10 Best Museums You Can’t Miss in Paris

Choosing the best 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 Museum, 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.

10 Best Museums You Can’t Miss in Paris

Paris has some of the most important museums in the world, and in this list of the best museums in Paris, I only included must-sees.

Indeed, in Paris, there are museums for all kinds of people and all kinds 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!

Louvre Museum

Not a surprise to see it on the list right? Louvre Museum in Paris is the biggest museum in the world, and probably the most famous too. With an impressive collection of more than 380,00 items, Louvre has a bit of everything, exhibiting pieces of art and history from all over the world, and covering pretty much every period of time.

The building that houses the Louvre Museum today was built in the late 12th century to be a fortress but turned into a royal palace in the 16th century.

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 if you focus only on the most famous and mainstream pieces if you want to see everything, room by room, you better plan at least 3 days in the Louvre Museum.

If you are spending just a few days in Paris, you will probably want to visit more places besides Louvre, so make sure you check the best artworks to see at the Louvre here, to make sure you will make the most of your visit to the Louvre and won’t miss any important artwork.

If you are not able to visit the Louvre Museum physically, don’t worry, thanks to the internet, you are now able to virtually visit the Louvre Museum, and see its entire collection.

Location: Louvre Museum is located in the 1st arrondissement.

Hours: Open from 9 am to 6 pm, on Wednesday and Friday it is open until 9:45 pm, on Tuesdays, it is closed.


ALSO READ:  MUSEUMS AROUND THE WORLD THAT OFFER VIRTUAL TOUR.


Museums in Paris
source: Flickr

Musée d’Orsay

Well, we can classify Orsay as the second most important and visited museum in Paris. Housing the biggest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist pieces in the World, the museum counts with masterpieces of important artists such as Millet, Renoir and the one and only Van Gogh.

The building, located on the left bank of the Seine River was once a train station, called Gare d’Orsay, hence the name of the museum. When visiting the Musée d’Orsay, you will notice that the original station clock is still hanging there, giving a charm to the museum.

Among its masterpieces are one Self-Portrait by Van Gogh, as well as one version of the Bedroom in Arles, the artist painted many versions of these pieces, that can be found in different museums around the world, but if you are in Paris, don’t miss the opportunity to admire the many Van Gogh artworks on display in Orsay.

There you can see one of my favorite painting too, called Dancing at le Moulin de la Galette by Renoir.

Check the most important artworks of the Musée d’Orsay and learn more about them here.

Location: Rue de Lille 75343 Paris, France.

Hours: Open nearly every day of the year from 9:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., except on Mondays. Night opening on Thursdays until 9:45 P.M.


Museums in Paris
source: Flickr

Musée de l’Orangerie

Located in the Place de la Concorde, really close to Louvre, Musée de l’Orangerie is an 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.


Museums in Paris
source: Flickr

Musée Rodin

The museum is divided into 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.


Museums in Paris
source: Flickr

Musée Carnavalet

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 the Medieval Era, the Renaissance, the French Revolution, and the Paris of the 20th century.

Some of its pieces include personal belonging to Marie-Antoinette, Napoleon’s favorite case of toiletries.


Museums in Paris
source: Flickr

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 buildings 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.


Museums in Paris
source: Flickr

Centre Pompidou

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 for its eccentric high-tech building, which stands out from a distance and deserves admiration. The museum itself focuses on modern and contemporary art.


Museums in Paris
source: Flickr

Musée Picasso

It is located in the Marais and is completely dedicated to the works of Pablo Picasso. It contains a huge collection of paintings and sculptures made by Picasso, in different technics used by the artist and from a different periods of his life.

In total, the museum has more than 5,000 pieces. Besides pieces by Picasso, the museum also keeps different paintings and sculptures by different artists that used to be part of Picasso’s personal collection.


