Museum Night in Paris

History of Museum Night

In 1997, the first event allowing access to museums at night took place on the aptly named Museum Island in Berlin, Germany. It was the Lange Nacht der Museen (Long Night of the Museums) where more than 100 museums and art centres opened their doors from 6pm until 2am on Saturday night. This event will continue as the next edition will take place on 27 August 2022.

The event was so successful that the French Ministry of Culture replicated it in 1999 under the name "Printemps des musées" (Museum Spring). The concept was for French museums to open their doors to the public free of charge on a spring Sunday.

Once again, the event was a great success and was well attended. Thus, in 2001, 39 countries hosted the Printemps des musées. The event took on a European dimension with the support of the Council of Europe.

In 2005, France transformed this cultural event into a Museum Night to attract new audiences to these places of art and knowledge. Given the originality of the approach, its artistic rigour and the popular enthusiasm it aroused, many countries on the continent followed France.

The European Museum Night is not just a European phenomenon. The event takes place in mid-May, as the International Day of Museums organised by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) takes place every year around 18 May.

Programme of the Museum Night

The Museum Night 2022 is a free nocturnal event that is once again highly anticipated in Paris, particularly following the Covid pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, the event did not take place in the traditional way. Thus, thanks to digital technology and the ingenuity of the various actors in the event, the Museum Night was held in a 100% digital format in 2020 and in a "phygital" way in 2021.

Museums vied with each other in their imagination and offered lives on social networks, digital walks in podcasts and other interactive activities. This new version has attracted new visitors who will be able to meet up again this year. Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, French Minister of Culture, invites all French people to "feel the joy of walking through them again”.

This new edition is based on the theme of the joy of discovery and sharing. Historical sites, museums and other cultural venues are expecting many visitors.

Among these visitors, the young public will not be left out with the operation "The class, the work". This idea, in partnership with the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports, has enabled schoolchildren and several museums in France to develop and promote projects that encourage school and family visitors to attend the event. This initiative is being repeated this year.

The museums are increasingly motivated to make this event a success. During this evening, more than 200 museums and monuments are open free of charge in the city of Paris.

Among the best known are:

The Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération offers the opportunity to follow actors playing the great figures of the Second World War.

In order to discover the French and Parisian heritage, the monuments and museums offer different experiences: workshops, guided tours, conferences, grandiose installations, prestigious guest artists, night-time walks, escape games, artistic performances, concerts, shows and activities for children.

Visits and timetable for the European Museum Night

The European Museum Night offers an unusual experience and aims to attract new audiences to museums. Thus, the fact that it is almost completely free is a major asset of the event to prevent any economic discrimination.

The guided tours and various activities are also traditionally free to allow as many people as possible to (re)discover the key places of Parisian heritage!

In the same way, the extension of the opening hours, in the evening and until midnight, gives the opportunity to people with office hours to take advantage of the cultural offer, sometimes right next to their home or their workplace.

For this 18th edition, Parisian museums will be open free of charge until midnight. You will have the opportunity to discover the permanent collections of the various museums as well as the temporary exhibitions that are making the news in Paris.

In order to take advantage of the many facets of the capital, Tootbus offers you different tours through the capital and thus enjoy the main monuments of Paris.