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17 Best Museums In Paris You Should Visit

While Paris has a number of museums, there are some that are a must-visit. In this post, I will show you the 17 best museums in Paris you shouldn’t miss out on!

Paris is a city known for its art and culture, so it’s no surprise that it has some of the best museums in the world.

From the Louvre to the Musée d’Orsay to the Pompidou Centre, these institutions are not only popular tourist attractions but also showcases of art and history that draw visitors from all over the globe.

Petit Palais is one of the best Paris museums to visit.

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If you’re planning a trip to Paris and want to experience its famous museums, here are my picks for the 17 best museums in Paris that should be on your Parisian bucket list.

Even if you only have 1 day in Paris or a weekend, I will brief you about Paris’s best museums. So put on your walking shoes, and let’s get started!

Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips

WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)  

Psst… Before traveling to Paris or France in general, make sure that you have Travel Insurance! I always use World Nomads on all my trips and I am happy to recommend it to you. You can easily request a quote from World Nomads from here for FREE!

Best Museums in Paris 

Here is a list of historical museums in Paris that are undoubtedly worth your time and attention.

1. The Louvre Museum, 1st Arrondissement 

Louvre museum facts

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Monday (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Closed on Tuesday

Originally a palace commissioned by King Philip II, the Louvre became a museum during the French Revolution.

Boasting a vast collection of art, from ancient masterpieces like the Venus de Milo to paintings like Mona Lisa, to the coronation of Napoleon painting (which is my favorite painting in the museum), there is something for every art lover here.

Over the years, it has grown to become the largest and most visited art museum in the world.

With over 35,000 works on display, including Egyptian antiquities, Greek, Roman, and Islamic artifacts, this famous museum in Paris is a true feast for art lovers. 

The vast collection of objects means that it’s hard to see everything in one visit. In fact, it’s estimated that even if you spent 30 seconds in front of each item, it would take you close to 200 days to see everything.

Since the museum is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris, it can get crowded and the best way to skip the long lines is by booking this skip-the-line Louvre ticket.

Alternatively, you can book this guided tour to go with a knowledgeable tour guide who will tell you everything there is to know about the famous objects while guiding you on where to go since it can be overwhelming to get around the Louvre on your own.

Related post: Best Hotels Near the Louvre

2. The Centre Pompidou, 4th Arrondissement

Centre Pompidou is one of the famous Paris monuments

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Monday (11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.) Closed on Tuesday

The Centre Pompidou is a Parisian landmark named after Georges Pompidou, the former President of France.

The building was built in a high-tech architectural style (the inside-out kind of style) and houses the Public Information library along with Musée National d’Art Moderne which houses the largest collection of modern art in Europe.

Alexander Calder’s famous sculpture, Horizontal, is installed in front of the museum, which is the biggest attraction of the place.

Moreover, it has the famous Stravinsky Fountain nearby, where you can have a good time while admiring the street art nearby. The occasional talented street performers who adorn the place will certainly make your day too. 

If modern art and libraries are your gems, be sure to book this online ticket to get priority access to both permanent and temporary exhibits.

And if you’re all about the views, the terrace of the building offers spectacular views of Paris, so be sure to check them out too.

3. Musée d’Orsay, 7th Arrondissement

Musée d'Orsay is one of the best museums in Paris.

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) & Thursday (9:30 a.m. – 9:45 p.m.) Closed on Monday

Situated in the heart of the city, Musée d’Orsay is one of the best Paris museums for art connoisseurs.

Housing an extensive collection of paintings by 19th and 20th-century artists like Van Gogh and Berthe Morisot, this museum is renowned for its impressive collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings — the largest in the world, actually.

Interestingly, the museum building was originally a railway station called Gare d’Orsay and has been meticulously restored to the glory of a museum.

You will also be fascinated by the stunning Art Nouveau architecture and the giant clock on your visit.

This museum is equally famous, so be sure to book this skip-the-line in advance to beat the queues, or better yet join this guided tour to get the most out of your visit.

4. Musée de I’Orangerie, 1st Arrondissement

Musée de I'Orangerie is one of the best Paris museums.

Photo by ai kagoshima /Flickr

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Monday (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Closed on Tuesday

If you are looking for a fairytale-like museum experience in Paris, then the Musée de l’Orangerie is the perfect place to visit.

Located in the west corner of the beautiful Tuileries Gardens (one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris), this museum is best known for its fascinating collection of Water Lilies murals by renowned artist Claude Monet.

Interestingly, these famous paintings were featured in the 2011 film Midnight in Paris.

In addition to this artistic excellence, the museum also boasts an impressive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings by other notable artists, including Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Amedeo Modigliani, and many more.

To have dedicated access to the museum, make sure that you book this entry ticket in advance.

5. Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, 7th Arrondissement

Musée du Quai Branly is one of the best art museums in Paris.

Photo by Dirk Sachsenheimer /Flickr

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.) Thursday (10:30 am – 10:00 pm) Closed on Monday

Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac is a notable museum in Paris, designed by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel to showcase the art and cultures of Oceania, Asia, the Americas, and Africa.

