The Musée Grévin (Paris Wax Museum): A Full Guide

A wax rendering of celebrated French pastry chef Pierre Hermé at the Musée Grévin/Paris Wax Museum (Musée Grévin/© Sylvain Cambon

It may not have quite the global name recognition of Madame Tussaud’s in London, but the Paris wax museum known as Musée Grévin is certainly of the same calibre when it comes to fun with a touch of the bizarre and uncanny.

In addition to being one of the best museums for kids and young travelers in Paris, the Paris-based wax museum is an entertaining stop for adults– even those without children in tow. Sure, it’s not what most would consider “high culture”. But who cares?

It’s a historic museum that opened its doors in 1882 and showcases around 500 of the world’s most cannily accurate wax representations of actors, politicians, musicians, sports stars and other celebrities– from Marilyn Monroe to football star Ronaldo, Pope Francis and Queen Elizabeth II to Charlie Chaplin and fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier. There are also several displays and attractions related to French and world history.

The collections were recently overhauled, refurbished and made more immersive and interactive, bringing together the charms of an old-world wax museum with modern, more accessible displays and interactive features that all ages can enjoy.

In short? It’s the sort of easy, relaxed entertainment that parents will be glad to find in the capital– and other visitors might enjoy as a “guilty treat”.

Overview of the Collections at the Musée Grévin

Marilyn Monroe in wax at the Musée Grévin in Paris (Paris wax museum) /Image by Sylvain Cambon/Musée Grévin
Marilyn Monroe in wax at the Musée Grévin/© Sylvain Cambon

The recently overhauled museum is made up of several thematic areas and collections, some of which were only introduced in the past few years.

The new History section focuses on the history of France through several interactive areas. Visitors can try their hands at replicating the prehistoric paintings of the famed Lascaux caves in Dordogne, or pretend to take part in a battle led by Gaulish king Vercingétorix.

There are also scenes with wax figures of Napoléon Bonaparte as he prepares for his own battle, and a virtual jeep ride with General Charles de Gaulle during the Liberation of Paris from Nazis during World War II. This is an amusing and interesting way to initiate kids to key topics and moments in French history.

The Children’s World section features favorite animated characters and heroes from film, tv, books and comics. Kids can meet life-sized renderings of characters from Ladybug and Cat Noir to St-Exupéry’s Little Prince and beloved figures from Asterix and Obelix. There’s also an interactive feature called The Voice that lets kids pretend to take part in a reality-show singing competition.

The Cinema section boasts a virtual red carpet and TV studio frequented by such stars of Hollywood and Cannes as Penelope Cruz, Al Pacino, Charlie Chaplin, Scarlett Johansson, Omar Sy and Angelina Jolie.

Leonardo di Caprio and fans at the Musée Grévin/© Sylvain Cambon

The Music section features a recording studio where visitors can rub shoulders with wax doppelgangers of the likes of Edith Piaf, Mick Jagger, Lady Gaga, Phil Collins and Katy Perry, among other famous singers and musicians.

In the Politics section, you can take in uncanny wax figures of world leaders from French President Emmanuel Macron to Angela Merkel, Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin and Queen Elizabeth II.

Finally, the Sports section brings to life athletic superstars including Portuguese footballer Ronaldo, French football star Kylian Mbappé, French Olympic champion and martial arts star Teddy Riner, and Argentine footballer Messi. There’s also an amusingly posed sumo wrestler.

Practical Info: Location, Getting There & Tickets

The entrance to the Musée Grévin (Paris Wax Museum)

The Musée Grévin is located in Paris’ 9th arrondissement, not far from the Opéra Garnier. It’s also a great stop on a tour of the city’s old-fashioned department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, particularly during the holiday season when festive lights and window decorations bring the whole area alive.

{Related: Our Full Guide to Christmas in Paris}

  • Address: 10 Boulevard Montmartre, 75009 Paris (9th arrondissement)
  • Metro: Grands Boulevards or Bourse (Lines 3, 8 or 9)
  • Tel: +33 (0) 1 47 70 85 05
  • Visit the official website

Ready to book? Buy tickets in advance for the Musée Grévin (via Tiqets). You can also purchase a family fun pass for Paris (also via Tiqets) that includes entry to the Grévin, Grand Gallery of Evolution at the Jardin des Plantes, and discounts on many other top attractions.

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Pierre Hermé in Wax at the Musée Grévin/Paris Wax Museum- Pinterest image by Paris Unlocked/photo © Sylvain Cambon

Editor’s note: This post contains a few affiliate links. If you book activities or tours through these it comes at no additional cost to you, but does help to fund more free, in-depth features like this one at Paris Unlocked. Thank you.

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