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“The most magical place in Paris”

Musee des Arts Forains
Ranked #36 of 1,098 things to do in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Pavillons de Bercy-Musée des Arts Forains house one of the largest collections of entertainment and fairground art's objects. They are located in ancient wine warehouses built by a Gustave Eiffel apprentice in the end of the 19th century. Discover the site and its four venues: Théatre du Merveilleux (Thetre of Marvels), Salons Vénitiens (Venetian Rooms), Théâtre de Verdure (Vegetal outdoor area) and the Musée des Arts Forains (Museum àof Fairground Art), all displayed with themes such as Cabinet of curiosities, Venetian carnival, Extraordinary gardens and funfairs of the Belle Epoque (End of the 19th century). This private museum is opende throughout the year, only by apointement in order to experiment the spirit of the place in a lively and participative tour. The guides takes the visitor on an out of time journey, enables them to ride carousels and listen to an automaton show. The Pavillons de Bercy are opened to visit throughout the year only by appointment. And exceptionnally without booking twice a year during the European Heritage Days and Festival du Merveilleux. All the venues can also be rented for private events.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“The most magical place in Paris”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2012

We had the good fortune to visit the week of Paris's "Open House Weekend" where all the secret places are open all day. Usually you have to visit on a guided tour but this weekend was open to everyone. We stayed five hours it was that good. Set in a selection of old wine warehouses at Bercy in the East on the river, you walk into dark ballrooms full of magical projections and music. Imagine the set of the film Moulin Rouge, all red velvet, lights and sparkles. There are also fairground rides dating back to 1850 which you can ride, plus lots of wooden games you can play. Make sure you have lots of space on your camera for photos as we took over 300. One of the best ever days out in Paris.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Angela L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Subligny, France
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“real cool”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2012

This is absolutely great ! You forget that you are you are an adult and come back in the childhood. The guide is very nice and loves his place so the visit is just too short, you just feel like starting again, riding the old bicycles and playing with some very old games. Such a amount of old things is unbelievable !
I recommend this to all people you want to have a great time

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank laoge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“The Best Hidden Gem in Paris”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2012

This museum of carnival arts is a true Parisian gem! It is a museum that boasts four antique carousels, several carnival games, and antique calliopes. We thought it would be a small exhibit and a short tour, but we were pleasantly surprised. Our tour lasted a good hour or more; we're actually not sure how long it lasted because the whole thing was so magical. The tour guide allowed our group to ride on the old carousels and play the carnival games. She also showed us how the calliopes work and gave a demonstration. The tour was entirely in French, which we don't speak, but we had such a wonderful time savoring the enchanting and visually stimulating exhibits. The best part was all the families who were there. The kids really enjoyed riding the rides, playing the games, and learning about the history of carnivals. The coolest item in the museum is a bicycle carousel powered by the peddling of the riders. From what we gathered from the tour guide, this carousel can go really, really fast. The adults enjoyed it just as much as the kids!

The museum is open to the general public only in December. But you can contact the museum to attend one of its scheduled tours--13 euro admission for adults, not sure how much for kids.

This is a great attraction for families, for couples, and for travelers who want to go off the beaten track to experience something magical and whimsical in Paris.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Map_lovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint-Nom-la-Breteche, France
Level Contributor
653 reviews
283 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 317 helpful votes
“absolutely fab”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2012

This is a hugely underrated tourist attraction - it is wonderful. Only available to visit by appointment and only open at weekends-all you need to do is ring and they will fit you in with other groups-well worth the small effort. It is a private collection of funfair rides mostly merry go rounds of different types but there are also old favourites such as a wurlitzer and an Arabian Derby. Although the visit is a guided tour with the commentary all in French it doesn't really matter (if you don't speak French) as there is so much to look at. There is an opportunity to ride several of the roundabouts including an excitingly energetic bicycle ride. Obviously as the exhibits are old not all of them can be touched and this may be a problem for very small children as they all look very tempting!

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank JANDDBritinParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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