The Arab World Institute, symbol of the partnership between France and twenty-one Arab countries, generates a dialogue between cultures that have been in frequent contacts for centuries and this partnership work together there, on a day-to-day basis, to rebuild their common past. It takes you on a voyage in time and space into a complex universe.

Open in 1987 this original building combines the latest technology and techniques with traditional arab architecture.
The southern façade is decorated with a translucent ornament of steel reminding the moucharabiehs.
This geometric pattern is made of 240 diaphragms opening or closing according to the sun, thanks to a light-cell, to let in enough light without harming art pieces exhibited.The museum It exhibits large collection from its founding countries. Ceramics, ancient costumes, valuable parchments, bas-reliefs, white-marble statues, astrolabes (astronomical instrument and jewellery are all brought alive by the guides. These objects retrace the history of Arab-Islamic civilization.


Visitors can peruse the treasures on display at their ease in a unique atmosphere of half-light and intimacy.
The library The library has over fifty thousand works and a thousand two hundred periodicals in French and Arabic, and also in German, English, Spanish or Italian. Readers are free to help themselves from the shelves. Those who prefer to make their discoveries through images and music can go down to the audio-visual center.

Music, cinema and drama

The program changes along with the large exhibitions. It includes a mixture of popular or contemporary music, festivals and seasons, dance, comedy, poetry and sketches where French intermix with Arabic in an atmosphere reminiscent of an oriental café.


From here you can also take a trip to the zoo in the “Jardin des Plantes” or in the “Musee d’Histoire naturelle” you can visit the “Grande galerie de l’Evolution”.

Location : 1 Rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard 75005 Paris

Phone 01 40 51 38 38 

How to get there : 

  • Metro : line n°10, Jussieu or line n°7, Sully-Morland
  • Bus lines : 24, 63, 67, 86, 87, 89
  • Facilities to the disabled.

Opening :

  • Every day except Monday from 10am to 7pm
  • Library: except on Monday and Sunday from 1pm to 8pm

Official website :

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