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10 Quirky Museums in Paris

10 Bizarre Museums In Paris


Step into the odd and surprising

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Did you know that there was a smoker museum in Paris? Or a museum where one can admire a table made partially from human blood, bile, brains, livers, and feet? What would you say of a museum where one can take a ride on old merry-go-rounds, test delicious chocolate, or discover the deep underground of the capital? For those interested in discovering the hidden Paris, let yourselves be surprised by all the types of little museums that exist in Paris. Here are 10 worth checking out. Enjoy! Parisianist

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Paris is known for its amplitude of museums: the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Petit Palais, the Centre Georges Pompidou…Embarking on a discovery of Paris without visiting one of these museums would be a mistake, but it is nice from time to time to journey off the beaten path and discover some quirkier museums. From the history of medicine museum to the sewage museum, here are 10 quirky museums you don’t want to miss.

History of Medicine

The Museum of the History of Medicine (“Musée de l’Histoire de la Médecine”) is hidden even within the university campus in which it is located. It is quite possible that you will lose yourself (not without pleasure) in the halls of the school before finding the museum, but it is worth keeping an eye out. From ancient medical instruments to amputation kits for surgeons in the 19th century, you will find here the evolution of medicine throughout the ages. The curiosity you cannot miss: the table made partially from human blood, bile, a brain, a liver, and a foot!

Basic information: 12 Rue de l'École de Médecine, 75006 Paris / Open every day between 2 and 5:30 PM except Thursdays and Sundays (closed) / 3.50 euros


France is well known for its perfumes, an art mastered over several centuries. But how do they obtain perfumes from the original materials, and what is the difference between perfume and cologne? The Fragonard perfume museum (“Musée du Parfum Fragonard”)has answers to both these questions, and more. At the end of the visit, you can discover a variety of Fragonard products, one of the leading perfumeries in France.

Basic information: 9 rue Scribe, 75009 Paris / 9 AM-6 PM every day except Sunday (closes at 5 PM) / Free

Erotic Art

Since 1784, Pigalle has been the neighborhood of loose morality where the alcohol flowed freely and the cabarets made a fortune. Still referred to as the red light district of Paris, Pigalle is home to numerous sex shops and other lustful spots. In the middle of all this stands the Erotic Art Museum (“Musée de l’Erotisme”), which, contrary to what one might think, is not a place for peeping toms and seducers, but a true museum of sex culture. Though certainly not recommended for those with kids, the museum holds interesting objects, paintings, and sculptures retracing the history of sexual practices around the world.

Basic information: 72 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris / 10 AM to 2 AM every day / 10 euros


Everyone walks on the streets of Paris, but did you know that under each street lie tunnels or even canals that form Paris’ sewage network? The good news is, a small part of this giant network can be visited. The Sewage Museum of Paris (“Musée des Egouts de Paris”) allows you to enter this underground world and discover the history of the network, its operations, its utilities, and find out more about work in the sewage system. Rest assured, unless you are particularly sensitive, the odor is completely bearable.

Basic information: Pont de l’Alma, 75007 Paris (in front of 93 Quai d’Orsay) / 10 AM to 5 PM, every day except closures on Thursdays and Fridays / 4.40 euros


If there was ever a truly magical place in Paris, it would be the Museum of Fairground Arts (“Musée des Arts Forains”). With old merry-go-rounds and other carnival games, the festive ambiance of this museum will take you right back to a fairground from the beginning of the 20th century. Visits are only possible through guided tours made by appointment, but they will let you test out the rides and attractions, taking you back to your days of childhood innocence. For those nostalgic for periodic festivities, don’t wait another minute to give this museum a visit.

Basic information: 53 Avenue de Terroirs de France, 75012 Paris / visits by appointment only (make reservations here). Generally, there are 4 1.5-hour visits (11 AM/2 PM/2:30PM/4PM) each day.


It is a rare occurrence to find a person who doesn’t like chocolate: in bar form, as a spread, or as a drink, chocolate today can be found everywhere. But, at the origin, chocolate was only consumed by Central American Indians in the form of a highly spiced drink. The Gourmet Chocolate Museum – Choco-Story presents, through a fun and interesting exhibition, the history of chocolate in its entirety, from its origins, its arrival in Europe with the Spanish Conquistadors of the 16th century, its transformation into bar form by the Dutchman Van Houten, to today. A tasting is also available for a small additional fee of 3€!

Basic information: 28 Boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle, 75010 Paris / Every day from 10 AM to 6 PM / 9.50 euros

Wine Museum

The Museum of Wine (“Musée du Vin”) is fascinating in two aspects. The first is its collection, which retraces both the history and steps of the winemaking process, and the related professions (agriculture, coopers, etc.). But what may be even more interesting is its setting. Located in the old stone quarries (where the stone for construction of buildings at the time was collected), all the objects are displayed in a labyrinth of hallways making it a captivating visit. The museum restaurant (only by reservation) is situated on the ruins of an old convent, destroyed in the 1789 Revolution.

Basic information: 5 Square Charles Dickens, 75016 Paris / 10 AM-6 PM every day except closures on Sundays and Mondays / 10 euros


If you are a smoker, this museum is for you. But even if you are not, this little museum is well worth a quick glance. Behind the shop that sells everything that a smoker dreams of owning, the Smoker Museum (“Musée du Fumeur”) has on display pipes, snuffboxes, bongs, and multiple sketches all related to the world of tobacco. Don’t forget to make a detour to the bathroom to admire the impressive photography collection and the bar at the back of the museum (which also serves as a space for temporary exhibitions).

Basic information: 7 Rue Pache, 75011 Paris / 12:30-7 PM every day except closure on Sundays / 2 euros

Free Masonry

The Freemasons always hide a part of their mysteries and their secrets never cease to give rise to rumors. Since the constructors of the 17th century abbeys, many have joined the ranks of the Freemasons, creating a secret society that was both powerful and influential. Thus the museum holds an important collection of objects, paintings, and manuscripts that show the influence of the Freemasons on the evolution of society. The must-sees: Voltaire’s apron and the Lafayette’s “Venerable” sword.

Basic information: Siège du Grand Orient de France, 16 rue Cadet, 75009 Paris / 10 AM-12:30 PM and 2 PM-6 PM every day except closures on Sundays and Mondays / 6 euros

Army Health

The Museum of Army Health Services ("Musée des Services de Santé de l'Armée") is interesting, but what is more interesting is the history of the Val de Grâce military hospital. Founded by Anne of Austria in the 17th century, it was here that the hearts of French royal families were conserved until it was plundered during the French Revolution. The museum shows the evolution, the operations, and the utility of the army’s health services: management of the wounded during battles, carrying out evacuations, treatment of epidemics within the army, and all the military medical research that could contribute to society. A visit to the museum also includes a visit to the church.

Parisianist Fun Fact: The pillaged embalmed hearts were bought by painters of the era to make mummy brown, a substance that created a sepia tone on paintings (see 10 Curious Artworks of the Louvre)

Basic Information: 1 Place Alphonse Laveran, 75005 Paris / 10 AM-6 PM except closures on Mondays and Fridays / 5 euros

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