Art & Design Museums

Art is what you came to Paris for, non? Paris has an unhealthy variety of art and design museums (you can say we are shamelessly obsessed) worth your time and money. Stave off any foot and back pain from walking through so many galleries in so many palaces by melting into a chair at a menu tea salon or cocktail bar afterwards. And we’re just going to let you know now, you cannot do The Louvre in a day, nor can you do all Paris museums in a week. Don’t even try.

Musée du Louvre

As obvi­ous as it is, how could you not men­tion this place? This list would be stark naked if we didn’t bring up the Lou­vre. Once a palace home to kings and queens, (and one well-known emper­or, Napoleon…) it now serves as one of the most well-known art muse­ums in Paris, and the world. Its art­work spans across 10,000 years of his­to­ry and of course it includes famous paint­ings such as Leonar­do Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (or La Joconde, as she’s bet­ter known in Paris). You can choose from three cir­cuits to explore the muse­um, or do your own thing, like hit up the Per­sian or ancient Egypt­ian wing and see a mum­my IRL. Or, rather, a per­son expe­ri­enc­ing a mil­le­ni­um-long dry spa treat­ment, (don’t want to dehu­man­ize the poor chap.) , giv­en the declin­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of colo­nial­ism (yay progress), who knows how long antiq­ui­ties, some of which were pil­laged and plun­dered from poor­ly-defend­ed world her­itage sites from our way back, less woke days, will be ensconced in west­ern trea­sure palaces? See them while you can in the world’s largest palace of art.

We have also com­piled a more detailed arti­cle about the Lou­vre here

ADDRESS: Rue de Riv­o­li in the 1st arrondisse­ment

MÉTRO: Palais-Roy­al / Musée du Lou­vre (lines 1, 6, 7) or Pyra­mides (line 14)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Lou­vre / Riv­o­li / Tuileries

PRICE: 17€  nor­mal­ly you can walk up and buy a tick­et but it’s best to reserve a time slot so you are guar­an­teed entry as they have reduced the num­ber of vis­i­tors admit­ted since Jan­u­ary 2023

HOURS: Closed Tues­days — oth­er days, open 9am to 6pm except Fri­day, when they stay open late, until 9:45 pm

INSTAGRAM: @museelouvre

Click here to read our in-depth guide to the Lou­vre and buy guar­an­teed-entry tickets

Musée d’Orsay

Here we have one of the finest exam­ples of what recycling/repurposing build­ings can look like. Locat­ed in the city cen­ter, (but don­t’s say down­town, there’s no such thing in decen­tral­ized Paris) this art muse­um was once a rail­way sta­tion that was built on ruins of an old palace. Now, since 1986, it’s host­ed a top-notch array of art exhi­bi­tions.  Many art­works the oth­er muse­ums, such as the Lou­vre, couldn’t hold on to any­more can be found here. But that does­n’t make the Orsay Muse­um sec­ond-rate, non, non, non! Exhi­bi­tions they are best known for dis­play art from 1848–1914 and each col­lec­tion has its own unique his­to­ry. We rec­om­mend start­ing from the top and work­ing your way down, with tea in their cafe before or after to get your mind ripe for stun­ning artis­tic treasures.

ADDRESS: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Hon­neur in the 7th arrondissement 

MÉTRO: Solféri­no (line 12)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Invalides

PRICE: 16€; 13€ (fam­i­lies with chil­dren under 18), Free every first Sun­day of the month for everyone

INSTAGRAM: @musseeorsay

Musée de l’Orangerie

If you love the Impres­sion­ists and the kind of atmos­phere that makes you feel like you are walk­ing in a dream, you must vis­it the Musée de l’O­r­angerie. Built in 1852 as a win­ter shel­ter for the orange trees that lined the gar­dens of the Tui­leries Palace, after World War I it was redesigned as a space to exhib­it works by liv­ing artists. At that time, Claude Mon­et was paint­ing what is now the chef‑d’œuvre of the muse­um itself: the large Water Lilies set. Eight pan­els, each two meters (6.66 ft) high and span­ning a total length of 91 meters (298.6 ft), were then arranged in two oval rooms that form the sym­bol of infin­i­ty. If this does­n’t sound like heav­en to you, it’s just because you haven’t yet set foot there. 

