Top 15 Art Museums in Paris

By Harshitha Jagathiesh

Known as the world’s artistic capital, Paris is a city that has long been celebrated for its rich cultural heritage and artistic contributions. 

From Renaissance masterpieces to groundbreaking contemporary art, there is an impressive array of museums in Paris showcasing the best human creativity.

This article will take you on a virtual tour of the top 15 Paris art museums, each with unique charm and artistic treasures. 

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking to explore the cultural gems of Paris, these museums are a must-see!

Get ready to be inspired, amazed and transported through the vibrant world of art and culture. 

1. Louvre Museum 

It is no wonder that Louvre Museum tops the list of the best museums in Paris.

The Louvre Museum, also known as the Musée du Louvre, is one of the world’s largest and most famous art museums. 

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, a historic monument that dates back to the late 12th century.

The Louvre Museum is renowned for its extensive collection, which spans over 9,000 years and includes approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century. 

The collection encompasses various art forms, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, antiquities and archaeological artifacts.

One of the most iconic works displayed at the Louvre is Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa. 

Other notable artworks include the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, Liberty Leading the People and the Code of Hammurabi.

Louvre hosts temporary exhibitions showcasing various themes, artists and historical periods. 

The museum’s architectural grandeur, with its iconic glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei, is also a significant attraction.

The Louvre Museum receives millions of visitors annually and offers guided tours, audio guides and educational programs to enhance visitors’ experiences. 

It is advisable to plan your visit and book your tickets in advance, as the museum can be quite crowded.

2. Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay is one of the most art museums located in Paris, France. 

Housed in a former railway station, the museum is known for its impressive 19th and early 20th-century art collection.

The Musée d’Orsay collection includes an extensive range of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces.

It showcases artworks from prominent period artists, such as Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Degas, Cézanne, Gauguin and Rodin.

The Musée d’Orsay is particularly renowned for its exceptional collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artworks.

Visitors can admire iconic pieces like Monet’s “Water Lilies,” Renoir’s “Bal du moulin de la Galette,” and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night Over the Rhône.”

In addition to its permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions that delve into specific themes, artists, or artistic movements. 

These exhibitions allow visitors to explore various aspects of art history and discover new perspectives.

The Musée d’Orsay attracts millions of visitors annually, drawn by its exceptional collection and captivating atmosphere. 

It provides a unique opportunity to experience Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and other significant art movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

3. Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is a modern and contemporary art museum located in the heart of Paris. 

Known for its unique architectural design, the museum stands out with its exposed pipes, colorful exterior and iconic glass facade. 

Visitors can explore an impressive collection of modern and contemporary artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries.

The museum features many art forms, including paintings, sculptures, installations, photography and new media. 

It showcases works by artists such as Picasso, Kandinsky, Warhol and Pollock. 

The collection spans various artistic movements, such as Cubism, Surrealism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art, etc. 

Centre Pompidou also hosts temporary exhibitions, which often focus on specific artists, themes, or artistic periods. 

These exhibitions offer fresh perspectives and insights into contemporary art practices and emerging artists.

It is a place where different art forms and disciplines intersect, fostering innovation and creativity.

4. Musee d’Art Moderne Paris

The Musée d’Art Moderne Paris, also known as the Paris Modern Art Museum, is a prominent institution dedicated to modern and contemporary art. 

Located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, the museum showcases an extensive collection of artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries.

The museum’s collection encompasses various artistic mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, video art and installations. 

It features works by influential modern and contemporary artists, both French and international. 

Visitors can explore masterpieces by artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani, Braque, Delaunay, Ernst, Calder, Klein, Warhol and Basquiat.

The Musée d’Art Moderne is known for its commitment to showcasing diverse artistic movements and styles. 

It presents exhibitions that explore specific themes and artistic periods or highlight the works of individual artists. 

These temporary exhibitions allow visitors to discover new perspectives and engage with contemporary art practices.

The museum organizes educational programs, conferences and cultural events to deepen visitors’ understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art. 

It also offers guided tours and workshops for individuals, families and school groups.

