MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS in nearby FRANCE

We are lucky to have some 🖼 wonderful museums 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, many housed in architectural gems (old, renovated and new), and as well as their permanent collections, many also offer 🖼 temporary exhibitions and 🎨 workshops for children and families over the school holidays!

[ see MBFF article about 🖼 MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS au Pays du Mont-Blanc here and 🖼 OUTDOOR ART EXHIBITIONS & EPHEMERAL OUTDOOR ART here ]

And just out of the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc, we have some exceptional museums to visit in 🇫🇷 nearby France. This article concentrates on those within a 2h car drive.

for some suggestions of museums to visit in 🇨🇭 nearby Switzerland and in 🇮🇹 nearby Italy, see separate MBFF article here ]

🗓 some dates for your diary, when there are special openings, FREE openings, and special guided visits, animations and workshops for the whole family in 🇫🇷 France :

  • 🗓 FIRST SUNDAY of the MONTH in 🇫🇷 Cluses & Annecy, many museums and temporary exhibitions are FREE on the first Sunday of each month from October until May;
  • 🗓 La Nuit Européenne des Musées in May;
  • 🗓 Journée Internationale des Musées in May;
  • 🗓 Journées Européennes du Patrimoine a weekend in mid-September, just after La Rentrée / see FB page for updates;
© Journées Européennes du Patrimoine

Colour Code for listings

🗻 Pays du Mont-Blanc

🇫🇷 Further France  


CLUSES & MARNAZ

[ good to know: in Cluses and Annecy – 🗓 from October ⇒ May – many museums and exhibitions are FREE on the first Sunday of the month! ]

Musée de l’Horlogerie et du Décolletage (Cluses)

The 🕰 Musée de l’Horlogerie et du Décolletage, dedicated to telling the industrial and social history of the area, is located in the Espace Carpano & Pons, the old industrial site next to the river in Cluses. Here, you’ll learn the story of the watchmakers of the XVIIIth century, followed by the emergence of décolletage during the industrial revolution.

There are regular guided visits, films and workshops (see here for more details), a 🗺jeu de piste for families, and a session for babies!

🗓opening hours: from June until September, every day from 10h to 12h and from 14h to 18h; school holidays, every day from 14h to 18h, October until May, Wednesday to Saturdy, 14h to 18h;

price: adults 5€, children/students (12 to 25 years) 3€, FREE for under 12s;

good to know: the museum is FREE on each first Sunday of the month, 14h to 18h! And the guided visits over the school holidays are great !

website & FB page

address: Espace Carpano & Pons, 100 place du 11 Novembre, 74300, Cluses / tel: 04 50 96 43 00;
Médiathèque de Cluses

There are regular exhibitions at 📚 the Médiathèque de Cluses . . .

website & FB page

address: 1325 avenue Georges Clémenceau, 74300, Cluses;
© Médiathèque de Cluses
Festival ❄️ « Image & Neige » (Cluses) 

This 📷 photographic exhibition is an annual fixture in Cluses, at the Parvis des Esserts. I visited with a friend in 2020 – and we really enjoyed chatting with the photographers present!

FB page
© Festival Images et Neige
La Pyramide de Marnaz (Marnaz)

🖼 Temporary exhibitions here!

website & FB page

address: 112 rue des Berges, 74460, Marnaz / tel: 04 50 98 35 05;
© La Pyramide de Marnaz

ANNEMASSE & GRAND GENÈVE

Villa du Parc: centre d’art contemporain (Annemasse) 

There are regular temporary exhibitions in the 🖼 Villa du Parc in Annemasse.

🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 14h to 18h30 (shut on bank holidays); 

price: FREE to visit, 6€ for guided visits (free for members);

good to know: great playgrounds on-site!

website & FB page

address: Parc Montessuit, 12 rue de Genève, 74100, Annemasse / tel: 04 50 38 84 61;
© Villa du Parc Annemasse
Archipel Butor (Lucinges)  

🖼 L’Archipel Butor (bibliothèque patrimoniale) is set across 3 units in Lucinges, and dedicated to artists’ books.

website

VAL d’ARLY

La Maison des Contes de Fées (Notre Dame de Bellecombe)

A local museum dedicated to 🧚‍♀️ fairytales . . . ” Un univers insolite et magique de Contes de Fées… qui s’illuminent et s’animent au gré de l’histoire racontée… – automates – pour petits et grands. “;

website & FB page

address: Hameau Le Cheloup - 48 impasse du Bois Dormant, 73590, Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe / tel: 04 79 31 07 79;
© La Maison des Contes de Fées

LAC d’ANNECY, & SOURCES du LAC d’ANNECY & NEARBY

The 3 Annecy museums 🏰 the Château d’Annecy, the 🏰 Palais de l’Île and the 🎥 Musée du Film d’Animation (and their 🖼 temporary exhibitions) – are FREE to visit on the FIRST Sunday of each month between October and May!

Château d’Annecy (Annecy)

Once the residence of the counts of Geneva in the 13th and 14th centuries, 🏰 the castle has been classified as a historical monument since 1959. Today, the castle houses 🖼 temporary exhibitions, as well as a permanent collection of art of cultural importance, and objects associated with Lac d’Annecy.

There are also special family visits organised for temporary exhibitions at 🏰 the Château d’Annecy and there is a 🎨 carnets découverte for children available;

🗓 opening hours: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h, every day except Tuesday (open Tuesdays during the summer holidays, and every day from 10h30 to 18h);

price: 5,50;

website & FB page Les Musées d'Annecy

address: place du Château, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 87 30;
Château d’Annecy © montblancfamilyfun.com
© Château d’Annecy
Palais de l’Île in Annecy 

The 🏰 Palais de l’Île is a building dating from the Middle Ages and it has been classified as a historical monument since 1900. This palais has been a prison, a palais de justice and an administrative centre over the centuries. There is a special pack & itinerary available for children.

🗓 opening hours: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h, every day except Tuesday (open Tuesdays during the summer holidays, and every day from 10h30 to 18h);

price: 3,80€ and children 2€;

website & FB page Les Musées d'Annecy

address:3 passage de l'Ile, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 56 49 40 37;
Palais de l’Ile © Ville d’Annecy
Musée du Film d’Animation in Annecy 

The 🎥 Musée du Film d’Animation is located two minutes away from 🏰 the Musée-Château. This museum provides visitors with an introduction to animated cinema and it is FREE to visit!

🗓 opening hours: (SHUT on Tuesdays) 10h-12h and 14h-17h;

website & FB page Les Musées d'Annecy

address: ancienne chapelle du Conservatoire d'Art et d'Histoire, 18 avenue du Trésum, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 87 30;
Musée d’Animation © Ville d’Annecy
Le Haras d’Annecy

NEWS – it has been decided that the Haras will become a 🎥 Cité de Film l’Animation! / see here for more information ]

The 🐴 old 19th century horse stables of Annecy (once on the outskirts of town), which at their apogee housed 120 horses, were purchased by Annecy in 2012.

Today the 🐴 Haras d’Annecy hosts 🖼 temporary art installations & events and the 🐝 Rucher du Haras (beehives);

Une saison au Haras: from May until October, the Haras becomes a hub of cultural and artistic activity !

🗓 opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday (except winter months) from 14h to 19h;

address: 19 rue Guillaume Fichet 74000 Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 88 88;
Le Haras d’Annecy © Ville d’Annecy
Le Point Commun : Espace d’Art Contemporain (Cran-Gévrier, Annecy)

Contemporary art, with lots of workshops on offer for children and families !

website & FB page

address: 12 avenue Auguste Renoir, Annecy;
« Annecy Paysages » ephemeral art exhibition (summertime)

« Annecy Paysages » , organised by Bonlieu Scène National Annecy, is a visual and sensory stroll through lovely Annecy, with fabulous ephemeral art, from July until September.

⇒ MBFF article here ]

websiteFB page
© Annecy Paysages 2022
© Annecy Paysages
La Turbine in Cran-Gévrier (Annecy)

La Turbine – Le Centre de Culture Scientifique Technique et Industrielle de Haute-Savoie – is an innovative pedagogic centre equipped for families to learn about science in an interactive way. There are regular 🖼 exhibitions, events and workshops for children of different ages, so do check the website for current ones!