Not to be con­trar­i­an, but we found the works of French painter Marie Lau­rencin (a rel­a­tive unknown next to Mon­et) to be the most intrigu­ig­ing works there. Sacré Bleu!

Do your own research…

ADDRESS: Jardin des Tui­leries in the 1st arrondisse­ment

MÉTRO: Con­corde (line 1, 8, 12)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Lou­vre / Riv­o­li / Tuileries

PRICE: 12,50€; 10€ (fam­i­lies with chil­dren under 18), Free every first Sun­day of the month for everyone

INSTAGRAM: @musseeorangerie

Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris

This muse­um is host to over 13,000 works and it’s one col­lec­tion that has been on the move over the years. On May 24, 1937, the Inter­na­tion­al Expo­si­tion of Arts and Tech­nol­o­gy opened the muse­um in the Palais de Tokyo’s east­ern wing. The muse­um was offi­cial­ly inau­gu­rat­ed in 1961. While the five paint­ings stolen in 2010 have not been found, there are still plen­ty of oth­ers to choose from. You can see such fine works such as Raoul Dufy’s “The Elec­tric­i­ty Fairy,” Robert Delaunuy’s “Rhythm #1” and Hen­ri Matisse’s “Dance.” (Look at you, smar­ty­pants…) Of course, you can see the artists that came lat­er to the game as well (Picas­so, Har­ing, Cha­gall, or Duchamp, any­one?). Its 2018/19 ren­o­va­tion made the muse­um eas­i­er to nav­i­gate for patrons, espe­cial­ly for those who are phys­i­cal­ly dis­abled. On-site are some rather amaz­ing restau­rants — for a unique expe­ri­ence we rec­om­mend For­est. For crazy views (ahhh, Paris) (and a brunch d’ouf) Mon­sieur Bleu.

ADDRESS: 11 Avenue du Prési­dent Wil­son in the 16th arrondissement

MÉTRO: Alma-Marceau (line 9) or Iéna (line 9)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Chail­lot / Trocadéro

PRICE: Free. Tem­po­rary Exhibits: Adults 5–12€, Chil­dren under 18, dis­abled peo­ple and guides are free

INSTAGRAM: @musseedartdemodernedeparis

Musée Européen de la Photographie

A pic­ture can say a thou­sand words, and in the case of the Mai­son Européen de la Pho­togra­phie, or the MEP, their col­lec­tions have a lot to say. Like the Musée d’Orsay, this muse­um is locat­ed in the heart of Paris. Also sim­i­lar to the Orsay, the museum’s build­ing is repur­posed. The build­ing is also known as the Hôtel Hénault de Can­to­bre, a palace that had been built in 1706 and went through ren­o­va­tions and expan­sions a lit­tle over a cen­tu­ry lat­er. If you enjoy pho­tog­ra­phy more than paint­ings, this might be the place for you. 

ADDRESS: 5/7 Rue de Four­cy in the 4th arrondisse­ment

MÉTRO: Saint Paul (line 1), Marie Bridge (line 7) or City Hall (line 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Le Marais

PRICE: 10€, 6€ reduced price for those 26 and under, and free for any­one under 8

HOW TO BOOK: Pur­chase tick­et online or at the tick­et booth

Musée de la Sculpture en Plein Air

Feel­ing like art muse­ums can be too stuffy? If so, check out the Musée de la Sculp­ture en plein air. This park has been dis­play­ing the finest sculp­tures in Paris since 1980. And real­ly, how could you go wrong with sculp­tures? Locat­ed just along the riv­er Seine, this muse­um is open all day, every day. The best part is that admis­sion is absolute­ly free.

ADDRESS: 11 Bis Quai Saint-Bernard (5th arr.)

