Paris does “free” very well, especially when it comes to museums. Whether itss the awesome smaller museums that let you stroll on in, or taking advantage of free days at bigger museums, it pays to do a little research (pun intended).
Free days at the big guys
Most of the iconic museums of Paris offer free access once per week or month. For instance, both the Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay are free on the first Sunday of the month. You can even do a little Friday night pre-game at the Louvre from 6pm to 945pm – also totally free.
Always free at the little guys
Below is list of museums that are totally free all the time- ideal if you’re doing back-to-back tours in Europe and have Paris as a stop or are doing a city stay there. Plus, these are museums where you can escape the tourist crowds and enjoy some new perspective
National Museum of Modern Art
Located within weird “inside out” building, the Centre Pompidou, the National Museum of Modern Art is totally free. Some favorites in the collection include the works of Picasso and Matisse. Home to the second largest collection of contemporary art in the world, behind only New York’s Museum of Modern Art, this museum is the #9 most visited art museum in the world.
Address: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France
Metro: Rambuteau (Line 11)
The Paris Police Museum
Famous possessions of criminals, weapons, old school police memorabilia and a collection of guillotines, this is the perfect museum to take a pause from interpreting art to checking out some serious metal. . This is a guy’s museum if there ever was one. Plus, you’ll be going to a place where few tourists ever go. Totally worth a visit to satisfy your need for free.
Address: 4 rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève
Metro: Maubert-Mutualité (Line 10)
Museum of Romantic Life
This is one of Paris’ three literary museums.Works here come from George Sand, Walter Scott and others but the primary focus is on Sand. Sand is a fascinating literary and social figure that worked in 19th century Paris writing pastoral, romantic novels. The name George Sand, of course was a pseudonym- the author’s real name was Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin. That’s right, George was really a women. Sand had a noteworthy affair with the composer Frederick Chopin and wrote a travel book about their time in Majorca called “A Winter in Majorca”. Her most widely used quote is: “There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” This museum is your chance to be part of the Paris literary scene, in a preserved setting – its located in the very house that hosted Sand, Chopin, Charles Dickens, Eugene Delacroix and many others. And yup, it’s totally free!
Address: 16 rue Chapatal
Metro: Saint-Georges (Line 12), Pigalle (Line 2 or 12), Blance (Line 2), Liege (Line 13)
Fragonard Perfume Museum
Talk about an authentic French experience!Learn about the 3000 year history of perfume. One of the fun facts you’ll learn? It takes nearly 440 pounds of lavender flowers are needed to create just two pounds of extract for small batch perfume production. No wonder why Pharrell Williams’ scent “Girl” is so darn expensive! Once you’ve finished learning about the evolution of perfume and the details of how it’s made, it’s shopping time in the museum store – where swank perfumes and cosmetics are on sale. If you ever wanted to sample a near unlimited number of fragrances, you are in the right place.
Address: 9 Rue Scribe
Metro: Chaussee d’Antin La Fayette (Line 7 and Line 9)
The Curie Museum
If you remember anything from science class, you probably remember that Marie Curie discovered radioactivity on her path to being the first woman to earn the Nobel Prize. Today, radiation is an important tool in the fight against cancer and this development all began here. Admission is free and you’ll get the chance to see where Marie Curie and her husband Pierre (also a Nobel Prize winner) conducted their work, the instruments and laboratories they used and much more. In case you’ve forgotten why you were reading this…its free!
Address: 1 rue Pierre et Marie Curie
Metro: Place Monge (Line 7)
Make sure you get your Paris and freebie fix on these EF College Break trips:
EF College Break is the leader in social group travel for 18-28 year olds like college students, young working professionals and other wanderlusters looking to see the world.