10x Best museums in Paris that are cool & famous to visit

Looking for the best museums in Paris? The Louvre Museum and the Musée d’Orsay should be at the top of your list. These are without a doubt two of the best museums in Paris. In addition, there are very cool & famous museums dedicated to famous artists such as Picasso, Rodin and Monet. Paris has about 130 museums and more are being added all the time. The perfect place to get lost in historic buildings where the greatest works of art from different (modern) artistic movements, time periods and cultures can be found. Many of the world’s greatest artists came to live and work in Paris. Tip: take the metro in Paris every now and then to get around, many great museums are quite far apart.

Have you ever visited the biggest museums in Paris? Then visit some small, lesser-known art museums in Paris. There are beautiful museums in Paris for everyone’s interests, from perfumes to fashion and fairs. We also share some of our favorite free museums in Paris. The nicest and most beautiful museum in Paris? Our choice goes to the Musée d’Orsay. The Musée d’Orsay also takes pride of place in the hearts of many Parisians. Whether it concerns modern art, fashion, architecture or famous works by Monet and Picasso, we take you to the (newest) museums in the heart of Paris. Discover the top 10 best museums to visit in Paris in this article and easily order your tickets online. This way you can avoid the queues. Have fun in Paris with these must-see and must-visit museums in Paris!

Good to know:
– Some museums in Paris are free to enter every first Sunday of the month.
– Aren’t you 26 yet? Then you can enter many museums in Paris for free.
– Going to Paris with children? Then visit the Paris Natural History Museum.

• Fun to do: Book a Paris Museum Pass for 2, 4, or 6 days →

Top 10 of the best museums in Paris & book online tickets (+ extra 6 to visit for free)
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    Top 10 best museums in Paris you must visit
    Top 10 best museums in Paris you must visit
    Some Sundays the good museums are free
    Some Sundays the good museums are free

    1. The Louvre: the most famous and biggest art museum in Paris (1st)

    The Louvre in Paris, the most famous and biggest museum in the world, should not be missed during your visit to Paris. The Louvre is, next to the Eiffel Tower, one of the most visited sights in Paris. Rightly so. The cultural symbol of Paris with a number of world famous works of art such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo. The works of art cover a period of history of no less than 5,000 years. It’s best to take a full day for it. Tip: be sure to buy your ticket in advance to avoid the queue.

    • Tickets & tours Louvre →

    2. Musée d’Orsay: great art in a former train station (7th)

    The Musée d’Orsay in Paris is without a doubt one of the richest and most exciting fine art museums in the world. Housed in a former train station, it is a must-visit destination for art lovers and travelers who want to enjoy the splendor of 19th and 20th century art. The permanent collection houses hundreds of breathtaking original works by masters of early modern and Impressionist art, including Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh and Auguste Rodin. The globally beloved museum, like the Louvre Museum in Paris, also hosts several major temporary exhibitions and special events throughout the year.

    • Tickets & tours Musée d’Orsay →

    3. Musée Rodin: dreamy works of art in a beautiful country house (7th)

    The Rodin Museum in Paris is located in the beautiful Hôtel Biron where the sculptor lived the last years of his life. A visit to this nice museum is rather a dreamy experience. The elegant country house contains numerous sculptures and personal belongings by Rodin, including several masterpieces painted by Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir. Rodin’s works are accompanied by several pieces by his mistress and student Camille Claudel. The garden features famous works of art such as The Burghers of Calais, The Gates of Hell and The Thinker. One of the best museums in Paris.

    • Tickets & tours Musée Rodin →

     

    4. Center Pompidou: cool modern art museum in Paris (4th)

    The primary colors, visible pipes and air ducts of Center Pompidou make it one of the most famous sights in the French capital. The Pompidou houses work by artists from Pablo Picasso to Wassily Kandinsky and welcomed more than three million visitors last year. Don’t miss the fantastic view of Paris from the top floor. Downstairs, Place Pompidou is a lively place. Don’t miss the Stravinsky Fountain (just renovated) and take a lovely break nearby in Jardin Anne-Frank.

    • Tickets & tours Centre Pompidou →

    5. Musée Picasso: special works by the Spanish artist (3rd)

    Founded in 1996, Kiliwatch offers hand-selected vintage items from well-known and emerging designers around the world. Over 600m² of second hand clothing, designer brands and even some brand new pieces. The store is very neat and orderly, perhaps the chicest second-hand store in Paris. Nice to know: every month a theme or item of clothing is exhibited in a section of the store.

