Want to find out the top 5 things to see at the Carnavalet Museum? Being the museum with the most pieces in Paris, the musée is not indeed a carnival but the Carnavalet, which it’s just as fun! The main museum is hosted on 2 beautiful French Renaissance town houses and exhibits pieces from the late 16th century all the way to the 20th century.

If you want to see how renaissance men and maidens lived alongside the ancient royals, this the place to be! Beds, a grand hall even miniature wagons are all on display to cover both aspects of royal life and general culture. Moreover, a self-conducted tour is free!

1.) Themed Exihibitions

Top 5 Things to see at the Carnavalet Museum

From Louis XV to the Second Empire, The Carnavalet Museum shows you the complex change throughout French history. If you are one to say that “seeing is believing”, these themed departments come with actual objects and displays. If you prefer a narration, some departments come with audio narrators at various points of display. This should be the first thing on your top 5 things to do at the Carnavalet Museum. The tours in these rooms are “sensational”!

2.) The Prince’s Gold Cradle


This item should be on your top 5 things to see at the Carnavalet Museum because it gives the term “sleeping like a King” a very literal meaning. The Cradle of the Imperial Prince 1856 is exhibited at the Carnavalet in all its royal glory. As gift to the City of Paris, under the rule of Napoleon III, it is a one of a kind historical artifact that is incomparable and a must see!

3.) Marie Antoinette: “The Cake Lady”


Fortunately, we know about the famous “cake lady”, Marie Antoinette. Many movies and articles have indeed given her a half biased persona throughout the years. Her “flamboyant” nature is open for you to critic at the museum as they have a display of her room, her desk and other personal items. An experience to see this rare display is enough to make it one of your top 5 things to see at the Carnavalet Museum.

4.) The French Revolution Section


“Vive la révolution”: “Long live the revolution” is a translated term we have seen been adopted in various slogans in throughout history all over the world. However, the French coined-term “Vive la République”: “Long live the empire”, is beautifully portrayed in the French Revolution section. Therefore, this section stands to be on your list of top 5 things to see Carnavalet Museum. Furthermore, parts of this section come with narrated story lines!

5.) Voltaire’s “death chair”


Voltaire, born as François-Marie Arouet is one of the founding fathers of France. The Age of Louis XVI (1751) and the Customs and the Spirit of Nations (1756) are some of his legendary works. Being such a famous icon there were various remarks about his death but the Carnavalet Museum holds one unique piece that seem to outdo all the “myths”; his “death chair”. This piece of furniture was where he was found dead according to sources and it was also the very chair he used when writing his influential works. This undoubtedly makes your list of top 5 things to see at the Carnavalet Museum!

Supplementary information about the Carnavalet Museum:

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  • It takes the place of the best free museum in Paris. Hence, they have a donation fee of 5 Euros
  • They also have organised tours with special staff for both adults and children. However, this only takes place on certain days and at certain hours, so be sure to note all the details when reserving for any lectures and cultural activities at the museum.