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Free Museums in Paris Guide

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Traveling to Paris on a budget? Museum hopping is one of the best things to do in Paris and while visiting the most popular museums is not cheap, there is a little list of free museums in Paris where you can always pop into for absolutely free and without the Paris Museum Pass. At least for its permanent collections.

From Arts to Science museums and visiting some Artists’ workshops in between, you can visit interesting astonishing museums in Paris without feeling financially drained. Some of these museums are well known by the public. Other museums are hidden gems. We invite you to think out of the box and get out off the beaten path, you will find out that Paris has much more to offer than the Louvre and Orsay . . . and for free.

 Are you ready? Bonne visite! /Enjoy the visit!




Musée Bourdelle

16 rue Antoine Bourdelle, Paris 15 – M. Montparnasse – Bienvenüe L 4, 6, 12, 13 ; Velib Station #15.002

free museums in Parisvia Flickr CC @Corinne Moncelli

Opening times: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Monday.


Musée Cognacq-Jay

Hôtel Donon – 8 rue Elzévir, Paris 3; M. Saint-Paul L1; Velib Station #3.013

Opening times: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Monday.


Musée Cernuschi

7 avenue Velasquez, Paris 8 – M. Villiers L. 2, 3; Velib Station #8.037

free museums in Parisvia Flickr CC @Tom Flemming

This museum is located in the hôtel particulier where Henri Cernushi (1821-1896) lived. It shows his private collections of Asian art. Especially remarkable are the rooms dedicated to ancient Chinese art.

Come to this museum if you like Asian art. This museum is also a good excuse to visit the beautiful Parc de Monceau, very close to the museum, afterward.

Opening times: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Monday.


Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris 8; M. Champs-Elysées– Clemenceau L1; Velib Station #8.001

free museums in Parisvia Flickr CC @ctj71081

The Petit Palais is an architectural gem located on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. The building was built for the Exposition Universelle of 1900 and houses the Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris with sculptures, paintings, tapestries, art objects, and icons. The artistic panorama is very large, from Ancient and Medieval collections to works from the French and Italian Renaissance and Flemish and Dutch paintings.

Come to this museum for an excellent alternative to (the expensive) Grand Palais, also built for the Universal Exposition. Don’t miss its charming inner outdoor garden.

Opening times: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Monday.


Musée de la Vie Romantique

16 rue Chaptal, Paris 9; M. Pigalle L2, 12; Velib Stations # 9.028 and 9.026

free museums in Parisvia Flickr CC @Ottavi Alain

Opening times: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Monday.


Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

11 Avenue du Président Wilson, Paris 16 – M. Iéna L9; Velib Station #8.046

Modern Art Museum Paris

This museum located in the east wing of the Palais de Tokyo is devoted to Contemporary Art in all its forms: paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and videos. The museum’s permanent collections, with more than 8,000 works of art, show the diverse art trends of the 20th century: Cubism, École de Paris, Abstract Art, and New Realism.

Come to this museum to see works by Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, Georges Braque, and Yves Klein. This Paris Museum is one of the best free things to do in Paris.

Opening times: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Monday.




Atelier Brancusi – Centre Pompidou

Place Georges Pompidou /Rue Saint Martin, Paris 4M. Rambuteau, L11; Velib Station #4.021

free museums in Paris

Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) was a major artist in the history of modern sculpture. He created most of his works in the workshop which he occupied in the 15th arrondissement. In his will, he left his entire workshop to the French State. Today we can find this workshop entirely reconstructed on the square of the Centre Pompidou featuring his unique collection of sculptures, pedestals, photos, and drawings.

Come to this museum to see how artists worked at the beginning of the XX century and because Brancusi is Brancusi!

Opening times: from 2 pm to 6 pm. Closed on Tuesday.


Maison de Balzac

47 rue Raynouard, Paris 16; M. Passy L6; Velib Station #16.112

The Maison de Balzac is the last famous Parisian novelist’s house to exist today. It was in this house where he wrote “La Comédie Humaine”. Honoré de Balzac left many original editions, manuscripts, and illustrations exhibited in this house today. We personally like the house by itself: its layout and the surrounding garden with fantastic views of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 7.

Come to this museum to know more about Balzac and his life in this beautiful house.

Opening times: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Monday.


