Monnaie de Paris

Museum in St-Germain & Les Invalides

The 18th-century royal mint, Monnaie de Paris, houses the Musée du 11 Conti, an interactive museum exploring the history of French coinage from antiquity onwards, plus edgy contemporary-art exhibitions. The impeccably restored, neoclassical building, with one of the longest façades on the Seine, stretching 116m long, squirrels away five sumptuous courtyards, the Hôtel de Conti designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1690, engraving workshops, the original foundry (now the museum boutique), Guy Savoy’s flagship restaurant and fashionable cafe Frappé par Bloom.

Coins were minted at the Monnaie de Paris until 1973 when manufacturing was moved to the town of Pessac on the Atlantic Coast. The Ministry of Finance still uses the Paris mint, however, to produce commemorative medals and coins, many of which are sold in the museum's stylish boutique alongside glass jars of honey from hives on the building's rooftop, medallions featuring the Louvre or Eiffel Tower, and other classy souvenirs.

Skip ticket queues by buying tickets online or from one of the automatic ticket machines, tucked away at the foot of the grandiose, red-carpeted staircase swirling up to Guy Savoy's Michelin-star restaurant.