MÉTRO: Quai de la Rapée (l. 5) or Gare d’Austerlitz train station 

NEIGHBORHOOD: Pan­théon / Mouf­fe­tard / Jardin des Plantes

PRICE: Free, make them stop you!!!!

HOW TO BOOK: Just show up 

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Look at this place. It was meant to be an art gallery, am I right? You can thank Frank Gehry for the Fondation’s unique design. Its goal was to rep­re­sent France’s cul­tur­al call­ing, which isn’t too off the mark. Since its offi­cial open­ing in 2014, this muse­um has host­ed some of the most mod­ern (as well as his­tor­i­cal) works of art that the world has to offer. They even have stage shows like con­certs, dances, per­for­mances, etc. The FLV invites artists and per­form­ers to mesh well with the art­work pre­sent­ed in the gal­leries. While tour­ing, you might want to con­sid­er down­load­ing the app, which works as an audio guide. You can also take short guid­ed tours to give you a gen­er­al overview of the muse­um. Tip: If you have kids and plan to go to the adjoin­ing Jardin d’Ac­cli­mata­tion amuse­ment park on the same day, entry to the FLV is free with park tickets.

ADDRESS: 8 Avenue du Mahat­ma Gand­hi (16th arr.)

MÉTRO: Les sablons (line 1)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Bois de Boulogne

PRICE: 16€

INSTAGRAM: @louisvuittonfoundation

Musée Rodin

In 1916, a year before he died, sculp­tor Auguste Rodin, famous for clas­sic mas­ter­pieces such as “the Thinker,” want­ed to give France a gift. He want­ed to keep his works (sculp­tures, draw­ings, sketch­es, etc.) safe in the Hôtel Biron. If that wasn’t enough, on top of the 18 rooms in the hotel (now a muse­um), you can also see the evo­lu­tion of his work in a gar­den just out­side. Rain or shine, this is a fan­tas­tic place to see the life and pro­gres­sion of one Auguste Rodin.

ADDRESS: 77 Rue de Varenne (7th arr.)

MÉTRO: Varenne (line 13)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Invalides

PRICE: 13€; free for every­one on the first Sun­day of the month, from Octo­ber to March

NUMBER: +33 1 44 18 61 10

INSTAGRAM: @museerodinparis

Musée Guimet

An indus­tri­al­ist named Emile Guimet (1836–1918) trav­eled to India, Egypt, Greece, Japan, Chi­na, and oth­er coun­tries in Asia and want­ed every­one to see what he had col­lect­ed. There’s even a 1979 his­tor­i­cal land­mark library gor­geous enough to make your inner Belle blush. 

ADDRESS: 6 Place d’Ié­na (16th arr.)

MÉTRO: Iéna (line 9)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Chail­lot / Trocadéro

PRICE: 11€; free for ‑18

NUMBER: +33 1 56 52 53 00

INSTAGRAM: @museeguimet

104/Centquatre

The 104/Centquatre is THE place for artis­tic inno­va­tion, by their own admis­sion. Every artist and audi­ence mem­ber has a place here, whether to cre­ate or wit­ness the chaos in cre­ation. You can explore the shops or take some time in the art stu­dios. This con­tem­po­rary metrop­o­lis has all the mod­ern art and cul­ture you could ask for. Less of a muse­um and more of a prac­tice space for per­for­mance artists need­ing to get out of their 150 square-foot apart­ments, le 104 is where you can gawk at Paris’ cur­rent next big things as they rehearse for their next show.

ADDRESS: 5 Rue Cur­ial (19th arr.)

MÉTRO: Riquet (line 7)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Canal de L’Ourcq / La Villette

PRICE: depends on the show

NUMBER: +33 1 53 35 50 01

INSTAGRAM: @104paris

Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine

Sit­u­at­ed in the Palais de Chail­lot, the Cité de l’Architecture et du Pat­ri­moine is one of the old­est muse­ums for archi­tec­tur­al his­to­ry and cul­ture any­where. Orig­i­nal­ly called the Muse­um of Com­par­a­tive Sculp­ture in 1882, it was reimag­ined as the Muse­um of French Mon­u­ments in 1937 and stayed that way ever since. Unlike com­par­a­tive sculp­tures (what­ev­er those are), pre­serv­ing the mod­els of mon­u­ments will nev­er tru­ly die out. For a bet­ter under­stand­ing about the time, mate­ri­als, and effort that goes into every oth­er mon­u­ment in the City of Lights, why not check this place out? 

