High culture is a quintessential part of Paris’ personality, and nowhere is that better expressed than in the city’s wealth of world-class museums. From art-world heavyweights to modernist stylings, here are six of the City of Light’s top museums.
La Cinémathèque Française
51 Rue de Bercy, Paris, France, 75012
Die-hard movie buffs will love the costumes and props, such as Mrs. Bates’s head from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, the robot from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, and a camera that belonged to the Lumiére brothers. Film clips accompany many of the objects on display, enhancing the educational experience, and an on-site theater screens several films daily from its huge archive.
Explore La Cinémathèque (along with dozens more of the city’s top attractions) with a Paris Museum Pass or Paris Pass, which is the unlimited version. Both passes come in 2-6-day versions and include unlimited public transportation on select services and free sightseeing tours such as hop-on hop-off buses and a cruise along the Seine.
Things to Know Before You Go
- La Cinémathèque is an ideal spot to see classic and cult films rarely screened.
- Entrance to the museum includes a free audio guide available in five languages.
- Admission prices to screenings vary.
- Entry is free with a Paris Museum Pass or a Paris Pass.
How to Get There
La Cinémathèque is located along Rue de Bercy in the 12th arrondissement of Paris at the entrance to the Parc de Bercy. Take Métro line 7 to Dugommier, across the street, or lines 6 and 14 to Bercy, a couple of blocks away. Gare de Bercy, a hub for TER and intercity trains, is next door.
When to Get There
La Cinémathèque is open every day except Tuesday, and features several screenings starting about midday into the night. Beat the crowds by visiting during a weekday. Cinephiles may want to visit Paris in April for the European Independent Film Festival, or in June for the Champs-Elysées Film Festival, which showcases independent French and American films.
Jeu de Paume Lovers of cinema and photography should also visit the Jeu de Paume museum, the city’s premiere center for all manner of mechanical and electronic imagery (photography, cinema, video, online media, etc.) from the 20th and 21st centuries. The prestigious museum inside the Tuileries Gardens hosts an ever-changing roster of exhibitions and screenings, video installations, symposiums, and seminars. Enjoy the museum, then take a stroll in the historic gardens.
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- Parc de Bercy
- Bercy Village
- French National Library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France)
- Museum of Fairground Arts (Musée des Arts Forains)
- Viaduc des Arts
- Marché d’Aligre
- Promenade Plantée
- Jardin des Plantes
- French National Museum of Natural History (Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle)
- Aquarium Tropical du Palais de la Porte Dorée
- 13th Arrondissement
- Bastille Opera House (Opéra Bastille)
- Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins
- Arab World Institute (Institut du Monde Arabe)