Museums in Paris
source: Flickr

Le Petit Palais

Its building was built for the Exposition Universelle of 1900 and nowadays houses the Paris Museum of Fine Arts, its collections include paintings and sculptures of famous artists like Rembrandt and Monet.


source: Flickr

Musée Jacquemart-André

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.



 

Sobre Isadora

Writting and sharing travel experiences

(55) Comments

  1. I have never been to Paris, but my best friend went there with his culinary class and loved it. If I ever visit Paris, many of these museums would be on top of my list. I love visiting museums!

  2. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love this! We would absolutely love spending some time museum exploring in Paris.

  4. Love this post!! So many great recommendations!

  5. Paris is on my travel bucketlist! I’m bookmarking this for future use.

  6. Awesome useful post. Thanks for sharing. Bookmarking it right away for my trip to Paris. 🙂

  7. It is my dream to visit Paris, and I love museums anywhere so this post is soooooo amazing!

    1. hahahaha thank you too Stacie! I love museums too! <3

  8. Paris is on my wishlist. Such beautiful architecture in these places! This all looks great, thanks for sharing these ideas!

    1. Thank you Beth! Paris is definitely beautiful, I too love its architecture!!

  9. I started reading this post thinking, “oh I will probably only see one or two I would be interested in.” However, all these look so pretty and fascinating! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Definitely! Paris has so many interesting museums to visit, it is not just a list of random boring museums, it actually has many worthy visit museums!

  10. Paris is on my wishlist. I love visiting museums! Love this post!!

  11. I had no idea Paris had such a long list of amazing museums. Thanks for sharing. I’ve pinned this for later reference 🙂

  12. Josephine says:

    Oh that garden looks so beautiful! Pinned for when I visit Paris next time 🙂

  13. I’ve been to three museums on your list: The Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou. Next time I’d love to see some of the others on your list, Le Petit Palais and Musée Rodin would be my next choices. So much to see and do in Paris! Let’s hope the recent flooding doesn’t cause too much damage.

  14. Very helpful post and seriously made me miss Paris, I love the food and wine and the museums are so wonderful!

  15. When I think how many more things I haven’t seen in Paris… Love these tips 🙂

  16. Paris has been on my bucket list for such a long time, thanks for making this list! Will be definitely looking more into it, awesome insight!

  17. Oh, so many… lovey post! How many days should you reserve to visit them all?

  18. Great choice, my favourites are Musée d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou. 🙂

  19. I’ve never been to Paris, but it’s definitely on my list of places I want to visit. All of those museums look amazing.

  20. I absolutely love your list also I love everything Paris . The city has my heart forever. Your post is very informative.

  21. Marilyn says:

    Love this! Whenever I do finally manage to make it to Paris, I’ll be sure to check out these museums!

  22. I was in Paris once, and I did manage to make it to the Louvre. My stay was too short to see any other museums, but I will make it back to Paris again and now I know some of the top places to visit.

  23. So happy to see Musee Cluny on this list! It’s so overlooked compared to the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay

  24. Shannon says:

    Paris has been on my bucketlist for so long! I will definitely be adding these to my ‘to-do’ list for when I do eventually get round to visiting.

  25. Denny George says:

    Very useful list, especially for a city jam packed with museums. I’ll make sure to have this handy when I visit Paris.

  26. Is the Musee de Cluny where they have all those beautiful tapestries? I remember being amazed by those

    1. Teah!! There are many tapestries there, and they are all very medieval, it is lovely!

  27. More than 130?! Wow! That’s like a lot and I’m pretty sure it can overwhelm one person trying to see everything! So cool of you to narrow it down to 10! Aside from the Louvre, I want to visit Musée Picasso too! I’ve seen so many samples of his artwork and it will be cool if I see them in person! 🙂

  28. I’m a big, big museum person and do come to Paris to see exhibitions quite often. Therefore I think that it’s difficult to narrow it down to ten (that’s the problem with numbering) – how about the Palais de Tokyo and Musee d’Art Moderne next to it?! They have grand exhibitions! And although I like the Petit Palais, the Grand Palais houses the more important ones. Then I love the Fondations such as Cartier and Luis Vouitton – it’s nice that these people are investing all the money they make in art 😀 Yes, Paris is definitely one of the most important European cities when it comes to art.

