You’ve hit the Louvre and seen the Mona Lisa, you’ve visited the Musée d’Orsay and seen countless Monet’s, now what? Here are five of my favorite Parisian museums that are a bit more out of the way but are just as interesting as people watching in the “salle de la Jaconde.”

Musée des Arts et Metiers: Museum of Arts and Professions

For the engineer, tech geek, historian or vehicle enthusiast, the Musée des Arts et Metiers includes three floors of every type of machine ever created. From astronomy instruments to wooden looms, then to exhibits on building materials, photography, computers, then to a former chapel turned into a four story exhibit showing old vehicles and airplanes, this museum is huge and amazing. Plan upwards of 3 hours to make your way through the building — however if one stopped to read and examine everything, this place could take a week to get through. Most descriptions are in both French and English.


Open Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 6pm. Open Thursdays until 9:30pm.

Full fee: 8Euro

Reduced Rate for Students: 5.50Euro

Residents of the EU under 26 years of age: Free

Near the Republique and Strasbourg St. Denis areas.


Musee d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaisme: Museum of Jewish Art and History

An impressive collection of art, artifacts, and current research is presented in this museum that encompasses two upper floors of a building that also holds a library of Jewish documents. While this museum would be extremely interesting for experts of the history of the Jewish people, it also does a very good job of teaching the history and then portraying it through the exhibits. Uncrowded and out of the way, this is a good way to break up the tourist sights with something more unique.


Open Tuesday through Friday 11am- 6pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 7pm, Wednesday 11am – 9pm.

Full fee: 9 Euro

Discounted rate for 18-26 year olds or large families: 6Euro

Residents of the EU under 26 years of age: Free

Near the Centre Pompidou


Musée de Quai Branley

Dedicated to former president Jaques Chirac and located along the Seine just before the Eiffel Tower, this museum shows culture of indigenous peoples from the Americas, Oceana, Africa and Asia through art, clothing, and music. Everything from masks to tapestries, musical instruments and paintings, integrated into a museum space with an interesting architecture. While popular enough that school groups are there often, the museum is different in that it portrays culture from around the world and not just from Europe.


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday 11am – 7pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am – 9pm

Full fee: 10 Euro

Reduced rate for Eu residents under 26: 7 Euro

Free access to the permanent collections children under 18 years of age


Petit Palais

If you’re short on time and want something different, skip the Grand Palais, as the accessible museum section won’t allow you to see the inside of its magnificent glass ceiling. Instead, go across the street to visit the permanent and visiting collections of it’s partner, the Petit Palais. While full of masterpieces, the collection of art housed in this structure is far overshadowed by the architecture of the building itself. Built for the 1900 World’s Fair, the building’s tiled flooring, murals, and golden sculptures surround a central garden that is lovely at any time of year. The museum also holds a café/restaurant, however it is more expensive than my student’s budget allowed for.


Open 10am – 6pm Tuesday through Sunday, temporary exhibits open until 9pm on Friday

Permanent collections are free of charge, temporary exhibition costs vary but are typically between 7 and 10 Euro for visitors over 18.

Near the Champs-Elysée

Gallery of Paleontology and Anatomy

This museum is sure to amaze. A part of the Museum of Natural History (which encompasses several buildings and several different museums), it contains three floors full of skeletons of what seems like every animal under the sun, as well as countless dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures. Stunningly complete, these skeletons are great practice for art students as well as incredibly interesting for dinosaur-obsessed children or science-oriented adults. Even for those not interested in the science behind the collection, the sheer quantity and display is worth seeing. Details

Open 10am – 6pm Wednesday through Monday

Full fee: 7 Euro

Reduced fee for visitors under 25 years of age: 5 Euro

Free for EU residents under 26 and children under 4 years of age

Do Witzenia,




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