Built in 1879 as a museum, this magnificent glass-roofed building with arched wrought-iron girders wasn't actually used as one until over a century later, when it opened as a centre for Parisian urbanism and architecture. Exhibitions (30 per year) showcase the city's past, present and future. Interpretative information is in French but it's fascinating for anyone with an interest in the evolution of Paris. There's a small but excellent architectural bookshop on the ground floor.
Pavillon de l'Arsenal
Le Marais, Ménilmontant & Belleville
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Lonely Planet's must-see attractions
There are different ways to experience the Eiffel Tower, from a daytime trip or an evening ascent amid twinkling lights, to a meal in one of its…
Home to Europe's largest collection of modern and contemporary art, Centre Pompidou has amazed and delighted visitors ever since it opened in 1977, not…
Visit Sainte-Chapelle on a sunny day when Paris’ oldest, finest stained glass (1242–48) is at its dazzling best. The chapel is famous for its stained…
Musée du Louvre
It isn’t until you’re standing in the vast courtyard of the Louvre, with its glass pyramid and ornate façade, that you can truly say you’ve been to Paris.
It’s gruesome, ghoulish and downright spooky, but it never fails to captivate visitors. In 1785, the subterranean tunnels of an abandoned quarry were…
Even if you're not an art lover, it is worth visiting this high-profile art museum to lose yourself in its romantic gardens.
Jardin du Luxembourg
This famous inner-city oasis of formal terraces, chestnut groves and lush lawns has a special place in Parisians' hearts.
Elegant and regal in equal measure, the massive neoclassical dome of the Left Bank's iconic Panthéon is an icon of the Parisian skyline. Louis XV…
Nearby Le Marais, Ménilmontant & Belleville attractions
1. Musée de la Magie
The ancient arts of magic, optical illusion and sleight of hand are explored in this museum, in the 16th-century caves (cellars) of the Marquis de Sade’s…
2. Building Where Jim Morrison Died
Devout fans of rock star Jim Morrison can admire the elegant Hausmannian building at 17 rue Beautreillis, where the singer lived in an apartment on the…
3. Musée de la Sculpture en Plein Air
Along quai St-Bernard, this open-air sculpture museum (also known as the Jardin Tino Rossi) has more than 50 late-20th-century unfenced sculptures. It…
4. Église St-Louis en l'Île
French baroque Église St-Louis en l’Île, under renovation until 2022 (hence the veil of scaffolding outside), was built between 1664 and 1726. It hosts…
5. Hôtel de Sully
In the southwestern corner of place des Vosges, duck beneath the arch to find two beautifully decorated, late-Renaissance courtyards festooned with…
6. Institut du Monde Arabe
The Arab World Institute was jointly founded by France and 18 Middle Eastern and North African nations in 1980, with the aim of promoting cross-cultural…
7. Place du Marché Ste-Catherine
Clad with benches and shaded by trees, this pretty pedestrian square is framed on three sides by atmospheric cafe pavement terraces that are perfect for…
8. Maison de Victor Hugo
Between 1832 and 1848 the celebrated novelist and poet Victor Hugo lived in an apartment in Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée, a townhouse overlooking one of Paris'…