Top 10 museums in Paris, France

Top 10 museums in Paris, France

Preparing this list was a real challenge: not only are there about 130 museums in Paris, but the city itself is a gallery in the open air. If you love history, art, architecture or war relics, the French capital is one of the best places to develop your passions.

Museums such as the Louvre, the Musée de l’Orangerie, the Grand Palais or the Centre Pompidou will give you plenty of opportunities to add a touch of culture, creativity and educational entertainment to your Paris vacation. Take a look at the ones we’ve chosen for you.

1. the Louvre

At over 70,000 square meters, the Louvre is one of the largest art museums in the world . Located in a 13th-century complex overlooking the Seine, in the heart of Paris, it is also the most visited museum in France, and it couldn’t be otherwise: in such a majestic and unique building, you wouldn’t expect anything else. From Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to Nike of Samothrace to Michelangelo’s The Dying Slave. The Louvre is a fascinating journey that opens up centuries of art history.

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1. the Louvre

2. Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay houses one of the richest collections of Impressionist works in the world. Built inside a former train station in the late 19th century, more than 2,500 masterpieces are on display here, including paintings and sculptures by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Renoir and Cézanne, just to name a few. The building itself is already a work of art in itself. Stop for a coffee in the cafe next to the huge antique station clock: you can appreciate the timeless atmosphere of this magical place even more.

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2. Musée d’Orsay

3. the Musée d’Orangerie

Spread over an area of 1600 square meters, the Musée de l’Orangerie is not particularly large, but it is really remarkable for the magnificent masterpieces of the Impressionists in which they are housed. The two rooms devoted to Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” are probably the most famous of its permanent exhibits, but the museum also has interesting temporary exhibitions. The leitmotif is the art of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani and Henri Rousseau are just some of the names you can read next to the masterpieces on display any time of year at this exceptional museum.

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3. the Musée d’Orangerie

4. Rodin Museum.

Discover who Auguste Rodin was and admire his most outstanding works in this 18th-century museum (Hotel Biron) next to the Musée d’Armes in the heart of Paris. From “The Thinker” to “The Gates of Hell” many sculptures, drawings and ceramics are on display in a building that was once the artist’s studio, a testament to his impressive artistic genius. We recommend you visit the museum on a sunny day, as many of the statues are outdoors in the beautiful garden. The audio guide is perfect for getting to know this exceptional French artist better.

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4. Rodin Museum.

5. The Pompidou Center

The Georges Pompidou Center is perhaps better known for the building itself and its avant-garde architecture than for the works on display at the National Museum of Modern Art. In addition to the museum, you can also find a library, a space dedicated to music, and a luxury bar and restaurant on the top floor . The Pompidou Center is always very popular because of the permanent and temporary exhibitions of famous artists and designers such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Worol and Philippe Starck, an irresistible attraction for tourists and art lovers.

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5. The Pompidou Center

6. Muse de l’Arme (Museum of the Army).

Here you can see weapons and uniforms that have been used by French soldiers for centuries . The complex is dominated by the imposing Maison des Invalides, the dome under which Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb is kept. As you stroll through the various halls of the museum, you can discover the country’s long and glorious military history, full of epochal events and historic battles.

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6. Muse de l’Arme (Museum of the Army).

7. Grand Palais (Grand Palais)

Built in 1900 for the World’s Fair, the Grand Palais consists of an exhibition hall and two museums. Declared a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city thanks to its recognizable glass roof supported by an iron and steel structure. Inside, you can admire temporary art exhibits, the National Galleries and, in the west wing, the science museum and planetarium. After your visit, stop at the Mini Palais, a great restaurant in the southeast corner of the complex.

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7. Grand Palais (Grand Palais)

8. Cit de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine

Discover a very rich French architectural heritage in this exceptional museum in the Palais de Chaillot, located on Place du Trocadero, opposite the Eiffel Tower. Inside, you can admire detailed reconstructions of architectural elements and large-scale reproductions of entire buildings in a journey through French design and architecture from the 12th century to the present day. One of the most memorable sections of the museum is the trail that leads through full-scale reconstructions of the crypts of Gothic cathedrals.