ADDRESS: 1 Place du Tro­cadéro et du 11 Novem­bre (16th arr.)

MÉTRO: Tro­cadéro (lines 6, 9)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Chail­lot / Trocadéro

PRICE: 9€/6€

NUMBER: +33 1 58 51 52 00

INSTAGRAM: @citedelarchi

Le Musée Des Arts Décoratifs

Le Musée Des Arts Déco­rat­ifs dis­tin­guish­es itself as one of the most impor­tant col­lec­tions of dec­o­ra­tive arts in the world. Here, you can choose to look at sev­en types of arti­facts (wall­pa­pers, glass, fash­ion & tex­tiles, ads, toys, jew­el­ry, and graph­ic arts) from five dif­fer­ent time peri­ods: Medieval times through the present day. There’s no doubt you could get a good sense of Paris’s ethnog­ra­phy when perus­ing through here. It’s part of the same palace that hous­es the Lou­vre, but you will need a sep­a­rate ticket.

ADDRESS: 107 Rue de Riv­o­li (1st arr.)

MÉTRO: Palais Roy­al — Musée du Lou­vre (lines 1, 7) or Pyra­mides (lines 7, 14)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Lou­vre / Riv­o­li / Tuileries

PRICE: 14€, free for under 26

NUMBER: +33 1 44 55 57 50

INSTAGRAM: @madparis 

Palais de Tokyo

Walk­ing in, you might ask your­self, “what is this place any­way?” In sim­ple terms, take most of Europe’s mod­ern art, dis­play it in one loca­tion and you’ll get the Palais de Tokyo. Since its incep­tion in 2002, this place has been a self-described “anti-muse­um in per­ma­nent trans­for­ma­tion.” Not only can you see art on dis­play, but you can also see art being cre­at­ed. You could say this muse­um is like Shin Godzil­la, except the con­stant evo­lu­tion won’t kill you or destroy most of the city. Even with con­sis­tent vis­its, you nev­er know what you’ll find. Tru­ly out­ra­geous, tru­ly spec­tac­u­lar, and tru­ly one-of-a-kind, should you decide to vis­it, only expect the unexpected.

ADDRESS: 13 Avenue du Prési­dent Wil­son (16th arr.)

MÉTRO: Iéna (line 9)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Chail­lot / Trocadéro

PRICE: 12€/9€

NUMBER: +33 1 81 97 35 88

INSTAGRAM: @palaisdetokyo

Centre Pompidou

Come see the “Notre Dame of the Pipes” here at the Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou! Paris doesn’t call it one of the most pho­tographed sites in the city for noth­ing. Richard Rogers and Ren­zo Piano mod­eled the building’s design after a Roman piaz­za, and its glass exte­ri­or allows for great sight­see­ing. An archi­tec­tur­al won­der, this place offers more than art to any­one who comes to visit.

ADDRESS: Place Georges-Pom­pi­dou (4th arr.)

MÉTRO: Hôtel de Ville (lines 1, 11) or Ram­buteau (line 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: strad­dling Les Halles / Le Marais 

PRICE: 14€

NUMBER: +33 1 44 78 12 33

INSTAGRAM: @centrepompidou

Fondation Cartier de l’Orangerie

Although the muse­um was ini­ti­at­ed in 1984, the Fon­da­tion Carti­er’s cur­rent loca­tion was designed by Jean Nou­v­el and its col­lec­tions have remained there since. Its goal is still the same; aim­ing to raise aware­ness and pro­mote con­tem­po­rary art. The muse­um also hosts Nomadic Nights, a per­form­ing arts ren­dez-vous that con­nects visu­al art with oth­er forms of artis­tic expres­sion. Want to check out some of the unique forms of art out there? Feel free to stop by. 

