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Museum Guide for Paris

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A list of the best museums in Paris to nourish your culture loving side.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Like a Local

14 Places

13 City Tips

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14 Places

Musee du Louvre

Art Museums

Musee Gustave Moreau

Speciality Museums

Musee d'Orsay

Speciality Museums

Musee Carnavalet

Speciality Museums

Cite de l'architecture et du patrimoine

Architectural Buildings

Musee de l'Orangerie

Speciality Museums

Jeu de Paume

Art Museums

Centre Pompidou

Architectural Buildings, Art Museums

Musee Rodin

Speciality Museums

Musee Bourdelle

Art Museums

Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris

Architectural Buildings, Operas, Theatres

Musee Maillol

Speciality Museums

Grand Palais

Architectural Buildings, Art Museums

Rue Bonaparte

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Victoria C's City Tips

  • If your chosen museums include many of the 'Paris Museums', remember that 14 of these offer free access to their permanent collections.
  • If you're planning on rushing around, it can be worth buying a Paris Pass, which gives you free travel, free access to attractions and a hop-on/hop-off bus.
  • Buy a packet of 10 tickets, which can be used on all public transport, or use the efficient bike hire system (Vélib).
  • Don't hesitate to use the bus to get around, as it can be a nice way to see the city as well as get to your destination.
  • Don't be surprised if service in restaurants takes a while. If you need attention, try and make eye contact first, and then start with "Excusez-moi".
  • Prices can of course vary widely, but the average price in a brasserie (restaurant, café, bar) is around 15€ for a main dish. Street food is around 5€.
  • Tipping is not that common in Paris but is always appreciated for good service.
  • Watch out for scammers who try to distract you to steal something. Tricks include: waving papers over your things, picking up a ring to see if it's yours & games impossible to win.
  • Enter buses at the front and exit them from the middle.
  • Don't hesitate to follow the news to see if there are any matches, demonstrations, or strikes coming up.
  • Let people off the metro before you get on.
  • Paris is safe, but always keep your belongings close to you, especially in busy areas, and keep a tight hold of your mobile phone.
  • On public transport, it is appreciated if you give up your seat if someone needs it more.
  • Save
    Musee du Louvre
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    The Musée du Louvre has a sense of majesty and history which cannot be ignored. Beyond the Mona Lisa, there's art to inspire any soul and enough history that it would take a life time to learn. The different halls of the Louvre offer a mix of art from Mesopotamian and Egyptian architecture to more contemporary works.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Don't try to see everything - it's too big to be seen in one go. Either play pot luck or grab a map and choose one or two key things or halls you want to see.
    • Thursday is late night at the Louvre, and offers free admission for under 25-year-old Europeans. It's also free the first Sunday of every month. (Expect long queues!)
    • I love the Richelieu Courtyard full of sculpture and light, and the portraits by Holbein.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not overrated at all 03/08/2015
    • Goergeouse Museum. 03/08/2015
    • Musee du Louvre
    Address:
    99 rue de Rivoli
    Paris 75058
    France
    Phone:
    33 01 40 20 50 50
    Hours:
    Wed
    9:00 - 2:45
    Thu
    9:00 - 23:00
    Fri
    9:00 - 2:45
    Sat - Mon
    9:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Musee Gustave Moreau
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    Gustave Moreau was an artist of the Symbolism movement, inspired by biblical and mythological themes. This lesser-known art gallery is a calm retreat where you can admire his delicate work, right where he used to live and create.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Make sure to read about symbolism when you go - it will enrich your experience.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #189 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A new "must" 01/08/2015
    • Love this museum 22/06/2015
    • Musee Gustave Moreau
    Address:
    14, rue de La Rochefoucauld
    Paris
    France
    Phone:
    33-1 48-74-38-50
    Hours:
    Mon
    10:00 - 17:45
    14:00 - 22:15
    Wed - Thu
    10:00 - 17:45
    14:00 - 22:15
    Fri - Sun
    10:00 - 22:15
    Other:
  • Save
    Musee d'Orsay
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    The Musee d'Orsay is where I fell in love with the impressionists, and I don't think I'm the first. It houses the largest collection of impressionists and post-impressionists in the world, and does a great job of it. Artists include Manet, Monet, Degas, Cézanne and Van Gogh, and art forms vary from paintings to photos to furniture. Famous works include 'The Luncheon on the Grass' by Manet, 'The Church at Auvers' by Van Gogh and several paintings from the Rouen Cathdral series by Monet. Like many of Paris's museums, the building, which is the old Orsay train station, is inspiring in itself and a most apt home for the artwork it holds. Take time to explore the nooks and crannies, and climb up the podium in the northeast corner of the main hall as well as the walkway on the west side to get a great view of the museum. My favourite floor is the impressionists on the 6th floor, where the paintings are organised by collectors, but I'm always impressed by the quality of the temporary exhibitions too. They're worth the investment for an extra ticket.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Under 25-year-old Europeans can get in for free.
    • Thursday night is late night.
    • There is usually a long queue, so try and get a ticket beforehand, or get there early.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Accessible layout and wonderful exhibits 02/08/2015
    • A solid, well presented museum 02/08/2015
    • Musee d'Orsay
    Address:
    1, Rue de la Legion d'Honneur
    Paris 75007
    France
    Phone:
    +33 1 40 49 48 14
    Hours:
    Tue - Wed
    9:30 - 23:00
    Thu
    9:30 - 2:45
    Fri - Sun
    9:30 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Musee Carnavalet
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    Housed in a small Renaissance mansion, with a courtyard garden to match, Musee Carnavalet offers a calm break from the crowds that bustle through the Marais. Inside, you'll be guided through the history of Paris with the aid of everyday objects, as well as artwork and room reconstructions. The garden is designed in a classic 18th-century French style and is a great place to relax for a few moments as you contemplate the history of the city of lights.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Make a little time to sit in the garden - it's a great quiet spot to hide from the crowds in the Marais.
    • Admission is free of charge.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #107 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lovely museum on Paris History in the Marais 01/08/2015
    • Pretty garden and Napoleon exhibition 01/08/2015
    • Musee Carnavalet
    Address:
    16 rue des Francs-Bourgeois
    Paris 75003
    France
    Phone:
    +33 1 44 59 58 58
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Cite de l'architecture et du patrimoine
    Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    The Cité de l'architcture et de patrimonie is a celebration of the grand architectural forms that man has created. Its position at the Palais de Chaillot, Place de Trocadero means a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. Inside, you're guided through architectural forms, exhibitions and shows that span the millennia in a permanent exhibition space of around 10,000m². The main exhibition is the Museum of French Monuments. This museum is a must for any lover of architecture.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Check out the the Musée de l'Homme, a similarly grand anthropology museum on the other side of the Palais de Chaillot.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #135 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Why is no one here? 28/07/2015
    • What a rich and wonderful view of the history of French architecture 26/07/2015
    • Cite de l'architecture et du patrimoine
    Address:
    1 place du Trocadero et du 11 novembre
    Palais de Chaillot
    Paris 75016
    France
    Phone:
    01 58 51 52 00
    Hours:
    Wed
    11:00 - 0:00
    Thu
    11:00 - 2:00
    Fri - Mon
    11:00 - 0:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Musee de l'Orangerie
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    The Musée de l'Orangerie houses part of the Water Lily series by Monet, which has its own white oval room - you have to see it to experience it. But Monet is only the beginning. Dedicated mostly to impressionists and post-impressionists, the museum is a bite-size display of artwork that defined the end of the 19th century and onward. You would almost think the place was made for it, but this museum was originally, as the name suggests, an Orangerie to grow oranges. It was built in 1852 and sits overlooking the Tuileries gardens.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Couple this trip with a trip to the Jeu de Paume and the Musée D'Orsay.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Don't Miss the Monets! 02/08/2015
    • Short and sweet, go early to get more out of it 02/08/2015
    • Musee de l'Orangerie
    Address:
    Jardin des Tuileries - Cote Seine
    Paris 75001
    France
    Phone:
    +33 1 44 77 80 07
    Hours:
    Wed - Mon
    9:00 - 22:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Jeu de Paume
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    Despite its grand history, Paris never stops moving, and its culture moves with it. Jeu de Paume is a contemporary art museum in the Tuileries gardens, just opposite the Musée de l'Orangerie. Here there are only temporary exhibitions which, usually offer photos captured by artists at the forefront of their field.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Check out the theme of the exhibition before you go.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #166 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good Museum for lovers of Photography 22/07/2015
    • Museum and history 09/07/2015
    • Jeu de Paume
    Address:
    1, place de la Concorde
    1er
    Paris 75008
    France
    Phone:
    01-47-03-12-50
    Hours:
    Tue
    12:00 - 2:00
    Wed - Fri
    12:00 - 0:00
    Sat - Sun
    10:00 - 0:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Centre Pompidou
    Architectural Buildings, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    This building divides opinion. The inside-out colourful architecture is not your usual Parisian style and marks its time (it was built in the 1970s). It's a must see in any case, as it houses Europe's largest museum for modern art as well as a vast public library and a centre for music and acoustic research. Inside opinion continues to be divided, but you cannot deny the iconic status of many of the modern art works by artists such as Matisse, Kandinsky and Picasso.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You'll find great views of the city from the top floor and the bar (which is a bit pricey).
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #118 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hipsters abroad. 03/08/2015
    • Excellent collection 02/08/2015
    • Centre Pompidou
    Address:
    Place Georges Pompidou
    Place Georges Pompidou
    Paris 75004
    France
    Phone:
    +33 1 44 78 12 33
    Price range:
    $16 - $16
    Hours:
    Wed - Mon
    11:00 - 3:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Musee Rodin
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    Rodin was one of the greatest sculptors of his time, and this is the place he chose to display his work, dedicating his sculpture collection and the property to the French state on the condition that it be used as a museum to display his work. You can simply visit the garden, where you'll find The Thinker, or head into the museum to see works such as The Kiss (and it's worth it).

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • If you're a lover of Rodin, why not head to the the Villa des Brillants which is the second Rodin museum, on the outskirts of Paris in Meudon?
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A good spot that you can't miss! 03/08/2015
    • One of my favorite places in Paris 02/08/2015
    • Musee Rodin
    Address:
    79 rue de Varenne
    Paris 75007
    France
    Phone:
    +33 1 44 18 61 10
    Hours:
    Tue
    10:00 - 22:00
    Wed
    10:00 - 1:00
    Thu - Sun
    10:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Musee Bourdelle
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    Bourdelle is a lesser known artist who worked alongside Rodin, but his sculptures are impressive and emotional too, with their own distinctive style. Musee Bourdelle was his studio between 1885 and 1929, and it now contains more than 500 works, the artist's own as well as items from his personal collection of artists such as Delacroix, Carrière, Ingres and Rodin.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Mix this trip with a visit to some monuments in the same area, such as the Saint Sulpice Church.
    • Entrance to the permanent collections is free.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #143 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    • Offbeat gem 27/07/2015
    • Lovely gardens but don't choose it over the Rodin Museum. 26/07/2015
    • Musee Bourdelle
    Address:
    18 rue Antoine-Bourdelle
    15e
    Paris 75015
    France
    Phone:
    01-49-54-73-73
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris
    Architectural Buildings, Operas, Theatres
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    Opera and drama lovers should not miss a tour around the Opéra Garnier. Be sure to peek into the great hall of the Opera to see the Chagall fresco which crowns it, but also look around a museum dedicated to the Opera's present and past. The music, costumes, drama and scenery are brought back to life in very well thought out displays.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Keep in mind that the grand hall can be closed in the afternoons because of rehearsals. If the bell rings, you've got about 15 minutes to see it.
    • If you want to go to the Opera, there are still some at Garnier, but most are now performed at Opera Bastille.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful ceiling of Chagall 03/08/2015
    • Used in film--The 5th Element 02/08/2015
    • Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris
    Address:
    8 rue Scribe, Place de l'Opera
    Paris 75009
    France
    Phone:
    01 58 05 49 42
    Other:
  • Save
    Musee Maillol
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    The Musée Maillol always shows high-class temporary art exhibitions. Established by Dina Vierny, who was a model for Maillol, it displays the artist's work as well as Vierny's collection of the masters.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Check out the program on the site beforehand to see if the latest exhibition takes your fancy.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #413 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    • interesting for a quick visit; often crowded 06/06/2015
    • Musee Maillol & Expositions 20/01/2015
    • Musee Maillol
    Address:
    61 rue de Grenelle
    Paris 75007
    France
    Phone:
    33 (0)1 42.22.59.58
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:30 - 0:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Grand Palais
    Architectural Buildings, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    The Grand Palais was born out of preparations for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, constructed around the same time as the Petit Palais and the Alexandre III Bridge. Its original purpose was dedicated to the glory of French art by the Republic. This still stands true, and the beaux-art construction with an ornate greenhouse-like roof is an inspiring space for both traditional and contemporary exhibitions.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Try to buy tickets beforehand, as popular exhibits can sell out fast.
    • Find out about the latest exhibition online.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #145 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • LOVED the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition 01/08/2015
    • Just amazing 01/08/2015
    • Grand Palais
    Address:
    Avenue des Champs Elysees
    Paris 75008
    France
    Phone:
    +33 1 44 13 17 30
    Hours:
    Wed - Mon
    9:00 - 3:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Rue Bonaparte
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Victoria C Says:

    Walk past the antique shops and La Durée and head to the National School of Fine Arts. Not far from the Seine, the École des Beaux-Arts is noticeable but often overlooked. This world-famous art school is worth a look around, though. There are often small exhibitions and you can sometimes see the students at work to catch a glimpse at the the next generation of French artists.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Head to a small courtyard on the right (at the end of the big courtyard) for a step back in time.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #404 of 1,165 things to do in Paris
    • Small, charming and great antique shopping. 17/05/2015
    • Nice street 02/02/2015
    • Rue Bonaparte
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