Did you know that the Monnaie de Paris is the last remaining industry located in Paris? Opposite the Louvre, numerous medals and collector coins are minted here every day! But the Monnaie de Paris is also a building open to the public: within its walls are a museum, an exhibition space, a café and a store.
What can you see at La Monnaie de Paris? What activities are on offer? Here’s a day at La Monnaie de Paris!
11 a.m.: Opening of the doors and a look at the Hôtel de la Monnaie
It’s 11 a.m. in the direction of 11 quai de Conti: the Monnaie de Paris opens its doors! As you enter the vast courtyard of the Hôtel de la Monnaie, take time to admire the building’s architecture before heading to the ticket office.
The Hôtel de la Monnaie was one of the largest building projects in Paris during the reign of Louis XV. It was designed by the architect Jacques-Denis Antoine, who succeeded in turning it into both a royal building and a manufactory. Built in just 4 years, between 1771 and 1775, the architecture of this palace is well worth a look: on the Seine side, you can see its neo-classical style, and on the courtyard side, an imposing peristyle giving access to the various workshops.
What’s the history of La Monnaie de Paris?
Did you know that La Monnaie de Paris is one of the oldest companies in the world? It was founded as early as 864! Discover its history:
11:30 am: Museum tour
The museum takes you to the heart of the factory where collector coins are made. You’ll learn all about the history of La Monnaie de Paris, its trades and, if you visit during the week, you’ll be able to watch the craftsmen at work.
Watch the molten metal
On the first three Fridays of the month, at 11:15 a.m., you can watch an art casting. The foundry workers cast molten metal in front of you to create statuettes or trophies.
Numerous interactive devices also enable you to understand the process of making a piece, for example by testing minting techniques.
Tip: save time by booking your ticket online
Good to know: the museum is free for under-26s and for all visitors on the first Sunday of the month.
For kids: download the free children’s game app for fun learning!
Did you know?
Although the current museum is modern, having been refurbished just a few years ago, it was actually created in 1833, at the behest of Louis Philippe, who wished to exhibit a sample of the thousands of medals produced at the Monnaie de Paris.
1pm: Time to eat!
After this visit, it’s time to recharge our batteries! Head for the “Café Frappé”, with its terrace tables, which is as pleasant in winter as it is in summer. Here, you’ll find fresh products made from produce grown by local farmers.
On Saturdays and Sundays, you can also enjoy a buffet brunch.
3pm: Discover the temporary exhibition
Continue your visit to La Monnaie de Paris with a tour of the current exhibition. Currently on show until September 24, 2023, is the exhibition “L’Argent dans l’Art” (Money in Art). Two hundred works, from Simon Vouet to Warhol, Degas and Renoir, explore the complex relationship between art and money, from Antiquity to the present day.
The exhibition rooms are located in the salons facing the Seine, offering a beautiful panoramic view of Paris. Don’t forget to look up in the sumptuous Salon Dupré to admire the ceiling painted by Jean-Joseph Weerts depicting the Triumph of the 1889 Universal Exhibition or the Arts guided by the Genius of France.
5pm: Stop by the shop!
Don’t leave without a souvenir! At the shop, you’ll find a vast array of items available for sale. Some are sold out on the online store, and can only be found here. And there’s something for every pocket: from just a few euros to collectibles in precious metals, whose prices are inevitably higher.
Coin themes range from “classic” subjects such as the famous Napoleon, to more topical themes such as the Paris Olympics, Harry Potter or Naruto. Sports enthusiasts will be interested in the Lacoste collection or the 24 Hours of Le Mans collection.
How to recognize the quality of a coin?
In numismatics, collector coins are associated with a level of quality. The best-known are “BE” and “BU”.
“BE” stands for “Belle Épreuve”, the highest level of quality you can find: the coins are flawless, with a matt relief and a mirror-smooth base. “BU” stands for “Brillant Universel” (Universal Brilliance), a limited-edition series that is brighter than coins destined for circulation.
6.30pm: An introduction to grand feu enameling
Now that you know all about the Monnaie de Paris, it’s time to get hands-on! An introductory workshop in grand feu enamel will introduce you to the enamelling trade, as you create your own jewel, pendant, brooch or bracelet. And at the end, you’ll leave with your own masterpiece!
And for families…
Throughout the year, several workshops are organized for families: create your own medal, engrave chocolate, create a piece of jewelry or a decoration… the choice is yours to give free rein to your imagination!
Workshops for young and old, from 5 years upwards:
11 quai de Conti
Museum opening hours:
Every day except Monday, 11am-6pm
Nocturne on Wednesday until 9pm
Shop opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm
Nocturne on Wednesday until 9pm
Article produced in partnership with Monnaie de Paris