Skip to main content

Night of Museums

Europe’s Late-Night Culture Festival
Louvre Neighborhood at night.
May 5, 2023
May 13, 2023, museums throughout Europe stay open late and offer special workshops, conferences, concerts, and more. In Paris, dozens of museums let visitors in for free, offering an evening of artistic, historical, or cultural discovery.

This post may contain sponsored or affiliate links.

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.

Grande Galerie de l'Evolution

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.
Inside Victor Hugo's home museum in Paris
Maison de Victor Hugo
  • 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.
Inside small Paris art museum Musée Jean-Jacques Henner
Musee Jean Jacques Henner © Musée JJ Henner
  • 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.
Foucault's Pendulum inside the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris
  • 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.

Curious to know what else is on the cultural agenda? Here’s what’s happening now in Paris.

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!

Urbansider Paris Club logo white.
Want More Paris Insider Insights?
Create a Free Account to Receive More Tips & Picks

Join our free Urbansider Club to access personalized recommendationsdownloadable 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.

Leave a Reply