Petite Palais in Paris

The Petit Palais – a free museum with adorable coffee shop

The Petit Palais was built, just like its neighbors –  the Grand Palais and Alexander III Bridge, for the 1900 Universal Exhibition. However, this place has been always dedicated for exposition purposes, not like all others museums in Paris, which are located in ancient royal residences or train stations.

Statue in the entrance of Petit Palais, Paris
Statue in the entrance of Petit Palais, Paris

Not many tourists are aware that the entrance to the permanent exhibitions is free and the palace is open also on Tuesdays (when Louvre or Musee d’Orsay are closed). It can be an alternative for a rainy day, especially since there is no queue to enter, what I can’t say about other museums in Paris.

Ceiling in petit palais in paris
The ceiling in Petit Palais, Paris


Le Petit Palais was designed by Charles Girault and it is based on a trapezium shape with four wings around a semicircular garden with the adorable coffee shop. It became a museum in 1902, just two years after it was constructed.

Petit Palais outside with view into garden
Petit Palais outside with view into the garden

“The Petit Palais houses a significant collection of decorative murals and sculptures created between 1903 and 1925. The architect Charles Girault wanted to lend his building the grandeur and dignity of an official palace and created a programme of work designed to glorify the City of Paris and to celebrate the benefits of art. “

In the Musee du Petit Palais you can find a rich collection of ancient and modern art as well as French paintings from 19th and 20th centuries and the monuments of ancient art. The entrance to the permanent exhibition is free.

Statue in Petit Palais in Paris
Statue in Petit Palais in Paris

The temporary exhibition costs 13€ and it changes every few months. It is always worth checking the present theme. I have visited the exhibition: Les Hollandais à Paris (1789-1914) of Van Gogh, Van Dongen, Mondrian and Gauguin.

Inside the Petit Palais, you can see incredible stairs, just next to the entrance to the temporary exhibition.

amazing stairs in petit palais Paris
Amazing stairs in Petit Palais, Paris

After 2 hours of walking in the Petit Palais I recommend to go to the coffee shop which you can find in the right wing, but to get there you need to go through the balcony. It is one of the most adorable cafés I found in Paris!

Café in Petit Palais, Paris
Café in Petit Palais, Paris

Visiting le Petit Palais is a good alternative for a rainy day or lazy Sunday. The entrance is free, the place is located just next to Champs Elysée and you don’t find there many people either entrance queues.


For the permanent exhibition: free
For the temporary exhibition: 13€

Opening hours:

From Tuesday till Sunday 10am-6pm

How to get to there:

  • by metro line 1 and  13 station Champs Elysée- Clemenceau
  • RER line C station Invalides


Avenue Winston Churchill
75008 Paris

Check more on the official website of the Petit Palais.

#petitpalais #museuminparis #freemuseuminparis

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