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Paris museum map

Best Paris museums. The top twelve
Louvre Museum in Paris

Paris museums justify the trip to the city. The Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Picasso Museum, Centre Pompidou are world famous art museums. Each of the top twelve Paris museums are worth the trip. The Muséum, the Air and Space Museum, the Grévin Museum and Cité des Sciences are great museums for kids. Map of Paris museums. Sightseeing in Paris.

Best Museums in Paris: Louvre Museum
The Louvre
Best Museums in Paris: Orsay Museum
Musée d'Orsay
Best Museums in Paris: Marmottan Museum
Best Museums in Paris: Centre Pompidou
Centre Pompidou
Best Museums in Paris: Picasso Museum
Picasso Museum
Best Museums in Paris: Paris Modern Art Museum
Art moderne
Best Museums in Paris: Musée de Cluny
Musée de Cluny
Best Museums in Paris: Carnavalet Museum
Best Museums in Paris: Grevin Museum
Grévin Museum
Best Museums in Paris: Natural History Museum
Muséum Paris
Best Museums in Paris: Paris Science Museum
Cité des Sciences
Best Museums in Paris: Paris Air and Space Museum
Air and space

Louvre, the top Paris museum

One of the world's top art museum and certainly the largest, the Louvre is also the most visited with over 10 million visitors every year. Housed in the former Palace of the French Kings, a beautiful monument by itself, the Louvre displays the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, attracting crowds of visitors. It has many other first class European paintings from Italy, France, Flanders, Netherlands and England. It also displays superb collections of ancient Arabic, Egyptian, Greek and Roman art. Each department of Le Louvre is a museum by itself and would justify a visit of half a day.

The Louvre

Mona Lisa in Louvre Museum
Mona Lisa in Louvre Museum

Musée d'Orsay and impressionism

Housed in the 1900 Orsay train station on the Seine river banks, Musée d'Orsay is the 19th century art museum of Paris. Its impressionist painting collections are worth the trip. Monet, Van Gogh, Manet, Renoir, Gauguin and Sysley are specially well represented. Musée d'Orsay, Musée Marmottan, Musée de l'Orangerie and Giverny Gardens together turn Paris into the impressionism capital of the world.

Musée d'Orsay
Musée de l'Orangerie

Orsay Museum, the impressionist museum
Orsay Museum, the impressionist museum

Musée Marmottan

Located in a fancy neighborhood near Bois de Boulogne and far smaller in size then Le Louvre and Musée d'Orsay, this intimate mansion is nevertheless one of the top museums in the city for its impressive collection of 65 Claude Monet's paintings, including Nympheas and Impression soleil levant. This 1872 painting gave its name to the impressionist movement of the late 19th century.

Musée Marmottan Paris

Paris Impressionist Museum: Marmottan Museum
Paris Impressionist Museum: Marmottan

Centre Pompidou and modern art

Lesser known than the outstanding Louvre Museum and Orsay Museum, Le Centre Pompidou is well worth your time as one of the best 20th century art museum in the world: central location, a daring monument, modern art collections, Paris views and a lively district. Centre Pompidou, among many masterpieces, has exceptional collection of paintings by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse.

Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou
Centre Pompidou

Picasso Museum Paris

Pablo Picasso, the most famous painter of the 20th century, spent most of his life in Paris and in the French Riviera. The Picasso Museum displays 254 paintings, paid to the state by his heirs as death duties. Opened in 1985, the museum is housed in a beautiful 17th century mansion of the fashionable Le Marais district. Picasso museum found its place as one of the top four art museums in the city.

Picasso Museum Paris

Picasso Museum, Paris
Picasso Museum, Paris

Musée d'Art Moderne

Located on the Seine river banks near the Eiffel Tower, housed in an art deco building, Musée d'Art Moderne is as rich as Centre Pompidou and far less crowded. The museum is famous for its paintings by Giorgio de Chirico, Robert Delaunay, Raoul Dufy, Fernand Leger, Henri Matisse, Kees Van Dongen. A gigantic painting by Raoul Dufy narrates the history of electricity with bright colors.

Musée d'Art Moderne

First class Paris museums

The city has many other first class museums:

Musée des Arts Décoratifs: worth the trip by itself, dedicated to furniture, fashion and objects
Palais Galliera, another top fashion museum

Quai Branly: this museum designed by Jean Nouvel is devoted to primitive arts from all over the world.
Musée Guimet: first class Asian art museum with an emphasis on Khmer art

Paris Technology Museum: historic planes, cars, machines
Army Museum: set in Les Invallides, it is one of the three largest arms museum in the world

Cité de la Musique: fantastic museum exhibiting music instruments that you can hear
Musée Rodin, dedicated to Auguste Rodin sculpture
Montmartre Museum: a museum dedicated to the rich history of Montmartre. Lovely house in a quiet garden

Musée de la Marine: closed for renovation until further notice

The kiss in Musée Rodin
The kiss in Musée Rodin

Paris exhibitions venues

Art exhibitions are a top attraction in Paris. Parisians love art. They have a large choice of art exhibitions at their doorstep. Musée Jacquemart-André, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Centre Pompidou, Grand Palais, Petit Palais are the main art exhibition venues. Buy your tickets in advance to skip the long queues.

Paris art exhibition venues

Art exhibition venue: Musée Jacquemart-André
Musée Jacquemart-André

Free museums in Paris

The City of Paris manages ten museums with free entrance except for staged temporary exhibitions. The list includes:
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - modern art -, Maison de Balzac -the house where novelist Balzac lived -, Musée Bourdelle - sculpture -, Musée Carnavalet - Paris history -, Musée Cernuschi - Asian arts -, Musée Cognacq-Jay - 18th century arts -, Petit Palais - modern art -, Musée de la Vie romantique - nice house and garden - , Maison de Victor Hugo - house of the novelist -, Musée Zadkine - sculpture.

In addition to being free, these exceptional museums have almost no queue. Check dedicated web sites for details.

Zadkine Museum is a secret treasure
Zadkine Museum is a free secret treasure

Paris open air museums

The city is also a gigantic open-air museum. Walk around and there are sculptures everywhere. Look for Maillol sculptures in Les Tuileries Gardens and modern art in La Défense.

Street Art is now fully entrenched in the City of Lights. Street Art 13 in the 13 arrondissement is a spectacular project of illuminating dull social housing high-rises with frescoes. An out of the beaten track itinerary through a no tourist district.

Street Art in 13 arrondissement
Street Art in 13 arrondissement

Best Museums in France

Paris has some of the best museums in the world. Other french cities have world class museums of art:

Louvre Lens: an extension of the Louvre Museum in Lens, a city on the way from Northern Europe to the City of Lights
Chagall Museum Nice: biblical paintings. The most beautiful Chagall museum in the world
Matisse Museum Nice: a museum fully dedicated to Henri Matisse who lived in Nice
Picasso Museum Antibes: another museum fully dedicated to Pablo Picasso who worked there
Léger Museum: a hidden treasure devoted to an impressive and little known 20th century artist

Picasso Museum in Antibes
Picasso Museum in Antibes