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Free museums; art and culture on a budget

Free museums; art and culture on a budget

You can enjoy the artistic and cultural riches of Paris without spending a euro. The capital is full of free museums that contain treasures comparable to those of the Parisian giants! Here is our selection of the best free museums in Paris.

The Museum of Romantic Life

Close to Pigalle, the Musée de la Vie Romantique is a place full of history; a museum housed in a charming pavilion whose unique atmosphere will enchant you. This former mansion welcomed the greats during the Parisian Romantic era, from Liszt to Rossini by way of Chopin, Delacroix, Dickens, Gounod and George Sand. One floor is dedicated to the life and work of the novelist George Sand and another to the creations of the artist Ary Scheffer.


Follow your nose to the Fragonard Perfume Museum

Nestled close to the Opera Garnier, the Musée du Parfum Fragonard is housed in a building that has known many incarnations, having been a theatre, a velodrome and a British furniture retailer’s store. Stepping inside you enter a fascinating world in which the secrets of creating fragrances are revealed and an extraordinary collection of perfume bottles from ancient times to the present day are displayed in exquisite profusion. It has the ambiance of a 19th century perfumery in which intriguing old objects, archival documents and informative videos reveal perfume’s long history.


The Petit Palais; a broad artistic panorama

This architectural gem located on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées was, like the Grand Palais, built for the Exposition Universelle of 1900. Inside is the Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, where nearly 1,300 works of art (paintings, icons, sculptures, tapestries, etc.) are displayed, including ancient and medieval collections, works of the French and Italian Renaissance and paintings from the Dutch and Flemish schools.

From May 22nd to September 15th, 2019, the Petit Palais presents a fascinating temporary exhibition retracing a vast panorama of the capital during the Romantic era, from the fall of Napoleon to the revolution of 1848. 


Place de Vosges, the Maison de Victor Hugo

In the heart of the Marais, at no. 6 of the prestigious Place des Vosges, stands the house where Victor Hugo and his family lived for 16 years. It’s now a writer’s house museum, full of period furniture and memories, where you are invited to enter the intimate world of the most famous writer in French literature. Much of Les Misérables was written here, as well as other works. The museum traces the three key stages of this politically engaged author’s existence; before, during and after his exile on Guernsey. You’ll find temporary exhibitions on the 1st floor and a library open to the public by appointment.


The Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris

Housed in a building near the Eiffel Tower dating from the 1930s, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is dedicated to contemporary creation in all its facets. More than 8,000 works illustrate the various artistic trends of the 20th century.


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