Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Science Museum)

for Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie

Paris is home to the biggest science museum in Europe – Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie. Located in Parc de la Villette in Paris, this museum is definitely a tourist and local hotspot (five million visitors a year), focusing on promoting science and culture. The building was constructed in 1986, and features areas for all ages, and designated areas just for kids.

Area’s of the museum include:

  • The library of science and industyr
  • City of Children
  • Explora
  • Auditorium
  • Planetarium
  • City of careers
  • City of health
  • Aquarium
  • Picnic area
  • Restaurants
  • and more!

Expanding on the City of Children (Cité des Enfants), this is an area with hands on demonstrations of science principles. This section is divided into two age specialties:  2 to 7 year olds, and 5 to 12 year olds. Children can experiment with water conduct, buildings, a maze, robots, news broadcasting, and much more.

The Explora levels are the basis exhibits for the museum. Here you can explore space, automobile technology, sound, genetics, and much more. The aquarium and planetarium are also well worth a visit, but they may cost a bit extra to enter.

To learn more, or make reservations to visit, you can visit www.cite-sciences.fr or call  08 92 69 70 72. Admission is 12 Euros.

 

Should you buy a Paris museum pass?

paris museum pass

If you are planning to visit two or more Paris museums during your trip to Paris – who has hundreds of great ones –  then you should consider purchasing a Paris Museum Pass. Here are some advantages you’ll get when purchasing the pass:

  • Can be purchase in increments of 2, 4, or 6 days
  • Gives you free and unlimited access to over 60 museums and major monuments in Paris and surrounding regions, including but not limited to:  the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, the National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou, the Rodin Museum and the Notre Dame Cathedral Towers.
  • You don’t have to wait in any lone lines, of which there can be many, because the pass gives you priority entry.
  • Prices are very reasonable: 2 days = 50 Euros, 4 days = 79 Euros, and 6 days = 109 Euros. (Please note these prices are subject to change at any time, but these are currently accurate as of the writing of this article.)
  • You have a full year to use the card – buy it in Spring when the weather is nice, and wait to use it until December when it’s colder.
  • You get a pamphlet with your pass purchase giving details on each of the museums – great to take along as a reference during your museum visits .

Now, you can buy the museum pass at a few different places. Here are some of the easiest and most common places:

  • Purchase Paris Museum Pass via Rail Europe here
  • Paris Tourist Office:
  • 25, Rue des Pyramides, 1st arrondissementMetro: Pyramides or Opera Tel.: 08 92 68 30 00
  • Espace du Tourisme Ile de France
  • At the Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre 99, Rue de Rivoli, 1st arrondissement
  • Metro: Louvre-Rivoli or Palais Royal/Musee du Louvre

Need further convincing? Here’s some reviews from goparis.about.com:

“My entire experience with the Museum Pass was positive. One of the keys to maximizing the benefit of the pass was planning which sites we were going to see within the 6 consecutive days the pass could be used. Make sure that planning includes verifying that the site is open on the day that you are planning to visit.

The cost to purchase individual tickets for all of the sites we visited would have been more expensive than the Paris Musuem Pass. We were also able to bypass a few long ticket purchasing lines and get directly in the queue to enter the site.

There are so many sight-seeing options in Paris. The Museum Pass also helped us to narrow the options for a portion of our trip. The Museum Pass provides access to many of the key attractions.”

 

“I am disabled, so the ONLY thing bad was on MY part. I simply couldn’t do any days in a row.

It would be MUCH better if you could spread out the days!

But with the pass I was able to explore smaller museums at my leisure. For example the Louvre and Versailles were madhouses! But Monet’s water lilies was a quiet and contemplative museum…same with Rodin and others,

vive la pass,

but let me use it on separate days!!”

 

“We purchased six-day museum passes at Sainte-Chapelle last fall on our first visit to Paris. The passes more than paid for themselves, and what I really liked about having the pass was that we didn’t have to think twice about whether we had enough euros or a credit card handy each time we entered a museum. The pass was a wonderful convenience!”

 

“We love the museum pass in Paris! It offered us freedom and flexibility to visit more museums, but not feel the obligation to spend an entire day at each one. The only downside was that we did feel like we had to cram the museum visits into the 3 days the pass was purchased for.

We are taking our kids to Paris soon and will be purchasing passes upon arirval. We’ll be able to visit multiple museums without feeling guilty if the kids have had enough.”

 

Five Activities for Kids in Paris

paris carouselFinding kid-friendly activities while on vacation anywhere can sometimes be a challenge. Paris is an extremely kid friendly city, there’s no doubt about that. The only challenge that may present is on Sundays, as a good bit of everything is closed, as with many areas throughout Europe. Parks dot the city with kid friendly and clean equipment, though, so Sunday’s aren’t a complete loss. If you’re looking for something a little more exciting and organized, however, we’d love to share our five favorite things this month to entertain the kiddos while vacationing in Paris.

Cité des Enfants

Cité des Enfants

This is a great children’s museum that’s easy to lose track of time in. They have exceptionally well designed play areas for children of all ages. They even have a special section for 2-7 year olds, and another section for 5-12 year olds. Buying tickets early is recommended, as the museum can get rather crowded and tickets sell fast.

Ice-skating

Ice-skating

Out of many wonderful things in Paris, there’s also the unique fact that between the months of December – March, ice skating rinks are set up in several places around the city. You can find them at Montparnasse tower, Place de l’Hotel de Ville, and others. You and the kids will certainly have a blast skating around town and taking in the breathtaking views.

The Palais de la Découverte

The Palais de la Découverte

A fabulous museum geared towards children 12 and under and focused on the wonders found in science. The 19th century building it’s located in is gorgeous, and was actually built originally for use during the World’s Fair. Everything is in French, but the visuals and interactive activities are so well done that no language need be understood.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg

If you make your way to the southwest corner of these beautifully landscaped gardens, you’ll find an area that is completely devoted to kids. It’s 1,50 Euro to enter and features play equipment for the kids to enjoy, and the famous carousel. You can also grab an espresso for 1 Euro and sit under shade trees and relax a bit. You may even catch a puppet show.

Jardin d’Acclimatation

Jardin d’Acclimatation

This children’s park was originally built in the 1900’s, but has been continuously updated with neat rides and activities over the years. Kids will love the ‘petit train’, jungle boat ride, the zoo, the sprinkler, and of course all the junk food available on the boardwalk.