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Musee des Arts et Metiers

"My kids loved it. So interesting!"

  • March 2016

reviewed by Katie from France

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Musee Des Arts Et Metiers


The museum of inventions

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Who is it for?

Paris for you
Paris for you
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Why you will love it?

Set in an ancient abbey, the Musee National des Arts et Metiers (National Arts and Crafts Museum) offers a collection of inventions of all sorts, such as airplanes, cars, robots and even the first mobile phones. It’s a highly entertaining museum and a great choice if you are in Paris with kids. 

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About this place

60 rue Réaumur, 75003
Line 3 /11 - Arts et Métiers

Friday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm
more less
Monday : Closed Tuesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Wednesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Thursday : 10:00 am - 21:30 pm Friday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Saturday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Sunday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm

Our Insiders' Article

A museum dedicated to scientific inventions

Founded in 1794 by abbot Grégoire and located on the grounds of a royal priory, the Musee des Arts et Metiers (Arts and Crafts Museum) originally served as a place for scientific experiments to educate technicians and engineers.
The museum now displays fascinating objects which have improved our quality of life and formed our technological world such as old airplanes, cars or machines.
Its purpose is to protect and preserve modern scientific and technological heritage.

Making the Most of It: the most incredible machines in 7 departments

The Musee des Arts et Metiers’ collection is divided into 7 themes (Scientific Instruments, Materials, Construction, Communication, Energy, Mechanics and Transport), each theme being subdivided in 4 chronological periods (before 1750 / 1750-1850 / 1850-1950/ after 1950).
This is a popular museum for school field trips, we recommend going there in the afternoon and avoiding Wednesdays, weekends or public holidays for an optimal experience.
There is a restaurant in the museum, located on the ground floor.

The church: planes, pendulums and automobiles

The most impressive part of the Musee des Arts et Metiers is the former church, where old airplanes used at the beginning of the 20th century hang from its high ceiling.
Climb up the metal rack to have a better view of the planes, old cars and the original miniature model of Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty.
A reproduction of Foucault’s Pendulum, the 1851 experiment that visually proved that the earth rotates on its axis, is held in the church with explanations at noon and 5PM every day.

Highlights: flying machines and steam machines

One iconic invention in the Musee des Arts et Metiers is Clément Ader’s “Plane #3”, which was the first heavier than air object to fly (1890). It hangs proudly in the main staircase of the museum.
Watt’s steam machine, a key invention during the Industrial Revolution, is also part of the Musee des Arts et Metiers’ collection. You’ll find many other massive machines (textile, printing, construction) or smaller inventions (Volta’s battery, old computers and first cellphones) here too.

Curiosities: Old cars, bicycles and other means of transportation

The transportation hall of the Musee des Arts et Metiers is an interesting area to witness the evolution of our means of transportation.
From old cars, trains and bicycles to the new state of the art automatic metro lines of Paris, this area is truly fascinating.
There are many other interesting curiosities in the museum, from lunar robots to the models explaining the construction of the Statue of Liberty.
And don’t miss Antoine Lavoisier’s laboratory! This French chemist is widely considered as the father of modern chemistry.

Conclusion: a discovery for kids and adults

The off the beaten track Musee des Arts et Metiers is a perfect museum to come visit with the family.
As it is based on the history and evolution of inventions, it is not as highly interactive as the Cité des Sciences.
Yet the originality of the venue and the size of some of the exposed machines still make it a very entertaining museum.

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