This is a repost. I originally posted it in the general France forum, where it didn't fit and wasn't much seen.
I'll be arriving in Paris 1st January, and leaving 10th January, with a day trip to Belgium 8th January. So, subtracting travel time, that leaves me 7 full days. I will not be driving, and I'm staying at the St. Christopher Inn on the Canals. So, I have two basic questions. The first is whether the Paris City Pass makes financial sense, given my interest in museums, and how useful the included transit pass is. Does it cover as far outside the city center as my hostel?
The second is about which museums to prioritize, and which to skip. I'm an extremely museum heavy person when I travel, and when I was in London that and shopping was basically all I did. I have a massive list of museums I want to see, but there's too many places on my list for the amount of time I have, and I really need to narrow down the list. I do not speak French, and how navigable these museums are to English speakers is an issue of concern.
To start off, I'm a particularly big fan of history museums, especially medieval history, industrial history, and military history. I also love trains and trams, and anything maritime. I also like history museums that focus on the commoners and their daily lives, as opposed to the aristocracy and fine arts. I'm double majoring in Geography and Urban Planning in university, with a focus on transportation, so museums dedicated to Parisian planning history are also of interest. I'm not fond of museums specifically dedicated to art. I can appreciate art in a historical context, like a maritime museums that has paintings of naval battles, but going to a museum like the Louvre doesn't hold my interest. I also like architecture, though not quite as much as history, and cathedrals and chateauxs aren't my thing (I like domestic, defensive, and local government architecture a lot more, with, besides medieval, a weakness for transportation centers, and the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements.)
On to the list. I'll start with the places I want to visit the most:
Musée de l'histoire de France (I want to go here first, to get my bearings in basic French history.)
Pavillon de l'Arsenal (This seems heavily focused on urban planning, and that's what I study)
Tour Jean-sans-Peur (I hear this is an excellent example of medieval residential French architecture, and covers daily Parisian life during the era)
Musée national de la Marine
Musée de l'Armée
Musée – Librairie du Compagnonnage
Musée du Vin (I'm a wine drinker, and spent two years selling it at a part time job)
Some people here have suggested a visit to the medieval village at Provins, which sounds fun, but it comes down to whether I can afford to dedicate a day to that, and whether there's much activity there the first week of January.
The same applies to the medieval fortress at Blandy-les-Tours. There is a shuttle there on the Saturday I'm in France, so I could go, but it's an all day outing if I do, and I may be crunched for time. Also, my day trip in Belgium is to visit Ghent, and I'll be visiting the castle Gravensteen, so I need to think about whether to dedicate time to another castle. I love castles, so maybe, but it depends on the time available.
The museums I'm less sure of are:
Musée national du Moyen Âge (On the one hand, medieval, but seems super art focused)
Archaeological Crypt of the Paris Notre-Dame
Catacombes de Paris
Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine
Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine
Musée d’histoire de la médecine
Musée de l'érotisme
Musée des Arts et Métiers
Musée des Collections Historiques de la Préfecture de Police
Musée national de la Légion d'Honneur et des Ordres de Chevalerie
Salle des Traditions de la Garde Républicaine
Musée de l'histoire vivante
Can anyone tell me about any of these museums? Like, can any be comfortably skipped (not as good as I'm thinking)? Are any particularly good? Accessible to English speakers?