Science and Learning Museums

Activate your grey matter in these fascinating institutions...

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Les Invalides & Musée de l'Armée

Les Invalides & Musée de l'Armée Heloise Bergman / Time Out

Ever wanted to fly a plane, penetrate the secrets of magnetism or learn how Paris’ sewer system came to be? Then follow this list of suggestions. All of the following museums are stimulating for adults and fun for children…

Musée des Arts et Métiers

The 'arts and trades' museum is, in fact, Europe's oldest science museum, founded in 1794 by the constitutional bishop Henri Grégoire, initially as a way to educate France's manufacturing industry

  1. 60 rue Réaumur, 3e
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Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace

Set in the former passenger terminal at Le Bourget airport, the museum's collection begins with the pioneers, including fragile-looking biplanes and the command cabin of a Zeppelin airship. On the

  1. Aéroport de Paris-Le Bourget, 93352
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Grande Galerie de l'Evolution

One of the city's most child-friendly attractions, this is guaranteed to bowl adults over too. Located within the Jardin des Plantes, this beauty of a 19th-century iron-framed, glass-roofed structure

  1. 36 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 5e
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La Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie

This ultra-modern science museum pulls in five million visitors a year. Explora, the permanent show, occupies the upper two floors, whisking visitors through 30,000sq m (320,000sq ft) of space, life,

  1. La Villette, 30 avenue Corentin-Cariou, 19e
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Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine

Opened in 2007, this architecture and heritage museum impresses principally by its scale. The expansive ground floor is filled with life-size mock-ups of cathedral façades and heritage buildings,

  1. Palais de Chaillot, 1 place du Trocadéro, 16e
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Palais de la Découverte

This science museum houses designs dating from Leonardo da Vinci's time to the present. Models, real apparatus and audiovisual material bring displays to life, and permanent exhibits cover

  1. Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 8e
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Musée des Egouts

For centuries, the main source of drinking water in Paris was the Seine, which was also the main sewer. Construction of an underground sewerage system began at the time of Napoleon. Today, the Egouts

  1. Entrée face au 93 quai d'Orsay, Pont de l'Alma, 7e
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Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle

At the Natural History Museum's Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, stuffed creatures parade majestically through their various habitats. Animals of all kinds teach children about the diversity of nature

  1. 36 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 2 rue Buffon et 57 rue Cuvier, 5e
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Musée Pasteur

The flat where the famous chemist and his wife lived at the end of his life (1888-95) has not been touched; you can see their furniture and possessions, photos and instruments. An extravagant

  1. Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 15e
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Musée de la Musique

Alongside the concert hall, this innovative music museum houses a gleamingly restored collection of instruments from the old Conservatoire, interactive computers and scale models of opera houses and

  1. Cité de la Musique, 221 avenue Jean Jaurès, 19e
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Musée de la Préfecture de Police

The police museum is housed in a working commissariat, which makes for a slightly intimidating entry procedure. You need to walk boldly past the police officer standing guard outside and up the steps

  1. 4 rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, 5e
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Albert Kahn Musée & Jardins

The spectacular, ten-acre jardin alone makes a visit to the Albert Kahn Musée & Jardins in Boulogne-Billancourt worthwhile: Each section is modelled on a garden from around the world – rocky

  1. 10-14 rue du Port, 92100
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The Louvre

The world's largest museum is also its most visited, with an incredible 8.5 million visitors in 2009. It is a city within the city, a vast, multi-level maze of galleries, passageways, staircases and

  1. Rue de Rivoli, 1e
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Musée d'Histoire de la Médecine

The history of medicine is the subject of the medical faculty collection. There are ancient Egyptian embalming tools, a 1960s electrocardiograph and a gruesome array of saws used for amputations.

  1. Université René Descartes, 12 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, 6e
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Les Invalides & Musée de l'Armée

Topped by its gilded dome, the Hôtel des Invalides was (and in part still is) a hospital. Commissioned by Louis XIV for wounded soldiers, it once housed as many as 6,000 invalids. Designed by

  1. Esplanade des Invalides, 7e
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Observatoire de Paris

The Paris observatory was founded by Louis XIV's finance minister, Colbert, in 1667; it was designed by Claude Perrault (who also worked on the Louvre), with labs and an observation tower. The French

  1. 61 avenue de l'Observatoire, 14e
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