Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie
The Cite des Sciences, as it is often known, is the largest science museum in Europe, which is located within the Parc de la Villette and is suitable for all ages with so much to discover, with a focus on science and technical knowledge, that has numerous interactive activities and sections for children upwards.
About Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie
Translated into English, the name is City of Sciences and Industry, and is the fifth most visited museum in Paris after the other famous places such as The Louvre, and it is no wonder why it is so popular for people of all ages with the amount of different permanent exhibitions, as well as temporary installations.
There is so much to discover at this science museum in Paris including some fascinating permanent exhibitions where you can even get a hands on experience, just like in the Techno Gallery where you can play the latest games, discover robots, test prototypes etc.
Another popular area is the Images exhibition where you can manipulate pictures or include yourself in a TV commercial, or you have the Light exhibition where you can discover optical illusions, yet perhaps testing out new sound devices could be more to your liking, not forgetting the outer space and satellite sections plus much, much more you and the family can enjoy.
But this does not include discovering the Planetarium and many more different sections that you can find out more about on our dedicated Cite des Sciences exhibition page. There is also an aquarium with species from places such as Corsica, Tunisia, Greece, the Meditterranean, etc plus other sections related to Mathematics, human genes, microbiotics, transport, energy plus others.
Yet do not forget about the auditorium, the Louis-Lumiere Cinema, or the Argonaute submarine just outside, or the fabulous Geode, which is the very shiny geodesic sphere that holds a cinema and has one of the largest screens in the world.
So as you can tell, this is a great place to spend a day out that is suitable for all the family from children as young as two through to teenagers and adults, with age being no barrier to enjoy the Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie, but let us take a look at some of the practical information.
Food and Drink Services
Because this is one of the tourist attractions in Paris that you could quite easily spend a good few hours experiencing, there are also several places that you can enjoy a drink, a burger, healthy quick snack, even a proper meal, etc, to keep you going in order to get the most out of your visit. And you may be pleased to know that all these places to eat are accessible to the disabled, and assistance can also be provided upon request.
Rest'O Restaurant and Tea Room
This is a table service restaurant and tea room serving innovative and traditional French cuisine that provides a variety of different dishes and here you can have a three course meal, which is located on level -2 of the Cite des Sciences and even has a terrace for those nicer days.
Resto'O is open from 11:30am through to 3pm, but until 5:30pm during school holidays and you could opt just for a warm goats cheese salad with brioche buns, green beans and potatoes or you could opt for a sharing plate finger food board with onion rings, crispy chicken, etc or a Pumpkin Veloute with crispy bacon for instance, but perhaps a large salad would be more to your liking.
However, a three course meal is also an option with starters ranging in cost from around €7 and a main course ranges in price from around €14 upwards as of 2020 and could be a Flank steak with pepper sauce, dauphinois potato gratin and green beans, Chicken supreme with cream of mushrooms and crushed potatoes or a Fillet of sea bream with winter vegetables.
Desserts are also available for an average cost of €7 and could be a delight such as half cooked chocolate with Chantilly cream and a red fruit coulis. You may also be pleased to know that there is a childrens menu available for those aged 12 and under with a choice of a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets, then a Haribo ice cream dessert plus a choice of drink as well, all for €12 as of 2020. There is also a set menu option of the Chicken Supreme and the Chocolate dessert we mentioned earlier for €19.
This is a snack cafe where you can purchase food to eat in or take away and located on level 1 it is open from 10am through to 5:30pm, where you can get sandwiches and paninis for approximately €6 upwards, along with a soup of the day, salads from around €5 to €8.50 and desserts like brownies, yoghurt, fruit salad, etc plus traditional French crepes with different toppings. Not forgetting there is also a wide selection of cold drinks and hot beverages ranging in cost from around €2 as of 2020. Plus there are options just for children as well.
The Atmosphere is a self service snack bar offering sandwiches, snacks and salads along with treats including chocolate and crisps, which are available to take away, and located on level 0 it is open from 10am through to 4:30pm and as of 2020, sandwiches, salads, desserts etc are a cost of around €4 upwards. Additionally a set menu including a vegetarian option is available along with one for children under the age of 12.
The fast food restaurant chain Burger King also has a presence within the City of Sciences and Industry, which is located on level -2, that also has a terrace with sun canopies for those warmer days, and it is open on a Tuesday to Sunday from 11am through to 9pm.
Additional Services at Cite des Sciences
Cloakrooms where you can leave coats and bags are available for individual visitors and for groups completely free of charge on presentation of your ticket to the Cite des Sciences Museum. However, only small bags are permitted within the museum and can be checked in accordance with the anti-terrorism regulations that have been put in place since the attacks in Paris and other European cities.
Wheelchairs and Pushchairs can also be borrowed, however, we would like to point out that a passport or equivalent ID is required.
For shows within the Planetarium that do not have spoken commentary, there are audio guides available for the sight impaired, completely free of charge. These can be obtained from the information desk on level 0 in French, English, German, Spanish or the Italian language, but again, you would have to provide a form of ID such as a passport.
