The 3 most interesting small museums in Paris

By Mathilde Vuillemenot | Last update on September 13, 2023

Paris is a treasure trove of museums, with over 150 to explore. While the Louvre and Orsay are well-known, there's a wealth of small museums in Paris waiting to be uncovered – and they're not as crowded! Dive into my top 3 picks for interesting small museums in Paris that promise a truly special journey.

My top 3 interesting small museums in Paris 


1. Rodin museum

Rodin museum is an interesting small museum in Paris

Located in the heart of the 7th arrondissement, the Rodin Museum is an exquisite haven for those seeking a deeper connection with art. Unlike the bustling crowds you might encounter at the more popular museums, Rodin museum offers a serene and intimate setting. The museum is set within the charming Hôtel Biron, a grand 18th-century mansion, where Rodin lived.

The Rodin Museum boasts an extensive collection of Rodin's sculptures, as well as some of his drawings and paintings. You'll stand face-to-face with iconic pieces such as 'The Thinker', 'The Kiss', and 'The Gates of Hell'.

What truly sets the Rodin Museum apart is its enchanting garden. The garden features numerous sculptures scattered among lush greenery, creating an immersive experience. There are benches and even some deck chairs in the summer in the garden. Perfect to take the time to admire the garden and the sculpture, or write down your thoughts, soaking in the enchanting atmosphere you'll find only here.

Practical information: the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10 am - 6.30 pm (last entry at 5.45 pm). The museums is closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25. 

Insider tips: go at the opening. Grab some croissant and coffee at a bakery and enjoy them in the lovely garden before touring the museum. 


2. Carnavalet museum

Carnavalet museum is an interesting small museum in Paris

Let's step back in time and discover a museum that paints a vivid picture of the Paris rich history and culture. In this off-the-beaten-path journey, allow me to introduce you to the hidden treasure that is the Carnavalet Museum. First of all, this is a free museum, amazing, right?

Nestled in the charming Marais district, the Carnavalet Museum is a tribute to the history of Paris. It offers an extraordinary journey through the city's evolution – prehistory, medieval times, the Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the 19th century, world wars and the recent days. As you wander through its elegantly decorated rooms and galleries, you'll find yourself surrounded by a curated collection of artifacts, paintings, and objects that tell the stories of Paris across centuries.

It’s necessary to say the museum is huge. So if you don’t have so much time (or if you’re with kids, for example), you can go directly to the periods that most interest you. Each gallery is a portal to a different era, allowing you to grasp the city's intricate past.

Oh and between May and October, the garden of the Carnavalet museum hosts a seasonal restaurant, creating an enchanting locale, perfect for taking a delightful pause right after your visit. 

Practical information: the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10 am - 6 pm (last entry at 5.15 pm). The museums is closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25. 

Insider tips: you don't need to pre-book your visit, admission to the museum is free. So, save it for a rainy day in Paris: you just drop by when the weather is not so good. 


3. Conciergerie

Conciergerie is an interesting small museum in Paris

I'm excited to guide you to a place that amazed me – the mysterious Conciergerie. Tucked away on the Île de la Cité, the Conciergerie is a solemn yet incredibly captivating museum. It once served as a royal palace and later became a notorious prison, notably housing Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution. 

This museum will captivate both adults and kids. The building is in excellent condition, but not fully furnished. Instead, you'll receive a tablet (called Histopad) for your visit. In each room, you'll scan a QR code, and the tablet will instantly immerse you in the historical scenery of that room (including sound). You will discover fascinating traditions and decors. The vivid displays and recreated scenes create a tangible connection to the events that shaped France's history. Get ready to journey back in time! And, little more for the kids, they will have fun participating in a treasure hunt. And my tips, if multiple people are visiting the Conciergerie, it's better for each of you to have your own iPad.

Last thing, every day at 11 am and 5 pm, there are guided tours (no extra charge). The guides at the monument share the Conciergerie's history for about an hour. If you're enthusiastic about history, this could be an interesting addition to your own iPad-guided visit.

Practical information: the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 9.30 am - 6 pm (last entry at 5 pm). The museums is closed on May 1st and December 25. 

Insider tips: you can get combined tickets for Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie (they're just a few meters away). These combined tickets can be booked on the Saint Chapelle ticketing website. I recommend to book at maximum for 3 pm. You'll start with Sainte Chapelle and then, you'lle be able to visit the Conciergerie (there's no time slot for Conciergerie). The Conciergerie delivers the tablet for the immersive experience only until 4.30 pm, so be sure to arrive before this time.