A Parisian Gem – Musée Carnavalet

Chat Noir

A little while back, I shared my first Parisian gem – the Musée de l’Orangerie. Through this series of posts I am looking to shed light on some Parisian sights that many people would have heard of but might not had the opportunity to visit.

Today I’d like to let you in on one of Paris’ best kept secrets – the Musée Carnavalet.

Located right in the heart of the Marais, at 16 rue des Francs-Bourgeois (not far from Place des Vosges) we’d walked past the Musée Carnavalet more times than I can remember before it occurred to us to visit.

And naturally, once we’d finally got ourselves there, we wondered why we hadn’t visited sooner!

Located in a typically gorgeous historic Parisian building and small enough to visit in just a couple of hours – meaning you won’t get bored and leaving you with stacks of time to poke around in the nearby shops – the Musée Carnavalet gives you an insight into the remarkable history of Paris.

Visitors can delve into Paris through the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries via numerous thought provoking artworks and artefacts.

Our favourites included insights into the French Revolution, keys from the Bastille, some of the Art Nouveau furniture and the spectacular sign from the original Chat Noir cabaret.

Entry is free for the standard museum exhibitions (which was a nice little surprise) and the museum was also queue free when we visited back in June.

Musée Carnavalet presents visitors with a different perspectives of Paris over the years and is definitely worth a look if you are keen to experience engaging history in a manageable timeframe.

Have you visited Paris’ Musée Carnavalet? Did you enjoy it as much as we did? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

And until next time – au revoir.



About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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2 thoughts on “A Parisian Gem – Musée Carnavalet

  • Tonja

    We visited it in 2013 and I’m so glad we did. I loved the timeline of Paris history – even back to ancient Roman artifacts from their earliest settlements. I loved the entire store fronts and mural-covered walls they transported there from buildings that were demolished or renovated. How did they manage to keep them intact?! I loved their commitment to saving such great pieces of history.

    • Janelle Post author

      I couldn’t agree more Tonja. It was fascinating to see the history of Paris presented in such a unique way. I’ll happily duck back in there the next time I wander by!