Baby changing facilities are available on three different levels of the science museum and there are of course disabled toilets as well, but there are also ATM cash machines located on level 0 in the main hall.
And again in the main hall there is a scale model of the Cite des Sciences that talks when you touch it and is designed for the visually impaired to be able to get their bearings more easily, plus lifts are in place for access to those with mobility problems, in addition to there being free WiFi and places where you can re-charge your phone in certain areas.
There is also a gift shop and book store located in the main hall on level 0, where you can purchase a wide range of items suitable for all age groups and it includes things such as gadgets, science experiments, games, souvenirs, magazines, catalogues and much more.
Opening Hours at Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie
The Cite des Sciences is open on a Tuesday through to a Saturday from 10am to 6pm and on a Sunday from 10am to 7pm, but it is closed each Monday along with on certain national French holidays such as 1st May. Yet some of the parts within the centre do have specific opening times that vary slightly, just like we mentioned the restaurants and cafes above with their specific times.
The Explora Centre, which is what holds the permanent exhibitions like the Techno Gallery is open on the above times, however, you will find that sometimes the temporary exhibitions have completely different times, so it is always advisable to check first.
The sessions within the Cite des Enfants last approximately 90 minutes or 75 minutes during school holidays and these are held at 10am, 11.45am, 1.30pm and 3.15pm on a Tuesday to Friday. However, at a weekend the sessions are conducted at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.30pm, but we would like to point out that during holidays or peak times, it is highly recommended to book your place.
When it comes to the Louis-Lumiere cinema for 3D films, these screenings are held every 30 minutes on a Tuesday through to Sunday from 11am until noon and from 2pm to 5pm, but on a Sunday and during the French school holidays these run until 6pm instead of 5pm.
The science library and the Cite de la Sante for health information are both open on a Tuesday to Sunday from noon through to 6:45pm, yet the Planatarium also has different times depending on the month and whether there are school holidays etc.
Access to Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie
There are a few different types of ticket you can purchase depending upon what you want to discover and as of 2020 the permanent Explora Exhibitions along with access to the Planetarium is a cost of €12 or a reduced amount of €9 for students under 25 and only €3 for children under the age of 6.
However, if you would like to visit The Geode as well as see the Explora Exhibitions then this is a cost of €19 as of 2020 or an additional €1.50 extra if you want to see a 3D film at the Geode, but again, for students there is a reduced rate.
There are also lots of other options such as visiting the temporary exhibitions, the Cite des Enfants, the Argonaute submarine that is located opposite the Cite des Sciences also within the Parc de la Villette, etc which all vary in cost, however, any person registered disabled can gain free entry to the Cite des Sciences upon providing proof.
Now when it comes to getting here, it is located in the 19th Arrondissement of Paris and if you have your own transport then there is a car park at the Cite des Sciences that has 1,500 spaces, which includes 32 that are reserved for disabled drivers and this is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The entrances to the car park are on Boulevard Macdonald and Quai de la Charente, however, we would like to point out that the maximum vehicle height is 1.8m, and if you require more information you can telephone +33 (0) 1 40 05 79 90.
But if you are travelling on the public transport in Paris, then the nearest Metro station is called the Porte de la Villette and you would need line 7, or alternatively the buses also stop here and you would need bus lines 71, 139, 150 or 152, yet there are other bus lines located around the entire Parc de la Villette including the lines 75, 151, 152, 170, 239, 249, 330 and 573.
The Noctilien Night Bus Service via lines N13, N41, N42, N45 and N140 along with the Tramway on line T3B will also get you within walking distance of the Parc de la Villette and Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie.
You will also find that there is a tactile guide path that stretches from the Metro station, Bus station and Tramway exits at the Porte de la Villette right to the entrance of the Cite des Sciences and this is to help visually impaired visitors get their bearings as they approach the science museum, however, they still need to be accompanied whilst inside. Now to locate this path, you would get out of the train climb the stairs at the end of the platform, then turn right twice and follow the yellow guide path.
In addition to these options, if you enjoy cycling, then there are dedicated cycle paths that you can utilise with your own bike and there is an area where you can put your bike in front of the Cite des Sciences by the Forest Hill Hotel, or alternatively, you could utilise the Velib self service bike hire scheme in Paris, and there are four Velib stations located at different points around the Parc de la Villette.
But for something completely different you could enjoy a cruise with Paris Canal that goes from the Musee d'Orsay in the heart of Paris to the park, and Canauxrama also provide cruises from the Port de l'Arsenel to the Bassin de la Villette.
Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie plan of attractions, museums, floor levels and public services
Here you can see a plan of the Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie with its different levels and access points along with the various permanent exhibitions including the Planetarium, Aquarium, Cite des Enfants, etc not forgetting the areas for temporary exhibitions and services such as restaurants, toilets, where escalators and other facilities are located, to make your visit to this impressive science museum as enjoyable as possible for all the family.
Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie plans available:
Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie plan - PDF (6.489 MB)
Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie plan - Image (2.861 MB)