|Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Paris
|A hands-on approach to discovery makes this museum fun and exciting for all ages.
The Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, or Science Museum, 6 km (3.7 miles) northeast of the center of Paris in the Parc de la Villette (map), is a huge and exciting space with something for everyone.
Particularly if you are traveling with kids, the Science Museum is a great place to spend a couple of hours.
With over 30,000 square meters (322,000 square feet) of exhibit space, the Museum can support large exhibits. The heart of the museum is Explora, with both the permanent collection and some temporary exhibits.
Exhibits focus on such topics as energy, transportation, light, genetics, innovations, science news, and satellites.
Special exhibits might address the future of textiles, homes of the future, or the economy.
Le gran récit de l'Univers takes you on a voyage through 13.7 billion years of the earth's history and the physical laws of the universe.
No matter what the focus, each exhibit has plenty of opportunities for interaction. Whether it's using a screen to explore a topic in depth or trying your hand at keeping a pole in balance, or smelling different natural and artificial odors in our environment, there's always something to do and try. It's very hands on and both entertaining and educational.
For the younger children, the lower level has special exhibition areas. One section is aimed at kids from 2 to 7 years old, with activities of exploration. For 5 to 12 year olds, there are more than 100 activities divided into 6 "universes"—the body, communication, the garden, TV studio, water, and machines.
The Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie also has a planetarium and other special exhibitions, both of which require a supplemental ticket.
The Géode, a large silver globe just outside the museum, houses an IMAX theater with ongoing presentations (also a supplemental fee). And also outside the museum you can visit the submarine Argonaute, used by the French navy for about 50 years.
The Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie is located in the beautiful Parc de la Villette. Although it is out of the center of Paris, it is relatively easy to reach by métro (Porte de la Villette) and well worth the trip. To make it even more of an adventure, travel to or from on the Canal Saint-Martin. This two and a half hour trip goes between La Villette and the Port de l'Arsenal, near the Bastille.
And if you want more science and research in your visit, try the Musée des Arts et Métiers (arts and trades), which has wonderful exhibits on energy, scientific instruments, materials, transportation, and more.
Paris Museum Pass accepted for the permanent collections and some of the temporary exhibits; others require a supplement. Closed Monday.
Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie