Every spring, Parisian museums open their doors for free for the annual Nuit des Musées. While some people use it as an opportunity to explore popular spots like the Louvre or the Centre Pompidou, why not take the opportunity to visit somewhere new? Perhaps you’ll discover something unexpected; at the very least, you’ll escape the crowds all trying to see the Mona Lisa at the same time! When planning your museum tour, don’t stay at just any hotel. Choose a Parisian hotel close to the museums on your must see list. Even if you’ve missed the Nuit des Musées this year, start planning for next year! Here are five out of the ordinary museums to visit in Paris:
Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme
Logically planted in the Le Marais neighbourhood, historically the epicentre of Jewish life in Paris, the Musée du Judaïsme retraces the history of rites, ceremonies, and Jewish culture. You will be able to photographs, paintings, religious objects, and selection of written documents.
Get There: Rambuteau Station or Hotel de Ville Station
Hours: Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Palais de Tokyo
The small Palais de Tokyo has just a few rooms of exhibits, but it’s the atmosphere that keeps people coming back here. The hip café and free entry for art students mean its visitors are young, trendy, and lively. This modern art museum has rotating exhibits of experimental art — bring an open mind to this open-plan building that dates back to 1937!
Get There: Iéna Station or Alma – Marceau Station
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, Noon to 9 p.m.
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
This newly renovated hunting museum occupies two beautiful 17th century mansions in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement. This eclectic museum blends Early Modern architecture with taxidermy animals, hunting rifles, and art pieces depicting the human-animal relationships of earlier times.
Get There: Rambuteau Station or Saint-Sébastien – Froissart Station
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Musée du Vin
Where better to learn about the nectar of the gods than France? You’ll venture down into the cellar of an old monastery that produced wine and all the accessories that go with it, such as bottles and ceramics. The tour in the maze-like underground ends with a wine tasting. Armed with new knowledge, try to guess which region the wines originate from. In vino veritas!
Get There: Passy Station
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Musée des Arts et Métiers
This museum in the trendy Le Marais neighbourhood is a chance to see the European history of technological and scientific innovation. You’ll see historical replicas of cars and airplanes, the original model of the Statue of Liberty, and the original make of Foucault’s pendulum. The museum is more than 300 years old and houses more than 2,400 inventions. It’s bound to be an unexpected favorite!
Get There: Arts-et-Métiers Station or Réaumur-Sébastopol Station
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays
With more than 130 museums in Paris, it’s hard to visit each one. Once you’ve seen the major players, why not seek out some of the city’s quirky side? While you’re at it, don’t settle for any old Parisian hotel: find a hotel that suits your budget and personality!