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

Address: 16 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris, France

Phone: 01 44 59 58 58

Official Website: Museum of the History of Paris (Musée Carnavalet)


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

How to get to Museum of the History of Paris (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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Rated 4.2 out of 5

4 Star Rating Wonderful museum. Beats many museums which are not free. I went for their Napoleon exhibition in 2015 and I've been going back ever since. Nice collection of belle epoque paintings and some really interesting information on the architecture and urban landscape of fin d'siecle Paris. Go for an hour when you are wandering around the marais, go for half an hour before you leave, who cares, it's free!

Olly Martin - 1 month ago

2 Star Rating Be advised!!! The museum will remain close untill the end of 2019.

Gal Saar - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating It made a good home but they done a bad job on the roof

Matt Crump - 2 months ago

4 Star Rating Wonderful place to see European heritage with vasr collections. It's free of charge admission. I do appreciate that.

S H - 3 months ago

5 Star Rating As a fan of Alphonse Mucha's work, my favorite part of the museum was the Boutique Fouquet within the Musée Carnavalet: a complete reconstruction of the boutique, an installation of a space, the interior designed by Mucha. Mucha conceived the shop as a complete work of art, which would provide a harmonious environment for Fouquet's jewellery. Mucha drew inspiration from the natural world, and pride of place is given to two spectacular peacocks set against glowing designs in stained glass. It is one of the most spectacular examples of Art Nouveau decorative design.

Ken Heaton - 7 months ago


Slideshow presentation featuring paintings and exhibits in Musée Carnavalet

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