Ranked 4th nationally, it is located on the left bank of the Seine near iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Pont de l’Alma.

This is one of the few Paris art museums, which includes standout establishments like the Théâtre Claude Lévi-Strauss which hosts various cultural events throughout the year, including dance performances, concerts, and film screenings.

Another thing that makes this museum popular is that it has one of the best restaurants with Eiffel Tower views, Les Ombres. So, after a long visit, you can grab a French meal here.

But before you go, make sure that you book your museum entry ticket to avoid waiting in line.

 6. Musée National Rodin, 7th Arrondissement

Musée National Rodin is one of the best museums in Paris.
Musée National Rodin is one of the best museums in Paris.

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.) Closed on Monday

Located in the Hôtel Biron, which was once home to the sculptor Auguste Rodin himself, Musee National Rodin contains most of his famous works, including The Thinker, The Kiss, and The Gates of Hell.

There’s also a room dedicated to the works of Camille Claudel and one of the two castings of The Mature Age.

The museum attracts over 7,00,000 visitors every year and, trust me, you surely would want to be one of them, especially if you admire famous artists like Rodin and Camille. 

And to make sure that your visit begins on the right foot, purchase this skip-the-line ticket in advance to avoid the long lines.

7. Palais de Tokyo, 16th Arrondissement

Palais de Tokyo famous museum in Paris.

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Monday (12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.) Closed on Tuesday

A museum of modern and contemporary art, Palais de Tokyo is France’s largest art center, displaying everything from paintings and sculptures to graffiti.

The museum opened to the public in the year 2002 and has since facilitated over 130 international artists.

The eastern wing of the building is now owned by the City of Paris and houses the Palais de Tokyo art museum.

In addition to hosting exhibits, it also hosts a library, a lounge area for visitors, a cafe, and a fantastic gift shop which in itself is reason enough to pay a visit.

8. Metiers Art Museum, 3rd Arrondissement 

Metiers Art Museum is one of the best French museums in Paris.
r.nagy / Shutterstock.com

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Thursday (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) & Friday (10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.) Closed on Monday

The Metiers Art Museum is the perfect museum for you if you love science and technology.

It has over 80,000 objects and 15,000 drawings in its collection, along with a vast display of historical scientific instruments, tools & other incredible inventions from throughout modern history.

Founded in 1794, during the revolutionary period, this is regarded as one of the oldest Science museums in Paris.

The first model of the grand Statue of Liberty is one of the museum’s highlights, however, the star of the show is Foucault’s original pendulum.

To open yourself to the world of ancient scientific innovations, be sure to grab yourself this Metiers Art Museum entry ticket.

9. Bourdelle Museum, 15th Arrondissement 

Musée Bourdelle is one of the best Paris free musuems.

Photo by travelnutty/ Flickr

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Closed on Monday

Bourdelle Museum will take you on an unforgettable journey into the world of the famous artist named Antoine Bourdelle. Located in the Montparnasse district in Paris, this museum is a mecca for art lovers.

The museum is a trove of information about French sculptures of the late 19th century and early 20th centuries including a collection of plaster, marble, and bronze sculptures.

An extensive collection of renowned sculptures is also on display in the main building. Since 1992, they’ve housed an art room with a children’s workshop as well as a documentation space.

Moreover, there’s always something new on display as part of their regularly scheduled temporary exhibitions!

10. Carnavalet Museum, 3rd Arrondissement

Musée Carnavalet is one of the best free museums in Paris.

Photo by Shadowgate/ Flickr

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Closed on Monday

The musée Carnavalet is primarily a historical museum dedicated to the history of Paris, but it also functions as an art gallery. So, if you are a historical buff, this museum is a must-visit.

The museum has one of the city’s biggest collections, with over 600,000 exhibits. These range from Lutetia – the Gallo-Roman City, Medieval and Renaissance Paris, to Royal Paris and archaeological finds, scale models of ancient monuments, and street signs.

Aside from the permanent displays, the museum also has a significant collection of graphic art, including drawings, photographs, posters, and a noteworthy coin collection that elaborate the historical path of the city.

Particularly the exhibits on the storming of the Bastille, France during World War II, and specific writer rooms are great to observe!

The best thing about Carnavalet Museum is that it is free to visit making it one of the best free museums in Paris.

11. Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris,16th Arrondissement 

Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris is one of the Paris museums with free admission.

Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/ Flickr

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) & Thursday (10:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.) Closed on Monday

The Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris is a museum dedicated to modern art in the East Wing of the Palais de Tokyo.

The building was initially constructed for the 1937 international exhibition, however, the museum was opened in 1961.

Its rich collections, named “La vie moderne,” with more than 15,000 works, illustrate the artistic themes of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Also famous for its grand exhibitions, they allow visitors to discover the work of significant figures in contemporary art, such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Andy Warhol.

Undoubtedly, it is an integral part of Paris’ cultural heritage and a must-visit museum for everyone.

