The museums in Paris are some of the best museums in the world and definitely worth a visit. But what are the museums you should visit first? In this article, I’ll share 9 favorites.
The Louvre is probably the most famous museum in Paris. If you’re short on time and only have 2 days in Paris or less, you have to visit this museum! The building itself is an amazing thing to see. The entrance with the glass pyramid is famous, thanks to the book The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. In the museum, you’ll find some of the most famous artworks in the world, like the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and The Raft of the Medusa.
Tickets €15 (at the entrance) or €17 (online, fast access)
Check the official website of the Louvre for up to date information about opening hours and prices.
If you can’t travel to Paris at the moment, or don’t feel like standing in the queue to get into the museum, you can also visit some parts of the Louvre virtually.
Since 2014, you can visit the new Musée Picasso. The museum is located in the neighborhood of the Marais in a beautiful historic building: Hotel Salé. In this museum, you’ll find the largest Picasso-collection in the world. Picasso spent a large part of his life in France. Expect to see many paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Picasso. You will also see some artworks by other famous artists, like Renoir, Matisse, and Miró.
Check out the offical website of Musée Picasso for opening hours and discounts.
Auguste Rodin is one of the most well-known artists in France. He was mostly known for his sculptures and you will see lots of them in the big garden of Musée Roding. This museum is also housed in a gorgeous building: Hôtel Biron. Rodin lived here for a while.
You can find more information about opening hours and prices on the official website of Musée Rodin.
Musée d’Orsay is housed in a former train station: Gare d’Orsay. That’s one of the reasons to visit this museum because you can still see the structure of the station. You can see the arches and also the old station clock. The museum is filled with art western art from the period between 1848 and 1914. You will see sculptures by Rodin and paintings by Van Gogh, Monet, and Toulouse-Lautrec.
Do you prefer modern art? Centre Pompidou is the place to be! The museum itself is a piece of art, as it is housed in a very interesting building. Because of all the pipes and tubes, it looks like the museum is inside out! In the museum, you’ll see works by Marcel Duchamp, Yves Klein, and Andy Warhol
The roof terrace of the museum is also worth a visit since it offers a fantastic view of Paris. And don’t forget to check out the colorful Stravinksy fountain right outside. This was made by Niki de Saint Phalle en Jean Tinquely as a tribute to the famous composer Igor Stravinsky.
Check out the official website of Centre Pompidou for up to date information about opening hours and prices.
Musée de l’Orangerie
Musée de l’Orangerie is a small museum in the Jardin des Tuileries, near the Louvre (this is also one of the most beautiful parks in Paris). It’s mostly known because it houses the famous Water Lilies (series) by Claude Monet.
Officially, Opéra Garnier is not a museum, but when you step inside, it sure feels that way! The building is richly decorated, with a huge ceiling painting by Marc Chagall. For a long time, this was the largest opera house in Europe. Everywhere you look, you’ll see marble, frescoes, and gold leaf accents. You can see the building when you visit a performance or you can take an audio tour.
Tickets €14 (inclusief audiotour)
Check out the website of Opéra Garnier for more information about tickets and tours. Would you like to visit Opéra Garnier without leaving your house? Not a problem! You can visit this venue virtually as well.
The Panthéon is also not a museum, but definitely worth a visit. It’s a very impressive monument, that used to be a church. Nowadays, it’s a resting place for famous French people. Here, you will find the graves of Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie.
In the center of the building, you can see a copy of the Foucault pendulum, which proved in 1851 that the earth is rotating.
Check out the official website for up to date opening hours and prices.
You can’t visit the Pantheon virtually, but thanks to this awesome 360-degree picture, you’ll get an idea of what it’s like to visit this beautiful building.
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is located 19 kilometers outside of Paris, in the town of Versailles. A lot of people visit this castle when they visit Paris for a city trip, so that’s why I would like to include it on this list with the most beautiful museums in Paris.
The enormous compels is a national museum since 1792 and also one of the most visited places in France. It’s all glitter and glamour, the rooms filled with golden decorations, marble, and expensive fabrics. It’s a fantastic place to visit and you just want to explore it all. Also, the gardens, which Louis XIV of France had created for his wife Marie Antoinette, are spectacular.
Don’t expect to see all of the Palace of Versailles in a couple of hours, you’ll need at least a day.
Tickets €20 (castle and gardens)
More information about prices and opening hours can be found on the official website of the Palace of Versailles.
You can also visit the Palace of Versailles virtually. The best part? There are no other tourists around!
Map with the most beautiful museums in Paris
Most of the museums are within walking distance of each other. So, on a rainy day, it’s easy to walk from one museum to the other. Here is a map of all the museums I’ve mentioned in this article:
These are my favorite museums in Paris. Which one is your favorite?
Would you like to read more about Paris?
Check out these articles:
– Top 5 things to do in Paris
– These are the 5 most beautiful parks in Paris, France
– City trip in France: 4 amazing cities