Paris is a city exploding with history. The countless monuments, historical sites, churches, and parks are what helps make it famous, Paris is also home to a great diversity of unknown, unusual places, and amazing museums that often get ignored by the general public. How about you take a trip back in time, to the Museum of Fairground Arts (Musee Des Arts Forains) located in the 12th arrondissement.
This is a museum dedicated to ancient fairground artifacts!
Located right next to Bercy Village and Parc de Bercy, this place is so extraordinarily decorated that, during the 2 hours of the guided tour, we completely forgot that we were in Paris in the 21st century!
For 30 years, and alongside other activities, Jean Paul Favand has accumulated and restored a collection of fairground objects, which today constitute one of the most important collections in the world.
The Musee des Arts Forains is filled with antique treasures on display, including Belle Epoque merry-go-rounds, old fairgrounds games, costumes, collection of antique county fair rides, historic building façades, statues and photographs. There's an entire space dedicated to prohibition in the 1920s, a Venetian room and more!
This place is simply magical. You must make reservations online. Reservations are available one month in advance and have scheduled time slots, if you're late, they won't wait for you. But you can search for them and join in. Tours are only in French (There are a few English tours but only during the summer) but in the end, it's part of the charm, and makes it even more of a precious privilege to be present. Trust me, You don't need to speak French to understand the beauty and whimsy of this museum.
This beautiful treasure is far more than just a collection of old carnival rides and games, it really is like entering into another world, full of magic and surprises. It’s one part Alice in Wonderland, one part Cirque de Soleil, one part Water for Elephants, and one part Moulin Rouge. There’s every color in the rainbow spread across velvet curtains, blinking midway signs, extravagant sets, and fanciful performers.
It's perfect for young and old alike.
The Musée des Arts Forains is also special because it owns the oldest carousel in the world : a carousel formed by velocipedes dating from 1860! No need to say that this carousel was the public’s sensation at that time, a carousel 100% ecological because it works without electricity and only the strength of our legs is necessary.
It's crazy fast!
Children 4-11 $9
Children under 4 are free
53 av des Terroirs de
The closest metro station is Cour Saint-Émilion. Line 14.