The Louvre is the world’s largest museum in France, housing some of history’s most outstanding art collections. It is a palace museum in Paris, located on the banks of the Seine River. Originally a stronghold established in 1190, the structure was rebuilt in the 16th century to serve as a royal palace and subsequently as a museum.
The Louvre’s extensive collection of over 30,000 pieces of art includes everything from Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities to European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries. The French crown jewels, ancient French furniture, Islamic art, and Neoclassical 18th-century statuary are also on display.
The most famous works of art include Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Veronese’s grandiose floor-to-ceiling painting Les Noces de Cana, Jacques Louis David’s Le Sacre de Napoléon 1er, the 2nd century BC Vénus de Milo statue, and the monumental Victoire de Samothrace sculpture, also known as the Winged Victory.
Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
(Métro: Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre)
Hours of Operation: The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It is open till 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and closed on Tuesdays.
Official website: http://www.louvre.fr/en/homepage
The Musée d’Orsay
In a restored Belle Epoque railway station, the Musée d’Orsay has an unparalleled collection of 19ths- and 20th-century art (from 1848 to 1914). The collection includes works by all of Impressionism’s major painters, including Boudin, Caillebotte, Corot, Courbet, Degas, Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Renoir, and Vuillard.
The Musee d’Orsay is a prominent French museum located on the banks of the Seine River in Paris. It is an ancient museum that has been rebuilt from a French national monument and has some of the most renowned artworks by Jean Auguste, Johan Barthold Jongkind, Berthe Morisot, and Eugene Carriere. Furthermore, the museum is globally recognised for its collection of impressionist art, which includes everything from paintings to architecture, sculptures, and decoratives.
Claude Monet’s Coquelicots (Poppies), Gare Saint-Lazare, and Nymphéas Bleus (Blue Water Lilies) are among the museum’s most outstanding works, as are Renoir’s La Balançoire (The Swing), Danse à la Campagne, and Bal du Moulin de la Galette; Cézanne’s Pommes et Oranges still-life painting; Degas’ La Classe de Danse; and Mor (The Cradle).
The museum is set within a historic railway station known as the Gare d’Orsay and is one of the loveliest sites to visit in France.
Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
(Métro: Gare Musée d’Orsay).
Hours of Operation: The museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Thursday, when it closes at 9:45 p.m.
Official Website: http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/
The Centre Pompidou
The Pompidou Center houses the Musée National d’Art Moderne, a vast collection of 20th- and 21st-century art organised chronologically, beginning with the Modern collection, which includes Braque, Duchamp, Dufy, Matisse, Kandinsky, and Picasso and continuing with the Contemporary collection.
The Centre Georges Pompidou, or simply Centre Pompidou, is a major modern art centre in Paris. It was founded in February 1977 by former French President Georges Pompidou, who desired a major public centre in Paris for all types of modern art and cultural activities. A worldwide team of architects built this inside-out structure, and its significance in the area of architecture is obvious.
The Musée du Luxembourg and the Jeu de Paume donated the Drawing collection. This collection includes works of graphic art by Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, and Henri Matisse, among others.
The Centre Pompidou exhibits different types of art, including a Film and New Media collection that includes visual art installations as well as experimental and creative films from 1902 to the present.
Address: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
(Métro: Rambuteau, Hôtel de Ville, or Châtelet-Les Halles)
Hours of Operation: Every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (except Tuesdays and the 1st of May).
till 11 p.m. on Thursday (only the floor 6 exhibitions).
Official website: https://www.centrepompidou.fr/en
The Musée Picasso
The Musée National Picasso-Paris, which was renovated in 2014, is located in the historic Marais district in the Hôtel Salé, one of Paris’s largest 17th-century noble residences. Visitors may relax on park seats in the property’s magnificent French formal garden.
The mansion’s 3,700 square metres of exhibition space is utilised to display a diverse variety of Picasso’s paintings, sculptures, and sketches spanning the artist’s entire career. The museum houses about 5,000 artefacts, making it the world’s greatest collection of Picasso’s paintings.
The museum’s collection comprises tens of thousands of preserved artefacts from Picasso’s personal repository, including the artist’s photographic archive, personal documents, correspondence, and author manuscripts. Picasso’s family contributed a substantial amount of the artefacts after his death, in accordance with the artist’s intentions, who resided in France from 1905 to 1973.
Picasso’s Self-Portrait and La Célestine from the Blue phase, the Demoiselles d’Avignon (Young Ladies of Avignon), and the Homme à la Mandoline (Man with Mandolin) from the Cubist period are among the most recognisable pieces in the collection. The paintings of Large Nudes, vivid Matadors, and amusing Musicians are all remarkable.
The Musée Picasso is home to Picasso’s personal art collection, which is not to be missed. Picasso’s collection contains works by some of the most well-known 20th-century painters, including Braque, Cézanne, Corot, Degas, Derain, Gauguin, Renoir, Matisse, Miró, and Rousseau.
Address: 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris
(Métro: Saint-Paul, Saint-Sébastien-Froissart, or Chemin Vert).
Hours of Operation: 10.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except Monday, when is closed.
Official website: http://www.museepicassoparis.fr/en/
The Musée Rodin
Rodin rented a portion of the estate for use as an art studio in 1908, and he occupied the full structure beginning in 1911. The museum has recreated Rodin’s art studio as it was outfitted and decorated during the artist’s time here using historical pictures. A selection of Rodin’s artwork is also on exhibit, as is his personal art collection, which he bequeathed to the French government.
Another excellent museum in France is the Musee Rodin. The museum is devoted to the French sculptor Auguste Rodin and is located in an old structure. Its structure has beautiful embellishments and vast galleries displaying over 8000 paintings, 6600 sculptures, and 7000 other things. In addition, the museum houses an excellent archive of battle images.
The Rodin Museum’s collection is housed in the 18th-century Hôtel Biron, a Neoclassical-style chateau designated as a Historical Monument. The property’s formal garden, with its shaded trees and well-kept shrubbery, inspired French sculptor Auguste Rodin.
After visiting the artefacts in the home, tourists can meander around the Sculpture Garden and have lunch or afternoon tea or coffee and dessert at the café-restaurant L’Augustine. The café-restaurant provides classic French cuisine made with fresh ingredients, as well as pâtisserie (tarts, cakes, and so on) from the famed Maison Lenôtre.
The three-hectare Sculpture Garden has full-size replicas of Rodin’s world-famous works, such as The Thinker (Le Penseur), the Monument to the Burghers of Calais (Les Bourgeois de Calais), and The Gates of Hell (La Porte d’Enfer). Rodin had originally installed ancient statues from his own collection in the garden.
Address: 77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris
(Métro: Varenne or Invalides)
Hours Of Operation: The museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Thursday, when it closes at 9:45 p.m.
Official website: http://www.musee-rodin.fr/en/home
The Musée de l’Orangerie
The Musée de l’Orangerie is one of the greatest sites to see Impressionist art in Paris. The Orangerie Museum’s emphasis on Impressionism and 19th- to 20th-century art is comparable to that of the Musée d’Orsay, except that it is smaller and less well-known, and hence typically less crowded.
The Musee de l’Orangerie, located near the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, houses several impressionist artworks by primarily French painters. The museum displays paintings from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including works by Renoir, Picasso, Cézanne, and others.
Monet’s series of Nymphéas (Water Lilies) is a feature of the museum, housed in two elliptical chambers dubbed the “Sistine Chapel of Impressionism” by André Masson in 1952. The huge size of the panoramic paintings first impresses the visitor; the series of eight paintings covers 200 square metres, the whole wall area of both exhibition rooms.
“Water Lilies” by Claude Monet is a highlight of the Musee de l’Orangerie. The water lilies in Monet’s garden at Giverny are the subject of these enormous canvases. Light, light refraction, and colour all play important roles in this series. They were created between 1914 and 1926, the final 15 years of his life.
Address: Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris
(Métro: Concorde or Tuileries).
Hours Of Operation: Every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Tuesday.
Official Website: https://www.musee-orangerie.fr/en/
The Musée du quai Branly
The Musée du Quai Branly is a significant ethnographic museum located near Paris. The museum, created by architect Jean Nouvel, has an area of 40,600 m2, with one wall 200 metres long and 12 metres high on the outside covered with plants developed by French botanist Patrick Blanc.
A tribal mask from Papua New Guinea, a carved ivory saltshaker from Nigeria, a wedding outfit from Vietnam, an embroidered ceremonial robe from Uzbekistan, a traditional ritual lamp from Nepal, and a feathered helmet from the Hawaiian Islands are among the museum’s highlights.
The collection unites the collections of the defunct Musée de l’Homme and the Musée national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie. From a total collection of 300,000 artefacts, 3500 are on exhibit, comprising art treasures from Africa, Asia, Oceania, Australia, and North, Central, and South America.
Within the museum’s two-hectare lawn, there is a cinema and a modest café (Café Jacques). Café Jacques boasts a nice outside patio with views of the Eiffel Tower. Seasonal ingredients are used to create the typical French lunch meal. Café Jacques’ dessert menu is offered all day and includes Ducasse Manufacture hot chocolate.
Address: 37 Quai Branly, Paris, 75007
(Métro: Alma-Marceau, Iéna, Ecole Militaire, or Bir Hakeim station)
Hours Of Operation: Except on Monday, the hours of operation are 10.30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Official Website: http://www.quaibranly.fr/en/
The Grevin Museum (Musée Grévin) in Paris is one of Europe’s oldest wax museums, having opened in 1882. The Musée Grévin, the most entertaining of Paris’ museums, is pure entertainment for tourists. Visitors are entertained by this popular wax museum’s astonishingly accurate likenesses of today’s most renowned celebrities, as well as historical personalities from French history.
