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“Don't bother!!!”

La Cite des Sciences et de L'lndustrie
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Ranked #322 of 2,253 things to do in Paris
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Owner description: This large interactive science museum has numerous exhibits dedicated to making science comprehensible for non-scientists.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Total white elephant which is dirty & expensive - perfect way to waste time & money - as well as being user-unfriendly. We allocated the whole day to the place starting with the Cite des Enfants - you get 90 mins to use the various (& frequently not working equipment) rooms and frankly if you've been to the most basic kid's interactive centre, you'll have done them all anyway. The Geode cinema is a total rip off at 13 Euros each for a 3D film which they do NOT tell you at time of booking is all in French with no subtitles & as dull as they come. The Planetarium would have been good but for the fact that again, is all in French, and no mention at the time of ticket purchase that you can buy guides in other languages. 1st notification of this is as you go in having waited & queued for eons, and the guides are handily available on the floor below - WHY?????!! Toilets are disgusting - dirty, smelly & unventilated - on EVERY floor. Whole place tired & activities seem to be an afterthought to fill this ugly white elephant of a building. If you want to pay an exorbitant amount to visit a 1980's attraction that hasn't been cleaned since, this is the place to go.

5  Thank JTHartley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"science museum"
in 31 reviews
"great for kids"
in 9 reviews
"lots of interactive exhibits"
in 5 reviews
"special effects"
in 5 reviews
"transport section"
in 4 reviews
"children and adults"
in 6 reviews
"real submarine"
in 3 reviews
"field trip"
in 3 reviews
"speak french"
in 5 reviews
"visited this museum"
in 4 reviews
"lots of fun"
in 5 reviews
"temporary exhibition"
in 3 reviews
"audio guide"
in 10 reviews
"great museum"
in 3 reviews
in 50 reviews
in 34 reviews
in 14 reviews

187 - 191 of 1,322 reviews

Reviewed July 16, 2013

Ok, so I got lucky to catch a Da Vinci exposition during my visit which was really interesting for me. Without it I would probably give this a 3.5/5. It's a nice idea overall but it's mostly targeted to children who want to learn science in an interactive, fun way.
If you do have kids whom you would like to teach some science this is a 5/5, otherwise just a nice place to see and nothing more.

Thank Bogdan N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Fascinating science museum with quite a lot of interesting exhibits in its vast halls. We had about four hours to spare there, and it was way too short. Somewhat off the beaten track, but a very pleasant (if lengthy) walk from La Cite back into central Paris along the canals.

Thank PineappleSkip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We spent an afternoon there (and should have allowed more time) and had a great experience. The exhibits are great and most are in English, German, and French, at least, the one's we wanted to see. Our teenage son loved (as did we) the 3D movie about prehistoric sea life and regular film (not 3D) on the far reaches of space. They have headsets that you can get for free (just have to use your drivers license as a deposit) that translate the film into English (and a host of other languages). There was a great (I believe temporary) exhibit dealing with future housing construction and design. It was very hands on and very enjoyable. My wife enjoyed the exhibit dealing with future fabrics. The place is easily accessible via the Metro (though kind of a hike from where we were in the 7th), the stop is right out front. The ticketing is a bit confusing; it is mostly an ala carte selection, so you need to know what you want to do before getting there. All the workers we interfaced with spoke English, which helped with the ticketing especially. Our advice is: (1) allow plenty of time as this is a big place and the films are not short, (2) know what you what to do and see before going, and (3) be forewarned that there are a lot of French school children here on field trips and they can overrun the place (maybe a weekend is better but we went on a Monday).

1  Thank KeSuLu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 19, 2013

The good: Cité des Enfants, which is a significant part of one floor of this place, has two age-restricted playing areas, and these were fantastic. They had all sorts of interactive, intelligently themed things, and every single child had a blast.

The bad: The best part of the huge complex was the Cité des Enfants, but even this had problems that ranged from annoyances to major complications. For instance, some of the equipment in the play areas was broken, with no sense that the staff knew about it or planned to fix it: I watched 30 kids try to make one video tool try to work and then give up in frustration. Further, you have to make a reservation to get into these play areas, and if you happen to show up on a day when there are a billion schoolkids on a field trip, forget it--you've made the long trip from the center of the city for nothing. Finally, it turns out that parents have to buy their own tickets into this play area. I would have been happy to do this, but the web site doesn't make it clear at all that this is necessary...in fact, when I made my reservations online (I knew to make a reservation, thank goodness), the web site asked about the people using the tickets in such a way that clearly implied the ticket-holders were children. So we got to the front of the line, started to go in for the time we had reserved, and then we weren't going to be allowed in! One staff member told us to go buy tickets for ourselves--keep in mind that you get a 90-minute window, and that's it, so our limited time was already wasting--but fortunately another staff member took pity on us and let us in. Why on earth would adults buy tickets to this anyway? We're not the ones playing the games. And why would Cité assume we weren't going in with the children? Remember that one of the areas is for very small kids...Cité really thinks we were going to send them in there with nothing more than a jaunty wave goodbye?

My point in going on and on about this is that the Cité des Enfants was the best part of the complex, and even that was badly flawed. The rest has gorgeous displays, usually in at least three languages, but not always. And *so much* was broken or just flat didn't work. The "interactive" Mona Lisa uses software that is supposed to make her move her lips with what your child says into the microphone, but all she did was randomly purse her lips. The area with the light games, which sounded super cool, has lots of broken or missing equipment, and, inexplicably, *none* of it is in English, even though the rest of the complex has lots of good translations. So all of the actually interactive stuff (although the complex prides itself on its interactive displays, the truth is that most of the "interactivity" is kids pushing buttons and passively watching videos) in this "games" area, interactive stuff exploring frequently counterintuitive theories about how light works, was incomprehensible unless I was there to translate. If my children are uninterested in listening to me lecture on a good day, I can assure you they're uninterested in hearing me lecture in Paris.

Also, the restaurants in the complex are badly overpriced. The Hippopotamus restaurant that's supposed to be so kid-friendly is essentially a very pricey place to get steak. If you do go to Cité des Enfants, the one good part of the complex, make time to go across the street to one of the restaurants unaffiliated with the Cité.

What I don't know: we didn't try the IMAX, which was only showing French-language films; we didn't look at La Geode. Probably we should have. But we were so frustrated with the rest of the complex that I couldn't ask my children to give it *yet* another shot as we tried *yet* another part of the complex.

4  Thank JSSAmber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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