Night of Museums
This post may contain sponsored or affiliate links.
Want more Paris tips and tricks from local insiders? Join our free Urbansider Club to receive recommendations in your inbox and save your favorite places to your account!
Every year, on the third Saturday in May, museums all across Europe keep their doors open late as part of the Night of Museums, also known as the Long Night of Museums or La Nuit des Musées in French. During this exceptional evening, cultural spaces and museums in over 130 cities offer special exhibitions, performances, workshops, and more, as well as (generally) free entry.
As one of the cultural capitals of the world, Paris also participates in this annual event, with museums both large and small staying open until midnight or later to welcome visitors. Held on the third Saturday in May, this year’s edition of the Nuit des Musées in Paris takes place May 13, 2023.
Approximately 30 museums and cultural spaces in Paris participate each year, from the world-famous Conciergerie to the lesser-known Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé (a great spot for movie lovers). Both private and public museums get involved, with events typically kicking off at 6pm and running till midnight or later.
Tens of thousands of people take part in the Parisian edition each year, so prepare for some lines and full metro cars. To avoid most of the crowds, go early in the evening or near the end of the night and choose the smaller museums such as the Musée National Eugène Delacroix or the Musée de la Musique of the Philharmonie rather than the more popular ones.
A map and programme for the event can be found on the Official Website of the Nuit des Musées (in French), but here are a few of our highlights for the Night of Museums Paris 2023:
- Centre Pompidou: For the 2023 edition of the Night of Museums, the Centre Pompidou is free to the public from 8pm – 1am. With surprise performances and DJ sets in addition to the usual exhibitions, it’s sure to be a fun way to discover this famous Paris modern art museum. No reservation required.
- Musée Nissim de Camondo: This beautiful hôtel particulier giving onto the Parc Monceau is one of our favorite small museums in Paris, and what could be better than getting in to see it illuminated at night (and for free!)? Reserve your spot here (in French).
- Maison de Victor Hugo: The Paris home of the famous French author reopened two years ago after extensive renovations. Now boasting a new garden and café as well a an immersive 360-experience of the Hugo home in Guernesey, this free museum is definitely worth a visit. No reservation required.
- Musée National Jean-Jacques Henner: A lovely and luxurious mansion-turned-museum, the Musée National Jean-Jacques Henner is one of the most underrated in Paris if you ask us. And if that’s not enough incentive to visit, the museum’s charming winter garden will host free piano concerts for the Nuit des Musées. Reserve your seats here.
- Musée du Luxembourg: Nestled in the Luxembourg Gardens, this little-known Paris museum is currently featuring an exhibition on pioneering female artists in the first half of the 20th century, Pionnières. The entry price is a bit steep given the size of the museum, usually 13.50€, but for the Night of the Museums, you can visit the exhibition for free from 7:30pm – 11:30pm.
- Musée des Arts et Métiers: Set in a former abbey, the Museum of Arts and Crafts offers interesting demonstrations and exhibitions for those interested in science and technology, including the original Foucault Pendulum. Its chapel is beautifully illuminated at night.
- Les Ateliers-Musée Chana Orloff: The small studio-museum of 20th-century female sculptor Chana Orloff offers an intimate and moving visit. On this exceptional evening, the some 200 works assembled in her former workshop and home will play a game of shadows.
Editor’s note: Article originally published May 17, 2019. Last updated May 1, 2023 with information for the 2023 Night of Museums event.
Pastry Tour of Le MaraisLe Marais is arguably the hippest neighborhood in Paris. While some may say that there are too many fashionistas, bobos, and tourists in the area, the charming cobblestone streets and vibrant atmosphere just can’t be beat. But Le Marais isn’t just about appearances. Local guides Nikki and Frederi…
Discover the Goutte d’OrDiscover a side of Paris that most tourists never see. Frederic of TheWaysBeyond takes you on a walking tour you of his old neighborhood, La Goutte d’Or, one of Paris’s most authentic multi-cultural melting pots. Here, Parisians of dozens of different nationalities come together to share their tr…
French Caviar TastingThe caviar you are about to discover is produced in the Dordogne region to the rhythms of the seasons and the life of sturgeons. This product of excellence, based on the valorization of a unique land and on innovative production techniques, is the reflection of impeccable standards. Research inno…
Walk Through History in Le MaraisFollow local guides Frederic and Nikki of TheWaysBeyond through the city squares and alleyways of Le Marais as you retrace the history of this iconic Parisian neighborhood. If many today consider Le Marais a must-see on any trip to Paris, it wasn’t always that way. In fact, in the early 20th cent…
Discover a Greener Side of ParisLet locals Frederic and Nikki of TheWaysBeyond guide you through the small streets off the Canal Saint-Martin and introduce you to some of the most exciting actors and addresses on Paris’s eco-conscious scene. The Canal Saint Martin neighborhood has always attracted an eclectic crowd, …
Stroll Through 19th-Century ParisStep back in time and into the Paris of the 19th century. Learn how the architecture, innovations, and politics of the time shaped the city as you walk its charming streets, explore its covered passages, and shop in one of the world’s first department stores — just as Parisians did then! A…
See the Sights Along the SeineSpend a leisurely morning like a true Parisian! Your local guide Sophie will meet you for a sightseeing stroll along the Seine, telling you tales of Paris past as you make your way east to explore a historic area before ending at a popular fresh food market just in time for lunch!
Wine & Cheese PairingThis experience is an excellent opportunity for people who want to have a light introduction to French wines and discover how to pair them perfectly with French cheeses. You’ll get all the basic information you need to know about wine in France, including proper terminology, proper wine ta…
More Paris Travel Tips
Join our free Urbansider Club to access personalized recommendations, downloadable guides, and a monthly newsletter with the latest from Paris as well as our new top addresses and experiences. You’ll also be invited to our exclusive Urbansider events in Paris.