Palais de la Decouverte (Science Museum)

Palais de la Decouverte offers a fantastic array of permanent exhibits that will keep you spellbound for many hours

The impressive Grand Hall invites visitors to Palais de la Decouverte
The impressive Grand Hall invites visitors to Palais de la Decouverte cc licensed photo by dalbera

Paris is home to many museums that focus on art and culture, however, breaking that trend with a diverse range of superb scientific exhibits is the Palais de la Decouverte or the Palace of Discovery. The Science museum in the Grand Palais covers a 25,000 m2 spread where visitors will experience many exhibits demystifying science.

The museum was first established in 1937 by Jean Baptiste Perrin, recipient of the 1926 Physics Nobel Prize, as part of the international exhibition on Arts and Techniques of Modern life. The success of the exhibition led the government of France to dedicate a large portion of the Grand Palais to the museum in the following year naming it Palais de la Decouverte. In January 2010 the museum formed a partnership with the Cite des Sciences et de l'industrie under the name universcience.

To date, the Science museum encompasses permanent exhibits in the fields of astrophysics and astronomy, physics, mathematics, chemistry, geosciences and life science. You will thoroughly enjoy the interactive displays and dynamic experiments in both the temporary and permanent exhibition areas. The Planet and Cosmology exhibits are outstanding. You'll also want to be sure and pay the small additional fee to take in a show at the museum's planetarium, however, keep in mind that the shows are in French. In the geosciences exhibit you can learn more about the sometimes frightening topic of earthquakes and volcanos. This is a place that makes mathematics interesting even to those who aren't mathematically inclined.

Palais de la Decouverte organizes and offers scientific activities that include conferences, symposia, as well as other meetings that have been proven to successfully attract the students, advanced and novice scientists, and general public alike.

Nearby attractions: Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais - (Grand Palace National Gallery), Musée des Beaux-Arts - (Fine Arts Museum) and Musée de l'Orangerie - (Paintings)

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes

Open Now: No

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Address: Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 75008 Paris, France

Phone: 01 56 43 20 20

Official Website: Palais de la Decouverte (Science Museum)

Directions

Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M1 or M9Franklin Delano Roosevelt4 minutes
M13‎Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau‎5 minutes
M8 or RER-CInvalides12 minutes

How to get to Palais de la Decouverte (Science Museum) by Metro / RER

By Metro or RER-C: From Metro Line 13 exit at Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau‎ Station. The Grand Palais is immediately south of the exit. Follow Avenue du General Eisenhower beside the Grand Palais all the way to Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt and go left to the entrance.

From Metro Line 1 or 9 exit at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Station and follow Franklin Delano Roosevelt straight south off the traffic circle to entrance.

From M8 or RER-C exit at Invalides and walk north over the Alexandre III bridge to Cours la Rein and go left. Follow the path along the side of the Grand Palais and angling across the garden to the entrance on the west side of Grand Palais.

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Reviews

Rated 4.3 out of 5

2 Star Rating As a retired scientist and teacher, I like to see how the different places I visit present science to the public. This is not so much a science museum, as an interactive experience center for visitors, that attempts to cover a wide of sciences. It is not the main science museum in Paris which is on the northern outskirts of the city. As a non-tourist oriented place, all the signage is in French, but I expected that, and that is not a part of my rating. A few of the interactive displays were novel and interesting. An unsatisfactorily large number of the interactive exhibits were posted as out of order, and others also did not work. For a few it was not clear what they were supposed to be demonstrating, or what they were actually supposed to be operated. A lot of the optics exhibits seemed out of alignment and were dirty. There were a few exhibits and displayed items with no signage, and what they were supposed to show was not clear. The static exhibit halls were mostly a miss. The astronomy hall was best of the static exhibits. The paleontology hall was mostly empty. (There is a much better museum for that in Paris.) There are numerous mini-lecture halls where demonstrations are given in a variety of sciences. They seemed well done, but if you don't understand French you won't get much out of them. I think they require group reservations, but I'm not sure. The museum has a large number of school groups that attend during the day, making it sometimes a very noisy place. There is a nice planetarium, but when I tried to attend the last one of the day I learned that an additional ticket and a reservation was required. The attendant at the door spoke English, but was singularly unwilling to explain how to get a ticket or make a reservations. Tickets could not be purchased at the door, and the planetarium ticket is not listed at the main ticket office before you enter the museum. So how this works I never figured out. You would think once someone had entered the museum, the planetarium tickets would be available at the door! The attendant had the same indifferent, uncooperative attitude that was the norm 45 years ago when I first started visiting Paris, and which for the most part is no longer the case. So despite a few interesting things, the several negatives made this one of the less interesting science museums I have visited over the years.

GSR GSR - 20 days ago

5 Star Rating Science museum, a little bit oldish, but accurate, very goo temporary exhibitions, and live demonstrations of scientific experiments (all in french, though)

alexetpouneh - 2 months ago

2 Star Rating The musee pass also need a ticket. The stuff there is not very friendly. Also Twice security. Maybe just I am Asian.But inside is good.

Sasha Che - 3 months ago

5 Star Rating I went there for a whole day during summer. It has very interesting both permanent and temporary exhibitions covering various topics of science, such as astronomy, geology, biology or chemistry. Reservations are recommended for exhibitions which require a speaker but if you go here with one or two other people you can easily slide in within a group, even if it was shown as full on their website. That way, we were easily able to attend presentations with school groups, but make sure not to answer all the questions if you do the same thing. The presentations are VERY entertaining for both kids and adults, and the speakers - that we encountered that day, at least - were very good. While older ones may already know about most topics, it's always a treat to see and feel shown experiments. We had adults and kids feeling static electricity, being zapped (lightly!) or even attempting to touch liquid nitrogen after being explained why and how it is safe to do so. While I'd recommend you to bring your own food (as food here is quite expensive), the fact that your ticket grants access to the Palais for the full day is really nice as it allows you to take a break for lunch and come back right after. Overall a fantastic experience. Highly recommended.

Remy Tang - 5 months ago

3 Star Rating Interesting place! A few experiments are explained in English. Mostly in French! Major set back: NO AIR CONDITIONING!!!

Manuel Vides - 5 months ago

Video


Video showing the wide variety of exhibits you will find at the Palais de la Decouverte Science Museum

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