🗓 opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, 14h to 18h;

price: adults 5,50€, children 3€ (and +65 ans), FREE for children under 6 years and family price 14€;

website & FB page

address: place Chorus, Cran-Gevrier, 74960, Annecy / tel: 04 50 08 17 00;
© La Turbine

🖼 current exhibitions : 

  • « Bouge ton corps » (for 3 to 6 year olds) until September 2023 / ” L’enfant a-t-il conscience de son corps ? De ses potentialités ? De ses capacités ?Nul doute que les aventures ludiques proposées par ce village aux mille couleurs donnent aux bambins une irrépressible envie de bouger leur corps ! Au détour des rues, des places et des maisons, l’enfant va pouvoir faire connaissance et prendre conscience de son corps. Venez explorer en famille ce parcours constitué de différentes expériences interactives autour de la mobilité, du corps et du jeu. ” /  reservations;
  • « Tous sportifs ! La science occupe le terrain » (7+ years) until September 2023 / ” Participez à une grande épreuve sportive et ludique : un décathlon réinventé ! La science peut nous aider à améliorer nos performances et inversement le sport est un terrain favorable aux expériences scientifiques. Cette exposition met en avant le sport pour tous, entre performances et valeurs humaines. Alors, prêts à tester un décathlon ? Les différentes étapes ont lieu en même temps et vous participez tour à tour aux 10 épreuves. Vous expérimentez, tout en vous amusant, et glanez des informations sur la physiologie, la biologie, la physique, l’histoire ou encore la mécanique du sport. Un excellent moyen de faire le pont entre le sport, la science et la société !
© La Turbine
CAUE (Conseil d’Architecture, d’ Urbanisme et de l’ Environnement) Haute-Savoie

Le CAUE est créé pour promouvoir la qualité de l’architecture, de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement. Le CAUE assume des missions de service public dans un cadre et un esprit associatifs. ”

There are regular 🖼 temporary exhibitions.

website & FB page

address: L'îlot-S - Caue, 7 esplanade Paul Grimault, Annecy; / tel: 04 50 88 21 10;
« Le Festival des Cabanes » (Les Sources du Lac d’Annecy)

The « Festival des Cabanes » is an annual event at the Sources du Lac d’Annecy (Doussard nature reserve and other locations) 🗓 from July until mid-November . . .

Architecture students and architects from all over the world built some unusual cabanes, rendering our nature even more magical!

The festival spreads across 160 mm², across 7 communes: Chevaline, Val de chaise, Doussard, Giez, Lathuile, Saint-Ferréol et Faverges-Seythenex.

website & FB page
© Festival des Cabanes
La Forge & La Micro-Folie (Faverges-Seythenex)

Faverges-Seythenex engaged in an ambitious project: converting the old Usine Bourgeois into an artistic and experimental hub. It is FREE to visit;

🗓 opening hours: Wednesdays 14h until 17h and Saturdays 9h until 12h;

La Micro-Folie comprises:

  • 🖼 un musée numérique – based on the principle: ” L’art et la culture pour tous “, inspired by 🧪 the Folies du Parc de La Villette, the public can henceforth enjoy the treasures of the nation, through the digital projection of the works of these great establishments!
  • 🎨 FabuLabo – a creative lab / workshops from time to time;
  • Le Caf’Pop – a café of the people / talks and exchanges;
FB page

address: Tiers-lieu culturel La Forge, 130 rue Maurice Bourgeois, 74210, Faverges / tel: 04 50 63 11 73 / 06 19 45 85 93;
© La Forge
La Maison du Salève (Présilly)

A visit to La Maison du Salève makes for a wonderful family day out, preferably on a fair weather day as the gardens are lovely and there are walks to enjoy en famille . . .