Musée Zadkine 

100 bis rue d’Assas, Paris 6; M. Notre-Dame-des-Champs, L12; Velib Stations #6.008 and 6.018

Zadkine Museum Paris

via Flickr CC @Pierre Lannes

This is a hidden gem, not far from Luxemburg Garden. Ossip Zadkine, a Russian sculptor, arrived at Montparnasse in 1909. After some time here and there he moved with his wife, also an artist, to this studio located on Assas Street. They lived and worked in this house until their last days.

Come to this museum to discover a cute place few Parisians know.

READ MORE – Zadkine’s crazy little thing

Opening times: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Monday.


Maison de Victor Hugo

Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée – 6 place des Vosges, Paris 4;  M. Bastille, L1, 5 and 8; Velib Station #4.101

Opening times: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Monday.




Musée Carnavalet – Histoire de Paris 

23 rue de Sévigné, Paris 3; M. Saint-Paul, L1 or M. Chemin Vert, L8; Velib Stations #3.013

Warning! This museum is currently closed for works for the next 3 years.


Musée National de la Légion d’Honneur et des Ordres de Chevalerie

2 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris 7; Métro Solférino L12; Velib Station #7.007

Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday from 1 pm to 6 pm. Tuesday only opened for groups (previous booking). Closed on Monday.




Musée Curie (Institut du radium)

11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 5; M. Cardinal Lemoine, L10 or Place Monge, L7; Velib Station #5.012

The Curie historical Museum consists of a permanent exhibition where we can learn about the history of the discovery of radioactivity by Pierre and Marie Curie and its first medical applications with radiotherapy. We especially loved Marie Curie‘s small office and a private laboratory, where she spent most of her time. Both rooms face over a lovely and peaceful garden, very dear to Marie Curie, that you can also visit.

free museums in Paris

Opening times: Wednesday to Saturday from 1 pm to 5 pm. Closed on Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday.



Nouveau Musée du Parfum Fragonard

3-5 square de l’Opéra Louis-Jouvet, Paris 9; M. Opéra, L3, 7 and 8;  Velib Station #9.106

free museums in Paris

Paris is since many years the world’s capital of perfumery so the city could not miss a museum dedicated to Perfume. Originally opened in 1983, the Perfume Museum has been recently renovated by historical fragrance-maker Fragonard and reopened as the Fragonard Musée du Parfum. This is one of the cutest Paris museums and another of the best free things to do in Paris.

Come to this museum if you are a scent lover and you want to know more about Perfumes’ world.

READ MORE –  Fragonard Perfume Museum

Opening times: Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm. Closed on Sunday.




Musée – Librairie du Compagnonnage

10 rue Mabillon, Paris 6; M. Mabillon L10; Velib Station #6.022

The world of the Trade Guilds in France (Association of craftsmen working in the same field (cabinetmakers, carpenters..) is very fascinating and its earliest traces date back to the Middle Ages. Not anyone can be a “compagnon”: tests to enter are very hard and the apprenticeship lasts many years, by the hand of other compagnons all around France. This museum shows the Trade Guilds’ history, their techniques and much more.

Come to this museum to learn about the fascinating tradition of craftsmen in France.

Opening times: Monday to Friday from 2 pm to 6 pm. Closed on weekends.X


Musée de la Préfecture de Police

Hôtel de Police du Ve arrondissement 4 rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, Paris 5; M. Maubert- Mutualité, L10 ;

Velib Station #5.007

Conspiracies, arrests, famous criminals, archives, unique items (weapons, uniforms) . . . this is your museum if you like all this stuff!

Come to this museum for a spooky visit (well, just a little bit. .).

Opening times: Monday to Friday from 1.30 pm to 5 pm and third Saturday of the month from 10.30 am to 5 pm. X


Musée d’Ennery

59 avenue Foch, Paris 16; M. Porte Dauphine, L2; Velib Station #16.105

Opening times: Saturday only, with previous phone reservation (+33 (0) 1 56 52 53)


Have you visited one of these free Paris Museums? Which one would you recommend to your friends?


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Free Museums Paris - Check our little list of Parisian museums where you can always pop into for absolutely free, at least for its permanent collections.

