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

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)


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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Rated 4.3 out of 5Palais de la Découverte Star Rating

5 Star Rating Great place to learn so many things. It works closely with the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie.

Romuald - 7 days ago

5 Star Rating A wonderful place to go for the whole family. They also have baby changing facilities, which is rare in Paris!

Dom Thorrington - 21 days ago

4 Star Rating French or English is obligatory If you decide to go there be prepared to read. A lot. In English or in French. Even though there are some interactive exponats, mostly it is all about information, delivered in a contemporary and interesting manner. When we were there, the planetarium was closed, but we managed to get in the Pi room,where you can observe the history of this number sequence and can even find out how many times your date of birth can be located there. Every day there are variety of live actions and experiments but, again, you have to know French really well to understand what is going on.

Anastasiya Lysyuk - 24 days ago

4 Star Rating Very cool and informative for all the family members. Exhibits explained in English as well which makes it easy for non french speaking visitors. No long queues during the Christmas holiday at least.

Riad Joseph - 3 months ago

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 - 4 months ago


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

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