ADDRESS: 261 Boule­vard Ras­pail (14th arr.)

MÉTRO: Vavin (line 4) or Saint Jacques (line 6)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Mont­par­nasse

PRICE: 13€

NUMBER: +33 1 42 18 56 50

INSTAGRAM: @fondationcartier

Bourse de Commerce/Pinault Collection

Here we have a new­com­er to the art gallery game, but it’s a great find nonethe­less. You can wit­ness a con­tem­po­rary art col­lec­tion over forty years in the mak­ing and see Fran­cois Pinault’s vision com­ing to life; shar­ing an eclec­tic art col­lec­tion with the widest audi­ence you can find. Should you look inside, out of more than 10,000 works fea­tured, there might be one that could resound your heart­strings and res­onate with you forever.

ADDRESS: 2 Rue de Viarmes (1st arr.)

MÉTRO: Lou­vre — Riv­i­o­li (line 1) or Les Halles (line 4)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Les Halles

PRICE: 14€/10€

NUMBER: +33 1 55 04 60 60

INSTAGRAM: @boursedecommerce

Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne

If you want to see art­work that cap­tures a con­tem­po­rary art­sy scene, then the MAC VAL may be right for you. This place has been col­lect­ing con­tem­po­rary art in France since the 1950s, and it fea­tures more than 2,500 works of art from near­ly 330 artists. But, that’s not all. This insti­tu­tion also includes a 150-seat audi­to­ri­um, 3 edu­ca­tion­al work­shop spaces, 2 artist-hous­ing res­i­den­cies, a restau­rant, and a 45-space park­ing lot.

ADDRESS: Place de la Libéra­tion, 94400 Vitry-sur-Seine

MÉTRO: Tram 9 stop Musée MAC-VAL

NEIGHBORHOOD: ugh don’t ask it’s the (near) sub­urbs you have to be com­mit­ted to the material

PRICE: 5€, free for under 26

NUMBER: +33 1 43 91 64 20

INSTAGRAM: @macval.musee

Musée National Picasso

When the State decid­ed to refur­bish the Hôtel Salé in the mid 1970s, there remained one ques­tion: what to do with it? Around the same time, famous cubist artist Pablo Picas­so went to the great art stu­dio in the sky, leav­ing his work to his heirs who decid­ed to give some of it to the hotel. Thus, in 1985, the Paris Picas­so Muse­um was born. Here you can view 297 paint­ings, 368 sculp­tures and 3D mod­els, about 1,719 draw­ings and note­books, and 92 book illus­tra­tions of his work. If you’re a Picas­so fan who needs her fix in the City of Lights, or even if you’re not, feel free to check this place out. 

ADDRESS: 5 Rue de Thorigny (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO: Saint-Sébastien — Frois­sart (line 8)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Le Marais

PRICE: 14€/11€

NUMBER: +33 1 85 56 00 36

INSTAGRAM: @museepicassoparis

Musée du Quai Branly

The Musée du Quai Bran­ly is a muse­um, research & teach­ing haven, and a cul­tur­al cen­ter all rolled into one. The col­lec­tions come from var­i­ous muse­ums in Paris, pret­ty much all of which high­light arti­facts from the Neolith­ic peri­od (in lay­man’s terms we’re talk­ing about 10,000 BC or so) to the 20th cen­tu­ry. Every object or pho­to­graph is meant to give an idea about their coun­tries of ori­gin (the Amer­i­c­as, Africa, near East-Asia, and Ocea­nia) and what life in that time was like. 

ADDRESS: 37 Quai Jacques Chirac (7th arr.)

MÉTRO: École Mil­i­taire (line 8)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Invalides

PRICE: 12€/9€

NUMBER: +33 1 56 61 70 00

INSTAGRAM: @quaibranly

Musée Marmottan Monet

The Musée Mar­mot­tan Mon­et fea­tures over 100 paint­ings from the main man Claude Mon­et him­self, a few of which were once unpub­lished in his life­time. It also fea­tures a col­lec­tion of works dat­ing back to the mid­dle ages and the renais­sance, all of which were col­lect­ed by Jules Mar­mot­tan. If you want to get a sense of art his­to­ry or want to get your Mon­et fix, you’ve come to the right place.

