Though Paris may be best known for arts and culture, Discovery Palace (Palais de la Découverte) is a must-see attraction for science enthusiasts. Open since 1937, the Palais hosts exhibits and interactive experiments on everything from acoustics to genetics. Though the planetarium show is only in French, English speakers enjoy a Palais tour.
The Palais de la Découverte, founded by physicist Jean Perrin, offers daily presentations designed to help museumgoers get excited about science. Independent travelers typically prebook admission to avoid ticket lines and arrive by metro. Hop-on-hop-off-bus tours are another great way to visit the Palais and navigate Paris without public transit. Some tours even offer discounts—or free entry—to the museum. Things to Know Before You Go
- Language barriers may be an issue—educational programs and demonstrations are only available in French, but tours are offered in English.
- Make more of your visit with a downloadable, English-language audio guide.
- There's a small fee if you want to visit the planetarium or join a special workshop.
- A museum pass includes admission to the Palais and other perks, such as boat tours.
- Visitors in wheelchairs should use the Gate B entrance; alert the receptionist when you arrive so you can access the elevator.
- The Palais offers free Wi-Fi.
How to Get There
The Palais is located on Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt, just 1.5 blocks south of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The most convenient way to reach the Palais is by metro. Take line 1 or 13 to Champs-Élysées–Clemenceau or line 9 to Saint-Philippe du Roule.
When to Get There
The Palais de la Découverte is open midmorning to evening seven days a week, with later opening and closing times on Sundays and selected holidays. Since the Palais is a popular destination, it's best to visit early in the day, as afternoons tend to be busy. Plan to stop by when it's rainy, or to warm up after a stroll along the River Seine.
Sightseeing Near the Palais de la Découverte
Because the Palais de la Découverte is centrally located in the 8th arrondissement, several top Paris attractions are within a short walking distance. For a fantastic art experience, don't miss the Grand Palace (Grand Palais) and its National Galleries (Galeries Nationales), known for fine art exhibitions and educational programs. For high-end shopping—and some of the best people watching in Paris—explore the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Plan to walk north, and head for the must-see Arc de Triomphe.