Free Museums in Paris
Paris is known as a leading city of culture and history, with hundreds of museums, monuments and galleries to her name. But visiting as many museums as possible can take a toll on your wallet, especially if you’re traveling with the family. We’re here to help you out! Here’s our guide to the major museums you never have to pay for, and which ones are occasionally free of charge…
Always Free Paris Museums
Tucked into the heart of the Marais is this beautiful 16th century hôtel particulier: filled with a private collection donated to the city of Paris by the founders of the late department store La Samaritaine, Ernest Cognacq and his wife Louise Jay. Here you’ll find lesser known paintings by Chardin or Fragonard, and drawings by Watteau – all set into a charming court set back away from the bustling city.
Tuesday – Sunday 10am to 6pm
8, rue Elzévir, 75003
The “Museum of the Romantics” is located in a small but beautiful building that dates back to 1830. The ground floor is reserved for George Sand: portraits, jewelry, furniture etc., and the first floor has Ary Scheffer pieces, plus some contemporary artwork. Don’t miss the lovely café with its outdoor terrace.
Tuesday – Sunday 10am to 6pm
16, rue Chaptal, 75009
Artwork from the 20th and 21st centuries is held in this large municipal museum. See work by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Hans Bellmer. Permanent collections are free, but temporary ones often have a fee. The view from the “MAM” across the river towards the Eiffel Tower is stunning.
Tuesday – Sunday 10am to 6pm (Thursday to 10pm)
11, Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116
It always surprises visitors when they hear that the Petit Palais (only “petit” when compared to its neighbor, the Grand Palais) is free! Its role is Paris’ Museum of Fine Arts, and the building is a masterpiece in itself.
Tuesday – Sunday, 10am to 6pm
Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008
Musée Carnavalet is closed for renovations through the end of 2019!
A lovely space, not too big, and located in the charming Marais quarter, the Carnavalet Museum is dedicated to Paris herself. From sculptures to paintings, engravings, photography and furniture, this is the perfect place to polish your Parisian history!
23, rue de Sévigné, 75003
Sometimes Free Paris Museums
The following museums are free on the first Sunday of the month: The Louvre (from October – March), the Arc de Triomphe (from November – March), the Panthéon (from November – March) the Pompidou Centre, the Orangerie, the Musée National du Moyen Âge, the Musée National Picasso, Sainte-Chapelle (from November – March), the Nôtre Dame Towers (from November – March) and the Musée d’Orsay.
The Maison Européenne de la Photographie and the Musée des Arts et Métiers are two museums which also lift their entry fees for certain evening openings. Check online for details, as well as for other museums which may organize occasional free-entry evenings.
Skip the Line at Paris Museums
They might be free, but this doesn’t guarantee you won’t be stuck outside queuing! To avoid impatient children or frostbitten fingers, try one of our Skip the Line Tours, skip right past the queues, and experience an expert guided tour.
For more information about free museums and monuments in Paris, have a look at the Paris tourist office site, in English here.