Paris’ Musee du quai Branly Jacques Chirac may be a lesser-known museum in the city compared to major ones like Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay but this fact just makes the museum even more special. Not only well-loved for its close proximity to the Eiffel Tower, but this museum attracts people, Parisians and travellers alike, because of the unique experience it offers. As you’ll soon find out from this article, we’ll be talking about Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac’s stunning contemporary architecture, verdant gardens, and diverse collection of indigenous artwork from all over the world.
Read on for our complete guide to visiting the museum: what to expect, current exhibitions, tickets, and INSIDR tips!
What to expect at Musee du quai Branly Jacques Chirac
1. Modern Architecture
The building was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. Nouvel was challenged to create a space which could hold the arts and artifacts of African, Asian, Oceanian and the American cultures, while remaining unencumbered by the traditions of Western architecture. The interior of the museum is replete with curvature and fluid lines to represent the museum’s initiative to spark dialogue between highly diverse historic communities.
2. An informative visit
More than anything, Musee du Quai Branly is an educational center. Each collection carries detailed information about the various cultures they represent. At the museum you can learn about indigenous communities, their artistic practices, ceremonies, clothing, and other aspects of their cultural heritage. Make your visit a great learning experience by grabbing yourself an audioguide which you can easily pick-up.
Their library in particular is a great educational resource where you can read various historical documents and even listen to recordings of musical performances from hundreds of years ago.
INSIDR Tip: [AUDIOGUIDE OFFER]
3. A selection of activities
In order to foster engagement, the museum offers more than just exhibition spaces and a library. Musee du quai Branly Jacques Chirac also houses a theatre, a reading room, a cinema, two restaurants, and a great bookshop. Each season, the museum offers rotating shows, festivals and events that highlight different parts of their extensive collection. For enthusiasts, there are also regular conferences and symposiums on various historical topics related to preservation and cultural heritage.
4. An oasis from the busyness of Paris
Another reason why Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac offers a unique experience of Paris is the free access to its gardens. That’s right! You can access the gardens even without a ticket to the museum exhibitions.
Designed by Gilles Clément, the gardens which surround the museum create a lovely oasis from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Guests are welcome to walk through the extensive outdoor areas of the garden and continue their education by learning about the various plants houses therein. The garden covers two hectares of space in total and houses 169 trees and more than thirty plant species. And what’s more is you can actually see the Eiffel Tower from the gardens!
2019-2020 Events & Exhibitions at Musee du Quai Branly
20 Years of Collection Enrichment
The newest collection being displayed at Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac is all about questioning the very essence of a museum. Seen through the lens of a dozen curators and professionals in the museum world, this exhibition retraces an acquisition policy for the first time and takes visitors behind the scenes. At the end of your visit, you’ll understand why certain works are acquired and for whom they should be displayed to.
The exhibition only runs until January 26, 2020 so make sure you don’t miss it!
Tickets to the museum and gardens are incredibly reasonable at only 12€ for the full rate and 9€ for the reduced rate. The reduced rates apply to European Union residents who are from ages 18 to 25 years old. They also apply to holders of the pass Education card. If you’re in Paris during the beginning of the month, make sure to come to the museum on the first Sunday of the month as admission is free for everyone. You might also consider purchasing the Paris Museum Pass if you’re looking to visit several museums and monuments in Paris during your trip.
Click here to purchase your tickets online.
The museum and garden are only closed on Mondays.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday — 10:30 am – 07:00 pm
- Thursday — 10:30 am – 10:00 pm
Address: 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris
Metro stations: Alma-Marceau or Iéna (Line 9); Bir Hakeim (Line 6); and Pont de l’Alma (RER C)
You can access the museum through different entrances. The main entrance is just opposite the Debilly Footbridge while you can also enter the museum through the entrances on Rue de l’Université. You will also find their fantastic gift and bookshop on 218 Rue de l’Université. Their bookshop has an excellent selection of titles on non-Western arts and civilizations as well as original souvenirs. Souvenirs like jewelry, decorative pieces, and textiles are crafted by artisans in countries represented by the museum.
1 – Enjoy amazing views of the Eiffel Tower
From the museum’s panoramic restaurant Les Ombres you can dine with an exception view of the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop. The fine dining restaurant is situated on the rooftop terrace of Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac and offers stunning 360 views of the city. Les Ombres serves sophisticated cuisine in an exceptional atmosphere. For more casual fare, Café Jacques, previously Café Branly, by renowned chef Alain Ducasse serves a delicious all-day menu on a terrace where you can look up to the Eiffel Tower. The cafe is open from morning until 7pm.
Click here for more practical info on the museum’s restaurants.
2 – Bring the whole family
Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac is a great place for the whole family. The spacious gardens and interactive exhibits are kid-friendly. Plus, the museum loans out strollers and wheelchairs designed to easily navigate the building. Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac also features a free cloakroom, elevators, accessible restrooms, and helpful staff ready to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Café Jacques is situated in the middle of the gardens offering your kids a chance to play outside and you a chance to relax with nature.
3 – Use their library for free
Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac offers free access to their amazing library where you can check out a variety of printed, audio, digital materials. It’s a great resource for students or just those who are interested in taking a closer look at the collections.