One of my favorite things about Paris, besides the delicious food and wine, is the amount of museums in the city.

Paris is home to some of the most famous works of art in the world, so it’s a tragedy to visit the city without hitting up one or two museums.

In fact, my first trip to the city was so short that my dad and I prioritized our 24 hours in Paris around the following four goals: sampling the best desserts, walking through Notre Dame, going to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and seeing Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

I’m proud to say we accomplished all of them, though we had to run through The Louvre at closing time to see Da Vinci’s masterpiece, after we spent way too much time tracking down a gelato shop we were told was a must-try.

I’ve been to Paris five times now and still haven’t been to all spots on my Parisian bucket list. 

The amount of things to do in Paris can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time in the city.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about all the best museums in Paris so that you can plan the perfect travel itinerary.

Best Museums in Paris

1. Louvre Museum

Did you even go to Paris if you didn’t visit The Louvre Museum to see Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa?

This is easily the most famous museum in France, and for good reason, it’s home to some of the most iconic sculptures and paintings.

You could easily spend an entire day wandering around this place if you’re a massive art lover.

Since my dad and I rushed through here on our first visit, it thrilled me to have an entire day to really see everything on display the second time I made it to Paris.

Naturally, I swung by the Mona Lisa, who, thanks to COVID, now has a somewhat organized line to take selfies, instead of the circus of people that you used to have to battle your way through to see her close up.

The day I went, I think it took me about twenty minutes to get to the front of the line. 

I went and spent a few hours checking things out before taking a break with some treats from their cafe on a terrace.

It was a spontaneous decision that I really recommend everyone includes in their plans while visiting.

Not only was it a welcome break from walking around, their macarons and espresso were delicious!

Oh, and don’t miss out on checking out Napoleon III’s apartments.

The jewelry was absolutely astounding and the highlight of my visit (sorry, Mona Lisa!)

Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

Don’t chance missing out on seeing the most famous museum in Paris. Buy your tickets to The Louvre today!

2. Musée de l’Orangerie

If you want to see Monet’s famous Water Lilies, Musée de l’Orangerie is where you need to go.

I was blown away by how impressive the Water Lilies were in real life. They absolutely live up to all the hype.

There’s also lots of impressionalist and post-impressionists paintings to check out.

You’ll want to plan on spending at least two hour here.

Oh, and don’t forget to spend some time strolling through the beautiful Tuileries Garden, which is right by the museum.

Address: Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris, France

Reserve your spot to visit Musée de l’Orangerie today!

3. Musée d’Orsay

So far Musée d’Orsay is my favorite museum that I’ve been to in Paris. 

I loved spending all afternoon there gazing at the amazing Beaux-Arts architecture while wandering around room after room of amazing French sculptures and paintings. 

Even though the Louvre is the most famous museum in Paris, I think this one is better to visit. 

There are fewer crowds, and some absolutely iconic art, including a bunch of gorgeous pieces from Van Gogh. 

This is one museum I could easily visit multiple times without getting bored. If you haven’t been yet, I highly suggest adding it to your list. 

Oh, and while you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to step out on their terrace.

You’ll get a beautiful view of the Seine with The Louvre in the distance. It’s heavenly on a warm summer day. Just walk through the cafe on the top floor to access the entry point. 

Fun Fact: Musée d’Orsay is housed inside an old turn of the century railway station.

Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France

Don’t miss out on seeing one of the most beautiful museums in Paris!

4. Musée Carnavalet

When I first saw the name of this museum, I naturally assumed it must be carnival related based on the spelling (carnival is carnaval in French).

Boy, was I wrong! It’s actually a museum housed in two mansions that’s all about the history of Paris.

Oh, and the best part? It’s free to visit their permanent collections!

There’s a ton about the French Revolution, as well as the Haussmann transformation era, so plan on spending at least two hours here.

Also, don’t miss out on enjoying their beautiful garden during the warmer months of the year.

Fun Fact: Musée Carnavalet is the oldest museum in the city of Paris, opening to the public on February 25, 1880. 

Address: 23 Rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris, France

5. The Musée Picasso

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard at least the name Picasso before.

While you’re in Paris, take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with his body of work at The Musée Picasso.

Here you’ll learn all about the life and work of Picasso, plus get insights into other artists that were influenced by his work.

I haven’t had the chance to visit yet, since part of the museum was closed during my last visit, but it’s absolutely on my to-do list for next time since I have multiple friends who claim it’s their favorite museum in Paris.

I’ve been told to plan at least two hours to visit, and to book an entry ahead of time.

Address: 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris, France

Reserve priority access to The Picasso Museum during your trip Paris!

6. Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris

Looking to check out some free art from the 20th and 21st centuries?

Head to Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris in the 16th. Their permanent collections are free to view, while the special exhibits require a ticket.

Here you’ll find works by Matisse, Suisse, Dufy and more.

I haven’t been yet, but a friend who just visited Paris told me how much they enjoyed strolling around MAM during their trip, inspiring me to add it to my list.

They said to make sure everyone knows not to miss the “Spirit of Electricity Room”. 

Address: 11 Av. du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France

7. The Petit Palais

Also known as the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts, this is one of the best small museums to visit in Paris.

It’s home to a ton of murals and sculptures from between 1903 until 1925, plus a bunch of medieval and renaissance art, books, drawings, prints, and even some 17th-century Dutch art.

In fact, The Petit Palais has one of the best collections of Dutch paintings in France, that is only rivaled by The Louvre. 

Fun Fact: They originally built The Petit Palais for the 1900 World Exhibition, then became a museum afterwards in 1902.

