Palais de la Decouverte, Paris

3.7
#3 of 9 in Childrens Museums in Paris
Science museum Palais de la Decouverte in the Grand Palais, offers permanent exhibits on math, physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, and biology. You can try out interactive experiments with commentaries by lecturers or visit the Zeiss planetarium and its 15 m (49 ft) dome. The 707 digits of the number π are inscribed on the walls of the circular room "pi room." Large, wooden digits attached to the dome-like ceiling are based on an 1853 calculation by English mathematician William Shanks. (It included an error in the 528th digit, which was corrected in 1949.) Jean Baptiste Perrin, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics, created this museum in 1937. Take a look at our Paris road trip planning app to schedule your visit to Palais de la Decouverte and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Palais de la Decouverte Reviews
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589 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • The Palace of discovery remains a place for Science interesting for children and schools. In my opinion, the explanations (cartels) are not enough, must really be accompanied or have scientific knowledge in order to understand everything. Exposure pastor, she seems more modern and better explained. Do not make the impasse of the planetarium (the most exciting - duration 45'), very well documented and poetic. Allow time for the visit.
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  • Exhibition very interesting and very educational children as well as adults are a lot of fun. The only downside is the noise level. We can't focus because we too hear videos that are very well made.
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  • Tour with a guide who was not at the Palace of discovery. We went there the afternoon making that there was not a lot of people but still very interesting. In particular the guide made us discover that stones of the pillars of the great hall or at least what was believed to be stones of imitations! Very well the history of the Palace itself and I attended the demonstration on electricity and Faraday cage with a lot of fun! A lot of demonstrations within the reach of the public to inspire young people or debunk theories!
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Google
  • French or English is obligatory If you decide to go there be prepared to read. A lot. In English or in French. Even though there are some interactive exponats, mostly it is all about information, delivered in a contemporary and interesting manner. When we were there, the planetarium was closed, but we managed to get in the Pi room,where you can observe the history of this number sequence and can even find out how many times your date of birth can be located there. Every day there are variety of live actions and experiments but, again, you have to know French really well to understand what is going on.
  • Very cool and informative for all the family members. Exhibits explained in English as well which makes it easy for non french speaking visitors. No long queues during the Christmas holiday at least.
  • A wonderful place to go for the whole family. They also have baby changing facilities, which is rare in Paris!
  • As a retired scientist and teacher, I like to see how the different places I visit present science to the public. This is not so much a science museum, as an interactive experience center for visitors, that attempts to cover a wide of sciences. It is not the main science museum in Paris which is on the northern outskirts of the city. As a non-tourist oriented place, all the signage is in French, but I expected that, and that is not a part of my rating. A few of the interactive displays were novel and interesting. An unsatisfactorily large number of the interactive exhibits were posted as out of order, and others also did not work. For a few it was not clear what they were supposed to be demonstrating, or what they were actually supposed to be operated. A lot of the optics exhibits seemed out of alignment and were dirty. There were a few exhibits and displayed items with no signage, and what they were supposed to show was not clear. The static exhibit halls were mostly a miss. The astronomy hall was best of the static exhibits. The paleontology hall was mostly empty. (There is a much better museum for that in Paris.) There are numerous mini-lecture halls where demonstrations are given in a variety of sciences. They seemed well done, but if you don't understand French you won't get much out of them. I think they require group reservations, but I'm not sure. The museum has a large number of school groups that attend during the day, making it sometimes a very noisy place. There is a nice planetarium, but when I tried to attend the last one of the day I learned that an additional ticket and a reservation was required. The attendant at the door spoke English, but was singularly unwilling to explain how to get a ticket or make a reservations. Tickets could not be purchased at the door, and the planetarium ticket is not listed at the main ticket office before you enter the museum. So how this works I never figured out. You would think once someone had entered the museum, the planetarium tickets would be available at the door! The attendant had the same indifferent, uncooperative attitude that was the norm 45 years ago when I first started visiting Paris, and which for the most part is no longer the case. So despite a few interesting things, the several negatives made this one of the less interesting science museums I have visited over the years.
  • I went there for a whole day during summer. It has very interesting both permanent and temporary exhibitions covering various topics of science, such as astronomy, geology, biology or chemistry. Reservations are recommended for exhibitions which require a speaker but if you go here with one or two other people you can easily slide in within a group, even if it was shown as full on their website. That way, we were easily able to attend presentations with school groups, but make sure not to answer all the questions if you do the same thing. The presentations are VERY entertaining for both kids and adults, and the speakers - that we encountered that day, at least - were very good. While older ones may already know about most topics, it's always a treat to see and feel shown experiments. We had adults and kids feeling static electricity, being zapped (lightly!) or even attempting to touch liquid nitrogen after being explained why and how it is safe to do so. While I'd recommend you to bring your own food (as food here is quite expensive), the fact that your ticket grants access to the Palais for the full day is really nice as it allows you to take a break for lunch and come back right after. Overall a fantastic experience. Highly recommended.
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