With centuries of French artists bringing their might to our national heritage, Paris is now filled with incredible museums. From art to history, every cultural excuse is good to open a new gallery in the city of light. On top of that, the museum can also be a masterpiece to itself. Here is a little bucket list of the top 5 Paris museums.
1.) A landmark: the Louvre
What else? The must-see of Paris museums. The world’s largest museum is also the most visited, with more than 8 millions visitors every year. It is a city within the city, and a lifetime would not be enough to discover all its content.
Some 35,000 works of art and artifacts are on show, including the notorious Mona Lisa by Da Vinci, an outstanding collection of French and Dutch paintings, an entire floor of European decorations and treasures from the Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks and Romans. Take an afternoon and just wander through the endless galleries.
Rue de Rivoli, 1er Paris
Open 9 am – 6 pm Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
Open 9 am – 21.45 am Wednesday, Friday
Permanent collections €12
Exhibitions Napoleon hall €13
Free for under 18
2.) The heart of impressionism: Le Musée d’Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay, originally a train station designed by Victor Laloux in 1900, houses a huge collection spanning the period between 1848 and 1914. It is most famous for showing a large part of the work of French impressionists such as Manet, Renoir, Pissarro, Gauguin, Monet, Caillebotte, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and others. A true magnificence.
62 rue de Lille, 7 ème Paris
Open 9.30 am – 6 am on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Open 9.30 am – 10 pm Thursday
Reduced 8.50€ for 18-25 and for everyone after 4.30 pm (except Thursday)
Free for under 18
3.) Monet and the Nymphea: Musée de l’Orangerie
Less known but still a must among Paris museums. At the heart of one of the most beautiful garden of Pairs, le Jardin des Tuileries, you can find this almost hidden museum. Le musée de l’Orangerie is well-known for showing the art of Monet and 8 of his Water Lilies but also features works by Renoir, Matisse and Cezanne.
Access by the Jardin des Tuileries (top on the right)
Open 9 am – 6 pm every day except Tuesday
4.) Modernity and boldness: Le Centre Pompidou
The primary colours, exposed pipes and air ducts make the Centre Pompidou one of the best-known Paris museums. Also called « Beaubourg » by the Parisians, is holds the largest collection of modern art in Europe. Some of its hits are pieces by Braque, Kandinsky, Dali, Ernst and many more.
Photographs won’t be disappointing either as it contains an impressive list of artists: Brassaï, Man Ray, Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau. If you’re not keen on Modern Art, a ride in the escalators will lead you to one astonishing view of Paris.
Place Georges – Pompidou, Paris 4e
Open 11 am – 2 pm every day except Tuesday
Ticket museum: 13€ or 11€ depending on season
Ticket view: 3€
5.) History of Paris: Le Musée Carnavalet
Here are 140 chronological rooms depicting the history of Paris, from pre-Roman Gaul to the 20th century. Unmissable if you want to understand the capital and have an overview of the history of France.
16 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 3 ème
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 6 pm