Lose Yourself in Paris' Best Museums: Discover the City's Art

Paige Donner

By , Local Expert, Paris
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If I had my "gap year" to do over again (you know, that year between high school and university) I would spend it in Paris and whittle whole days away in at least one museum per week. When I ask Parisian parents of school-age children how often do they get to the museums ? The response is usually, At least once a month. To me, that’s an education in itself.

Here’s a tip for you : The first Sunday of each month the museums in Paris have free entry. Yep. Free. For everyone. Mind you, the lines for the Louvre those days are miles long, but, still…

On this list, for every museum I’ve listed, there are at least three that I’ve...  Read more »

  • 1

    Centre Georges Pompidou

    The Centre Pompidou is the 2nd most visited Paris attraction/monument, just after the Eiffel Tower.

    Local Expert Tip: "The exterior fixtures, its signature design, are color-coded: electrical wires encased in yellow, green for plumbing, blue for climate control and red for escalators and safety devices."

  • 2

    Musée National Rodin

    The Musée Rodin houses some of Rodin's finest works such as Le Baiser (The Kiss) and also the famous, The Thinker.

    Local Expert Tip: "Just one euro gets you entrance to these magnificent gardens, a gorgeous place to quietly sit and read a book. "

  • 3

    Musée de la Vie Romantique

    The musuem is an important one, culturally and historically and the neighborhood, the whole New Athens...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "Summer time is the best time to visit as the courtyard garden serves tea and light refreshments and set back from the street like it is, it's a breath of fresh air. "

  • 4

    Musée d'Orsay

    Musée Quai d'Orsay houses one of the world's most significant, if not the most significant, collections of impressionist art work.

    Local Expert Tip: "The top-floor café has you looking out towards the Seine through the massive face of the clock you see from its exterior. Superb (re-)design. "

  • 5

    Carnavalet — Musée de l'Histoire de Paris

    When in Paris one must take in the city's history and breathe its past.

    Local Expert Tip: "The Orangerie, one of the highlights of visiting this museum, was entirely restored in 2000. Entrance is fee for permanent collections. "

  • 6

    Musée du Louvre

    The Louvre is perhaps the most impressive museum anywhere in the world, as well as the largest.

    Local Expert Tip: "Free admission first Sunday of the month. Arrive early to (try) to beat the lines. "

  • 7

    Maison Européenne de la Photographie

    The director of this museum also organizes the Paris Photo week every November, a huge photography extravaganza that is internationally renown.

    Local Expert Tip: "Wednesday afternoons the museum here on the Seine side of the Marais offers free entrance."

  • 8

    Musée Marmottan-Claude Monet

    An exquisite private museum in Paris that houses the most important collection of Monet that rivals the Musée d'Orsay's, even.

    Local Expert Tip: "The Bois de Boulogne with its lovely pathways and idyllic lakes is just across the street from this private museum. "

  • 9

    Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

    MaM anchors the triumvirate of the Musée de la Mode de Paris and the Palais de Tokyo, all within a stone's throw of eachother.

    Local Expert Tip: "This museum is free entry to permanent exhibits all the time. It is also just next door to the super cool Palais de Tokyo and across the street from the Musée Galliera, the Fashion Museum of Paris. "

  • 10

    Petit Palais — Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

    Perched regally across from the Grand Palais, the major domo of Paris museums with its big marquée art exhibits and annual Chanel couture shows.

    Local Expert Tip: "Sweet little garden café in its inner courtyard is a not-so-obvious choice to sit and refresh oneself. "



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