(Bonjour. I am Lindy I have lived in the beautiful city of Paris since 2009, and I would like to share my personal top 10 things to do in Paris if you are visiting on a shoestring, or just if you want to get away from the madding crowd at the Eiffel tower!)
5 – Musee de Carnavalet
The musee de Carnavalet situated in the ancient ‘Marais’ district in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris is a ‘Hotel Particular’ (Name given to grand private houses) which was bought by the ‘Municpal de Paris’ in 1866 and opened as a museum in 1880. In 2013 it became the oldest of the 14 ‘Musees de la ville de Paris’, 10 of which are entirely FREE to the public except for temporary private exhibitions (there is a list of all 14 museums at the end of this post, and an independent post to follow – Follow this blog to receive more information)
The museum is in fact two houses which have been knocked into one, ‘The hotel de Carnavalet’ which was contructed in the mid16th century and was the home between 1677 and 1696 of ‘Madame de Sevingne’, a lady who could be described as a latter day blogger, famous for her daily letter writing to her daughter, chronicling the everyday events of her life and that of her neighbourhood and Paris in general.
The second house, ‘The hotel de le Peletier de Sain Fargeau’, was built around the same time and was originally known as ‘Hotel d’Ogeral’. Le Peletier de Fargeau was the representative of the nobility in the ‘Estates-General of 1789 and he voted for the execution of Louis XVI. Ironically, he himself was murdered in revenge on the same day that the King was guillotined on the 20th January 1793.
The collection recounts the city’s varied and colourful history through a diverse collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture, room recreations and other memorabilia, that spans from a staggering 4,600 years BC exhibiting a prehistoric dugout canoe, to present day featuring modern exhibitions, and includes artefacts from the French Revolution.
My personal favourites are the ‘Art Nouveau’ rooms, including ‘The Fouquet jewellery shop by ‘Alphonse Mucha’ and the 1925 grand interior of the ‘Hotel de Wendell ballroom’ by ‘José-maria Sert’
Practical information Address – 16 Rue de Frances-Bourgeois, 75003 Contact – (0033 1) 01 44 59 76 96 www.carnavalet.paris.fr
Getting there – Metro line 1 – Saint-Paul, line 8 – Chemin Vert, Bus 29, 69, 76,96 Open Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 6pm (ticket office closes at 5.15pm) every day except for all public holidays
Disabled access (telephone for information)
Musees de la ville de Paris
The 11 free museums (there is an opportunity to give a voluntary donation to help maintain these museums, 5 euro per party is gratefully accepted)
City of Paris Museum of Modern
Art Balzac’s House (except when a temporary exhibition is programed)
Carnavalet Museum – History of Paris (see my blog post)
Cernuschi Museum – Museum of Asian Art
Cognacq-Jay Museum – Museum of the XVIIIth century art*
Museum of the General Leclerc and the Paris’ Liberation – Jean Moulin Museum
Petit Palais – City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts (see my blog post)
Museum of Romantics
Victor Hugo’s House (see my blog post)
* Only a section of these museums is free when there is a temporary exhibition
There is an entrance fee to the remaining 3 museums:-
The Archaeological Crypt of Notre-Dame
Galliera – Museum of Fashion
Entrance fee at the Catacombs is 10 € full price, 8€ reduced rate.
Entrance fee at the Archaeological Crypt of Notre-Dame is 7€ full price, 5€ reduced rate.
Combined ticket for Catacombs and Archaeological Crypt of Notre-Dame: 15 € full price, 10 € reduced rate.
Entrance fee at Galliera-Museum of Fashion depends from one temporary exhibition to another