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“Interesting exhibits and artifacts” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Musee Carnavalet

Musee Carnavalet
16 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75003 Paris, France (Le Marais)
+33 1 44 59 58 58
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Top Rated
$36*
and up
Paris L'Open Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #102 of 1,121 things to do in Paris
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Carnavalet Museum is dedicated to the history of Paris and its inhabitants and has collections illustrating the evolution of the city from prehistory through to the present day. A vast array of works of art, relics and models are displayed in 100 or so rooms, showing the capital at various periods in history and evoking intellectual and everyday life. Magnificent restored historical scenery creates an evocative setting for a stroll through the centuries in an enriching, delightful visitor experience.
Washington
Top Contributor
176 reviews 176 reviews
49 attraction reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“Interesting exhibits and artifacts”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

Although a lot of sections were closed for renovations, there was still enough displayed to make this a worthwhile visit. Napoleon's death mask and Marcel Proust's room are more than enough reason to visit, and admission was free!

Visited October 2013
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792 reviews from our community

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Pennsylvannia
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“A Hodge Podge”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Normally a museum with this one's mission would be on my "must do" list. I love history museums, and "how they used to live" museums. When I finally visited this one it was one disappointment after another. Here is where the remnants from the grand mansions of Paris went after the houses were torn down. So you see one 18th century salon after another, none of them overwhelming or especially distinctive and all of them lacking interpretation. And the art! Dreadful. If you ever wondered what became of the paintings of the French artists who did not make it into any history book, and who deservedly have no value today, keep your eyes on the walls of this museum. The attics of Paris were scoured for this collection. It is free, it is crowded, and it is on my "do not bother" list. Directions to it will get you to the Marais district, however, which is worth a visit.

Visited February 2013
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Seattle
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Amazing Museum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

I have been to Paris many, many times, but never visited the Musee Carnavalet. If you liked Les Mis, you'll really enjoy this wonderful museum, which exhibits the history of Paris from Francois I through Napoleon III and the Paris Commune. The Museum can be very confusing, but Rick Steve's Paris Guide gives you an easy to follow route and description through the maze of rooms. His book is much better than the free map provided upon entry. Be sure to enter off Rue de Savigne and through the Courtyard with the statue of Louis XIV.

Visited October 2013
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Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Feel like I missed something”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

I had high hopes for this museum - the history of Paris!! Something I already knew a little about but wanted to learn more! I am not sure if we simply didn't go the right direction, or into the right areas but we didn't really feel like we got anything out of this visit. It was also very very hot and stuffy and it was hardly enjoyable walking around. I was expecting to walk through different "eras" showing the beginnings of Paris through to modern age but it was hard to work out how the exhibits were arranged - lots of lovely paintings set out like an art gallery, another room of similar paintings, hard to know the significance of what we were looking at or to find things from a different era. There also seemed to be many rooms which were closed. Maybe french speakers would get more out of it as the exhibit information was only in french. It was probably the only museum I really regretted not getting an audioguide or guided tour.
In any event the stuffy atmosphere was too much for us and we left after a very short visit. Disappointing.

Visited September 2013
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“free, but messy”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

The museum has a great promise, but fails to deliver: presentation falls short of being consistent, audio guide is little help. Good thing it's free. Perhaps it will be better when all rooms are open after security system upgrade.

Visited October 2013
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