Human remains of millions of Parisians lie 135 feet underground at the Paris Catacombs (Les Catacombes). The 14th arrondissement attraction doesn't appeal to all, but for those who are interested, here’s how to make the most of this subterranean experience.
Cluny Museum (Musée de Cluny)
6 Place Paul Painlevé, Paris, France, 75005
The Cluny Museum is one of Paris’ most important museums, one with rich history itself. The institution occupies three buildings: the Hôtel de Cluny (which dates to the 15th century), the Thermes de Cluny (the ruins of a Gallo-Roman bath complex), and a new welcome building designed by architect Bernard Desmoulin and unveiled in July 2018. While the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries are its blockbuster attraction, the museum’s other collection highlights range from sculptures and stained-glass windows to paintings and gem-studded jewelry.
A number of tours make stops at the Cluny Museum, including medieval-themed excursions and walking tours of the Latin Quarter. The Cluny Museum is also a participating institution in the Paris Museum Pass scheme, so you can choose to visit independently and explore the galleries at your own pace.
Things to Know Before You Go
A sweeping restoration process, which began in 2016 and is projected to conclude in 2020, has modernized the museum and increased the size of its public spaces.
The museum offers free entry during the first Sunday of every month.
Newly added elevators have made the second-floor and underground exhibition spaces accessible to visitors with mobility issues; the museum is set to be fully accessible following the completion of its renovation.
How to Get There
The centrally located Cluny Museum is accessible via numerous forms of transportation. Take Métro line 10 to Cluny-La Sorbonne, line 4 to Saint-Michel, and lines 4 and 10 to Odéon, all just a short stroll away. You can also take the RER B to Cluny-La Sorbonne and the RER C to Saint-Michel. Additionally, bus lines 21, 27, 38, 63, 85, 86, and 87 stop nearby. The museum can also be accessed on foot, by taxi, or by Vélib’.
When to Get There
The museum is open from 9:15am–5:45pm, Wednesday–Sunday. It’s closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and the 1st of May. As part of its ongoing renovation work, the Hôtel de Cluny—one of its three main buildings—will be closed through fall 2020.
Events at the Cluny Museum
The Cluny Museum hosts a number of talks, presentations, temporary exhibitions, and special events. Its concert series, a highlight of the event calendar, introduces visitors to medieval instruments and compositions.
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- Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin)
- Fontaine Saint-Michel
- Shakespeare and Company Bookstore
- Caveau de la Huchette
- Odéon-Théatre de l'Europe
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- Archaeological Crypt of Notre Dame
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- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Saint Étienne du Mont
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