    1. Definitely Renata! I love art and I love museums too and I find it really hard to choose between 10 only, since Paris has so much options, you definitely need a long time in Paris, or need to go back there many times to be able to see everything! Thank you for the tips about these other museums! 😀

  29. You’re so right that it can be overwhelming, especially when there’s so much to see. Admittedly, I’ve never been to a museum in Paris but I love the look of Louvre and will add it to my list of things to do in Paris for when I’m next there.

    1. I know how it is, I love to sit there and admire Louvre as well, it is beautiful inside and out! But definitely, if you have time, try visiting inside!

  30. The Louve is definitely the most desired place to visit. It is on my bucket list. I would love to go to all of them though.

  31. Adulting on coffee says:

    Didnt know of so many of these museums! Thanks for sharing~

  32. Susannah says:

    Those all look awesome! I love museums. Sounds like we’ll have to plan plenty of time to go to these places once we’re in Paris!

  33. Orsay and Rodin are my favorites. Louvre are just overrated and very crowded that I didn’t enjoyed at all. Not to mention, some paintings displayed are not the originals and people were so crazy about them. Just my opinion. 🙂

    1. Well, Louvre can be indeed very crowded sometimes, which is so annoying, but it is still so worthy visiting! There are some pieces there that are a must for those who love art, but definitely, it is not a museums to visit if you don’t have plenty of time and patience!

  34. My favourite is the Musee d’Orsay! I still need to go to the Musee Rodin though! Nice list!

  35. I would love to go to Paris!! I feel like I would need a good month, just to have time to see everything I want.

    1. If you really want to get to know Paris, yeah you would need a good month for that hahahha there are way too many things to do there!

  36. Aaah…missing a lot for a week in Paris is not enough to go to all these. We’ll definitely be back😊

  37. This is a great post – I didn’t even know some of these existed! Pinning it too!

  38. Very handy list! So hard to know which museum’s the one for you in these big capitals sometimes!

  39. I have no idea Paris has lots of museums! We’ve got lucky to get inside Louvre for free one time when it was a few minutes before closing time. Not sure if the ticket people were just lazy that time. But it’s worth a try that and see if it still works! We were really starstruck to see the Mona Lisa Painting in person.

    1. That’s a good tip! Who knows if it is not part of their policy, it would make sense since it would be unfair to charge people knowing they wouldn’t have time to see everything and enjoy their time there properly!

  40. What a fantastic list of cultural places to visit. I love Paris and the great thing about it is there is so much to see, so there is always something left for another visit. Thanks for sharing

  41. Já fui a Paris algumas vezes, mas esta última vez tive as horas bem contadas então fiz um raid rápido pelos museus (só entrei a sério no Louvre porque é algo que nunca perco!) 🙂 Este post chamou a atenção porque também escrevi sobre Paris recentemente :p

  42. Musée de l’Orangerie was fantastic, I loved the Monet-paintings.

  43. Great list of Museums in Paris! Unfortunately some of them are closed for restauration so i will need to be patient to re visit them again.

  44. Letina Kelly says:

    It’s been many years since I went to Paris and to the Louvre. I’d love to go back someday and have a little more time to explore. Thanks for this list. It is most helpful.

    1. Thank you too Kelly! Definitely take your time to explore the Louvre and other museums as well, Paris has the best museums in my opinion! 😀

  45. […] I much prefer this museum to the Louvre, but do both. The Orsay is in an old train station and is absolutely beautiful – great photo spots and a nice café. Buy a ticket ahead of time and skip the line, fantastic store inside as well. I’ve also done an amazing tour in the museum with Context Travel. There are hundreds of wonderful museums in Paris, check out a few more museums in Paris that you shouldn’t miss! […]

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