20 Best Museums in Paris

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

With over 150 museums across the capital of France, there are plenty to choose from. Many are so large, including the Louvre at over 60,000 square feet and the biggest in the world, they could each take a whole weekend and you likely won’t see everything they offer. Art museums, in particular, are numerous, but there are many other types of museums as well. 

Paris museums have security checkpoints, so be prepared. Many museums offer a full rate and a reduced rate if you meet certain qualifications. Check specific museum websites to see if you qualify.

The Paris Museum Pass includes one free entry to permanent collections for over 50 museums and monuments in Paris and the Ile-de-France area with tiers relating to the number of days, two, four or six days. These are our picks of the best museums in Paris.

Museums in Paris

Top Tickets

20 Paris Museums To Visit

1- The Louvre

museums in paris louvre pyramid at sunset
The top museum in Paris is the Louvre, one of the largest and most visited museums worldwide.

You can’t visit Paris without checking out the world’s most visited museum. The Louvre received more than 7.8 million visitors in 2022.

The former royal palace of Louis XIV is now home to some of the world’s finest and most well-known artworks.

This massive museum features about 35,000 artworks, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.

Open Wednesday through Monday for a full-price admission of 17 euros online, or consider one of the multi-day visit passes to help see as much as possible.

The Louvre is at Rue de Rivoli, Paris, 75001. Reserve your timed entrance ticket online to avoid a long wait. If it’s your first time, you may want to join a guided tour, such as the Louvre Masterpieces Tour, that includes reserved tickets.

2- The Palace of Versailles

fashion museums in paris external of Versailles
The main entrance of Versailles Palace, which was once the residence of Louis XIV and is now a museum near Paris that is extremely popular.

12 miles (19 km) west of Paris, the Palace of Versailles is another must-see during your trip.

Explore not just the former seat of power for Louis XIII and other rulers up to the French Revolution and the current museum of the history of France but also the estate of Trianon and the attached gardens and the park.

The Palace contains 2,300 rooms across over 678,000 square feet (63,000 square meters), showcasing living quarters of various historical figures, the Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Opera, historic galleries, the Congress Chamber, and more.

The estate of Trianon features two palaces, the Queen’s Hamlet, and a variety of gardens.

There are a variety of different ticket options depending on what you want to see but the most basic and popular is the all-inclusive Passport ticket which includes access to all areas for but you can also pay separately for the Palace or Trianon Estate or add extra features.

The Park and Gardens (separate from the Palace and Estate of Trianon) are free except for Musical Gardens and Fountain Day.

The Palace and Estate of Trianon are open Tuesday through Sundays, and the Park and Gardens are open daily.

The Palace of Versailles is at Place d’Armes, Versailles, 78000. Skip the line and order your Versailles Palace Ticket (it comes with an audio guide and transfers). 

3- The Centre Pompidou

external design of the museum at night
One of the most modern museums in Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou has high-tech architecture and houses a library and modern art museum.

Explore one of the best collections of modern art at the Centre Pompidou, known for its primary colours, exposed pipes and air ducts featured in its distinctive architecture.

Known to locals as “Beaubourg”, Pompidou’s National Museum of Modern Art collection is the largest in Europe, so much so that only the MoMA in New York rivals its breadth and quality.

It first opened in 1977, revolutionizing the field by combining a modern art museum, library, exhibition, performance space, and cinema in one complex.

Open Wednesday through Monday, several of Pompidou’s offerings are free to the public but subject to availability, including Brancusi’s Studio, the photograph gallery, the exhibitions at the public gallery, and the View of Paris.

The Centre Pompidou is at Place Georges-Pompidou, Paris, 75004. Skip the line and order your admission ticket here

4- Musée d’Orsay

beautiful architecture of the museum by the water at sunset
Musee d’Orsay is on the River Seine and one of the famous museums in Paris, France.

Focusing on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, the Musée d’Orsay is housed in a former railway station.

Featuring a variety of media and styles, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, photography, architecture, cinema, and more, the Orsay is undoubtedly one of the best museums to check out in Paris.

In addition to its state-of-the-art exhibits, the Orsay also features performances, guest lectures, tours and workshops.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, with an online admission of 16 euros for the full rate but you may like to join a guided tour of Musée d’Orsay to learn more about impressionist art. 

Musée d’Orsay is at 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris, 75007.

5- Musée National Rodin (Rodin Museum)

Rodin museum lit up at night and reflected in the water
If you’re ticking of a list of museums in Paris, don’t ., Paris, Ile de France, France.

Stroll through the collection of works by famous sculptor Auguste Rodin, including The Thinker.

The Museum includes the Hotel Biron, the sculpture garden, L’Atelier Rodin, and a second location in Medudon.

The Hotel Biron features Rodin’s work in an eighteenth-century mansion with 18 rooms at the centre of a French garden, personally chosen by the artist.

The Sculpture Garden blends nature and sculpture, featuring seasonal trees and flowers, benches for moments of relaxation, a rose garden, The Thinker, the Gates of Hell, and more across seven acres (2.8 ha).

