Best secret museums of Paris
Whenever one travels to Paris, they always want to visit the Louvre Museum, the Orsay Museum, and all the greatest landmarks! But if you want to experience more from the city, you can visit some of Paris highlights off the beaten tracks. Museums that are only known by the locals, or by just a few visitors, will give you new perspectives on the city and its history and culture. Discover the best secret museums of Paris, according to a local.
Learn more about Paris at Musée Carnavalet
The Musée Carnavalet is dedicated to the history of the city of Paris. In this museum, you will be able to walk 140 exhibition rooms displaying items that contribute to the understanding of the history of Paris. From archeological relics, paintings, sculptures among other items, to objects centuries old of the Parisian daily life, you will learn about Paris Roman roots, its medieval era, and how the Revolution happened in the city.
Unfortunately, the Musée Carnavalet is currently under renovation, and will be closed until the end of 2019. But I’m pretty sure that if you’re coming to Paris in the next few years, you’re probably planning your trip ahead of time. The Carnavalet Museum is an interesting landmark of the city, because people usually prioritize other museums while in Paris, so you won’t have to queue for too long, the visit will surely be a very pleasant one. Also, because the content of the museum is very enlightening and are witnesses the past and present history of the city of Paris! You will thoroughly enjoy it!
Come meet the artists at 59 Rivoli
At the Rivoli street, you will find an extremely peculiar building. It is located on the 59th of Rivoli street, simply called 59 Rivoli. On six floors, the building which used to host a bank, but it was then turned into a squatting for artists. Thanks to the increasing popularity of the artists, it is now a building where many artists work together and exhibit their works!
The façade of the Haussmannian building looks nothing like the other ones on the Rivoli street, as it’s a (temporary) work of art by itself. It really stands out! Now institutionalized, I highly suggest you enter the place filled with colorful and amazing paintings, sculptures or photographs made by 30 talented artists (15 permanents, and 15 temporaries, that are here for three to six months). The entrance is free, so you really have no excuses!
Learn about science and industry at Musée des Arts et Métiers
While walking the area around the Musée des Arts et Métiers – Museum of Arts and Trades-, you will quickly come to see that many streets have been named after great scientists. That is the reason why the Musée des Arts et Métiers is one of the best secret museums of Paris. The museum collects all the best works related to scientific knowledge and technological progress. Sciences, construction, communication, energy, mechanics, transports are some of the themes the museums explores and presents to us.
The Musée des Arts et Métiers is probably one of the oldest industrial and technical museums. The museum is definitely worth it, be it for its contents or for its incredible building, which is a former priory. It is located at 60 rue Réaumur and it is open every day but on Mondays. The price for adults is 8 euros, 5.50 euros for students and free for people aged under 26, from the European Union.
Discover the history of Montmartre at Musée de Montmartre
On top of the hill of Montmartre, you will find the Musée de Montmartre which opened its doors to the public in 1960. It is one of the oldest houses of the neighborhood. The museum traces back the history of Montmartre, its political, artistic and cultural life as well. This landmark is perfect for whoever loved Montmartre and want to know even more about it.
While walking Montmartre, you will come to realize that its people are very creative and always speak their minds. This area has always been cherished by the artists, and many of them chose Montmartre as their home. Artists such as Auguste Renoir, Suzanne Valadon, Maurice Utrillo, André Utter, Émile Bernard have lived at 12 rue Cortot.
During the visit of the museum, you will understand how the neighborhood inspired these artists. This will definitely be one of the highlights of your stay in Paris. The gardens and the Café Renoir will delight you and make you wish you could stay a little longer!
Learn more about Picasso at Musée Picasso
It is now one of the most modern and comfortable museum of Paris. The Musée Picasso also has the best paintings of the most famous of the Spanish great artist. You should know that for all the museums in Paris, skip-the-line tickets can be pretty useful. I advise you to get one if you decide to visit the Picasso Museum. It is located in the heart of the Marais, at 5 rue de Thorigny.
In the Musée Picasso, from the 27th of March until the 29th of July, you will have the opportunity to attend the “Guernica” exhibition. All the different stages of the production of one of the famous masterpieces in the world, which is the Guernica, its whole history, its symbolism and meanings will be presented to you, as well as Picasso’s political commitment. It would be a shame to miss this exhibition!
Visit the unique Centre Pompidou
In 1969, Georges Pompidou, who was president of France, decided to order the construction of a modern cultural institution in Paris. He loved culture and art, especially modern art! He wanted a place where arts, literature, design, cinema and music would be mixed together. We can say that the Centre Pompidou was born out of his love for arts and culture in general.
There’s no way you can miss the Centre Pompidou. The modern art museum was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, for an architectural design competition. The two architects wanted functional structural elements, such as electrical wires and pipes, to be part of the aesthetic of the building. So, the Centre Pompidou is pretty recognizable from afar!
The Centre Pompidou is one of the best secret museums of Paris because its cultural programme is always so interesting, and most visitors are not aware of it. From art exhibitions, concerts, parties, to conferences, if you like to enrich yourself with new knowledge and experiences, you will be served!
More secret museums suggestions
Paris is the best city if you are interested in arts, history, culture, and arquitecture. The cultural richness of the city is pretty impressive. I’ve listed my favorite off the beaten tracks museums in Paris, but there are plenty more! Here are more secret museums suggestions:
- The Musée de Cluny contains jewelry, paintings, sculptures from the Middle-Ages. If you want to have a quiet moment enjoying arts away from the touristy places, this museum is the best!
- Musée Rodin: We all know Rodin’s most famous work, The Thinker. If you love the artist or simply want to learn more about him, you will love the Musée Rodin which is only fifteen minutes away from the Eiffel Tower.
- Musée Delacroix: What used to be Eugène Delacroix home and workshop is nowadays a museum! He is the famous painter who produced the iconic La Liberté guidant le Peuple, which you can see at the Louvre. At the Louvre Museum, you can buy a Louvre-Delacroix combined ticket for fifteen euros that will enable you to enjoy free admission to the
- The Musée des Arts Forains is the place to go to if you want your kids to have fun and feel like getting back to your childhood. The wooden carrousels, the decorations and the lights will certainly bring you some sweet memories.
- The Musée Grévin is a fun wax museum containing characters from historical events to modern life. Also, you will enjoy the room called “Le Palais des Mirages”, which is a gigantic and colorful optical illusion.
You now know some of the best secret museums of Paris! These museums, that not all visitors acknowledge, are some of my favorite! They are very cool, and since they confuse on specific themes and subjects, the information is more detailed and entertaining. These are definitely worth the visit, especially if you have some spare time while in Paris or if you want to get away from touristy places! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and to see you soon in Paris during one of our tours!