The huge number of museums in Paris can stump even the most experienced tourists and art lovers. How can you find your way amongst these tourist attractions and choose the most interesting and memorable ones? We've made a list of the best museums in Paris that have world-famous art pieces and architecture.
The Louvre is the most important and famous museum in France. The building used to be a royal palace. In its 200-year history, the museum has earned its name as the most visited and famous museum in the world. This is where many pieces of world-famous art are kept, including the Mona Lisa and statue Venus de Milo. The museum has so many exhibits it's impossible to see them all in one visit. So before you go to the museum, plan a route that includes the pieces that are most important to you.
The address is Palais Royal, Musee du Louvre, 75001 Paris (metro station Palais-Royal Musee du Louvre).
Working hours: from 9 to 6. Closed on Tuesdays. Open 'til 9:45 on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Tickets cost 17 Euros. July 14th has free entrance. You can book a ticket here.
The second most visited museum in Paris, Musee d'Orsay, isn't far from the Louvre. It has European artwork from the end of the 19th century to the start of the 20th. The museum is in a former train station, and the building itself is no less interesting than its contents.
The pride of Orsay is the collection of impressionist paintings, including works by Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Pissarro, Van Gogh, Degas, Gauguin, Renoir and many more.
The address is 62 rue de Lille, 75007 Paris (Solferino metro station).
Open from 9:30 to 6:00 (closed Mondays). Open 'til 9:45 on Thursdays.
Tickets cost 16 Euros. You can buy them here.
Versailles (Parc et chateau de Versailles) is the historical residence of French kings that amazes tourists with its luxurious interior and grandiose architecture. At first, it was a small hunting lodge that belonged to King Louis XIV. His successors turned Versailles into a royal palace and repeatedly rebuilt the palace and expanded its territory. If you want to see all the halls, side buildings and park, you'll have to spend a whole day at Versailles.
The address is Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles, France.
You can get there on the RER C train, and you'll arrive at Versailles Chateau Rive gauche station. The SNCF leaves the Paris Montparnasse station and goes to the gare de Versailles-Chantiers station. The ride is about 30 minutes to Versailles in a rental car or taxi.
Open from 9:00 to 5:30 (closed Mondays).
Tickets cost 18 Euros. You can look at tours of Versailles with transport, a guide and priority entrance using this link.
Centre Georges-Pompidou is a cultural complex that was built in the 1980s by president Georges Pompidou. The building draws your attention with its avant garde style. All the utilities (pipes, air ducts, elevators, stairs and escalators) are outside the building.
The Pompidou Center includes a modern art museum, exhibitions, a library, an arthouse movie theater and concert squares.
The address is Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris (metro station Rambuteau).
Working hours from 11:00 to 9:00 (closed Tuesdays). Open 'til 11:00 on Thursdays.
The museum ticket is 15 Euros, the viewing platform is 5 Euros, and a movie ticket is 5 Euros. You can buy tickets here.
Our Paris audio guide can provide you with many interesting tours and information about many of the city's sights, including information about the many things to see at Pompidou. Download it here.
Hotel des Invalides is a place where French veterans from the army under Louis XIV found refuge. Now, the complex houses the Musee de l'Armee (you can buy tickets here), Musee des Plans-Reliefs, a large church, cathedral and rooms where WWII veterans lived. The main attraction in Hotel des Invalides is the sarcophagus with the remains of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
The address is Hotel national des Invalides, 129 rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris (Invalides metro station).
Open every day from 7:30 to 7:00, and until 9:00 on Tuesdays.
Entrance is 12 Euros.
Grand Palais, Large Palace, is a large cultural center that was built to be used for the 1900 Paris Exhibition. Now it holds a variety of exhibitions, like fashion shows, live concerts, book fairs, car shows and more. In the Grand Palais you can also find an art gallery and the Palais de la Decouverte.
The address is 3 avenue du General Eisenhower (metro stations Franklin-D.-Roosevelt and Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau).
Open from 10:00 to 8:00 (closed Tuesdays).
Entrance is 10 Euros.
La Conciergerie is the first French royal castle, and it was later made a prison. Marie Antionette, the revolutionary Maximillian Robespierre, the writer Emile Zola and the spy Mata Hari once were locked behind these walls. Now, the Conciergerie castle is part of the Palais de Justice. The parts you must see are the 4 towers (Clock, Silver, Caesar and Bonbec).
The address is 2 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris (metro stations Cite and Saint-Michel).
Working hours: from 9:30 to 6.
Entrance costs 11,50 Euros. You can buy tickets here.
There's another former royal residence not far from Paris called Chateau de Fontainebleau. Along with the castle, the complex has many patios, gardens and a royal park. Fontainebleau has four museums: the museum of Napoleon, the Chinese museum, and art and furniture galleries. There are tours of the castle available, and you can see them all here.
The address is 77300 Fontainebleau (the train leaves from the Gare de Lyon station to Fontainebleau Avon station).
Open 9:30 to 5:00 March-October, and April to September until 6:00. Closed on Tuesdays.
Tickets cost 12 Euros. You can buy tickets here.
The Musee national Picasso is located in a magnificent building from the 17th century in the Marais quarter. It opened in 1985, with the basis of the collection made up of Picasso's works. The collection grew thanks to donations from private collectors. If you visit this museum, you'll be able to witness Picasso's development as a painter, since his paintings are presented in chronological order.
The address is 5 rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris (metro stations Saint-Paul, Saint-Sebastien-Foissart and Chemin Vert).
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, weekdays from 10:30 to 6:00 and weekends from 9:30 to 6:00.
Tickets cost 14 Euros. You can buy tickets here.
If you want to be submersed in Paris's history, visit the Musee Carnavalet. It has 140 halls with pieces that describe the lives of both famous and typical Parisians. Paintings, engravings, photographs, sculptures, sketches, archeological findings, coins, furniture and decor are just some of the things you can find in the museum.
The address is 23 rue de Sevigne, 75004 Paris (metro stations Saint-Paul and Chemin vert).
Open from 10:00 to 6:00 (closed Mondays).
Entrance is free.
Expand your world view with Paris's amazing museums!