Frequently asked questions
Free museums? Late evening opening hours? … Some advice on visiting cultural venues in Paris.
- Museum opening times ?
- Are there places that are closed for renovation work?
- Are cultural venues open on public holidays?
- Is it possible to have a guided tour?
- How many museums, monuments, theatres … are there in Paris?
- When the monuments are they lit?
- Museum visits with luggage ?
- Is it possible to hire a pushchair or a wheelchair?
- Is taking photographs allowed?
- High or low season
What museums are there for children?Top of page
Numerous places, museums and monuments often offer special activities for children so that you can discover and make the most of Paris with children.
Museum opening times ?Top of page
As a rule, museums are open from 9 or 10am until 5 or 6pm. Others open later and close at 8 or 9pm. Closing day is most usually Monday or Tuesday, with a few exceptions. Some are even open 7 days a week, such as some of the major monuments which can even be visited as late as 11pm or midnight.
Opening times tend to be longer during high season, sometimes from April to October or from May to September, or simply in July and August.
Don’t forget too that on public holidays – in particular, 1 January, 1 May and 25 December – many museums and monuments are closed. It’s a good idea to check beforehand weekly closing days of cultural sites in Paris.
Are there places that are closed for renovation work?Top of page
Yes: see the calendar of openings and closures of cultural venues in Paris and the Paris region.
Are cultural venues open on public holidays?Top of page
See the list of museums, monuments and cultural venues open on public holidays.
More info on museums or monuments open on 25 December
More info on museums or monuments open on 1 January
More info on Museums and monuments open on public on Bastille day
Watch out for pickpockets!Top of page
Like all big cities, Paris has its pickpockets.
These few words of advice will help you to avoid any inconvenience: always keep your identity documents and your wallet in sealed pockets, or, for ladies, in a handbag carried across your shoulder.
Try to keep the keys to your accommodation separate from your ID; avoid displaying the contents of your purse, and be particularly vigilant at rush hour when travelling on public transport (9/10am and 6/7.30pm).
Is it possible to have a guided tour?Top of page
Most places offer guided tours either with a guide or via an audio guide. Different foreign languages are also offered according to the place in question. If you wish, you can call on the services of a guide for a group or individual guided tour. See the list of Members of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.
How many museums, monuments, theatres … are there in Paris?Top of page
No less than: 173 museums, 37 bridges, 31 monuments, 3 opera houses, 171 churches and temples, 208 theatres and cabarets, 20 covered passageways, 84 cinemas, 14 cemeteries, 108 Wallace fountains, 463 parks and gardens.
When the monuments are they lit?Top of page
A total of 276 monuments, hotels, churches, fountains, bridges and canals light up in Paris every night. Get the best out of this beauty treatment for these magnificent structures with a magical tour of Paris starting with the Eiffel Tower, undisputed queen of the illuminations.
More Info Paris, lights in the city
Museum visits with luggage ?Top of page
Larger museums provide cloakrooms and left-luggage services where you can leave your heavy things free of charge for a more comfortable visit. Coats, large umbrellas, rucksacks and small pieces of luggage are accepted.
Items that are not accepted are: cumbersome bags, suitcases, valuables such as cameras, money, identity papers and chequebooks, food and drink.
An exception is sometimes made for children’s pushchairs: at the Louvre for example, they are permitted in the galleries and at left-luggage.
Warning! During the “Vigipirate” security measures, left-luggage offices in some museums and monuments may be closed.
Is it possible to hire a pushchair or a wheelchair?Top of page
That depends on the museum, it is best to make enquiries at each museum beforehand.
Is taking photographs allowed?Top of page
In general, yes, but no flash photography. Tripods are not allowed.
High or low seasonTop of page
Excursion companies generally offer a wider choice of tours and more frequent departures during high season (between 1 April and 31 October). Cruises on the Seine river also operate more regularly and offer an extended timetable during this period.
Low season is between 1 November and 31 March.
Cultural sites with disabled access ?Top of page
You will find the “Tourisme & Handicap” logo on our web site to designate the provision of easier access for one or more disabilities accordingly.
Sites without this label also offer ease of access for certain disabilities.
Visit in group ?Top of page
Depending on the venue, the number of people making up a group can vary from a minimum of 7 to 10 and a maximum of 20 to 30. Group visits are subject to certain conditions: specific times and days, advance bookings and, depending on the galleries or the type of exhibition, a limit to the number of people accepted.
If the range of scheduled guided tours for groups doesn’t come up to your expectations, you do have other alternatives.
A group composed of people of a similar profile or who are all interested in the same subject can visit a museum or a monument independently: in order to do this, you have to be at least 7 persons, book the service of an approved guide who has prior knowledge of your requirements and book with the relevant department in plenty of time. Visits for schoolchildren accompanied by their teacher are also subject to certain conditions.
Which places offer free admission?Top of page
Admission is free to the permanent collections (not to temporary exhibitions) of the national museums and monuments ‘Musées et monuments nationaux’, on presentation of proof of identity, for:
- under 18-year-olds (including temporary exhibitions);
- young people aged 18 to 25 who are citizens of one of the countries of the European Union;
- current French students and teachers;
- job seekers and people receiving the minimum unemployment allowance (on presentation of documentary evidence dated less than one year);
- disabled visitors and an accompanying person;
- for everyone on the first Sunday of every month (which causes long queues).
In municipal museums of the Ville de Paris, admission is free for everyone, (except to temporary exhibitions).
Is there a Museum Pass?Top of page
Yes, the Paris Museum Pass gives you free admission, with no queuing, to more than 60 museums and monuments (except temporary exhibitions) in Paris and the Paris region. The Pass can be purchased (for 2, 4 or 6 consecutive days for €48, €62 or €74) from the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, Paris Museum Pass on Parisinfo.com and at participating sites.