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I'm Gabriella Wisdom, welcome to the Postcards from Hawaii travel blog, an online vacay for the well-organised traveller

7 free museums in Paris for Europeans aged 18-25

7 free museums in Paris for Europeans aged 18-25

Shortly after graduating from university, I moved to Paris for a year following my boyfriend who was offered a job in advertising. Whilst there I worked as a language instructor (*ahem* glorified name for English speaking babysitter), which meant I had the day to explore the city before picking the kids up from school. 

Up until this point I had never moved away from home, and though I was very excited to be living abroad, I was also so nervous about being young and heading out on my own. Turns out it’s awesome to be under 25 in Paris because EU citizens aged 18-25 get free and concessionary tickets to so many tourist sites. All you need is your passport or driver's licence!

To save you from doing the research yourself, I’ve compiled a list of 7 of the best museums in Paris that offer free admission to 18-25 year old EU citizens; some of them even make exceptions for non EU citizens under 26!

1. Musée du Louvre

The world’s biggest art museum is home to some of the world’s most recognised pieces of art such as Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Delacroix’s Liberty leading the people and of course, Pei’s pyramids. There is so much to see in the Louvre that each of the three wings, Sully, Denon and Richelieu, require at least a day to explore. For this reason I think it’s the perfect place to seek shelter from the rain and cold whilst absorbing a wealth of culture. When I was living in Paris, I visited all eight departments on the days when the weather was at its worst.

PFH Top Tip - Don’t miss Napoleon III’s apartments in the Richelieu wing. They are some of the most extravagantly decorated rooms in the world, every inch of the Rococo decor is a work of art.

Admission

  • Free access to the permanent collections for EU citizens aged 18-25.

  • Free admission for under 26 year olds of all nationalities every Friday from 6pm.

Opening hours

  • Open 9am-7:30pm on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Open 9am-10pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.

  • Closed on Tuesdays.

Getting there

  • Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France.

  • Métro lines 1 and 7 - Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre.

2. Musée d’Orsay

Formerly a train station built in 1900, this museum now houses works of art from 1848-1914. Some of it’s most famous inhabitants are Van Gogh’s Self Portrait, Manet’s Olympia, Whistler’s Mother and Monet’s London, Houses of Parliament. 

PFH Top Tip - Arrive first thing in the morning to get an instagram worthy shot from behind the clock face. It’s on the fifth floor in the North East corner along with the café. I’m yet to get a good shot of this, so if you do, know that I’m super jealous of you!

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Admission

  • Free access to the permanent collections for EU citizens aged 18-25.

  • €8 concessionary ticket price for 18-25 year olds of all nationalities.

Opening hours

  • Open 9.30am-6pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Open 9.30am-9.45pm Thursdays.

  • Closed on Mondays.

Getting there

  • 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France.

  • RER C - Musée d’Orsay.

3. Musée du Quai Branly

Just a six minute walk from the Eiffel Tower and nestled behind trees, Musée du Quai Branly showcases collections of non-European art. The permanent collections are divided into geographical areas showing approximately 3,500 pieces of clothing, masks, weapons, instruments and so much more. 

PFH Top Tip - Though the work is fascinating and a welcomed change of pace, the museum is not of the same calibre as the Louvre or d’Orsay. So, if you have limited time in Paris I wouldn’t suggest putting it at the top of your museum list, but if you do have time to explore Paris’ less talked about hotspots, it’s definitely worth a trip.

Admission

  • Free access to the permanent collections for EU citizens aged 18-25.

Opening hours

  • Open 11am-7pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays.

  • Open 11am-9pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

  • Closed on Mondays.

Getting there

  • 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris, France.

  • Métro line 9 - Alma Marceau.

  • RER C - Pont de l’Alma.

4. Musée Rodin

In 1908 Rodin donated his entire life’s work to the French State for it to be displayed within the grounds of Hôtel Biron, his former studio, which was to be known as “Musée Rodin”. It has since been listed a historical monument and is home to some of the world’s most critically acclaimed pieces such as The Kiss, The Thinker and The Gates of Hell

Fun fact - The garden has hosted the Dior couture catwalk show during Paris Fashion Week for the last 10 years.

PFH Top Tip - May is the best time to visit Musée Rodin because the rose garden is in full bloom.

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Admission

  • Free access to the permanent collections and sculpture garden for EU citizens aged 18-25.

  • €7 concessionary ticket price for 18-25 year olds of all nationalities on Wednesdays.

Opening hours

  • Open 10am-5.45pm from Tuesday-Sunday.

  • Closed on Mondays.

Getting there

  • 77 rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, France

  • Métro lines 13 and 8 - Invalides.

  • Métro line 13 - Varenne.

  • RER C - Invalides.

5. Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Located in the West wing of the Louvre, this one is for interior design lovers. The decorative arts and design museum houses works from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modern and Contemporary. If you’re a fashionista however, it’s worth keeping an eye out for their forthcoming events as they also showcase fashion exhibitions. The most recent Christan Dior Couturier du Rêve exhibition, celebrating 70 years of Dior, was magnificent and worked harmoniously with the interior of the museum. Please note that you will have to pay for a ticket to the non-permanent exhibitions no matter your age and nationality.

PFH Top Tip - The gift shop has an amazing art and design book shop at the far end and is worth a visit for anyone working within the creative industry.

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Admission

  • Free access to the permanent collections for EU citizens under the age of 26.

Opening hours

  • Open 11am-6pm Tuesday-Sunday.

  • Open 11am-9pm on Thursdays (from 22nd March).

  • Closed on Mondays.

Getting there

  • 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

  • Métro line 1 - Tuileries.

  • Métro lines 1 and 7 - Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre.

6. Musée des Arts et Métiers

If you fancy a change from the arts, why not check out Europe’s oldest science and technology museum. Much like Musée du Quai Branly, I wouldn’t suggest spending your limited time in Paris visiting this museum, but with over 2,400 pieces of technological innovation, these centuries old inventions are worth a visit when you have the time.

Admission

  • Free access to the permanent collections for EU citizens aged 18-25.

Opening hours

  • Open 10am-6pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Open 10am-9.30pm on Thursdays.

  • Closed on Mondays.

Getting there

  • 60 Rue Réaumur, 75003 Paris, France

  • Métro lines 3 and 11 - Arts et Métiers.

  • Métro lines 3 and 4 - Réaumur - Sébastopol.

7. Musée de l’Armée Invalides

The National Military Museum hosts an abundance of historical artefacts from 13th-17th Century armour to weaponry from the two world wars. Though it sounds a bit heavy going, it’s actually fascinating to learn about military defence and conduct from other countries’ viewpoints. Plus not all the items on display are weapons; there are also paintings, uniforms, vehicles and personal belongings from the focused eras.

PFH Top Tip - If there is one thing you cannot miss at Musée de l’Armée Invalides, it’s Napoleon’s tomb. Beneath the spectacular dome, which can be seen for miles, rests Napoleon I within a very grand black marble coffin.

Admission

  • Free access to the permanent collections and sculpture garden for EU citizens aged 18-25.

Opening hours

  • 1st April - 31st October: Open 10am-6pm from Monday-Sunday.

  • 1st Nov - 31st March: Open 10am-5pm Monday-Sunday.

Getting there

  • 129 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France

  • Métro lines 8 - La Tour Maubourg.

  • Métro lines 13 and 8 - Invalides.

  • Métro line 13 - Varenne.

  • RER C - Invalides.

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Bon Voyage!

Aloha, Gabriella

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Full disclosure - Ticket prices and opening times were correct at time of posting.

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