian museum
The Palace of Versaille is the former French Royal residence where Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI lived, among others. Its sheer decadence, grandeur and Palladian architecture is an experience unlike any other.
If you happen to be in Paris when it is free to visit (the 1st Sunday of the month, from the beginning of November until the end of March), we highly suggest you make the trip.
Address: Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France