Originally an 18th century farm from the Chartreuse de PomierLa Ferme de Mikerne has been renovated to host a cultural centre recounting the history of the ⛰ Salève mountain and its environs: 🖼 the permanent interactive exhibitions: ⛰ « Le Salève, une montagne et des hommes » (aimed at children over the age of four) and « Le Salève côté nature » (children from 3 to 12 years); 

opening hours: all year, except January, 1st May, first Sunday in September and 25th December; Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 14h to 18h; school holidays, Tuesday to Sunday, 14h to 18h; July and August, Tuesday to Sunday, 10h to 18h;

price: adults 6€, children 6 to 18 years 3€ and free for children under 6 years;

good to know: pay once and come back a second time for FREE! Keep your ticket to the Maison du Salève; you can come back within the year for FREE, as long as you are accompanied by someone else who is paying for their own entrance! ]

website & FB page

address: 775 route de Mikerne,74160, Présilly / tel: + 33 (0)4 50 95 92 16;
Maison du Salève © montblancfamilyfun.com

🖼 temporary exhibition: « La forêt: maison des animaux », until 30th June 2023 (extended);

© Maison du Salève
Notre Histoire: Musée de Rumilly (Rumilly)

A museum highlighting the history of Rumilly, from medieval days to the industrial history of the 20th century, and with 🎨 lots of workshops for children and families;

website & FB page

address: Notre Histoire, Musée de Rumilly, 5 place de la Manufacture, 74150, Rumilly / tel: 04 50 64 64 18;
© Musée de Rumilly
© Musée de Rumilly

VALLÉE du GIFFRE & PORTES du SOLEIL

Maison du Patrimoine à Taninges

There are regular exhibitions at this Maison du Patrimoine, and you can visit the permanent exhibitions for free.

website
Maison du Patrimoine Taninges © Le Dauphiné
La Chartreuse de Mélan (Taninges)

At the Chartreuse de Mélan, a 700 year old building used over the centuries as an abbey and an orphanage, you’ll find a Parc de Sculptures. As well as visits, there are regular exhibitions and events held here!

website
Chartreuse de Mélan © Le Messager
Parcours d’Art Contemporain du Giffre – sentier « ART et NATURE » (Taninges ⇒ Morillon, Vallée de la Giffre)

The 🖼 Parcours d’Art Contemporain du Giffre – sentier « ART et NATURE » is set up between Taninges and Morillon, and passes through La Rivière-Enverse. It is a continuation of the notion of art in nature that starts at the Parc de Sculptures de la Chartreuse de Mélan (a progressive approach to contemporary art, in which each piece of art incorporates the artist’s view of the surrounding environment: the patrimoine and history of the site, the surrounding scenery of the Vallée du Giffre, the religious architecture of La Chartreuse de Mélan) and opens a dialogue between ancient history and modern sensibilities.

The sculptures are set along 💦 the Giffre river – an open air museum in a natural space, with information along the way . . . you can walk along the river, or cycle . . .

website

address: 74440, La Rivière-Enverse;
Parcours d’Art Contemporain, sentier «ART et NATURE » © Vallée du Giffre
Flaine‘s Patrimoine artistique et architectural du XXe siècle: 𝕄𝕦𝕤𝕖𝕖 𝕒 𝕔𝕚𝕖𝕝 𝕠𝕦𝕧𝕖𝕣𝕥 ! 

Flaine is well known for having an unusual ski resort aesthetic (for the area), and it hosts some fabulous sculptures and architecture by well known artists, like Picasso and Jean Dubuffet, Breuer and Vasarely.

[ read more about 🖼 Flaine’s quirky art scene here ]

And now you can enjoy the 🎨 art in Flaine by following a new jeu de piste called City Game (see here).

L’Abbaye de Sixt (Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval)

You’ll find 🖼 exhibitions about local patrimoine here.

website
Abbaye de Sixt © Wikipedia
Alta Lumina (Les Gets)

Un parcours nocturne enchanté par-delà les montagnes ” . . .

Conceived by Moment Factory, and brought to you by Les Gets Tourisme and Auvergne Rhône Alpes Tourisme✨ Alta Lumina is a unique immersive night time stroll in the forest of Les Gets. The immersive trail tells the story of a music-making colporteur (a peddler), who with his mongolfière (hot air balloon), wants to share 🎶 his melodies beyond the Alps and to faraway lands. As a spectator, you follow the colporteur on his travels, and you’ll be fully immersed – through storms and more tranquil settings – on ✨ an enchanted son et lumière night-time journey through 🌲 the forest.

