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“a real discovery”

Institut du Monde Arabe
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US$93.78*
and up
Paris 4-Hour Bike Tour and Market Food Tasting
Ranked #138 of 1,132 things to do in Paris
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Attraction details
Owner description: This museum houses a selection of exhibits and artifacts representing the Arab world of today and of centuries past.
Useful Information: Stairs / lift
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
592 reviews
184 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 343 helpful votes
“a real discovery”
Reviewed 10 June 2014

The impressiveness of this ever-fascinating museum begins with the building itself. The chrome-and-glass front rises high into the local skyline, its etched windows refracting classic Islamic tile design in a 21st-century architectural mode. The museum offers near-continuous programs of art, dance and cinema designed to showcase the best of contemporary Arab creativity, with rotating exhibits that do a superb job of promoting cross-cultural understanding. The current Haj exhibit is breathtakingly displayed, provoking gasps of amazement from even Muslim visitors on the day I attended. An Orient Express exhibit in the esplanade offers the rare opportunity to walk through a recreated train assembled from actual Pullman cars -- if you want to know what James Bond's berth might have looked like in "From Russia With Love," this is the place to see it. The museum makes no concession to non-French speakers, a circumstance that will hopefully improve as its international attendance continues to rise. The store does offer a treat for Arab cinema fans, with a fairly extensive collection of DVDs (many with English subtitles) unavailable in the US. And don't miss the top-floor observation deck, which offers perhaps the best view of Paris outside the Eiffel Tower.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Kirk E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
160 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“My favourite Paris museum.”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

When I was in Paris 4 years ago, the museum was closed for renovations which was very disappointing as I was keen to visit this unique museum again. This time I first went to a fascinating exhibition for which there is a an extra €5 charge, about the Haj - the annual Moslem pilgrimage to Mecca. It was a most informative exhibition with maps, manuscripts, artefacts, paintings, embroidered fabrics, videos and photographs. One section is separated into an area for Moslems and one for non- Moslems. If you can't read Arabic or French there is not much point in visiting this exhibition as all of the information is in the two languages, but if you can, don't miss it.
The rest of the museum has the extensive collection in superb, completely transparent cases although it did seem to me that there were not so many carpets on display as I remembered from a previous visit. And not all of the artefacts are of Moslem origin, with many items from animist, early religions, Judaism and Eastern Christianity - reminders of times when people of different religions lived harmoniously in the various caliphates and sultanates.
Major information boards are in French , Arabic and English but the individual artefact cards are in French alone.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Anne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
238 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
“Orient Express Exhibit”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

Thank you Arab World Insitute for this gorgeous exhibit. I arrived late in the day and was told I had to wait one hour to view the train. Not to worry, I bought a ticket and went inside the Institue to view their enormous collection of Orient Express posters and other ephemera and to view a film. I spent so much time in there that I had to hurry out to queue for the train. Obviously, they can't let a lot of people in because of the narrow corridors but the line moved quickly. The club cars and sleeping area had authentic items and decor. No photos are allowed. I'm so elated that I was able to see this exhibit while in Paris.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank yumaborn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Unique journey in Paris”
Reviewed 24 May 2014

Went to see the Orient Express on the square outside the Institute du Monde Arabe, simply curious to walk through the famous train. But found so much more! Every tiny detail has been brought to life with entertaining references to all the characters, real and fictional, and all the events of an extraordinary era. The second part in the institute itself is also fascinating and superbly and imaginatively curated with marvellous images. Don't miss this! Although we couldn't afford dinner in the dining car for which you have to book on the chef's own website.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Jenny Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Unfriendly and rude”
Reviewed 10 May 2014

Took the TGV train from Switzerland to Paris to see the Orient Express exhibition. According to the museum web page, the opening hours are until 7 PM. Very small queue in front of the ticket counter at 3 PM. Suddenly a unfriendly security guard showed up and told everybody in a very harsh tone to leave immediately because "the exhibition is sold out for the day". The ticket counter closed, even if we could see just a few people inside the exhibition.Cancelled the hotel booking and went back. My recommendation: Don't go there.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank xhaenni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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