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  • Kelly @ XterraWeb
    05/18/2017 at 8:45 pm

    What a great list/travel guide! Since I was 14 years old, I have dreamed of visiting France. Paris, of course, will be one of my destinations. I have pinned this because I still believe that one day I will be able to go. 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      05/18/2017 at 10:24 pm

      Keep on dreaming, Kelly. Dreams are the most beautiful thing that we have and only us can make these dreams come true. Hope to see you in Paris soon 😉

  • Mansoureh
    02/15/2017 at 11:47 pm

    Wow, I didn’t know there are many free museums in Paris. I haven’t heard of most of them before. Thanks for the list. I should definitely go back to Paris and explore more. I only been there once for 3 days.

    • WorldInParis
      02/21/2017 at 2:23 pm

      Good there is still a long list of things to do in paris, Paris is always a good idea 😉

  • Nisha
    02/14/2017 at 4:42 am

    There is so much history and culture in Paris that it would take months if not years to get through all of them. Paris being expensive as it is, Who would imagine that there were so many museums which are free! I have been to a couple of them and have not heard about many of these. Thanks

    • WorldInParis
      02/14/2017 at 11:19 pm

      You are welcome. I guess your Paris wish list is getting bigger by now . . . isn’t it? 🙂

  • Trisha Velarmino
    02/13/2017 at 6:24 pm

    I’ve been to Paris years ago and this just makes me want to come back to my favorite city! Merci beaucoup for an awesome and budget friendly list! 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      02/13/2017 at 10:33 pm

      Hope you will make it soon! 🙂

  • Vicki Louise
    02/13/2017 at 3:49 am

    There are so many free museums in Paris! This is such a great resource for travelers on a budget – or for those looking to see things outside the ‘main’ attractions. I think my first stop would be the perfumery!

    • WorldInParis
      02/13/2017 at 10:37 pm

      I am sure you would really enjoy the perfume museum, Vicki 🙂

  • RaW | Ramble and Wander
    02/12/2017 at 8:03 pm

    I love Paris and can stay there for days without even going out of the city to somewhere else. Why? Mostly because of the museums! My favourites are unfortunately the ones with entrance fees like Musée de l’Orangerie. Thanks to your list, I might go and check our Petit Palais and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris one day. They both look like museums that I’d enjoy!

    • WorldInParis
      02/12/2017 at 11:20 pm

      Yes of course! And add to this list the Museum of Romantic Life for a short break in the tea garden 😉

    • WorldInParis
      02/13/2017 at 10:39 pm

      If one of your favourite museums in Paris is l’Orangerie, YES, Petit Palais and Musée d’Art Moderne are two options perfect for you 🙂

  • Swati & Sam
    02/12/2017 at 1:20 pm

    Wow what lovely pictures of the museum. We have never been to Paris and would keep this in mind. London also has a lot of free museums. It’s difficult to find time to visit museums in a city when you are visiting it for a short duration. A very informative write-up tho.

    • WorldInParis
      02/12/2017 at 11:23 pm

      Museums are always a cool option for cold or rainy days so it is always useful to have a museums list in mind 😉

  • Laura
    02/12/2017 at 1:38 am

    I can imagine that you could spend a whole day looking around free museums. Its one of my fav things to do in Europe.

    • WorldInParis
      02/21/2017 at 2:25 pm

      Yes but the city of Paris is so beautiful to walk. Better keep free museums for rainy days 😉

  • Suze
    02/11/2017 at 10:56 pm

    What a great list! I used to live in Paris and I’ve been meaning to visit the Atelier Brancusi for years but must get round to it on a future trip. Musee Carnavalet is one of my favourites

    • WorldInParis
      02/24/2017 at 10:54 am

      Thanks! I agree about Musée Carnevalet. Unfortunately it will be closed for a long time for an extensive renovation

  • Efthimis K.
    02/11/2017 at 6:57 pm

    I love museums! Art lovers will definitely have a blast in Paris with all these art museums. Musée des Beaux-Arts is amazing and the building is breathtaking!

    • WorldInParis
      02/24/2017 at 11:36 am

      Ethimis if you love museums book a whole month in Paris when you decide to come ! 😉

  • Laura Lynch
    02/11/2017 at 6:45 pm

    We’re going to Paris again in a few weeks and I haven’t gone to any of these museums, so definitely adding to my list of things to do. There really is a lot of culture to dig into there.