[ to read about MBFF’s 2022 visit in the snow, see separate article here ]

FB page & website

address: 736 route du Lac, 74260, Les Gets;
© Alta Lumina

VALLÉE d’AULPS

l’Abbaye d’Aulps

A ⛪️ monastic site that has been turned into a cultural hub, with a permanent exhibition and temporary ones too. Lots of events and festivals to enjoy !

My son recently went on a school trip here and they were treated to lots of great activities!

website & FB page

address: 961 route de l'Abbaye, 74430, Saint-Jean-d'Aulps;
© Abbaye d’Aulps

EVIAN, THONON-LES-BAINS & CHABLAIS

Palais Lumière (Evian)

Once functioning thermal baths, the Palais Lumière opened its doors as an exhibition and conference centre to the public in 2006. It now hosts some excellent 🖼 temporary exhibitions (one or two per year) and 🎨 children’s workshops and guided tours;

🗓 opening hours: every day from 10h to 19h (Monday from 14h to 19h);

price: 8€ to 10€, under 16 years FREE;

Le Palais Lumière (Evian) © montblancfamilyfun.com

🖼 current exhibition: Artistes Voyageuses: l’Appel des Lointains, 1880 – 1944  21st May 2023 / more information here;

© Le Palais Lumière (Evian)
website & FB page

address: Palais Lumière, 74500, Evian;
Maison Garibaldi (Evian)

Located just behind the Palais Lumière, the Maison Gribaldi is housed in a renovated buiding dating from the Renaissance, and is used for 🖼 temporary exhibitions and to record the city’s archives (see here for history of the building);

🗓 open from April until October each year;

website

address: ruelle du Nant d'Enfer, 74500, Évian-les-Bains / tel: 04 50 83 10 00;
Maison Garibaldi © Ville d’Evian
Château de Ripaille (Thonon-les-Bains)

At the 🏰 Château de Ripaille, there are regular temporary exhibitions, and there are plans in place to develop a rich cultural programme. There are also lovely walks around the 🏰 Château de Ripaille, and the castle is very close to the old port, which has a lovely playground;

website & FB page

address: 83 avenue de Ripaille, 74200 Thonon;
Château de Ripaille © montblancfamilyfun.com
Arboretum de Ripaille © Visites en Chablais
Musée de Préhistoire et Géologie (Sciez)

This is a museum dedicated to prehistory (you’ll find a collection explaining local and French prehistory, the evolution of man, with lots of objects to touch, reconstitutions, videos . . . ) and geology (with exhibition: Aventure de la Terre, formation des Alpes et zoom sur le Chablais) – more information here. There are lots of 🎨 workshops for children over the school holidays;

price: adults 4€ and children 3€;

parking: same car park as for Les Aigles du Léman;

website & FB page

address: Musée de Préhistoire et Géologie, 207 route du Moulin de la Glacière, 74140, Sciez;
Musée du Chablais (Thonon-les-Bains)

This museum was founded in 1863, with the help of the brothers James and Louis Revon, naturalist in Geneva and conservateur du musée d’Annecy. Located originally in the l’Hôtel de Ville, in 1953 the collection moved to the basement of the Château de Sonnaz . . .you’ll find varied exhibitis: ” minéraux, animaux naturalisés et objets archéologiques provenant des fouilles du port. ”

opening hours: 14h30 to 18h (SHUT Mondays and Tuesdays);

price: 2,55€ and free for under 11s (FREE first Sunday of the month);

website

address: Musée du Chablais, 2 rue Michaud, Thonon-les-Bains;
Musée du Chablais © Thonon-les-Bains

AIX-les-BAINS, CHAMBÉRY & GRENOBLE

Aqualis – l’éxperience lac (Aix-les-Bains)

Opened in 2019, 💦 Aqualis allows you to discover the Lac du Bourget in a modern museum, with 🎨 workshops on offer, an escape game, guided visits, talks and more;