5. Musee de l’Orangerie

The Musée de l’Orangerie is a captivating art museum in the heart of Paris, specifically within the Tuileries Garden near the Louvre Museum. 

The museum is celebrated for its unique collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artworks and its serene and intimate setting.

One of the museum’s most notable highlights is its display of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series. 

These panoramic murals, encompassing eight large-scale panels, surround visitors and create an immersive experience, showcasing Monet’s mastery of light, color and nature. 

The Water Lilies are some of Monet’s most iconic and cherished works.

In addition to the Water Lilies, the Musée de l’Orangerie also houses an extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art from the early 20th century.

Visitors can admire paintings by renowned artists such as Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani and Derain. 

These artworks provide a comprehensive view of the artistic movements that revolutionized the art world during that period.

Apart from its permanent collection, the Musée de l’Orangerie hosts temporary exhibitions focusing on specific artists, themes, or art movements. 

These exhibitions provide an opportunity to discover lesser-known aspects of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and other artistic currents.

6. Musee Rodin 

The Musée Rodin is a captivating art museum in Paris dedicated to the works of the renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin. 

Located in the beautiful Hôtel Biron, the museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to appreciate Rodin’s exceptional sculptures and gain insight into his artistic process.

The museum’s collection showcases Rodin’s sculptures, including his iconic masterpiece, The Thinker. 

Visitors can marvel at the artist’s skill in capturing the human form and his ability to convey emotions through bronze. 

Other notable sculptures on display include The Kiss, The Gates of Hell, The Burghers of Calais and numerous busts and studies.

In addition to Rodin’s works, the Musée Rodin also houses a collection of artworks by his muse, companion and fellow sculptor, Camille Claudel. 

These pieces provide a fascinating glimpse into the artistic dialogue between the two artists and highlight Claudel’s significant contributions to sculpture.

The museum’s setting is equally captivating. 

The Hôtel Biron is a beautiful example of 18th-century architecture and the surrounding gardens add to the enchanting ambiance. 

Visitors can wander through the lush greenery, discovering sculptures nestled among the trees and flowers. 

The outdoor space also features Rodin’s monumental works, offering a dynamic and immersive experience.

7. Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux

The Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux is dedicated to preserving and displaying the famous Bayeux Tapestry. 

This extraordinary embroidered narrative artwork depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England.

The Bayeux Tapestry is an impressive piece of medieval art, measuring approximately 70 meters (230 feet) in length. 

It consists of a continuous panel of intricately woven wool thread depicting scenes of battles, feasts and other historical events. 

The tapestry provides valuable insights into the military campaign of William the Conqueror, who won the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Visitors to the museum have the opportunity to admire the tapestry firsthand. 

The exhibition provides an understanding of the historical context, the artistic techniques used and the significance of the events depicted. 

Audio guides and informative displays enhance the visitor’s experience, unraveling the story behind each panel.

8. Musee De Cluny

The Musée de Cluny, also known as the Cluny Museum, is a captivating art museum in France. 

Housed in the historic Hôtel de Cluny, the museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying medieval art and artifacts.

The museum’s collection spans various medieval art forms, including sculptures, paintings, tapestries, stained glass, metalwork and illuminated manuscripts. 

Visitors can explore the rich cultural heritage of the Middle Ages, discovering masterpieces that exemplify the artistic and religious traditions of the period.

One of the highlights of the Musée de Cluny is the collection of medieval tapestries, including the famous series “The Lady and the Unicorn.” 

These intricate and beautifully woven tapestries are considered some of the finest examples of medieval textile art, portraying allegorical scenes rich in symbolism.

Musée de Cluny’s temporary exhibitions delve into specific aspects of medieval art, culture and history, allowing visitors to explore different themes.

9. Musee de l’Armee

The Musée de l’Armée, or the Army Museum, is a prominent military museum in Paris, France. 

Situated within the historical complex of Les Invalides, the museum is dedicated to the military history of France from ancient times to the present day.

Visitors to the Musée de l’Armée can explore a vast collection of artifacts, weapons, uniforms and more that depicts the heritage of the French military.  

