Having trouble navigating the massive number of Paris museums? Here are some of our favorites to get you started.
Paris Museums – Our favorites:
The Centre Pompidou opened in 1977 and houses the biggest modern and contemporary art collection in Europe. Its exhibitions have an international outlook and you can also enjoy shows and concerts at the Centre. Practical information about your visit can be found here.
The Louvre Museum was created in 1793 during the French Revolution. While you may know it as the home of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, it houses so much more (Don’t forget to grab a map of the 5 levels and 3 interconnected wings!). If you are looking to spend only a few hours in the Louvre, I recommend visiting the Denon Wing for a mixture of sculptures, antiquities, and paintings (including the Mona Lisa)!
The Musée d’Orsay is my personal favorite museum in Paris…Don’t miss it! It used to be a railroad station and houses a famous clock facing the seine (Some say it’s the best photo spot in Pairs, so don’t forget to snap a photo). You can find an amazing collection of impressionist art and sculptures in this museum, including the Little Dancer Aged Fourteen by Degas.
Starting at the end of 2020, the Grand Palais will begin a 3 year renovation, so be sure to see it soon! It features a large glass dome and large-scale exhibitions on artists that have marked the history of art, like Picasso, Hopper, Renoir.
In the Petit Palais, just across from the Grand Palais, there is a museum of fine arts. Entrance to the permanent collection is free and there is a beautiful garden where you can sit and relax. The museum features European art from antiquity to the 20th century.
Musée Yves Saint Laurent
The well-curated Musée Yves Saint Laurent is a must see if you are a fashion lover. You can see pieces from YSL’s collections, visit his studio, and watch a documentary film. You can even look at the cute little dish he used for his dog near his desk!
If you want to venture twenty metres underground, take a trip to the Paris Catacombs! There are six million remains from the end of the 18th century to the mid 19th century (when the Parisian cemeteries were closed for health reasons). The catacombs are a great change of pace and a beautiful ode to Parisian history. Be sure to bring a sweater, it can get chilly down there!
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimonie
The Museum of French Monuments, which was integrated with the larger Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimonie in 2004, encourages the spread of architectural culture. It seeks to help the members of the general public (that’s you!) become active participants in architecture and urban development. Here, you can explore the history of architecture from the Midlde Ages to the present day. We definitely recommend this museum if you geek out about architecture or urban planning!
Musée National de Clouny
The Musée National de Clouny / Musée du Moyen Age is located in the 5e arrondissement. You can view tapestries, architecture, ceiling vaults, sculptures, and stained glass from the Middle Ages and sit in the lovely Middle-Aged style garden.
Musée des Arts et Métiers
The Musée des Arts et Métiers was founded in 1794 as a repository for the preservation of scientific instruments and inventions. If you are interested in engineering or technical developments, you might find this museum interesting! It showcases mechanics, materials, construction methodologies, and means of communication and transport.
Atelier des Lumières
Currently, at the Atelier des Lumières, you can partake in an immersive experience of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. His work is projected in motion and in massive form throughout a disability-friendly loft. We highly recommend the Atelier and look forward to its future, magical exhibits!
We hope this list of Paris museums helps you plan your stay! Looking for more advice for your trip to Paris? Feel free to email us here at ParisByM or to explore our predesigned deals online. Bon voyage!