FB page & website

address: 52 esplanade Jean Murguet, Aix-les-Bains;
© Aqualis
Musée Faure (Aix-les-Bains)

The 🖼 Musée Faure, housed in a majestic 1900 villa donated to Aix-les-Bains by Docteur Jean Faure (1862-1942), hosts a rich collection of paintings and sculptures dating from 1850 to 1920. It also houses the second biggest French collection or Rodin sculptures, and it has temporary exhibitions!

website & FB page

address: 10 boulevard des Côtes, 73100, Aix-les-Bains;
© Musée Faure
© Musée Faure
Galerie Eurêka (Chambéry)

Plenty of scope for a family visit at this interactive science museum! There is a permanent exhibition – Espace Montagne – and temporary exhibitions too;

website & FB page

address: 50 rue de la République, 73000, Chambéry / tel: 04 79 60 04 25;

🖼 current & upcoming exhibitions:

  • 🖼 Espace Montagne – this is the permanent exhibition / ” un lieu ludique de découvertes scientifiques. Grâce à de nombreuses expériences, manipulations, quiz, maquettes interactives et jeux, les visiteurs découvrent le monde des sciences et des technologies dans un laboratoire naturel, la montagne. “;
  • 🖼 Planétarium : La tête dans les étoiles until 1st April 2023 / ” Guidé par un animateur scientifique, explorez le ciel nocturne chambérien dans un planétarium. Observez les étoiles et les principales constellations qui illuminent notre voûte céleste. Poursuivez ensuite par un voyage immersif vers les planètes du système solaire et jusqu’aux confins de notre galaxie ! “;
  • 🖼 Glaciers, une aventure scientifique until September 2023 ” Des premières expéditions scientifiques sur les glaciers à l’étude des changements climatiques actuels, la nouvelle exposition de la Galerie Eurêka retrace la fabuleuse histoire de la glaciologie.Par l’exploration et l’expérimentation, découvrez à quel point ces géants de glace participent à la compréhension de notre environnement et des grands enjeux scientifiques contemporains.
Musée des Beaux-Arts / Les Charmettes (Chambéry)

The building that houses today’s 🖼 Musée des Beaux-Arts de Chambéry started life as a XIXth century grain hall (a grenette). In 1889, la Ville de Chambéry decided to make the grenette into a musée-bibliothèque, with the work of architect François Pelaz. In 1992, the library moved out, and the museum took over the entire building. Between 2009 and 2011, a huge renovation programme was carried out, bringing much needed light to the building;

As well as 🖼 a permanent collection, the museum also houses 🖼 temporary exhibitions.

FB page & website

address: Place du Palais de Justice, 73000, Chambéry / tel: 04 79 33 75 03;
Musée de l’Ours des Cavernes (Entremont-le-Vieux)

🐻 “ Le Musée de l’Ours des Cavernes invite le visiteur à un voyage dans le temps, à la découverte d’un site, la Balme à Collomb et d’une espèce disparue, l’ours des cavernes. Plongez dans une aventure scientifique et humaine hors du commun. Il y a plus de 25.000 ans, dans les entrailles calcaires du Granier, une grotte, connue aujourd’hui à Entremont-le-Vieux sous le nom de “Balme à Collomb”, accueillait d’étranges occupants de la préhistoire… Ursus Spelaeus ou les Ours des Cavernes. Aujourd’hui, grâce à la curiosité de passionnés de spéléologie et la ténacité de spécialistes en paléontologie, la Chartreuse et la Savoie peuvent s’enorgueillir de posséder l’un des plus grands et plus riches gisements d’ours des cavernes jamais découvert ! 

🎨 holiday workshops and events for children – see here;

good to know: ask for the parcours enfants leaflet;

website & FB page

address: Musée de l’Ours des Cavernes, Epernay, 73670, Entremont-le-Vieux / tel:  04 79 26 29 87;
© Musée de l’Ours des Cavernes
Musée de Grenoble 

The Musée de Grenoble was created in 1798 (in the shadow of the French Revolution), and houses a rich collection of ancient and modern & contemporary art ( read more about the history here). The new building was created in 1994 by a group of Genoble architects. As well as the permanent collection, there are regular temporary exhibitions:

🖼 current temporary exhibitions: see here;

website & FB page

address:  5 place Lavaletet, 38000, Grenoble / tel: 04 76 63 44 44;
© Musée de Grenoble

LYON

There are 🖼 so many fabulous museums and temporary exhibitions to visit in Lyon . . .