The museum’s galleries cover various topics, like ancient warfare, the Middle Ages, the Napoleonic era, World War I, World War II and modern conflicts.

One of the museum’s notable highlights is the Dome Church, which houses the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

This grand mausoleum serves as a final resting place for the renowned French military leader and it is an impressive example of neoclassical architecture.

Musée de l’Armée features a comprehensive section dedicated to the history of arms and armor. 

Visitors can marvel at various weapons, armor and equipment used by soldiers and knights throughout the ages.

10. Musee Jacquemart

The Musée Jacquemart-André is a captivating art museum in Paris, France. 

Situated in a beautiful mansion once a private residence, the museum showcases an exquisite collection of European art, decorative arts and furnishings.

The museum’s collection features artworks from various periods and artistic movements, including Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and 19th-century art. 

Visitors can admire masterpieces by renowned artists such as Botticelli, Rembrandt, Fragonard, Vigée Le Brun, etc.

One of the highlights of the Musée Jacquemart-André is the mansion’s grandeur. 

Designed in the Second Empire style, the opulent interiors and architectural details create a sumptuous backdrop for the displayed artworks. 

The museum provides visitors with a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the 19th-century Parisian elite.

In addition to the paintings, this museum in Paris also houses an impressive collection of decorative arts. 

Visitors can admire intricate tapestries, porcelain, furniture and other exquisite objects that showcase different periods’ craftsmanship and artistic techniques.

Beyond the art, the Musée Jacquemart-André offers visitors the chance to experience the museum café and restaurant. 

These elegant spaces provide a delightful setting for a break, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the refined atmosphere of the museum.

11. Fondation Louis Vuitton

The Fondation Louis Vuitton is a contemporary art museum and cultural center in Paris, France. 

Situated in the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, the museum provides a unique cultural experience within a beautiful natural setting. 

It offers an opportunity to explore contemporary art, experience cutting-edge architecture and engage with the vibrant art scene in Paris.

Designed by the renowned architect Frank Gehry, the building is an architectural masterpiece and a work of art in its own right.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton promotes contemporary art and culture, hosting various exhibitions, performances and cultural events. 

The museum showcases various contemporary artworks, including paintings, sculptures, installations, multimedia art and more.

The permanent collection of the Fondation Louis Vuitton features works by artists worldwide, focusing on contemporary art movements and emerging talents. 

The collection is dynamic and constantly evolving as new artworks are added to reflect the latest developments in the art world.

Adding to the permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions that explore specific themes, artists, or artistic practices. 

These exhibitions allow visitors to engage with innovative and thought-provoking contemporary art.

The museum is dedicated to visual arts and hosts various cultural events, including live performances, music concerts, talks and educational programs. 

12. Musee Picasso Paris

The Musée Picasso Paris, also known as the Picasso Museum, is one of the best art museums in Paris.  

It is dedicated to showcasing the works of the legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.

The Musée Picasso Paris houses an extensive collection of Picasso’s artworks, comprising over 5,000 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings and other creations. 

The collection spans the entirety of Picasso’s career, from his early works to his iconic Cubist and Surrealist periods, showcasing his versatility and artistic evolution.

Visitors to the museum can explore the different facets of Picasso’s art and gain insights into his creative process and influences. 

The collection includes renowned masterpieces such as “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and “Guernica,” along with lesser-known but equally significant works.

The museum also houses a collection of personal items and photographs that provide glimpses into the artist’s life and his relationships with friends and fellow artists.

The Musée Picasso Paris regularly organizes temporary exhibitions that delve into specific themes, periods, or aspects of Picasso’s art. 

These exhibitions offer a deeper understanding of his work and its broader cultural and artistic context.

13. Grand Palais

The Grand Palais is a prominent cultural and exhibition complex located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France. 

It is a stunning architectural landmark hosting various artistic and cultural events.

The Grand Palais was constructed for the Universal Exposition held in Paris in 1900. 

It was designed by architects including Henri Deglane, Albert Louvet and Albert Thomas. 

The building’s architectural style blends Beaux-Arts and Art Nouveau influences.