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8. Cit de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine

9. Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac Museum

Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac Museum is dedicated to the primitive art and indigenous cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. Its name it owes to the street on which it is located, and the former president of France, who really wanted it built. The museum features 3,500 objects selected from a collection of more than 400,000 items. Here you can admire primitive works of art from all over the world in a modern and very interactive environment.

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9. Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac Museum

10. Dali Paris

If you are intrigued by surrealist art , visit this small private museum located just steps away from the Place du Tertre in the heart of Montmartre.

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Through an exhibition of about 300 works, including paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs, Dali Paris allows you to enter the mind of the eccentric Spanish artist and appreciate his incredible creativity and versatility.

30 Best Museums in Paris

Paris is one of the capitals of world culture. Many artists have lived and worked here, and they are not forgotten: most of them have received personal museums or named exhibitions. The same applies to the most important milestones in the history of the city and the country. Tourists come to enjoy the romance of Paris, but the cultural program here is also an ornament to any trip.

In addition to the well-known Louvre or Montmartre, there are more local destinations – for those who love history, rarities, refinement and unusual exhibits. Everyone will find an exhibit to his liking: from the Chaillot palace to the museum of sewage. Organized such excursions are organized at a high level and honed to the smallest detail, adjusting to the tastes of a particular guest. It is hard to leave Paris without impressions and iconic memories.

The most interesting museums in Paris

The glass pyramid of the Louvre has already become one of the symbols of France. On the vast territory of the museum are collected priceless treasures – works of art from different eras. The halls are divided by direction, historical strata and geography. Among the exhibits are paintings, statues, frescoes, jewelry, furniture and much more. It is impossible to see the entire exhibition in a day. But there is one painting that no one misses – Leonardo da Vinci’s Gioconda.

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Address: Paris, Cour Napoléon


Musée d’Orsay

Located in the building of the abandoned and later restored train station. The five levels of the fine arts museum are arranged according to the type of work in question and the chronology. Its collection is one of the biggest and most valuable in the world. The basis of the collection consists of paintings by impressionists and postimpressionists. Art nouveau painting is also a big part of the collection.

Address: Paris, Rue de Lille, 62


Center Pompidou

Opened in 1977. It is a national art center. This is a complete complex that includes a museum, library, exhibition halls and a research institute. The museum exhibits art of various directions – paintings, drawings, dances, etc. The institute also studies music and acoustics. The square in front of the center is a place where itinerant artists put on performances.

Address: Paris, Place Georges Pompidou


Science and Industry Museum

Part of the City of Science and Industry. Here you can learn about the structure of the universe, admire the stars in the nearby planetarium, visit all kinds of exhibitions, broken down by scientific sections, visit the cinema and so on. Part of the exhibition is interactive, which means that you can touch the exhibits and examine them in detail. There are also lots of unique exhibits – inventions from all walks of life.

Address: Paris, Avenue Corentin Cariou La Villette, 30


Musée de l’Orangerie

An art gallery that opened in 1927. Located in a building that was once an orangery. The location is a palace and park complex, of which not much remains of the historic form. The painting collection includes paintings by Gauguin, Cézanne, Picasso, Renoir and others. But people come here first and foremost to admire the Oval Room, where paintings by Monet from the “Water Lilies” cycle are laid out.

Address: Paris, Jardin des Tuileries, Cote Seine


Rodin Museum

Founded in 1919. Located in the Birown Palace. Holds the largest collection of Rodin works in the world. In addition to sculptures, drawings and photographs, the artist’s personal collection is also on display here. He was collecting art objects for thirty years, and was interested mainly in antiquities. The museum complex is also home to a cinema, a library and a souvenir shop.

Address: Paris, Rue de Varenne, 77


Musée Marmottan-Monet

Founded in 1934. The museum changed its direction. Initially, there were expositions devoted to Napoleon. However, the donated collections of paintings forced it to move away from this direction. Now works by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists are exhibited in the Marmottan-Monnet. Past exhibitions have not been forgotten and have survived, albeit in a reduced format. Nowhere else in the world is there such a large number of Monet paintings.

Address: Paris, Rue Louis Boilly, 2


Nîmes-de-Camondo Museum

Opened in 1936. Located in a mansion built at the end of the 19th century. Originally the collection of furniture and furnishings belonged to the Comte de Camondo. He collected it for many years until his death. The museum was named after the son of the first owner. The exhibits are perfectly preserved. Together they recreate the way of life of a bourgeois family in the early 20th century.

