Last Updated on: 1st June 2024, 03:04 pm

If you were to visit one single museum in Paris, musee du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac should be the one.

Click here to book your museum ticket plus a 1-hour Seine river cruise.

This museum showcases the arts and civilizations of all of the world’s regions.

It displays indigenous exhibits and cultural artifacts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. I don’t know of anything similar in Europe.

Not only are the permanent collections in the quai Branly Jacques Chirac museum amazing, but the temporary exhibitions are simply unmissable.

The building itself is a work of art, and the garden is one of the most beautiful places to relax in Paris.

jacques chirac museum park

The entrance to the museum – a pleasurable walk to the ticket office

quai branly museum memorable

Let’s see how to visit this museum and what to expect from it.


jacques chirac museum quai branly

The Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac museum – a building by architect Jean Nouvel, near the Eiffel Tower

The quai Branly Jacques Chirac museum is located near the Eiffel Tower, on the left bank of the Seine river.

The building is very big and it sits between Pont d’Iena and Pont de l’Alma, closer to Pont d’Iena, in the Gros-Caillou neighborhood of Paris.

Coming on foot from the right bank of the Seine, cross Passerelle Debilly, the pedestrian-only river crossing, to arrive right in front of the museum.

How To Get There

You can choose between the Metro, the RER, and the bus.

The three nearest Metro stations are Passy, Alma-Marceau and Military School.

If you prefer to get to Quai Branly by RER, you need to take RER Line C to Pont de l’Alma.

Bus lines 30, 82, 92, and 42 take you near the museum. Bus stop: Bosquet-Rapp

Bus line 72 takes you on the opposite river bank. Bus stop: Palais de Tokyo

Opening Hours

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10:30am – 7pm

Thursday: 10:30am – 10pm

Monday: closed

Click here to book your museum ticket plus a 1-hour Seine river cruise.

How To Plan Your Visit

There was no line at all the morning I visited the Quai Branly Jacques Chirac museum.

However, after my visit, around 2pm, I noticed a line at the ticket office. Also, the garden was full of people wandering around.

At Mexica, Offerings and Gods at the Templo Mayor, the entry is timed. As you buy your ticket, you’ll know what time you need to show up at that door.

As the museum is huge, you can start with the permanent sections, where the entry isn’t timed. You show up at the timed section a few minutes before your time slot, and then you can go back to the other part of the museum and go on with visiting until you’re done.

That’s exactly what I’ve done, seeing that I needed to wait for one hour to see Mexica.

quai branly chirac museum-visit-guide

Time Needed for the Visit

Make sure you do have at least 2.5 – 3 hours for this museum visit.

Should you want to see all collections and temporary exhibitions, you may expect to spend 3.5 to 4 hours in the museum.

jacques chirac museum paris

This is the interior of the museum, dark and labyrinth-like, perfect for inducing a relaxing mood

Some of the special events grant access based on timed entries.

That’s the case of the exhibition Mexica, Offerings and Gods at the Templo Mayor.

This temporary exhibition still runs until September 8th 2024. I highly encourage you to see it, to learn more about this incredible civilization we all know as the Aztecs.

Permanent Exhibits in the Quai Branly Jacques Chirac Museum

The curvy design of the museum feels unusual but in a pleasurable way.

As you step along the winding lanes, you discover the exhibits displayed in a dramatic light, artifacts and cult items of long gone, remote civilizations.

Thanks to the clever design of the interiors, the rooms never get too busy. This is a feeling not many museums can offer.

The journey starts with Oceania, a part of the world not all Europeans can easily visit.

It is impressive to see everyday items, art pieces, and worshiping tools belonging to various peoples and cultures.

oceania ladder

Men’s house ladder – Angoram population, mid 20th century – this ladder was used to grant access to the top floor of the “men’s house” where secret ritual items were kept, forbidden to women and children

oceania many masks

Various masks, also in the Oceania section

oceania shell money

Shell money – can you imagine having to carry that heavy cash around?

jacques chirac museum paris asia mask javanese theater

Javanese theater mask – Asia section in Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac museum

sachamama statue

Sachamama (Quechua for ‘Mother of the Earth’), the giant anaconda guardian of the forest – Ayahuasca inspired art special collection

Special Collections

Special collections and temporary exhibitions are a good reason to re-visit the museum time and time again.

The above photo of the Sachamama statue is part of a temporary collection, Shamanic Visions (visions chamaniques), showcasing Ayahuasca-inspired art by Peruvian Amazon artists.

shamanic visions jacques chirac paris

This exhibition ended in May 2024. I had the chance to be in Paris just in time to visit it.

magic trees jacques chirac paris

The museum sells catalogs of past expositions. You can get this one here, on their official website. The catalogue is in French. I don’t know whether an English version is available.

Mexica, Offerings and Gods at the Templo Mayor

This temporary exhibition is still running until September 8th, 2024.

I highly recommend it.

mexica sunstone museum jacques chirac paris

The Sunstone – there’s a light and sound show that explains the various carvings on this stone disc – a glimpse into the beliefs of the Mexica people in regard to the world we live in

The Mexica Empire (1325 – 1521) is better known to us as the Aztecs.

three souls mexica

According to the Mexica people, all beings have three souls: one is in the brain, another one is in the heart, and the last one is in the liver. We should probably take better care of our liver, then.

This exhibition showcases hundreds of offerings the Mexica people gave to various gods, hoping for various favors in exchange.

The offerings collection is truly impressive. Anything, from small daily use items to children could serve as a gift to gods.

The Mexica believed that not making such offerings would ignite the wrath of those gods, leading to the end of the world.

In fact, they thought the world had already ended four times. We are now living in the world of the Fifth Sun, so you know.

mexica sacrifice tools

Various sacrifice tools

mexica quetzalcoatl

A statue of Quetzalcoatl with carvings on all sides

The museum is accessible to visually impaired people, as well as to those with locomotion problems.

Once you’re done with visiting, you can enjoy some refreshments at Cafe Jacques, in the garden, or in the rooftop restaurant, “Le Restaurant des Ombres.”

Both restaurants offer great views of the Eiffel Tower.

hidden gem paris museum

Before you go, check out this itinerary of the covered passages of Paris. That’ll keep you busy for many hours.



Violeta Matei