Paris is a dream destination for the world’s museophiles, featuring some of the planet’s most renowned art and cultural repositories. While the majority of people will be familiar with the Louvre and its treasures, there are plenty of lesser-known top museums in Paris that also feature
Looking to fill your trip itinerary out with the best museums in Paris? Look no further.
The beautiful Musée d’Orsay, while slightly less famous than its counterpart across the Seine, still draws plenty of visitors from all over the world. The museum boasts one of the finest collections of Impressionist art in the world, with masterpieces by Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, and more. This is undoubtedly one of the best museums in Paris, if just for the breathtaking building (an old train station) alone.
Designed by Frank Gehry to evoke a boat in full sail, this iconic gallery features some of the best modern and contemporary art in the world. The museum is famous for its temporary exhibitions, featuring some of the most famous artists of the last century, as well as the wide-ranging permanent collection featuring art from around the world.
Paris Museum #3: Le Palais de Tokyo
Now we’re getting more obscure. Paris’s rebellious anti-museum has been tearing up the art rulebook for 15 years and counting. With changing installations featuring groundbreaking art, there’s something different every time you go. And by different, we mean different! Previous exhibitions over the last few years have included urban myths, and a childhood-themed installation called ‘Another banana day for the dream-fish’.
The Picasso Museum in Paris features over 5,000 works by Pablo Picasso, arguably the most famous painter of the last century. From sketches to sculptures and paintings, the artist’s wide-ranging work is displayed in a fascinating and comprehensive manner. The museum also contains other works from Picasso’s personal collection, including pieces by Cézanne, Degas, and Matisse.
Another slightly better-known museum, the Pompidou Centre houses a huge public library, as well as Europe’s largest collection of modern and contemporary art by masters like Picasso, Ernst, Kandinsky, Matisse, and Francis Bacon. It also boasts some of the best views of the city from its rooftop viewpoints!
See eight of Claude Monet’s famed Water Lilies bathed in natural light, housed in two oval rooms purpose-built to the artist’s own specifications. A perfect complement to the nearby Musée d’Orsay, which also features a collection of works from luminaries including Matisse, Cézanne, and Renoir.
The Paris Museum of Modern Art boasts a huge collection of modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Take a break from the crowds and immerse yourself in prime examples of Fauvism, Cubism, New Realism, and more. Since access to the permanent collection is free, it’s a great place to visit without worrying about entrance fees. It’s also just a short walk away from the Eiffel Tower, Paris’s most iconic landmark.
Architect Jean Nouvel designed the museum’s interior to be free of barriers and railings, allowing visitors an unimpeded glimpse into cultures from around the world. The museum’s global collection features masks, musical instruments, weapons, ceremonial artifacts, paintings, tapestries, and more.
Learn about the world of science in one of Europe’s very first science museums, surrounded by a lush 55-hectare park. This family-friendly museum is full of hands-on experiments and immersive displays, including a planetarium and mind-boggling optical illusions. If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Paris, you’ve found the right place.
Built for the purpose of hosting the 1900 Exposition Universelle, the stunning Petit Palais was spruced up in 2005. The museum holds priceless art from the French and Italian Renaissance, as well as work from antiquity through to the 20th century. Featuring art by masters including Monet, Sisley, and Dürer, it’s one of the city’s true hidden gems! Keep in mind that while the permanent collection is free to the public, a ticket is required for any of the temporary exhibitions.
Looking for more Paris inspiration? Book your tickets in advance for the best museums, attractions, and sightseeing tours around the French capital.