Visitors can “meet” Louis XIV (the Sun King), Napoleon Bonaparte, and Victor Hugo, as well as Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie, and Penélope Cruz (among more than 200 celebrities).
Around 450 waxworks of French and worldwide celebrities, including Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Elton John, Vladimir Putin, Louis de Funès, Stromae, Nolwenn Leroy, and Charles Aznavour, can be seen in the Grevin Museum. It also features a permanent display on optical illusions.
Address: 10 Boulevard Montmartre, 75009 Paris
(Métro: Richelieu-Drouot or Grands Boulevards stations)
Hours of Operation: 10 a.m.-5 p.m Wednesday to Sunday.
Official website: https://www.grevin-paris.com/en
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs is a museum in Paris dedicated to applied art and design. The museum, which opened in 1905 in the Louvre’s west wing, presently has a collection of about 150,000 pieces, 6,000 of which are on display in public displays.
It is split into four historical sections: the Middle Ages, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Contemporary. It also has five themed departments: graphics, jewellery, toys, wallpaper, and glass.
Visitors marvel at the diversity of things on display, which includes mediaeval altarpieces and Renaissance bridal boxes, as well as 18th-century tapestries and First Empire silverware.
The Musée Nissim de Camondo, located at 63 Rue de Monceau in the 8th arrondissement, is affiliated with the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. This exquisite Belle Epoque private estate has a spectacular collection of 18th-century French decorative art artefacts and paintings, including brilliant chandeliers, gilded clocks, Sèvres porcelain, and Marie Antoinette’s vases.
The Ateliers du Carrousel, which provides art programmes for children and adults taught by expert artists, is also supported by the Museum of Decorative Arts.
Address: 107-111 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
(Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre, Tuileries, or Pyramides stations.
Hours Of Operation: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., closed on Sunday
Official website: https://madparis.fr/en/
The Musée du Luxembourg
The Musée du Luxembourg was the first French museum that opened to the public, in 1750. It now hosts two exhibitions a year. The Réunion des Musées Nationaux and the Grand Palais organise these.
The Musée du Luxembourg closed its doors in 1937 and remained vacant for more than 40 years. The National Museum of Modern Art, which held his collections, opened in 1947 at the Palais de Tokyo before moving to the Center Pompidou in 1977.
The Musée du Luxembourg has been linked with its past, exhibiting exhibitions since 1979 and being managed by the Senate since 2000.
Thus, the Musée du Luxembourg conducts two exhibits every year on a national and international scale, focusing on subjects such as modernism in the twentieth century, photography, and women artists.
The Senate-owned Museum, located between the Palais du Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Gardens, has an outstanding position in the centre of the Latin Quarter.
The Musée du Luxembourg’s permanent collection exited the walls in 1937. The pieces have now been distributed to other institutions. Works from the nineteenth century can therefore be added to the collections of the Musée d’Orsay or the Musée du Louvre, while works from the twentieth century can be added to the Center Pompidou.
Shigeru Ban, the architect, extensively reconfigured its areas to accommodate the Angelina restaurant/tearoom and the Museum’s teaching seminars.
Address: 19 rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris.
Hours Of Operation: 10.30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Official website: https://en.museeduluxembourg.fr/
The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
The Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris is situated in an Art Nouveau building erected for the 1937 International Art and Technical Exhibition. The museum, which opened in 1961, concentrates on 20th- and 21st-century art and has a collection of around 13,000 pieces.
The museum, which was built for the 1937 International Exhibition of Arts and Technology and is located in the Palais de Tokyo’s eastern wing, was inaugurated in 1961.
After a €10 million renovation by architects, the museum reopened in October 2019.
Exhibits showcase the European and worldwide art scenes of the twentieth century, as well as monographic and theme exhibitions of contemporary art movements. Every six weeks, there are temporary exhibitions.
Among the artists included in the collection are Bonnard, Braque, Chagall, Derain, Dufy, Léger, Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, and Vuillard. The collection covers the key movements in contemporary art by featuring a diverse selection of artists.
Throughout the year, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions.
Address: 11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris (Métro: Alma-Marceau or Iéna).
Hours Of Operation: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Official website: http://www.mam.paris.fr/en
The Musée Carnavalet
The Musée Carnavalet – Histoire de Paris, which reopened in 2021, is nestled in a secluded nook of Le Marais, an evocative area known for its splendid mediaeval and Renaissance buildings.