ADDRESS: 2 Rue Louis Boil­ly (16th arr.)

MÉTRO: Ranelagh (line 9)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Passy / La Muette

PRICE: 12€/8,5€

NUMBER: +33 1 44 96 50 33

INSTAGRAM: @museemarmottanmonet_

Musée Jacquemart-André

Like oth­er muse­ums of this cal­iber, these paint­ings, busts, and oth­er orna­men­tal trea­sures were once held in a pri­vate col­lec­tion. A wid­ow named Nélie Jacque­mart knew where she want­ed her and her husband’s col­lec­tion to end up after pass­ing away, and she made sure to let le Insti­tut de France know that. They agreed, and on Decem­ber 8, 1913, about a year after Jacquemart’s pass­ing, the muse­um opened its doors to the pub­lic with resound­ing suc­cess. Like the recre­ation of their liv­ing quar­ters, the muse­um remains large­ly unchanged and just as beloved as it was. 

ADDRESS: 158 Boule­vard Hauss­mann (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: Miromes­nil (lines 9, 13)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Parc Mon­ceau

PRICE: 12€/7€

NUMBER: +33 1 45 62 11 59

INSTAGRAM: @jacquemartandre

Musée National Gustave Moreau

With most of his rel­a­tives hav­ing died or dis­ap­peared, artist Gus­tave More­au had a dilem­ma on his hands: where would his col­lec­tions of paint­ings, car­toons, etc. go when he died? As death drew near, he had an idea to turn his house into a muse­um, and he had his friend Hen­ri Rupp to help him real­ize his dream. In 1903, the muse­um More­au always want­ed final­ly opened and remains unchanged to this day.

ADDRESS: 14 Rue de la Rochefou­cauld (9th arr.)

MÉTRO: Saint Georges (line 12)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Rue Lafayette / Rochechouart

PRICE: 7€/5€

NUMBER: +33 1 48 74 38 50

INSTAGRAM: @museegustavemoreau

Institut du Monde Arabe

In this day and age, it’s impor­tant to see past pre­con­ceived notions about cul­tures, and the Insti­tut du Monde Arabe has such a goal. Since its open­ing in 1987, its aim is to edu­cate any­thing and every­thing about Islam­ic and Arab cul­tures. Any­thing to help under­stand Mus­lim cul­ture bet­ter, from its roots to present-day, can be found here.

ADDRESS: 1 Rue des Fos­sés Saint-Bernard (5th arr.)

MÉTRO: Car­di­nal Lemoine (line 10)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Pan­théon / Mouf­fe­tard / Jardin des Plantes

PRICE: 8€/6€

NUMBER: +33 1 40 51 38 38

INSTAGRAM: @institutdumondearabe

Musée Bourdelle

 In his life­time, sculp­tor Antoine Bour­delle viewed his work­space as a lab­o­ra­to­ry and a sanc­tu­ary, and he wished to have that idea car­ry on for gen­er­a­tions to come. When he died, it was up to his wife and daugh­ter to make that dream a real­i­ty. As he wished, the muse­um gives a snap­shot of an artist’s evo­lu­tion and the stu­dio was left as it was, safe and pre­served. Not only are there rooms to see his body of work, but there’s also a tran­quil gar­den that fea­tures his work as well. 

ADDRESS: 18 Rue Antoine Bour­delle (15th arr.)

MÉTRO: Fal­guière (line 12)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Mont­par­nasse

NUMBER: +33 1 49 54 73 73

INSTAGRAM: @museebourdelle

Musée National Eugène Delacroix

Big 1920s artists Mau­rice Denis, Paul Signac, Edouard Vuil­lard, and Ker-Xavier Rous­sel want­ed to pay a trib­ute to their hero Delacroix. The result: an apart­ment and stu­dio beau­ti­ful­ly pre­served and open to the pub­lic since 1932. Is that quaint or what? Whether it’s perus­ing a gar­den, attend­ing a work­shop, or look­ing through Delacroix’s many paint­ings, prints, and oth­er art­works, there’s a good chance you’ll see the love and care that went into hon­or­ing a good friend’s memory. 