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Address: Paris, Rue de Monceau, 63


Army Museum

Date of creation: 1905. Located in the Palais des Invalides, an architectural monument of the 17th century. Two museums merged into one. Nowadays there is an exhibition of artillery and tells the history of the army in general. The exhibitions are divided by time periods: ancient armament, modern times and world wars. There are also separate exhibitions for artillery, symbols (flags and banners), toy soldiers and others.

Address: Paris, Hôtel national des Invalides, 129


Jacquemart-André Museum.

Opened in 1913. An art museum located not far from the Champs-Elysées. Named after the couple who once owned the building. Its collection of paintings includes works by artists of the Italian Renaissance, the French school of the 18th century and the Flemish. Its value is considered second only to the Louvre. When visiting the exhibition, tourists can use an audio guide, which among other languages is Russian.

Address: Paris, boulevard Haussmann, 158


Museum on the Quai Branly

This museum was opened in 2006. Dedicated to the art of the peoples of Africa, America, Asia and Oceania. It is not just a museum, but also an educational center. Its purpose is to carry the culture and history of other continents to the masses and not to forget the heritage of indigenous peoples of many countries in the world. More than three thousand exhibits are on display here, although the funds are hundreds of times larger than that figure. Various thematic events are held in the museum building.

Address: Paris, quai Branly, 37


Museum of the Middle Ages (Musee de Cluny)

It takes its name from the hotel where it is located. It was founded in 1844. Its collection is one of the most extensive in the world on the subject. The building is also a landmark and an object of study. Its history is a separate chapter of the tour. The exhibition includes: stained-glass windows, tapestries, statues, wooden sculptures, interior and household items, ivory crafts and more.

Address: Paris, Rue du Sommerard, 28


Museum of Fine Arts

The building was specifically built for the 1900 World’s Fair. After that the Petit Palais became the city’s museum. Its collection is vast and varied. Although the exposition area is not insignificant, it is not able to accommodate all the collections. Visitors can view Egyptian, Greek and Roman art as well as works by 19th century French masters and examine in detail objects from the Renaissance.

Address: Paris, Avenue Winston-Churchill


Grand Gallery of Evolution

Part of the Museum of Natural History. On four floors there are different exhibitions: the diversity of the world, human impact on nature and evolution. The scope of study and interest includes all kinds of human activities and their formation in their modern guise. Different ecosystems, species of living beings and their changes are also examined in detail. A special place is given to rare animals and phenomena.

Address: Paris, Jardin des Plantes, 36


Musée Guimet

It was opened at the end of the XIX century. It was named after the industrialist who was its founder. Originally the museum specialized on religions of the East and the ancient world. Gradually its collections covered the Asian segment more and more. A series of exchanges made the collection one of the most valuable in the world. Now the direction towards China, Japan and other countries of the region has become major.

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Address: Paris, Place D Iena, 6


Museum of Fair Art

A private collection which was enriched for thirty-five years. Located in what was once a wine warehouse. All sorts of festivals and events are held here, which allows the exhibition to be maintained. The rides and merry-go-rounds are true works of art. Most of the exhibits are in working order and in use. There is also an unusual garden.

Address: Paris, Avenue des Terroirs de France, 53


Louis Vuitton Foundation

The Museum of Modern Art opened in 2014. The attention of the public is attracted not only by the content of the museum, but also by its appearance. The building is constructed of glass translucent panels resembling evolving sails. Every six months the exhibition changes. Most of the time the collection belonging to the Annot family is on display, but there are exceptions.

Address: Paris, Avénéc du Mahatma Gandhi, 8


Museum of Arts and Crafts

The museum was founded in 1902 and is the oldest technical museum of the old world. The museum collections are divided into seven parts. Each represents a particular section, such as construction or transport. Among the exhibits are both old mechanisms – pioneers in their segment – and more modern ones that laid the foundation for entire branches of knowledge.

Address: Paris, Rue Reaumur, 60


Musée de Montmartre

Opened in 1960. It is associated with an association of artists which existed since the end of the XIX century. The name says it all: all exhibits are somehow related to the neighborhood. The exhibits can be roughly divided into four groups: the history of the district, local festivals, the Paris Commune and bohemia. The library has a large collection of French chanson.

Address: Paris, Rue Cortot, 12



Founded in 1880. It occupies two buildings at a time – a mansion of the same name and a house situated nearby but built almost a hundred years later. The main focus of the museum is the history of the city. In the early 2000s it was joined by the Archaeological Museum of Notre Dame de Paris and the Paris Catacombs. Currently undergoing major reconstruction, so it will not accept tourists for two years.

Address: Paris, R ue des Francs Bourgeois, 16.


Fragonard Museum of perfumes.

Opened in 1983. It is two in one: a museum and a store. For those wishing there are guided tours of different duration: from ten minutes to a couple of hours. Other visitors can have a look around, plunge into the world of pleasant fragrances and buy high quality perfumes at producer prices. In two other departments of the store interior decorations are sold.

Address: Paris, Square de l Opera Louis Jouvet, 3


Picasso Museum

It was founded in 1985 and is located in a mansion in the Marais quarter. The interior of the museum is as good as it gets, especially after years of renovation that ended in 2014. The collection is dedicated to Picasso’s work and also contains rarities he collected during his lifetime. The main exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, notebooks with notes and sketches, engravings, collages and more.

Address: Paris, Rue de Thorigny Hôtel Salé, 5


Palais de Chaillot

Built specially for the 1937 World’s Fair. Later it became the seat of several museums: the navy, the human being and architectural heritage. The palace is being prepared for reconstruction, for a couple of decades it has lost some of its holdings, having moved to other buildings. However, important rarities are still preserved here, such as Jules Verne’s medal for his Around the World voyage.

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Address: Paris, 1 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre


Museum of Decorative Arts

The museum opened its doors to visitors in 1905. The only one of its kind, as it covers a long period of time: from the Middle Ages to the present. The purpose of the museum is to show the diversity and breadth of the French lifestyle, as well as the materials used in its creation. The exhibits range from elegant chairs and other furniture to hairpins and photographic wallpaper.

Address: Paris, R ue de Rivoli, 107


Salvador Dali Museum

Located in Montmartre. The collection of works by Dali housed here is the largest in the old world. It includes about three hundred works: mainly engravings and sculptures. There are also personal items. During tours in the halls sound recordings of the master’s voice are played. Unlike the buildings of other classicist museums, this one is unassuming, but reflects the mood of Dali.

Address: 11 Rue Poulbot, Paris


Grevin Museum

Opened in 1882 on the Boulevard Montmartre. This collection of wax figures is modeled on a similar, but older, Madame Tussauds. In addition to individual historical figures and famous people, the exhibition includes fictional characters and scenes of specific events. The latter most often reflect the history of France. On a permanent basis, the collection consists of approximately five hundred figures.

Address: Paris, Boulevard Montmartre, 10


Museum in the Luxembourg Gardens

Located on the banks of the Seine in a wing of the palace bearing the same name. The art museum in its present form has become more of an exhibition complex. There is no permanent exhibition here, but the galleries are not empty: every time there are new exhibitions, as the famous museums or artists and little-known to the general public, but who deserved the name among the colleagues and critics. The government has given the museum the task of promoting art.

Address: Paris, Rue de Vaugirard, 19


Balzac House Museum

The museum was founded in 1949. In this building, then in a suburb of the French capital, lived the future founder of European realism in literature. He took a pseudonym to rent an apartment here, as he was hiding from his own debts. The museum contains the writer’s personal belongings, as well as drafts and working materials. Sometimes temporary exhibitions are held here.

Address: Paris, Rue Raynouard, 47


Museum of the Sewerage

Opened in 1889. Describes the history of the city’s sewer system from the first attempts at centralization to the modern period. The exhibits are located underground not far from the current sewage system. That is, visitors can see with their own eyes all the principles of the system. From the tour it becomes clear about the origins of the construction of catacombs, as well as water purification methods.

Address: Paris, Pont de l’Alma, face au 93 quai d’Orsay


Fashion Museum

Open to tourists only part of the time – during temporary exhibitions. The rest of the year the exhibits are placed in storage, where they are kept under a certain temperature regime. The collection contains about seventy thousand items. According to them you can trace the development of fashion and the emergence of certain styles and trends. For the most part, the museum represents the world of high fashion, but in any rule there are exceptions.

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