[ for a full list of Lyon’s museums, and with a map to locate them, see here! ]

Here are some ideas :

  • 🖼 MAC – Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon located near the Parc de la Tête d’Or / website;
  • 🎥 Musée Miniature et Cinéma located in Vieux Lyon / website;
  • 🖼 Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon located on the peninsula, in the 1er arrondissement / website;
  • 🧵 Musée des Tissus – located near Place Bellecour / website;
  • 🧵 Maison des Canuts (Musée de la Soie Lyonnaise) – in Croix-Rousse (4è), to where the silk weavers moved in the 19th century / website;
  • 🎥 Institut & Musée Lumière – located in the 8è arrondissement, learn all about Lyon, the city of film and the Lumières brothers here / website;
  • Centre d’histoire de La Résistance et de La Déportation – located in the 7è arrondissement / see website;
  • Musée Gadagne (Musée de l’Histoire de Lyon et Musée des Arts de la Marionette) – located in Vieux Lyon / website;

Here is a selection, some tried and tested by MBFF!

Musée des Confluences (Lyon)

Located at the 🌊 confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers (and hence the name of the museum!), 🖼 Le Musée des Confluences is immediately striking for its audacious modern architecture and its location on a presqu’île! (river peninsula). The permanent parcours in the museum tells the story of earth and mankind and looks at the origin of man, different cultures and the future of mankind too (exhibits from the first telephones to Egyptian mummies), and looks at the sciences of: anthropology, paleontology, minerology, ethnography and more! And then, there are also 🖼 temporary exhibitions.

full list of 🖼 temporary exhibitions, see here ]

[ and to read more about the 🖼 Musée des Confluences, see separate MBFF article here ]

© Musée des Confluences
La Sucrière – exposition & cultural centre 

In the heart of the docks area of Les Confluences in Lyon, you will find the emblematic industrial 1930s building 🖼 La Sucrière (once a sugar dépôt – hence the name – it was renovated in 2011), with innovative and daring exhibitions. In 2019, MBFF saw Imagine Picasso and in 2021 Expo Antoine de Saint-Exupery: un Petit Prince parmi les Hommes – both exhibitions were very interractive and fabulous!

© La Sucrière
La Sucrière Lyon © montblancfamilyfun.com
website & FB page

address: 49-50 quai Rambaud, Lyon / tel: 04 27 82 69 40;

🖼 current exhibition: Toutankhamon : à la découverte du pharaon oublié;

© La Sucrière
Lugdunum – musée et théâtres romains

On our last visit to Lyon, I took the boys on the funiculaire up to the fabulous Lugdunum – musée et théâtres romains! Located on the Lyon hillside of Fourvière, Lugdunum is an incredible Roman archaeological site, now Unesco-labelled. I wanted to visit the museum (I love the architecture of this site!), but the boys began to have a mini-meltdown due to “too much walking” and hunger, so I decided to save a visit for our next trip;

website & FB page

address: Lugdunum, 17 rue Cléberg, 69005, Lyon;

current exhibtion : SPECTACULAIRE ! Le divertissement chez les Romains / ” Gladiature, théâtre, courses de chars, pantomime . . . L’exposition de la rentrée vous invite au cœur de la fabrique des grands spectacles populaires romains. Si certains spectacles résonnent encore avec faste, à quoi ressemblaient-ils réellement dans l’Antiquité ? À quelles occasions étaient-ils donnés ? Et quels étaient les lieux de spectacles, dont certains ont survécu à 2000 ans d’histoire ? Cette exposition délivrera des clés de compréhension, pour mieux s’approprier ce symbole de puissance de la civilisation romaine et mettra en miroir nos pratiques actuelles du divertissement et celles de l’époque. ” / more information here;