12. Musée de la Vie Romantique, 9th Arrondissement 

Musée de la Vie Romantique is one of the best free Paris museums.

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Closed on Monday

The Musée de la Vie Romantique is a must-see for anyone interested in the romantic period.

Located at an 18th-century house, it recreates what life might have been like back then with paintings and furnishings that span across centuries — from George Sand’s studio on the ground floor that exhibits artifacts dating back to the 18th century to Ary Scheffe’s gorgeous rooms upstairs that include her incredible paintings!

In case you get hungry, the amazing Rose Bakery in the delightfully tranquil garden where you can enjoy delicious snacks will be your savior. 

 13. Petit Palais, 8th Arrondissement

Petit Palais is one of the best Paris museums to visit.
Petit Palais is one of the best Paris museums to visit.

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Closed on Monday

Petit Palais is more than just an architectural wonder. The facade of this building is almost 150 meters long, the construction is stunning, and I am not just talking about its exterior.

The domed roof atop the porch gives it an even more magnificent feel as if you were walking inside some palace from long ago!

Besides its grandeur architecture, the Petit Palais has an extensive collection of fine arts that range from 18,000 engravings and 9,000 drawings to more modern pieces by artists such as Picasso.

However, the exhibitions are constantly rotating, so check the official website to know what’s on schedule.

Other features that stand out include the four panels from Albert Besnard’s series on Mysticism at the entrance vestibule and the museum’s golden gate which has become one of the famous instagrammable spots in Paris.

14. Musée Jacquemart-André, 8th Arrondissement

Musée Jacquemart-André is one of the historical museums in Paris.

Photo by Rex Harris/ Flickr

Opening Hours: Everyday (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

As you walk into the Musée Jacquemart-André, a fabulous and luxurious world of Paris comes alive around you.

The museum’s art collection includes pieces by artists like Cima da Conegliano, Bellini, Francesco Botticini, Luca Signorelli, Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, Pietro Perugino, Neri di Bicci, Vittore Crivelli and other pieces collected by Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart throughout their lives.

A rich environment creates an even more immersive experience when exploring this masterpiece.

From oversized rooms where the wealthy couple would organize their extravagant parties to the display of Chardin paintings, a tour of this museum is worth it. 

To fully immerse yourself in this lavish museum, make sure that you buy this skip-the-line entry ticket beforehand.

15. Musée Nissim de Camondo, 8th Arrondissement 

Musée Nissim de Camondo is one of Paris' best museums to visit.

Photo by Ian McKellar/ Flickr

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.) Closed on Monday and Tuesday

Musee Nissim de Camondo showcases 18th-century French furniture and art objects that have been beautifully kept in their original state while still being displayed for all to see with elegance. It also houses art archives, which date back as far as 1760!

In addition, there are other treasures, such as Issa’s richly decorated rooms filled with gold leafing on silk screens, Pierre-Auguste Renoir paintings hanging overhead, and other pieces that belonged to Marie-Antoinette.

You will genuinely feel surrounded by history and elegance when walking through these hollowed-out spaces.

And if you’re wondering why this house museum looks a bit familiar, it’s because it was featured in one of the best French Shows on Netflix, Lupin.

16. Musée Marmottan-Monet, 16th Arrondissement 

Musée Marmottan-Monet is one of the best museums of Paris.

Photo by Annie HARADA VIOT/ Flickr

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) & Thursday (10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.) Closed on Monday

An admirer of Impressionist paintings? Musée Marmottan Monet has got to be the perfect museum for you to visit as it has one of the world’s best collections of Impressionist paintings.

The museum can be found nestled at the edge of Rue de Passy on the former grounds of Château la Muette.

You’ll be able to see the world-class collection of Claude Monet and his Waterlilies and Berthe Morisot’s work.

Moreover, its Wildenstein Collection includes more than 100 illuminated manuscripts collectively created for European royalty between 1380 and 1440 AD.

To explore the vast collection of Monet’s work, you’ll need to purchase this skip-the-line ticket in advance.

17. Maison De Victor Hugo, 4th Arrondissement

Maison de Victor Hugo is one of the best free Parisian museums.

Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/ Flickr

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Victor Hugo, the world-renowned French novelist, poet, and dramatist of the Romantic movement, fittingly lived in Paris for nearly 16 years, and his house was shortly converted into a museum.

While residing in the beautiful Parisian apartment, Hugo produced many works that went on to immortalize him as a significant contributor to the art of the Romantic period, including a part of the ever-so-popular Les Misérables.

The museum is organized chronologically, and each of the seven rooms depicts a different part of Hugo’s life, including his life during exile.

It is a great place to visit, especially if you’re a literary buff and want to immerse yourself in the life of a famous Parisian artist.


Final Thoughts on the Famous Paris Museums

If you are planning to visit the French capital, I highly recommend you visit one of these art museums in Paris.

All of them are amazing and offer something unique. Every inch of these museums of Paris has been beautifully crafted and decorated with special care; you can’t help but be moved by what your eyes see when walking through those doors for the first time!

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