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Musée Carnavalet - The History of Paris

Spend some time in this museum, which reveals the secrets of the City of Light from prehistoric times to today. A plethora of sculptures, paintings and pieces of furniture, everyday objects like dishes, old newspapers, street signs and souvenirs of historic events retrace, each in its own way, the history of Paris. This museum is set up in two townhouses (the Hôtel Carnavalet, built in 1545 and the Hôtel Le Peletier in the 17th century).  You need a whole afternoon to see everything.
All you ever wanted to know about Paris is right here, from the beginning of the Parisii fishing tribes to current times. It's huge, and arranged by date so that you can move through it chronologically, or go straight to a time period you want to learn more about. There is little in English, so get the guide and plan on a full day. Since it's free, you could easily leave for lunch in the Marais and return.

Musée Carnavalet


Paris , France



23 rue de Sévigné, 3e

Getting there

Metro: St-Paul, Chemin Vert, Rambuteau

More information

Opening hours

10am-6pm Tue-Sun


Foundations of Paris

Quotes about Paris

Short story about Paris