Museum Information

Musee d'Orsay interior, Paris

Musee d’Orsay interior

Some museums are closed Mondays; others Tuesdays. Many have one or two late-closing days.  Below is information about those visited on this trip.

Carnavalet, the History of the City of Paris: Not included in the Paris Museum Pass. Although a vast collection in two wonderful 17th c. buildings that have been joined together, many of the rooms are closed, or close early, or have few English translations. Exercise patience. Closed Mondays. Near the museum of Jewish Art and History (see below).

The Cluny, also known as the Museum of the Middle Ages or Medieval Age. Included in the Paris Museum Pass. Closed Tuesdays.

Les Invalides (including Napoleon’s Tomb), also called the Musee de l’Armee. Included in the Paris Museum Pass.Five museums and special exhibits on the military history of France. Les Invalides includes Napoleon’s Tomb under the huge 17th c. dome. Excellent English-language Web site. Open every day. Late-closing day is Tuesday.

Jewish Art and History Museum: Included in the Paris Museum Pass. Closed Saturdays. Excellent English language Web site. Near the Carnavalet, the museum of the history of the city of Paris.

The Legion of Honor: FREE. Right across the side street  esplanade from the Musee d’Orsay is the Musee de la Legion d’Honneur, also known as the National Museum of the Legion of Honour and the Orders of Knighthood. Free admission and free audioguide. 1-6 pm Wednesday-Sunday. Excellent English language Web site. In San Francisco, the Palace of the Legion of Honor museum, one of the major art museums owned by the city of San Francisco, is an architectural replica of this building. The restored museum was founded in part with the support of an American, whose statue is right inside the front door. A fascinating look at a slice of French history.

The Louvre: Included in the  Paris Museum Pass. Closed Tuesdays. Late closing days are Wednesdays and Fridays. There’s not much accurate public information about the location of the expedited entrance and security checkpoint. Though the Louvre Web site says to enter through the usual Pyramid, we did not find that there was expedited entry through the security line at that entrance. We used the expedited entrance for both tickets and security is under the arch of the Passage Richelieu. (The guard on the right, at the top of the escalator, may let you in or may shoo you away back towards the Pyramid. If he motions you away, go to the Group entrance and security checkpoint on the left side of the Passage Richelieu. Smile nicely, and the guards may let you through.)

Musee d’Orsay: Included in the Paris Museum Pass, with the ticket and security entrance for holders located on the right side of the building. Note: NO photography allowed, not even with the flash turned off. This includes cell phone cameras. Closed on Mondays. Late closing day is Thursday. The d’Orsay is an easy walk from the Louvre.

The Orangerie:  Included in the Paris Museum Pass. Closed Tuesdays.Since this is a small building, it is often very crowded. Arrive early or close to closing time to best enjoy the museum.

The Pantheon: Included in the Paris Museum Pass. Both an interesting building and a monument to “great men” (and a woman or two) of Paris.

The Pompidou: Included in the Paris Museum Pass.The Pompidou Center houses the  National Museum of Modern Art as well as a huge public library and a center for research in music and acoustics (IRCAM). It’s also known as the Beaubourg.

The Postal Museum , called L’Adresse Musee de la Poste Paris.(Or, How France communicated before e-mail.) Included in the Paris Museum Pass. Closed Sundays and holidays. This museum is much more interesting, and larger, than you might think, with a  modern layout and English language explanation. Very friendly staff.

Quai Branly:  also known as MQB, for Musee du Quai Branly. Included in the Paris Museum Pass. In one of the most architecturally interesting modern buildings in Paris, MQB displays Indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.

Sainte Chapelle: Included in the Paris Museum Pass. Security check-point. Late-closing day is Wednesday. St. Chapelle is small and can be  crowded; best time to visit is late afternoon or Wednesday evening.

Versailles:  Included in the Paris Museum Pass. Versailles not only is a museum, it has a museum, the Museum of the History of France. Versailles also contains several spaces for special exhibitions. From the Versailles Home Page, click on the “What’s On” icon on the right side of the screen.

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