Museum of the History of Paris
(Musée Carnavalet)

Musée Carnavalet chronicles the fascinating history of Paris

Musée Carnavalet opened in Hotel Carnavalet in 1880
Musée Carnavalet opened in Hotel Carnavalet in 1880 cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo by OliverN5

This very special museum is a must-see if you are going to be spending any time in Paris and really want to know what the city is all about. The Musée Carnavalet is a museum all about the history of Paris itself and it is truly an amazing and extremely educational opportunity to see the artistic, creative and cultural history of one of the world's most iconic and artistic cultures.

The Musée Carnavalet actually chronicles the history of Paris right from its inception and travels forward through time to contemporary Paris today. The entire museum occupies two mansions, one built in the 11th century and one built much later in the 17th century. There is a gallery that was built to connect the two together so that it is now possible to simply cross from one mansion to the other via the convenient gallery. The two mansions were actually both hotels. The one was originally called the Hotel Le Peletier and the other was known as the hotel Carnavalet, this last is where the museum gets its name from.

One of Paris' most famous citizens, the Madame de Sevigne (who wrote a series of famous letters to her daughter), once lived in the Hotel Carnavalet and it is actually now the home of the museum's collection that chronicles the prehistoric all the way through time to the reign of Louis XVI. The other mansion, the former Hotel Le Peletier Saint Fargeau houses the collection that spans from the French revolution to modern present day Paris.

The museum was first opened in 1880. It has since displayed its intriguing collections to tourists from all over the world who come to view the history of this remarkable and beautiful city.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: No - Free admission to all permanent collections and themed exhibitions. Charges may apply for temporary exhibitions

Musée Carnavalet Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Address: 23 Rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris, France

Phone: 01 44 59 58 58

Official Website: Musée Carnavalet

Musée Carnavalet Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating I couldn’t believe how good this free museum was. The first floor has old store front signs from around Paris. The second floor exhibits the palace rooms and furniture, very authentic. The top floor is dedicated to the history of French revolution, and it has some impressive art pieces. Highly recommended, I spent around 2,3 hours here.
Alize Temel - a month ago

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5 Star Rating This museum in Paris follows the history of the city of Paris. Very interesting displays from early Roman times up to the present. It is located in the Marais district. And the best part is that it is free. 😊
Timothy McQuide - in the last week

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5 Star Rating Awesome French history museum. Throughout this museum you will experience all the moments in French history through signs, portraits, paintings, furniture, daily objects and so much more. The corridors are also beautifully designed. I spent several hours there and enjoyed it very much. The permanent exhibition which is 3 levels choke full of history is free of charge. You can donate and for special exhibitions there are tickets sold. Definitely a must see for anyone interested in history.
Eva Praskova - 5 months ago

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5 Star Rating It’s crazy how gorgeous and FREE this museum is, in the very heart of the Marais!!!!! It is an exquisite building, the gardens and cafes are stunning and when you walk into the museum shop, look up! Tip! Find your way out to the garden and sit a while….
Ruchika - a week ago

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Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M1Saint-Paul5 minutes
M8Chemin Vert7 minutes

How to get to Musée Carnavalet by Metro / RER

By Metro: exit Metro M1 at Saint-Paul station and walk west on Rue de Rivoli and go left (north) on Rue de Sevigne to the entrance or exit line M8 at Chemin Vert station and walk west on Rue St. Giles continuing on Rue du Parc Royal then go left on Rue de Sevigne to the entrance.

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