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Best museums in Paris

Paris is a city that needs little introduction and its museums reflect the flavor and fine nature of the city. From the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, from sidewalk cafes to stunning cathedrals—you can expect to find Paris a truly unforgettable city. Keep reading for more details about the Paris museums that you don't want to miss.

Paris art museums: Feast your eyes on fine art

No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Musée du Louvre, one of the most famous museums in the world. At the Louvre, you can get a glimpse of the original Mona Lisa painting and gaze into her legendary smiling eyes. You will see the famous Venus de Milo sculpture up close in real life. Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply a casual observer, the Louvre is an unforgettable art museum and an experience that you won’t want to miss.

Purchasing a ticket in advance is highly recommended to ensure that you are able to get into the museum. Keep in mind that, as the most visited museum in the world, it sees thousands of visitors every day. As you plan your trip, don’t forget that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.

Note that you can get into the Louvre for free on special dates. These include the first Saturday of each month from 6:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., as well as on Bastille Day (July 14). Youths under 18 get free admission to the Louvre year-round. On Fridays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., anyone under the age of 25 can get free admission.

Another art museum in Paris that you should visit if you’re an art buff is the Centre Pompidou. Want to know an interesting tidbit? The museum was somewhat controversially received when it first opened in the 1970s, due to its unattractive architectural design. Now, it’s considered one of Paris’s most important contemporary art museums, despite its so-called "ugly" exterior. In the museum you can see many incredible exhibitions and artwork, both new and old.

The Musée d’Orsay is another important art museum in Paris, housing France’s largest national collections of art. Most of the museum is decorated with Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, featuring renowned artists such as Renoir, Van Gogh, and Cézanne.

L’Orangerie, located in the Tuileries gardens, was once a greenhouse but is now one of Paris's famous art museums. Fittingly, you can see Monet’s Nymphéas water lily paintings on display here. You’ll also find artwork by Post-Impressionist geniuses such as Matisse and Picasso.

Speaking of Picasso, for a deep look into Pablo Picasso’s life and artwork, make sure to visit the Picasso Museum. With more than 5,000 pieces of art, documents, and other artifacts, this museum will be an informative and enriching experience.

Unusual Paris museums: Do something different

If you’ve ever wanted to strike a pose with famous people, this is your chance! The Grévin Wax Museum has been a Parisian staple since 1882. However, this museum is more than just a wax museum—it also serves as a tour of French history since the Middle Ages. The unique experience begins as you enter through the Hall of Mirrors, which is built like a giant kaleidoscope. You’ll also go through a Hindu temple and travel through a jungle as you walk through the museum’s decorated halls. Although it’s not quite the same level of “high art” as the museums described above, you can definitely expect a fun and entertaining experience.

Interested in something a bit different from the typical museum experience? Consider visiting the Fragonard Musée de Parfum, a fascinating museum where you can learn all about the craft and history of perfume-making. You’ll also see an expansive display of perfume bottles, both current and antique.

Iconic Paris museums: Don't miss these Parisian landmarks

Though they're not exactly your typical museums, don’t forget about the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. The Arc de Triomphe is a work of art itself, with its decorative sculptures built into the walls. The Arc also serves as a memorial, with the names of French generals and wars fought engraved into the arch itself.

Finally, no one goes to Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower, where you will get a panoramic view of the city. On your way to the top, you can stop by an exhibition on the first floor of the tower. There, you will learn more about its history and construction.

In a city as culturally rich as Paris, you won't run out of museums to explore, art to enjoy, and things to do, no matter what time of year you visit!

Other Sightseeing Options in Paris

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What people are saying about Paris

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 25,828 reviews

Easy access to this beautiful church. Be advised, the stunning walls of stained glass are on a second level reachable by a narrow spiral stone staircase. The upper level is open and the glass is the main draw. Going downstairs are a few exhibits and gift shop with some very nice items. There is an audio guide for an e tra 3€ which we passed on but was probably a good idea.

Do you want to discover Paris and the life in the narrow streets? then take this trip. We were very lucky with guide Frederic. His knowledge and talks were meaningful for us, parents and son - 17 years old. His Dutch is very good. We will come back!

I really loved this trip! It was super informative and moving. And our guide Adrian was wonderful. He kept everyone engaged and he was super knowledgeable.

Great experience and a fun way to see some of the sights. Easy to find and some great photo opportunities. I will definitely use next time I’m in Paris.

We could have just biked on our own but we are glad we did not because We learned a lot we would not have known without the guide.