Carnavalet - History of Paris Museum
After four years’ work, the Carnavalet Paris History Museum has reopened, bringing you the opportunity to enjoy an incredible journey back in time, discovering the history of Paris and its inhabitants.
Based in the heart of the historical Marais district and housed in two private mansions, Carnavalet, where Madame de Sévigné lived, and Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, the Carnavalet Paris History Museum is the oldest museum in the City of Paris and one of the largest French museums with a collection of almost 625,000 works each more outstanding than the next.
The history of Paris and a collection of outstanding works
The paintings, sculptures, furniture items, wooden features, objets d’art, historical and memorial items, signs, photographs, drawings, prints, engravings, posters, models, medals, coins and archaeological collections presented in a completely redesigned museum layout trace the history of Paris in a unique manner, one which is both historical, artistic, documentary, sentimental and close to the people of Paris. Because all of the items here are authentic, and if only they could talk they’d have so much to tell you, with perhaps even some secrets to reveal. What stories would the campaign bag belonging to Napoleon I tell us? Or how about Zola’s watch or Marcel Proust’s bedroom and personal effects? A good many anecdotes will be shared with you during your journey to the beating heart of Parisian history.
An exciting immersion in the museum’s collections
The extensive collections presented in an exhibition area of almost 3,900 m² take you on a journey back in time, from prehistory, back when Paris was still Lutetia, up to the present day. Experience the turbulence and torments of the French Revolution in the exhibition rooms devoted entirely to it and those of the Paris Commune. The immersive displays and the reconstituted décors will help you learn more about the architectural transformation, the art of living or the artistic, political and religious heritage of a city like no other.
The Marais district, a place steeped in history
The numerous private mansions dotted throughout the Marais district contain a wealth of treasures as fascinating as their architecture, which in itself makes the visit worthwhile. As examples, the Hôtel Salé today houses the collections of the Picasso-Paris Museum while the treasures of the Museum of the Art and History of Judaism can be discovered at the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan.
A little further on, pay a visit to Victor Hugo’s apartment which you’ll find in Place des Vosges, one of the finest squares in Paris. The work of the famous writer is revealed through the furniture, objects and works of art that belonged to him or that he created himself.
Access and contact
Metro: line 1 Saint Paul - Le Marais station Line 5 Breguet-Sabin station Line 8 Chemin Vert station Bus 29, 69, 91, 96
Days and opening hours
Every day throughout the year between 10 am and 6 pm. Closed on Monday. Closed exceptionally on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th. Free access to the permanent collections. Reservation of a free ticket is compulsory to visit the permanent collections (at the time of reopening). Reservation of a visit slot for the exhibitions is compulsory.
Cash register closing time at 17:15.
Guided tour languages
Bulletin board languages
Single mean time tour60 mins
Single services tour
- Unguided individual tours on request
- Guided individual tours on request
- Hearing disability
- Mental disability
- Visual disability
- Accessible for self-propelled wheelchairs
- Reception staff sensitized to the reception of people with disabilities