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

Official Website: Musée Carnavalet

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

Regular 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


Rated 4.6 out of 5Musée Carnavalet Star Rating

5 Star Rating Very beautiful. Has a lot of painting, historic objects, full decorated rooms. I loved that so many paintings had little dogs somewhere. Even though it's free was not too crowded and it's quite big, actually.
Cristiana Pereira - 18 days ago

5 Star Rating One of my favourite museums in Paris I've visited so far. It's about history of Paris. What I've appreciated the most is that all descriptions are bilingual, both French and English.
Lucy Lush - 16 days ago

5 Star Rating an extremely recommended free museum in Paris! They have 3 floors (including basement) with unique galleries. Not too crowded on weekdays. I arrived after 4pm and was very leisurely visiting until they closed.
Rachel Ngn - 4 months ago

5 Star Rating One of my favourite museums in Paris and it's free! There's a vast cross section of interesting items of art, architecture, paintings, and so much more. We spent 3 hours here and could have stayed longer. My husband has a limit of about an hour and a half in museums but not here.
Ivy Mac - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating If you are interested in the story of the city of Paris (from the prehistoric era to our time), you should visit this museum. Also it has the added bonus to be inside a beautiful building with a lovely garden and courtyard; to be free and to be located in the elegant Marais neighborhood, which is always worth a visit.
Maria Minney - 3 months ago

Accommodations near Musée Carnavalet:


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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Photo Gallery


Slideshow presentation featuring paintings and exhibits in Musée Carnavalet
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