Choosing museums to visit in Paris can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you realize that they are more than 130! Most of these museums are not only important due to their masterpieces, but they are also considered historical landmarks in Paris, some of them, like the Louvre Museums is located in the sumptuous building that used to house the French royal family, before being turned into, what is today, the biggest museum in the world.
Others, like the Petit Palais, were built for the 1900’s Universal Exhibition and are one of the few buildings built to the event that were not destroyed after the fair, and are still being used today, housing the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts.
Paris has some of the most important museums in the world, and in this list of the most important museums in Paris, I only included must-sees.
Indeed, in Paris, there are museums for all kind of people and all kind of interests. To visit all of them you would need a lot of time, but if you are visit Paris for just a few days, you might want to pick the most important and famous ones and make a quick visit. To help you choose the must-visit museums in Paris, here goes a list of 10 museums you just can’t miss!
Top 10 Museums You Can’t Miss in Paris
Not a surprise to see it on the list right? Louvre is the biggest and perhaps the most famous museum in the world. With an impressive collection of more than 380,00 items, Louvre has a bit of everything and every period. If you are a fan of history and art this is a must, but bear in mind that Louvre is huge and will take you at least one day to visit it, but more than that if you want to see room by room.
Well, we can classify Orsay as the second most important museum in Paris. Housing important pieces such as The Gleaners by Millet, Whistler’s Mother by James McNeil Whistler, Bal du Moulin de la Galette by Renoir , and Self-Portrait by Van Gogh, Orsay has a heavy weight in the artistic world.
Musée de l’Orangerie
Located in the Place de la Concorde, really close to Louvre, Musée de l’Orangerie is a art gallery exhibiting impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, famous by its murals painted by Monet, the gallery also contains works by famous artists like Picasso, Modigliani and Renoir.
The museum is divided in two different sites, being one the old house of the artist and the other, in his old workshop. The museum’s collection is dedicated to Rodin, and includes his famous pieces like The Thinker, The Kiss and the Gates of Hell, as well as some paintings by Van Gogh and Renoir belonging to the personal collection of Rodin.
This museum is dedicated to the history of Paris, it shows the transformation of the small village known by the Romans as Lutéce, to the Paris we know today, passing through different period of time, such as Medieval Era, the Renaissance, the French Revolution, and the Paris of the 20th century. Some of its pieces includes personal belonging of Marie-Antoinette, Napoleon’s favorite case of toiletries.
Musee de Cluny
Are you a fan of the Medieval Era? So you must visit Musée de Cluny, also known as Musée du Moyen Âge Paris, its collection consists of Medieval Era art, mainly religious art. Its building is one of the most well preserved medieval building in the city and used to be the townhouse of the abbots of Cluny, although it was built using the original structure of a third century Roman bath.
It is a complex building that houses the Public Information Library, the biggest museum of modern art in Europe and the center for music and acoustic research. Center Pompidou is famous by its eccentric high-tech building, that stands out from a distance and deserves admiration. The museum itself focus in modern and contemporary art.
It is located in the Marais and is completely dedicated to the works of Pablo Picasso. It contains a huge collection of painting and sculptures made by Picasso, in different technics used by the artist and from different period of his life. In total, the museum has more than 5,000 pieces. Besides pieces by Picasso, the museum also keeps different painting and sculptures by different artists that used to be part of Picasso’s personal collection.
Le Petit Palais
Its building was built for the Exposition Universelle of 1900 and nowdays houses the Paris Museum of Fine Arts, its collections includes paintings and sculptures of famous artists like Rembrandt and Monet.
The museum is located in what used to be the private home of Édouard André and his wife, Nelie Jacquemart-André. Édouard came from a banking family and as an art admirer, he spent his life buying works of art, many of which where brought from Italy, making Musée Jacquemart-André the finest collections of Italian art in France. After the death of her husband, Nelie completed the decoration of the mansion and passed it on to the Institut of France to be transformed into a museum, giving the world a glimpse of how the Parisian high society used to live.