The BnF's Richelieu site

The Richelieu Site is the historic birthplace of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and its exceptional collections. Built in the 17th century, it was originally the palace of Cardinal Mazarin. In 1721, the Bibliothèque du Roi was moved here. In September 2022 it fully reopened its doors after twelve years of renovations and modernisation, and is now open to all in the heart of Paris. It features a research library, a new Museum, a new space for temporary exhibitions, the Oval Room which is open to all free of charge, a garden, a book shop and a café.

What the Richelieu site offers

The site offers several functions:

  • A centre for research in history and history of art, bringing together BnF’s specialised departments (Performing Arts, Maps & Plans, Prints & Photography, Manuscripts, Coins, Medals and Antiques, Music), as well as the libraries of the Institut national d’histoire de l’art and the École nationale des chartes.
  • The majestic Oval Room, a reading room free to all. Readers and visitors of all ages are welcome to settle in and consult the some 20,000 books provided, including France’s largest freely accessible comic strip collection, or explore the rich collections through mediation devices.
  • A museum that embraces the entire scope of the collections and offers close to 900 iconic works spanning the period from Antiquity to the present day. The BnF harbours an encyclopaedic heritage that’s unique in the world in terms of its variety and wealth. 40 million books, manuscripts, coins, medals, prints, photographs, maps, music scores, costumes, masks, archaeological items, records, sound recordings, video games.
  • It’s a major heritage site with beautiful spaces open for visits, including the Mazarin Gallery, the Column Room and the Luynes Room.
  • A cultural site offering temporary exhibitions, events, visits and workshops.
  • A place for strolling and relaxing, close to the Louvre, the Palais-Royal, the Comédie Française and the Paris Opera house. There are two entrances, one at 58, rue de Richelieu and the other at 5, rue Vivienne, making the site easy to access from the neighbourhood. Featuring a café, a book shop and a new garden, the Bibliothèque is open to all.

Practical informations


Site Richelieu
5, rue Vivienne
75002 PARIS

Opening times

BnF Museum, temporary exhibitions and Oval Room

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
  Individual entry ticket Entry ticket for self-guided groups
  Full price entry Concession* Without an external tour guide With an external tour guide
Combined ticket BnF museum + 1 exhibition or 2 exhibitions (on all BnF sites) 13 € 10 € Individual entry ticket at the concession price Reservation fee 50 €
Individual entry ticket at the concession price
BnF museum or exhibition 10 € 8 €

Please note: access to the Museum is free of charge with the BnF Pass “Lecture/Culture”.

Tickets on site or online

For group activities booking is required at or by calling +33 (0)1 53 79 49 49 (from Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm)


  • 5, rue Vivienne
    • Unrestricted tour of the site, access to the garden, café and library
    • Access the Oval Room
    • Tour of the Museum (with or without prior booking)
    • Tour of the temporary exhibitions (with or without prior booking)
    • Access to cultural events (with prior booking)
  • 58, rue de Richelieu
    • Registration in the Research library
    • Access to the Research Library’s reading rooms
    • Group visit
    • Dedicated access to the Museum and exhibitions for card holders (BnF Pass “Lecture/Culture” – Research Pass, Culture Card, etc.).
    • Access for visitors with disabilities


Ground floor

1er floor



Preparing my visit
with the mobile visit companion
Access the visit companion



Information and registration

Téléphone : 01 53 79 49 49