The Musée Carnavalet is the city’s history museum in Paris, with a large collection. The museum is made up of the Hôtel de Carnavalet and the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, which total roughly a hundred rooms. Count Jacques des Ligneris, President of the Paris Parliament at the time, erected the Hôtel Carnavalet in 1548. The museum traces the history of Paris from its beginnings to the present.
A collection of portrait paintings and profiles of famous Parisians highlight the city’s most powerful people. The collection documents the intellectual and cultural growth of Paris while covering significant events such as the Wars of Religion and the French Revolution.
The museum depicts the history of Paris via a vast collection of antiquities, historical paintings, sketches, and objects of art (approximately 3,800 items). Exhibits include ancient items, mediaeval relics, and Belle Epoque décor. The collection includes images of student protests in the 1960s as well as exhibitions regarding the 2019 Notre Dame fire.
Madame de Sévigné lived in the Hôtel Carnavalet from 1677 to 1696, and her letters to her daughter (almost 1,500 in number) describing life in Paris and at the court at Versailles give significant insights into Louis XIV’s epoch (the Sun King). The museum houses some of Madame de Sévigné’s personal things.
Address: 75003 Paris
(Métro: Saint-Paul station)
Hours Of Operation: 10 am to 6 pm. Monday is a holiday.
Official website: https://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/musee-carnavale
The Musée de l’Armée
The Musée de l’Armée (Paris Army Museum) is housed in the Cathédrale de Saint-Louis-des-Invalides, which is part of the Hôtel des Invalides. Its historical military collection has almost 500,000 artefacts from from the Middle Ages to the present day, including pictures, paintings, medals, armour, sculptures, uniforms, and weaponry.
The Musee de L’Armee, France’s national military museum, is located in the centre of Paris and was opened to the public in 1905. The museum has antiques and artefacts from the French army, which draw history aficionados from all around the world.
The museum has an exhibition space of approximately 8000 m2 and a permanent display that incorporates the historical collection as well as the Second World War. Thematic collections are displayed in the temporary exhibits.
The Musee de L’Armee is situated in Les Invalides, a palace edifice that houses different exhibitions and monuments relating to French history.
Address: 129 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
Hours Of Operation: The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week.
Official Website: https://www.musee-armee.fr/
The Musée national de la Renaissance
The Chateau d’Écouen, built in the sixteenth century, is one of France’s outstanding architectural achievements. It was established as a national museum in 1977 and today holds a significant collection of European Renaissance ornamental arts.
The Château d’Écouen was built by the exceedingly rich Duc Anne de Montmorency, a companion of Kings François I and Henri II. After just 18 years of construction, this French Renaissance building was dedicated in 1555. The holdings contain a remarkable range of ornamental arts, paintings, and sculpture from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.
Toussaint Dubreuil (c. 1561—22 November 1602) was a French Mannerist painter linked (from 1594) with the second School of Fontainebleau (together with the painters Martin Fréminet and Ambroise Dubois) and Italianism, a transitional art style. Many of Dubreuil’s topics are mythical events or scenes from fiction by writers such as the Italian Torquato Tasso, the ancient Greek novelist Heliodorus of Emesa, and the French poet Pierre de Ronsard.
The Voyage of Ulysses by the Italian Guidoccio Cozzarelli of Siena, dated around 1480, is one of the most significant paintings. It was initially fastened to a big chest and was supposed to be put in the newlyweds’ bedroom to remind the bride of the virtue of constancy. The artwork, based on Homer’s Odyssey, portrays Ulysses’ wife, Penelope, patiently awaiting her husband’s return from his twenty-year journey.
Address: 95440 Écouen, Château d’Écouen
Hours Of Operation: Wednesday through Monday: 9.30 a.m. to 12.45 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5.45 p.m.
Official website: http://www.musee-renaissance.fr/
The Musée des Arts et Métiers
The Musée National des Arts et Metiers Techniques, founded in 1794 by Henri Grégoire, is a museum of scientific instruments and technical innovation. The collection contains almost 2,400 inventions that demonstrate extraordinary technical breakthroughs.
Guided tours or demonstrations by our scientific interpreters, a short tour centred on the museum’s 150 “flagship artefacts,” an unlimited investigation inspired by reading our “albums,” or one of three audioguide tours accessible in eight languages are all available.
The original version of Foucault’s Pendulum is not to be missed. The metal pendulum swings 360 degrees every 24 hours, as demonstrated by the French physicist Jean Foucault in 1851, establishing the earth’s rotation.
Address: 60 Rue Réaumur, 75003 Paris
(Métro: Réaumur-Sébastopol station).
Hours Of Operation: Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday night until 9:00 p.m.
Mondays, January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th are all closed.
Official website: http://www.arts-et-metiers.net/musee/visitor-information/
I am a French history enthusiast and blogger. I love to travel around France, exploring its many historical sites and sharing my passion with my readers. I am also an avid photographer, and my blog features many of my stunning photos of France’s beautiful landscape and architecture.