This architecture is characterized by its grand façade, ornate details and distinctive glass and steel roof.

The complex is divided into three major areas: the Nave, the Galeries Nationales (National Galleries) and the Palais de la Découverte (Palace of Discovery).

The Nave is a vast, impressive space characterized by its glass roof and monumental proportions. 

It has been used for various purposes, including hosting large-scale exhibitions, fashion shows, concerts and other cultural events.

The Galeries Nationales house temporary exhibitions that cover a wide range of artistic disciplines, including fine arts, photography, fashion, design and more. 

These exhibitions often feature renowned artists, historical collections and significant cultural themes.

The Palais de la Découverte is a science museum within the Grand Palais complex. 

It focuses on scientific exploration and education, presenting interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

14. Petit Palais 

The Petit Palais, meaning “Small Palace” in French, is an exquisite art museum in Paris, France. 

Built for the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1900, the Petit Palais is a magnificent example of Beaux-Arts architecture. 

Architect Charles Girault designed it and features an elegant façade adorned with intricate details, sculptural embellishments and beautiful mosaics.

The museum houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts, showcasing an extensive collection of artworks that span various periods and artistic styles. 

Visitors can explore paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and artifacts from antiquity to the early 20th century.

The collection includes works by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Monet, Renoir, Delacroix, Courbet and many others. 

It encompasses various art forms, including Renaissance masterpieces, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and sculptures from different periods.

The Petit Palais also boasts a lovely courtyard adorned with lush greenery, fountains and sculptures. 

The serene outdoor space provides a peaceful retreat in the heart of the bustling city, offering a pleasant spot for relaxation and reflection.

15. Musee des Arts Decoratifs

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, or Museum of Decorative Arts, is a renowned museum in Paris, France. 

It showcases the decorative arts, design, fashion and graphic arts from various periods and cultures.

The museum’s collection covers various artistic disciplines, including furniture, ceramics, glassware, jewelry, textiles, fashion, graphic design and advertising. 

It showcases the evolution of decorative arts and design from the Middle Ages to contemporary times.

It provides visitors with a comprehensive view of aesthetic trends and artistic craftsmanship.

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs houses a vast collection of over 150,000 objects, representing different styles, periods and cultural influences. 

Visitors can explore exquisite pieces from various eras, including Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Rococo, Renaissance and more. 

The collection features works by renowned artists, designers and craftsmen, highlighting their contributions to the decorative arts field.

The museum is located in the western wing of the Louvre Palace complex, near the Tuileries Garden. 

Its setting provides a convenient and picturesque location for visitors to explore both the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the surrounding cultural and historical landmarks.

Things to know before you plan your visit to the Paris Museums

Paris is known for its world-class museums, housing exceptional art collections, historical artifacts and cultural treasures. 

Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply seeking to explore the city’s rich cultural heritage, this section lists the essential tips and insights to enhance your visit.

Paris Museum hours

 Museums in Paris typically have specific opening and closing hours. 

Most of the museums are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. 

It is recommended to check the official websites of the museums you plan to visit.

This way, you can confirm their operating hours, which may vary between weekdays, weekends and holidays.

Plan Your Visit

With the vast collections in many museums, planning your visit is helpful. 

Research the highlights and areas of interest and prioritize the exhibits you want to see.

Comfortable Attire 

Museums often involve significant walking, so wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. 

Some museums may have specific dress codes for entry into certain areas, particularly in religious or historical sites.

Online tickets

Consider purchasing online tickets to the museums. 

Some museums in Paris have timed entry or require reservations, particularly for popular exhibitions or during peak tourist seasons. 

Paris Museum Pass

Consider purchasing the Paris Museum Pass, which provides access to multiple museums and attractions in the city. 

This pass can save you time and money if you plan to visit several museums during your stay.

Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your Paris Museum Pass

Here are some tips for maximizing your Paris Museum Pass experience:

  • Plan and research the attractions you want to visit.
  • The pass is valid for specific consecutive hours (2, 4, or 6 days) from the first use, not whole calendar days.
  • If you have a more extended stay in Paris, schedule the days you want to use the pass and differentiate them from non-pass days.
  • When visiting museums, ask the staff if there are separate lines for pass holders.
  • Consider whether the pass is worth it for children, as many museums offer free or reduced admission for children under 18.
  • Residents of the European Union, particularly those under 26, may already be eligible for discounts or free entry at certain museums by showing a valid photo ID or university ID.
  • Check if any attractions have designated free admission days, allowing you to visit them on non-pass days.
  • Be aware of attractions’ opening days and hours, as some may have limited schedules or be closed for restoration work.
  • Avoid rushing through all the museums; enjoy other aspects of Paris and its culture.
  • Remember that Paris has much more to offer beyond the museums in the past, so prioritize well.

Paris Museum skip-the-line tickets

Paris Museum skip the line tickets offer the chance to skip all waiting queues and have an uninterrupted visit to the museum. 

While purchasing online tickets, look for skip the line tickets.

These tickets help you save time you might spend on waiting time and queues if not for the skip the line benefit. 

FAQs

1. Which is the largest museum in Paris? 

The largest museum in Paris is the Louvre Museum. 

It covers an area of approximately 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet) and boasts over 38,000 objects in its collection.

2. What days are museums closed in Paris?

A lot of the museums in Paris are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. 

3. Is the Paris museum pass worth it?

Yes, the Paris Museum Pass is worth it!

The Paris Museum Pass allows you to access over 60 museums and save time and money!

4. What museums are included in the Paris Museum Pass?

The Paris Museum Pass includes access to over 60 museums and monuments in Paris and its surrounding areas. 

Some notable museums include the Louvre Museum, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, Palace of Versailles, Sainte-Chapelle, Arc de Triomphe and Musée Rodin. 

5. Where to get the Paris Museum Pass?

We recommend you purchase the Paris Museum Pass online here

By purchasing the pass online, not only do you save time and money, but you also negate all hassles from your itinerary!

6. Does the Paris Museum Pass include skip-the-line access?

Yes, the Paris Museum Pass does include skip-the-line access to various museums!

7. Where is the Louvre built?

The Louvre Museum is built on the Right Bank of the River Seine in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. 

8. Who built the Louvre Museum?

The Louvre Museum, as it stands today, is the result of centuries of construction and architectural additions. 

However, the initial construction of the Louvre began in the late 12th century under the orders of King Philip II of France. 

The most recognizable architectural addition to the Louvre- the glass pyramid entrance, was designed by the renowned architect I.M. Pei in 1989. 

9. Where is the Louvre Museum located?

The Louvre Museum is located in Paris, France.

Specifically, it is situated in the 1st arrondissement of the city, on the Right Bank of the River Seine. 

The museum’s address is Musée du Louvre, Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France.

10. How big is the Louvre Museum?

The Louvre Museum is quite expansive, covering approximately 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet). 

It is one of the world’s largest art museums in terms of floor space and collection size.

Why is Louvre so famous?

Among the many reasons the Lourve is so famous is its extensive collection.

The Louvre houses an extensive and diverse collection of artworks spanning over 9,000 years of human history. 

It boasts around 38,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures, antiquities, decorative arts and archaeological artifacts. 

Its collection includes masterpieces by renowned artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Rembrandt.

How far is the Louvre from the Eiffel Tower?

The distance between the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower in Paris is approximately 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) when traveling by the most direct route. 

Can you buy Louvre and Eiffel Tower tickets together?

Yes, with the iconic Louver and Eiffel Tower combo tickets, you get access to both Parisian attractions.

What is inside the Louvre?

Some of the notable highlights and categories of artwork and objects you can find inside the Louvre:

– Painting
– Sculpture
– Decorative Arts
– Antiquities
– Islamic Art
– Prints and Drawings

How much is the Louvre Museum ticket?

The Louvre Museum admission ticket costs €15 for standard admission. 

How to get tickets to the Louvre?

It is recommended to book your Louvre tickets online in advance to get your desired slot and visitation amenities. 
You can book your Louvre Museum tickets here!

Harshita
About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore