Visit the Tautavel Museum: tickets, prices, opening hours

Musée de Préhistoire de Tautavel

Visiting the Pyrénées-Orientales? Take the opportunity to visit the Tautavel museum!

The Musée de Tautavel – Centre Européen de Préhistoire is located in the small village of the same name, in the heart of the Pyrénées-Orientales region. It is the most visited prehistoric archaeological site in France.

The first fossils were found in the mid-20th century at the Caune de l’Arago site, and from 1964 onwards excavations were regular, yielding exceptional human remains.

At the museum, you can find out all about the Tautavel man who lived on these lands some 450,000 years ago, and see what he looked like, what conditions he lived in and how he ate.

Would you like to immerse yourself in prehistory and visit the Tautavel museum? We’ve got all the information you need!

History of Tautavel man

Musée de Tautavel préhistoire

Photo credit : flickr – Claude Valette

The remains of the Tautavel man were discovered in the Caune de l’Arago in 1972. He was a Homo Heidelbergensis, 450,000 years old. This 20-year-old man measured 1.60 to 1.65 meters. Around 150 human remains were found on this site in the small village of Tautavel, in the Pyrénées-Orientales region of France.

The human fossils found on the site are estimated to be between 400,000 and 570,000 years old. One of the most important of these is a skull unearthed in 1971, the Arago 21 fossil. Other human remains were also discovered, mandibles: Arago 2, 13, 89, 119 and 131 between 1969 and 2012.

These belonged to men and women, the youngest aged 20-25 and the oldest 40-50. But the archaeologists also found traces of fauna and pollen, as well as sediments, providing an insight into Quaternary climatic variations.

The occupants of Caune de l’Arago were essentially hunters of large mammals. They killed and ate bison, horse, deer, rhinoceros, fallow deer… It seems that Tautavel man could also feed on carrion, but he had not yet mastered fire, and traces of cannibalism have been found.

In addition, numerous Acheulean-type lithic tools, characteristic of the Lower Paleolithic, have been found on the site. A visit to the Tautavel Museum is a plunge into prehistory.

What’s more, the oldest human remains in France have been discovered here, with a milk tooth: Arago 149, dating from 560,000 to 580,000 years ago.

Our tips for visiting the Tautavel museum

Practical information

To help you organize your visit to the Tautavel Museum, here is some practical information you may find useful:

  • To visit the Tautavel museum you should allow about 1h30 (classic visit);
  • The museum is also air-conditioned and accessible to people with reduced mobility;
  • Inside the museum, explanations are translated into 6 languages: French, English, Spanish, Catalan, Dutch and German;
  • Pets are not allowed in the museum, even on a leash;
  • Finally, you can visit the website for more information: ;


For an original visit, we recommend you take part in one of the activities offered every year on a fixed date. Depending on the season, you can attend :

  • Prehistoric weapons shooting championships (April);
  • At the Tautavel man days (July);
  • Or the Prehistory Festival (August).

What to do when you visit the Tautavel museum?

A visit to the Gouleyrous museum and site


Photo credit: Facebook – Musée de Préhistoire de Tautavel

A visit to the Tautavel Museum is an enriching experience for adults and children alike. In this 2,000 m² museum, 21 rooms will tell you all about the 450,000-year-old Tautavel man and prehistory.

The Musée de Tautavel – Centre Européen de Préhistoire, is part of the CERP, Centre Européen de Recherches Préhistoriques. In addition, it has been awarded the « Qualité Tourisme » label, which attests to the site’s quality of welcome and services.

This museum features life-size reconstructions. In particular, there’s a reconstruction of the cave where Tautavel man lived, the Caune de l’Arago. A projection also shows what hunting was like 450,000 years ago.

The museum has also set up a tactile section, where visitors can touch casts of archaeological items found in the cave. And to deepen this fascinating visit in the footsteps of Tautavel man and prehistory, there are workshops on pottery, fire, stone-cutting and spear-shooting.

Finally, to complement the museum, visitors can visit the Gouleyrous site. A complementary visit in the heart of nature, at the foot of the Caune de l’Arago, well worth the detour! Just 3 km from the village and the museum, this small oasis and its arid environment, brightened up by the Verdouble river, offers a trail of typical prehistoric scenes.

Educational workshops and themed tours

Activité au musée de tautavel

Photo credit: Facebook – Musée de Préhistoire de Tautavel

During July and August, the Tautavel museum offers visitors educational workshops on the themes of fire, pottery, stone-cutting and propellant firing. These workshops, led by a specialist, provide a better understanding of these techniques, with demonstrations and precise explanations.

Themed tours for groups can also be very interesting, as in the case of  » Prehistory and Terroir in Catalan Lands « , or the  » Survival as in Prehistory  » tour.

During the vacation season, the Tautavel museum welcomes leisure centers, and during the school year, schoolchildren for educational activities. The museum organizes fun and cultural activities, as well as themed days with workshops, picnics in the Gouleyrous gorges and treasure hunts.

Exciting half-day or full-day activities on the theme of  » The life of our ancestors  » or  » Discovering prehistoric man « .

How much does a ticket to the Tautavel museum cost?

Musée Tautavel

Photo credit : flickr – Claude Valette

Your ticket to visit the Tautavel museum will cost :

  • 8 (from age 14) ;
  • 4€ for 7-14 year olds;
  • Free for children under 7;
  • Students pay €4 (with proof of enrolment).

You can also book your tickets in advance, for example for classic museum visits or for « Survival days at Tautavel » (in summer).

How can I book a ticket for the Tautavel museum online?

If you’d like to book your tickets for the Tautavel museum online, it couldn’t be easier! Simply visit the museum’s official website: You’ll find the ticket office directly on the home page.

On the other hand, some private operators offer special deals that include museum admission and other additional services, such as a survival day.

Are there guided tours of the Tautavel museum?


Photo credit: Facebook – Musée de Préhistoire de Tautavel

To help you make the most of your visit to the Tautavel Museum, specialist guides are on hand to share their knowledge with you, for educational or group tours.

But the Tautavel museum is also offering a rather original guided tour experience: discover the museum in augmented reality. Using your smartphone, let yourself be guided by Cyrille, or to be more precise, his hologram. It’s an original and entertaining technology that lets you discover the wonders of prehistory from a whole new angle.

Opening hours

  • Opening hours : 10h00/12h30 and 14h00/18h00;
  • Closed on: December 24th, 25th and 31st and January 1st;
  • In summer, the museum is open non-stop from July 11 to August 21, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.

How do I get to the Tautavel museum?

The Tautavel museum is close to Perpignan (30 km), Narbonne (75 km via the A9 freeway) and Carcassonne (approx. 95 km). We recommend you take the A9 Perpignan/Narbonne freeway, exit 41.

Where can I park near the Tautavel museum?

If parking is tricky in the immediate vicinity of the museum, there are several free parking lots in the village of Tautavel, just a short walk from the museum. There is also disabled access and a drop-off point in front of the site.

Where to stay near the Tautavel museum?

Tautavel is a small village in the heart of the Pyrénées Orientales region, where you can enjoy a pleasant stay immersed in prehistory. You can find accommodation in the village of Tautavel, where the museum is also located. Numerous gites and guest houses are available to ensure a warm and welcoming stay, in Tautavel or in nearby villages such as Cucugnan.

To find the solution that suits you best, don’t hesitate to use a hotel comparator, or check out the offers available on Airbnb. And if you prefer to stay in the city, opt for a stay in Perpignan.