    • Tickets & tours Musée Picasso →

    6. Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection: new museum in Paris (1st)

    Bourse de Commerce opened its doors in May 2021 as Paris’ newest art museum. The palace of Catherine de’ Medici once stood on this site. The Medici column in front of the building is the only remnant of this. This art museum in Paris showcases François Pinault’s private collection and contemporary art exhibitions. There are also several temporary exhibitions that are definitely worth seeing. Pay particular attention to the light from the glass dome (listed as a monument), the murals just under the dome, the view from the top floor and the double helix staircase.

    Tickets & tours Bourse de Commerce →

    Cool & famous museums to visit in Paris
    Cool & famous museums to visit in Paris

    7. Musée de l’Orangerie: discover Monet’s famous works (1st)

    Musée de l’Orangerie houses eight ‘Nymphéas’ (water lilies) paintings the size of a carpet. The austere setting, housed in two plain oval rooms, offers visitors the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the romance of Monet’s works. However, there is more to the Orangery than just Monet’s works. Downstairs you will also find Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse and Picasso. The impressionism collection of Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume is also worth a detour. Are you a photography enthusiast? On the other side of Jardin des Tuileries is the Jeu de Paume, a must-do for every photographer with fascinating exhibitions.

    Tickets & tours Musée de l’Orangerie →

    8. Fondation Louis Vuitton: modern and contemporary art (16th)

    Louis Vuitton Foundation was opened in 2014 and designed by American architect Frank Gehry. The beautiful building is bathed in light and has the shape of waving sails over the water or perhaps a ship’s hull. “I dream of designing a beautiful ship for Paris that symbolizes France’s profound cultural calling,” said Frank Gehry. And then he built it. The museum has a great collection of modern and contemporary art. There are two temporary exhibitions every year. Take plenty of time to explore one of the best museums in Paris. Located in the Bois de Boulogne and therefore not really in the center. The beautiful Parc de Bagatelle is also nearby.

    Tickets & tours Fondation Louis Vuitton →

    9. Palais de Tokyo: anti-museum for the contemporary artist (16th)

    Palais de Tokyo is a kind of anti-museum that accommodates contemporary artists. It is known in Europe as one of the most renowned museums in the field of modern art. Not only paintings and sculptures, but also literature, performances, music and installations are exhibited by the museum and make the museum absolutely worth a visit. There are no permanent exhibitions. It is difficult to describe what you will find there, because the place is very dynamic and there is always something new to find.

    TIP: afterwards have dinner at Monsieur Bleu, the permanent trendy bistro of Palais de Tokyo. Located on the west wing and a patio with a view of the fountain (and the Eiffel Tower in the distance!).

     

    10. Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle: natural history museum of Paris (5th)

    The Paris Natural History Museum is located in a beautiful green area in the 5th arrondissement. It opened its doors in 1793 and the collection of natural history objects is enormous. For example, if you want to know what a Dodo looked like in real life, you can admire a stuffed specimen here. There are also many other animal remains present, so you get a good impression of the flora and fauna over the years. There is also an animal park that is part of the complex. Going to Paris with children? Then the natural history museum in Paris is highly recommended.

    Tickets & tours Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle →

    Extra: 6 free (lesser) known & great museums in Paris

    The Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay are already on your list? Paris is filled with beautiful, smaller museums that you should not miss. Here are some of our favorite free museums in Paris. The temporary exhibitions are not free.

    Musée Carnavalet (3rd): the oldest museum in Paris dedicated to the history of the capital (free entry for permanent exhibitions)
    – Musée de la Vie romantique (9th): a small museum in Paris dedicated to the painter Ary Scheffer with a romantic garden to have something to eat or drink (free entry for permanent exhibitions)
    Petit Palais (8th): Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris with an extensive art collection and idyllic courtyard (free admission for permanent exhibitions)
    Maison de Victor Hugo (4th): the French poet, playwright and novelist lived on the second floor of this former Hôtel Rohan-Guéménée from 1832 to 1848 (free admission)
    Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (16th): museum of modern art of the city of Paris with La Fée Electricité, the largest painting in the world (free admission for permanent exhibitions)
    Musée Édith Piaf (11th): a small private museum dedicated to the iconic Parisian chanteuse and a hidden gem (free entry, reservation essential)

    These were the best (free) museum tips in Paris. The city has so many great museums that it is often difficult to choose during a visit. Are you planning to visit several cool & famous museums? Then the Paris museum pass for 2, 4 or 6 days is the best choice. Also discover the top 10 sights in Paris.

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