    • WorldInParis
      02/24/2017 at 11:39 am

      Cool to know you are coming! If you are going to Louvre maybe you will find our “Louvre Survival Guide” helpful

      And there are other posts about cute museums that maybe interest you. Don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you have more practical questions, I will be happy to help 🙂

  • Drew
    02/11/2017 at 6:32 pm

    I had no idea there were so many options for free museums in Paris. What a comprehensive list too, thanks for sharing! I’m always a sucker for modern art, so it’s great that I can skip the Pompidou next time and head straight to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris for my modern art fix! And for free to boot!

    • WorldInParis
      02/25/2017 at 7:59 pm

      Drew, just at the foot of Pompidou there is the interesting Brancusi’s workshop, for FREE, so you don’t need to go that far 😉

  • Laura
    02/11/2017 at 11:25 am

    Thanks for making this interesting post! I turned 26 this year, so a lot of the ‘big’ museums now aren’t free for me anymore. Didn’t know which ones were free! I added this post to my favorites! Gonna let you know which ones we visited when we go on our next trip!

    • WorldInParis
      02/25/2017 at 8:00 pm

      Cool Laura! Make me know which ones you liked when you come to Paris 😉

  • Fábio Inácio
    02/05/2017 at 1:39 pm

    I was in Paria in 2012 and to be honest I didn’t see much because it was the end of my trip and my budget was already finished. I wished to know this list when I was there. The good news is that I am planning to go soon and this post will help me so much. Looking for photography exhibitions 🙂

  • Gypsycouple
    12/05/2016 at 8:23 am

    Have never been fans of museums especially because of the high entry fees we never found justified to our meagre interest in them. However when you add free to the mix, it becomes a very interesting proposition especially for an expensive city like Paris. Love the guide and will totally be bookmarking it for our next trip!

    • WorldInParis
      12/06/2016 at 9:56 am

      Oh, happy to know you found it helpful 🙂

  • anna
    12/04/2016 at 7:46 am

    Oh my word! What a resource. Thank you for taking the time to compile all of this! Bookmarking 🙂

  • Cai Dominguez
    12/01/2016 at 7:33 pm

    Seriously, this article is helpful. It’s very costly to travel to Paris and pay extra for museum. Gladly, there are lots to choose from! This is so amazing! If I have to pick one I think I’ll visit Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Love this one!

    • WorldInParis
      12/02/2016 at 11:45 am

      Thanks for your comment Cai! Good pick, interesting things going on at Musée d’Art Moderne

  • Emily
    12/01/2016 at 10:49 am

    Super helpful guide for those in Paris on a budget or after something a little bit different. I’ll be sure to save this for the next time I go. I think my first stop would be Musee Zadkine and then the perfumery.

    • WorldInParis
      12/01/2016 at 3:08 pm

      Good choices, I love those museums! Thanks for the comment, Emily

  • neha
    12/01/2016 at 5:33 am

    I have bookmarked your post. Since I am going to Paris next year and I have to make the best possible use of my time. Would these museums be more crowded than the ones that levy a good entry fee?

    • WorldInParis
      12/01/2016 at 3:10 pm

      good news is that these museums are not crowded at all 😉

  • Vyjay
    12/01/2016 at 4:45 am

    Paris is such an exquisite place. The museums are such an integral part of the magic of Paris. Loved the Louvre among many others. The fact that there are so many museums that have free entry with wonderful exhibits is an added attraction. Can never ave enough of Paris, will check these out next time when in Paris.

    • WorldInParis
      12/01/2016 at 3:11 pm

      good to know there will be another time in Paris for you!

  • Johna
    11/30/2016 at 2:42 pm

    So many free museums in Paris! Wish my family and I had more time to visit them while we were there. Only had 2 and a half days in Paris. Definitely have to come back here 😀

    • WorldInParis
      12/01/2016 at 3:11 pm

      cool to know there will be a second time for you in Paris! 🙂

  • Indrani
    11/30/2016 at 12:57 pm

    I didn’t know there were so many free museums in Paris. Very ideal to spend spare time… that is if you have spare time in Paris. I enjoyed walking streets of Paris and didn’t care to check out the several museums there. I would love to visit the one of perfumes!

    • WorldInParis
      12/01/2016 at 3:12 pm

      museums are good for when it rains. good pick, the perfume museum is very nice

  • Rashmi and Chalukya
    11/30/2016 at 10:34 am

    We haven’t done much of the museums though we visited Paris couple of times. Glad to have stumbled on this post we will make sure to do most of this we visit next time. Fragonard Musée du Parfum is for sure unmissable 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      12/01/2016 at 3:13 pm

      i see that perfume museum is the public’s favourite one 🙂

  • Jerny
    11/30/2016 at 2:50 am

    Is this a sign? I’ve been reading about Paris more lately. Haha! Hopefully soon! Parisians really love art and stuff, no? It’s part of their passion. and people love it! Thanks for these pointers. I’ll keep them in mind 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      12/01/2016 at 3:13 pm

      You are welcome, Jerny!

  • Marge
    11/29/2016 at 11:02 pm

    Museum and it’s free?! You definitely got my interest there. I am a sucker for museums and art galleries. While some people have a thing for churches, I have a thing for museums (and yeah art galleries). I just think that a visit to a museum is one of the best ways to really get to know a place. I try to find one in places I go to as much as I can. Thank you for coming up with this list. Who knows, maybe I’d find myself in France one of these days, then I can definitely check out these museums for myself.

    • WorldInParis
      12/01/2016 at 3:14 pm

      Hope you will find your way to Paris one day!

  • Megan
    11/29/2016 at 1:35 pm

    Great info 🙂 will bookmark for the next time i’m in Paris!

    • WorldInParis
      12/01/2016 at 3:14 pm

      Good to be helpful!

  • Andi
    11/29/2016 at 4:32 am

    I am not really into art because I am not artistic. But I can still appreciate stuff at least, and this huge wall painting is really nice. It is very artistic and something that is filled with hard work and emotion. I hope many will continue to do art .

    • WorldInParis
      12/01/2016 at 3:15 pm

      there are also history museum or other subjects museums. there is a big choice in Paris

  • Amy
    11/28/2016 at 7:33 pm

    Such an impressive list! And great for the traveler visiting such a beautiful, yet expensive city. I love that there are so many topics from art to science, history and even perfume! Wish we’d have had more time to visit places like this, next trip will have to take a few in!

    • WorldInParis
      12/02/2016 at 11:46 am

      Hope you will have the opportunity to come to Paris again to enjoy these museums 🙂

  • Carmen's Luxury Travel
    11/28/2016 at 7:18 am

    Wow, I’ve been to Paris a few times and didn’t realize there are so many free museums! I’d love to visit Musée de la Vie Romantique next time. Love those green shutters 🙂 Great post, thanks for sharing!

    • WorldInParis
      12/02/2016 at 11:47 am

      Good choice, this museum has a very beautiful garden, perfect for “romantic” tea parties 🙂

  • Mike
    11/28/2016 at 4:26 am

    Awesome guide. Its always good to know when there are free things to do and museums are such a great way to explore a city. The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris looks quite interesting and I’ll be sure to check it out when I make it to Paris!

    • WorldInParis
      12/02/2016 at 11:53 am

      Good choice, Mike! I particularly like their photo exhibitions there 🙂

  • Helena
    11/27/2016 at 11:53 pm

    This is such a fantastic list! I love museums and if they are free than I am even more so there. Thanks for your great insight!

    • WorldInParis
      12/02/2016 at 11:48 am

      You are welcome Helena 🙂

  • Cherene Saradar
    11/27/2016 at 5:36 pm

    This is great info. Love the beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Edd Sanchez
    11/26/2016 at 9:15 pm

    Wish I’d know about half of these for my last trip to Paris, will have to save these for next time!

    • WorldInParis
      11/27/2016 at 11:06 am

      Glad to know there will be a next time for Paris! 🙂

  • Jing
    11/26/2016 at 5:26 pm

    I love art museums! will definitely check out your recommended list the next time I visit Paris. 🙂

  • Carol Colborn
    11/26/2016 at 4:54 pm

    Good list! Free museums are always high on our agenda. Saw the Fraggonard in Grasse, France where it is headquartered.

  • Jordan
    11/26/2016 at 2:35 pm

    Such a useful guide for doing Paris on the cheap – especially with the price of everything else there! Have bookmarked! Thanks

  • Lucas Rodrigues
    11/26/2016 at 1:34 pm

    That’s a really detailed post, very nice info! Too bad I’m not going to Paris soon, but I pinned it for later use 😀