Address: Av. Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris, France

8. Musee Rodin

Do you love beautiful sculptures, Egyptian artifacts, a beautiful garden, lovely paintings, and wandering around stunning 18th-century mansions?

If you answered yes to any of the above, The Musée Rodin absolutely needs to be on your list of museums to check out in Paris.

I spent all morning wandering this gorgeous museum soaking in all the beautiful art and history, and even stayed longer than I planned to read some of my book in their delightful garden.

Plus, if you’re sightseeing, it’s close to the Eiffel Tower, making it a simple spot to visit.

I seriously cannot recommend this place enough! It’s a museum I absolutely would visit again if I had friends or family in town.

Address: 77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, France

Get your ticket today!

9. Musée Marmottan Monet

Featuring over 300 impressionist and post-impressionist paintings by Claude Monet, the Musée Marmottan Monet has the largest Monet collection in the world, and should be on everyone’s Paris museum bucket list. 

Fair warning, Monet’s famous Water Lilies don’t live here, you must go to L’Orangerie to view those. 

At Musée Marmottan Monet you’ll find other famous works like Impression, Sunrise, Nympheas, The Path Under the Rose Trellis, and The Tuileries

You’ll want to plan on spending at least two or three hours wandering around, gazing at the dreamy works of art. 

Address: 2 Rue Louis Boilly, 75016 Paris, France

10. Musée du Vin Paris

Want to visit one of the most unique museums on this list?

Head to Musée du Vin Paris, to learn all about the history of wine, including one glass to taste during your visit.

I haven’t gotten to visit yet, because a local I met on the way to the airport told me about it, but you better bet as someone who adores vino, this place is at the top of my to-do list when I return to Paris later this year.

Besides sampling wine, you’ll get to see old tools and objects that are used during the winemaking process, and learn a bit about wine regions in France.

Fun Fact: The museum is inside an old 15th-century cellar that was used by the brothers of the Order of Minimes du Couvent de Passy who produced wine that was supposedly popular with King Louis XIII.

Address: 5 Sq. Charles Dickens, 75016 Paris, France

11. Louis Vuitton Foundation

I’m embarrassed to say this museum is still on my Paris bucket list.

I was supposed to be going with a friend on my last trip, but our plans changed at the last second, making it hard to get to because this place is quite a way from the center of Paris.

Even if it’s a bit of a trek from the city center, I’ve been told by local friends that it’s absolutely worth checking out.

Not only is the architecture of the building super cool, the restaurant is meant to be delicious, and their special exhibits have a reputation for being amazing.

Address: 8 Av. du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris, France

Don’t miss visiting Louis Vuitton Foundation. Reserve your spot today!

12. The Musée Jacquemart-André

This is a private museum with an excellent art collection inside a grand Belle époque mansion in the 8th arrondissement.

Even though this isn’t one of the most well-known museums in Paris, you’ll want to book your tickets ahead of time online to avoid a giant wait to purchase in person.

You’ll get to gaze at works by Rembrandt, Botticelli, and Donetello,in addition to admiring the stunning mansion.

Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart started the museum in order to show off their personal art collection, which is impressive, though I was more in awe of their home’s architecture.

Don’t miss out on enjoying the cafe after your visit for a real treat, and some cute Instagram photo opportunities.

Address: 158 Bd Haussmann, 75008 Paris, France

Save yourself time by skipping the line!

13. The Centre Pompidou

I think anyone who took French in high school remembers seeing at least one photo of this funky art museum in their schoolbooks.

This 1970s building houses one of the best collections of modern art in France and is absolutely worth checking out.

Some pieces you shouldn’t miss at The Centre Pompidou are Rothko’s Untitled, The Frame by Frida Kahlo, Chagall’s The Fall of Icarus, and Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden by Otto Dix.

Don’t miss hanging out on their rooftop at their restaurant and bar to check out incredible panoramic views of Paris. 

Address: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France

Don’t miss out on all the modern art, buy your tickets today!

14. La Galerie DIOR

La Galerie Dior is one of the dreamiest places I’ve been to Paris and needs to be on every fashion lover’s Paris bucket list.

You’ll learn all about the history of Dior inside the original building where the legend began.

The museum begins with exhibits about Christian Dior and his childhood and early career, then transitions into his designs and the legacy of his house. 

You’ll wander through tons of rooms filled with some of the most incredible haute-couture gowns. 

Seriously, it’s heaven for anyone into couture!

The big thing to know is you absolutely need to book your tickets at least a few weeks in advance because this place sells out quickly!

Address: 11 Rue François 1er, 75008 Paris, France

15. Palace of Versailles

Like most people, I always assumed visiting the Palace of Versailles was mostly going to be strolling through epic gold gilded rooms, but it turns out there’s a ton of artwork at Versailles.

Obviously, Versailles isn’t exactly in Paris, but since it’s close enough to take a quick day trip to, so it’s going on my list. 

You’ll see tons of stunning artwork depicting the royal family, plus tons of epic battle scenes, and some beautiful sculptures and murals.

I was seriously blown away by the artwork here! It’s totally worth hopping on the train to check out.

Just reserve your timed entry tickets ahead of time!

Address: Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France

Don’t miss out on seeing how epic Versailles is, reserve your spot today!

Final Thoughts

Best Museums in Paris Ally at Palace of Versailles

I hope this list of the best museums in Paris has inspired the perfect museum plans for your next trip to Paris.

Writing it has certainly made me anxious to return to explore more.

Let me know in the comments below which museums in Paris you’re most looking forward to visiting!


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