ADDRESS: 6 Rue de Furstem­berg (6th arr.)

MÉTRO: Saint Ger­main des Prés (line 4) or Mabil­lon (line 10)

NEIGHBORHOOD: St. Ger­main des Près

NUMBER: +33 1 44 41 86 50

INSTAGRAM: @museedelacroix

Palais Galliera

The Palais Gal­liera has some of the rich­est col­lec­tions of cloth­ing ever seen any­where. It presents the fash­ion code from the 18th cen­tu­ry to the present day. If fashion’s your thing, then this place is where it’s at.

ADDRESS: 10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Ser­bie (16th arr.)

MÉTRO: Iéna (line 9)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Chail­lot / Trocadéro

NUMBER: +33 1 56 52 86 00

INSTAGRAM: @palaisgallieramuseedelamode

Musée Cognacq-Jay

Here you can catch a glimpse of what French life was like in the 18th cen­tu­ry through a 20th cen­tu­ry lens. Between 1900–1927, Ernest Cognac, founder of La Samar­i­taine depart­ment stores, and his wife Marie-Louise Jay had amassed a mas­sive eigh­teenth cen­tu­ry art col­lec­tion. Upon Cognac’s death in 1928, he donat­ed his col­lec­tion to the city of Paris, mak­ing it avail­able to the pub­lic. The muse­um has con­tin­ued show­cas­ing this col­lec­tion since 1929. In 1990, the museum’s col­lec­tion was moved to the Hôtel Donon, where it still resides to this day.

ADDRESS: 8 Rue Elze­vir (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO: Saint Paul (line 1)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Haut Marais

NUMBER: +33 1 40 27 07 21

INSTAGRAM: @museecognacqjay

Musée Maillol

On Jan­u­ary 20, 1995, the Mail­lol muse­um opened to the pub­lic after 15 years of devel­op­ment. Its open­ing can be attrib­uted to the sculptor’s col­lab­o­ra­tor and mod­el Dina Vierny. She lived in one of the museum’s res­i­den­tial apart­ments and even­tu­al­ly bought the oth­er build­ings sur­round­ing it. Besides host­ing Maillol’s works, the muse­um also hosts works by the great­est names in art his­to­ry such as Diego Rivera and Fran­cis Bacon. 

ADDRESS: 59–61 Rue de Grenelle (7th arr.)

MÉTRO: Solféri­no (line 12) or Saint Sulpice (line 4)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Sèvres-Baby­lone

NUMBER: +33 1 42 22 59 58

INSTAGRAM: @museemaillol

Musée de l’Art et l’Histoire du Judaïsme

Since its open­ing in 1998, this muse­um aims to pre­serve and enhance pri­vate col­lec­tions, such as those fea­tured in the 1948 Jew­ish Art Musuem cre­at­ed by Holo­caust sur­vivors, as well as edu­cate vis­i­tors and hon­or over 2,000 years of Jew­ish his­to­ry. If you’re a his­to­ry buff or are curi­ous to learn more about Jew­ish cul­ture, this is the place for you.

ADDRESS: Hôtel de Saint-Aig­nan, 71 Rue du Tem­ple (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO: Ram­buteau (line 11)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Haut Marais

NUMBER: +33 1 53 01 86 53

INSTAGRAM: @mahjparis

Musée National de Jean Jacques Henner

Here lies a rare tes­ti­mo­ny of acces­si­ble pri­vate archi­tec­ture under the Third Repub­lic: a for­mer home-stu­dio of painter Guil­laume Dubufe. Between 2008 and 2009, the muse­um under­went ren­o­va­tions to improve acces­si­bil­i­ty by mov­ing ele­va­tors and mak­ing a new route to the din­ing room. 2014–2016 brought even more refur­bish­ments such as a new glass roof. Its col­lec­tions remain unchanged and worth check­ing out. 