© Lugdunum – Musée et Théatres Romains
Lugdunum – Musée et Théatres Romains © Laurence Danière / Lugdunum
© Lugdunum – Musée et Théatres Romains
MAC – Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (Cité Internationale de Lyon – next to Rhône & Parc de la Tête d’Or)

Located in the Cité Internationale de Lyon, just off the cycle path along the Rhône river, and next to the Parc de la Tête d’Or, this is a great museum to visit en famille, with exhibitions that change regularly.

good to know: the Biennale de Lyon is held here every two years from September to December;

website & FB page

address: 81 quai Charles de Gaulle, 69006, Lyon;
© MAC Lyon
© MAC Lyon
Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon (MBA)

🖼 Le Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon is located on la place des Terreaux, in the heart of the Presqu’île, in an old XVIIth century Benedictine abbey. The old cloisters are now a jardin de sculptures, a peaceful spot in a busy city! ” 🖼 Les collections encyclopédiques du musée présentent en cinq départements et 70 salles un panorama de grandes civilisations et d’écoles artistiques de l’Antiquité à nos jours ; elles offrent un parcours exceptionnel à travers 5 000 ans d’art et d’histoire. “;

website & FB page

address: 20 place des Terreaux, 69001, Lyon;
© Musée des Beaux Art de Lyon
© Musée des Beaux Art de Lyon

🖼 current exhibition: « Poussin et l’amour » – until March 2023 / more information here;

© Musée des Beaux Art de Lyon
Peinture Fraiche street art festival (La Halle Debourg, 7è Lyon)

A 🎨 street art festival in the Halle Debourg (steeped in industrial history, this was an entrepôt de fret-triage) in Lyon, over the month of October / métro B : Debourg and Tram T1 : arrêt ENS Lyon;

website & FB page

address: La Halle Debourg, 45 avenue Debourg, 69007, Lyon;

Where else to see 🎨 street art in progressive Lyon?

  • la Croix-Rousse;
  • le Presqu’île;
  • Musée Urbain Tony Garnier;
  • la fresque de Joost Swarte (9e arrondissement);
© Peinture Fraiche street art festival
Mini World Lyon (Vaulx-en-Velin)

The plus grand parc de miniatures animées en France ! There are 4 permanent worlds to enjoy, spread across 3 000 m2 indoor space: (1) town, (2) mountains, (3) countryside AND (4) La Ville de Lyon et sa Fête des Lumières. Mini World Lyon is open all year round and there is the restaurant La Place on-site.

website & FB page

address: 3 avenue de Bohlen, 69120, Vaulx-en-Velin, nr Lyon / tel: 04 28 29 09 19;
MBFF visited in 2019 and the whole family loved this unique place!
[ to read more about MBFF’s visit to Mini World Lyon, see separate article here ]
🖼 current temporary exhibitions:
  • LEGO STAR WARS® ⇒ 5th March 2023 / ” Plongez dans les univers cultes de la saga Star Wars au travers d’oeuvres monumentales intégralement construites en briques LEGO®.  Plus d’un million de briques assemblées ont été nécessaires pour reproduire des lieux entiers des différents épisodes. LukeLeiaHan SoloYodaDark Vadorl’EmpereurC3P0, les Ewoks, les Stormtroopers… ce sont des milliers de personnages de la sagaqui seront au rendez-vous dans cette exposition.” / ⇒ more information & tickets here;
© Mini World Lyon
Mini World Lyon – MBFF approved and loved ! © montblancfamilyfun.com
Planétarium de Vaulx-en-Velin (Vaulx-en-Velin, near LYON)

Built in 1995, the Planétarium de Vaulx-en-Velin is dedicated to the study of astronomy and sciences of the universe. This planetarium is now the 9th most visited cultural establishment in the Lyon area!

price: 10€ and 8€ for children under 12 years;

good to know: FREE on the first Saturday of the month! / also good to know: near Mini-World Lyon and WeRide indoor bike circuit;

FB page & website

address: Place de la Nation, Vaulx-en-Velin (near Lyon);

5 thoughts on “MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS in nearby FRANCE

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