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. The 15th edition of the all-night festival in France falls on May 18, 2019.
Approximately 30 museums and cultural spaces in Paris participate each year, from the world-famous Louvre 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 18:00 and running till midnight.
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 of participating museums and list of special events can be found on the Official Website of the Night of Museums. You can also find a few suggestions in our article What to Do in Paris in May 2019.
This weekend is a particularly good time to be in Paris. Saturday and Sunday, September 21 - 22, 2019, mark the 36th edition of the Journées du patrimoine, also called the European Heritage Days.
If you’ll be in Paris this Friday, September 13th, large strikes will be affecting most public transportation. Transport unions have called for a grève in protest against pension reforms and the RATP (the Parisian transport operator) foresees 'heavily disrupted' traffic conditions.