ADDRESS: 43 Avenue de Vil­liers (17th arr.)

MÉTRO: Wagram (line 3)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Batig­nolles

NUMBER: +33 1 47 63 42 73

INSTAGRAM: @museehenner

Musée Cernuschi

The Musée Cer­nuschi has almost 140 years worth of dis­cov­ery marked by a West­ern out­look of Asian art. By the time the muse­um opened, Paris was at the height of Japon­ism as Impres­sion­ist artists had gained a high inter­est in Japan­ese prints. Today, this place has a mix of ancient and con­tem­po­rary Asian art such as mod­els, cal­lig­ra­phy, illus­tra­tions, prints, stat­ues, masks, etc. 

ADDRESS: 7 Avenue Velasquez (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: Mon­ceau (line 2)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Parc Mon­ceau

NUMBER: +33 1 53 96 21 50

INSTAGRAM: @museecernuschi

Musée Zadkine

This muse­um was once the home of Russ­ian sculp­tor Ossip Zad­kine who worked in Paris from 1928–1967. The building’s design had dual-pur­pos­es: a place to live and work, like most artist lofts. It opened as a muse­um in 1982, and about thir­ty years lat­er, from 2011–2012, the build­ing went through ren­o­va­tion that cre­at­ed a new recep­tion cen­ter. Here, patrons could see the evo­lu­tion of his body of work while also tak­ing in the relax­ing atmos­phere it res­onates with. His sculp­tures are so preva­lent that his work bursts out into the gar­den for all to see and mar­vel. The design is made for cre­at­ing dia­logue between the works. What kind of sto­ry they’ll tell is up to you to discover.

ADDRESS: 100bis Rue d’As­sas (6th arr.)

MÉTRO: Vavin (line 4)

NEIGHBORHOOD: St. Ger­main des Près

NUMBER: +33 1 55 42 77 20

INSTAGRAM: @museezadkine

L’Atelier des Lumières

In 1835, this gallery was the Chemin-Vert Foundry, a fac­to­ry geared to help meet navy and rail­road needs for iron works. It closed in 1929 with the prop­er­ty sit­ting in semi-lim­bo for a num­ber of decades. Then in 2013, some­one redis­cov­ered this build­ing and said, “Hey, why don’t we make this into a dig­i­tal art gallery?” The prop­er­ty own­ers agreed, and in 2018, this place ignit­ed to life. As you walk through the halls, you may notice the fea­tured art­work mov­ing around the room as if it’s a whale look­ing in on aquar­i­um vis­i­tors. Each vis­i­tor is immersed in art no mat­ter where they go. In case you’re won­der­ing: no, there isn’t a chance of find­ing the singing can­dle­stick from Beau­ty and the Beast here (in fact, you’ll have bet­ter luck in Euro Dis­ney­land). How­ev­er, you might see art as you nev­er have before.

ADDRESS: 38 Rue Saint-Maur (11th arr.)

MÉTRO: Rue Saint Maur (line 3)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Oberkampf / Folie-Méricourt

NUMBER: +33 1 80 98 46 00

INSTAGRAM: @atelierdeslumieres

Musée de la Vie Romantique

Ah, l’amour, tou­jours amore, am I right? Well, if you’re expect­ing to find any cupids shoot­ing arrows here, then no, I’m not. How­ev­er, if you’re expect­ing to find a time cap­sule of the clas­si­cal Roman­tic move­ment, then you’ve come to the right place. Orig­i­nal­ly a house lived in by Dutch artist Ary Schef­fer in the 18th cen­tu­ry, it was sold to the state in 1956 and has remained a muse­um ever since. Not to say find­ing love there is impos­si­ble, but it’s nice to have a dream.

ADDRESS: 16 Rue Chap­tal (9th arr.)

HOURS: Tues. — Sun. 10a-6p

MÉTRO: Pigalle (lines 2, 12)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Rue Lafayette / Rochechouart

NUMBER: +33 1 55 31 95 67