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“Well worth the visit”

La Cite des Sciences et de L'lndustrie
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Owner description: This large interactive science museum has numerous exhibits dedicated to making science comprehensible for non-scientists.
Woodford, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Well worth the visit”
Reviewed 8 July 2013

Fascinating science museum with quite a lot of interesting exhibits in its vast halls. We had about four hours to spare there, and it was way too short. Somewhat off the beaten track, but a very pleasant (if lengthy) walk from La Cite back into central Paris along the canals.

Visited May 2013
Thank PineappleSkip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,021 reviews from our community

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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Tustin, California
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Allow enough time for this excellent attraction”
Reviewed 24 June 2013

We spent an afternoon there (and should have allowed more time) and had a great experience. The exhibits are great and most are in English, German, and French, at least, the one's we wanted to see. Our teenage son loved (as did we) the 3D movie about prehistoric sea life and regular film (not 3D) on the far reaches of space. They have headsets that you can get for free (just have to use your drivers license as a deposit) that translate the film into English (and a host of other languages). There was a great (I believe temporary) exhibit dealing with future housing construction and design. It was very hands on and very enjoyable. My wife enjoyed the exhibit dealing with future fabrics. The place is easily accessible via the Metro (though kind of a hike from where we were in the 7th), the stop is right out front. The ticketing is a bit confusing; it is mostly an ala carte selection, so you need to know what you want to do before getting there. All the workers we interfaced with spoke English, which helped with the ticketing especially. Our advice is: (1) allow plenty of time as this is a big place and the films are not short, (2) know what you what to do and see before going, and (3) be forewarned that there are a lot of French school children here on field trips and they can overrun the place (maybe a weekend is better but we went on a Monday).

Visited June 2013
1 Thank KeSuLu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manhattan, Kansas
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“So frustrating”
Reviewed 19 June 2013

The good: Cité des Enfants, which is a significant part of one floor of this place, has two age-restricted playing areas, and these were fantastic. They had all sorts of interactive, intelligently themed things, and every single child had a blast.

The bad: The best part of the huge complex was the Cité des Enfants, but even this had problems that ranged from annoyances to major complications. For instance, some of the equipment in the play areas was broken, with no sense that the staff knew about it or planned to fix it: I watched 30 kids try to make one video tool try to work and then give up in frustration. Further, you have to make a reservation to get into these play areas, and if you happen to show up on a day when there are a billion schoolkids on a field trip, forget it--you've made the long trip from the center of the city for nothing. Finally, it turns out that parents have to buy their own tickets into this play area. I would have been happy to do this, but the web site doesn't make it clear at all that this is necessary...in fact, when I made my reservations online (I knew to make a reservation, thank goodness), the web site asked about the people using the tickets in such a way that clearly implied the ticket-holders were children. So we got to the front of the line, started to go in for the time we had reserved, and then we weren't going to be allowed in! One staff member told us to go buy tickets for ourselves--keep in mind that you get a 90-minute window, and that's it, so our limited time was already wasting--but fortunately another staff member took pity on us and let us in. Why on earth would adults buy tickets to this anyway? We're not the ones playing the games. And why would Cité assume we weren't going in with the children? Remember that one of the areas is for very small kids...Cité really thinks we were going to send them in there with nothing more than a jaunty wave goodbye?

My point in going on and on about this is that the Cité des Enfants was the best part of the complex, and even that was badly flawed. The rest has gorgeous displays, usually in at least three languages, but not always. And *so much* was broken or just flat didn't work. The "interactive" Mona Lisa uses software that is supposed to make her move her lips with what your child says into the microphone, but all she did was randomly purse her lips. The area with the light games, which sounded super cool, has lots of broken or missing equipment, and, inexplicably, *none* of it is in English, even though the rest of the complex has lots of good translations. So all of the actually interactive stuff (although the complex prides itself on its interactive displays, the truth is that most of the "interactivity" is kids pushing buttons and passively watching videos) in this "games" area, interactive stuff exploring frequently counterintuitive theories about how light works, was incomprehensible unless I was there to translate. If my children are uninterested in listening to me lecture on a good day, I can assure you they're uninterested in hearing me lecture in Paris.

Also, the restaurants in the complex are badly overpriced. The Hippopotamus restaurant that's supposed to be so kid-friendly is essentially a very pricey place to get steak. If you do go to Cité des Enfants, the one good part of the complex, make time to go across the street to one of the restaurants unaffiliated with the Cité.

What I don't know: we didn't try the IMAX, which was only showing French-language films; we didn't look at La Geode. Probably we should have. But we were so frustrated with the rest of the complex that I couldn't ask my children to give it *yet* another shot as we tried *yet* another part of the complex.

Visited June 2013
4 Thank JSSKansas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyne and Wear
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Perfect afternoon for children”
Reviewed 18 June 2013

I visited the Cite des Sciences in July last year when I was leading a sixth form visit in Paris. The museum was the perfect afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of central Paris. The planetarium is a must see, although you need to pay a little extra to enjoy the show it was truly recommend it, don't get too comfortable though as you may just nod off.

The range of exhibitions and interactive displays are brilliant and will allow all children and adults alike to come away from the museum with a new found love of science.

Well recommended.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank LauraMitford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woking, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
530 reviews
153 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 259 helpful votes
“A great range of exibits.”
Reviewed 2 June 2013

There are a great range of exhibitions and interactive displays however french is a must if you want to the full experience.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Sbangsuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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