The Rodin Atelier is a workshop-style space where you can create a sculpture.

If you are travelling with kids six years and up, check out the tour and touchscreen game narrated by the author of the Divine Comedy, Dante, and a fictional trainee museum guide, Clarissa.

Can they help Dante reach his beloved Beatrice by traversing Rodin’s Gates of Hell?

Available in French and English, the experience is about one hour and tables are available at the museum.

Open Tuesday to Sunday, general admission is 13 euros, but check to see if you qualify for discounted or free rates. Or skip the line and order your Rodin Museum entrance ticket online here

The Rodin Museum is at 77 rue de Varenne, Paris 75007.

6- Musée de l’Orangerie

Originally built in 1852 as a winter shelter for the orange trees of the garden of the Tuileries, this museum feels like a greenhouse, especially with the glass walls on the southern side along the river.

In 1921, the former horticultural building and event space was transferred to the state along with Jeu de Paume to exhibit works by living artists.

They received their first donation: the ongoing Water Lilies murals painted by Claude Monet.

Monet worked with the architect to create the iconic eight panels, each 6.66 feet (two meters) high and almost 300 feet (91 m) long in two oval rooms to form the infinity symbol.

Monet also considered the orientation of the rooms, which are placed along the historical axis of Paris and running east to west, which follows the path of the Sun and allows natural light to filter in from the ceiling, bathing visitors as they view the paintings.

Open Wednesday through Monday, full-rate admission is 12.5 euros. Skip the line and order your Musée de l’Orangerie Reserved Entrance Ticket here.

Musée de l’Orangerie is at Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde (côté Seine), Paris, 75001.

7- Jeu de Paume

This sister attraction to the Musée de l’Orangerie focuses on mechanical and electronic imagery, including photography, cinema, video, installation, online creation, and more from the 20th and 21st centuries.

In addition, the museum also hosts feature film programs, symposiums, workshops, and seminars.

Between its ever-growing virtual space and its versatile educational programs, the museum focuses on participation and exchange rather than simply contemplation and accumulation of knowledge.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, full-rate admission is 12 euros.

Jeu de Paume is at Jardin des Tuileries, 1 Place de la Concorde, Paris, 75001.

8- Musée de Cluny

Famous for its medieval art collection, including the famous Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, the museum also includes the Gallo-Roman baths, the hotel of Cluny’s abbots (including the chapel), and a “street-side” 21st-century option.

Alexandre Du Sommerard collected Art from the Middle Ages and after his death, the state acquired the Hotel d Cluny, the Gallo Roman baths, and his collection of almost 1,500 objects in 1843.

Alexander’s son, Edmond, took over the museum’s leadership for 40 years, adding significantly to the collection, notably The Lady and the Unicorn, the Garden Rose, and the Visigothic crowns from Guarrazar, totalling almost 11,000 in the collection by his death in 1885.

Open Tuesdays through Sundays, general admission is 12 euros.

Musée de Cluny is located at 28 Rue du Sommerard, Paris, 75005.

9- Musée Picasso Paris

Picasso’s oeuvre is more popular than ever since its 2014 reopening, so come down to explore the works of this world-renowned artist and others.

The Hotel Sale is considered the grandest of the grand Parisian house of the 17th century, built in the Mazarin style, which blends classicism and Baroque architecture.

The state acquired the bulk of Picasso’s works just one year after he died in lieu of estate taxes and Hotel Sale was quickly chosen as the home for these works.

Open Tuesday through Sunday generally, full-rate admission is 14 euros. Book your time of entry online to reduce your wait time here. 

The Musée Paris is located at 5 Rue de Thorigny, Paris, 75003.

10- Musée Carnavalet

Opened to the public in early 1880, the Caravalet-History of Paris Museum is the oldest City of Iseum.

Located in the Carnavalet mansion or Hotel Carnavalet, this museum is dedicated to the city’s history of light from pre-history to the present.

With its expansion and inclusion of the Le Peletier de Sant-Fargeau mansion, the architecture spans over 450 years.

The new remodel provides a wonderfully updated experience to an already exquisite museum.

Open Tuesday to Sunday, admission to the permanent collection is free and does not require booking, but temporary exhibitions require a fee, and a booking is strongly recommended.

Muséalet is at 23 Rue de Sévigné, Paris, 75003. Check out the two, four or six-day Paris Museum Pass. 

11- Petit Palais

museum external
Petit Palais, Paris, is one of the best museums in Paris to see fine arts.

Little sister to the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais is a long-standing, world-renowned museum.

Originally designed for the World’s Fair of 1900 by Charles Girault, it became a museum two years later to house decorative murals and sculptures.

Today, it features a fantastic fine arts collection from ancient times to the early 20th century.

Its bigger sister, the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais is closed until 2024 for renovations, so be sure to put its reopening on your calendar for next year, as it deserves to be on this list as well.

Open Tuesday to Sunday, admission to the permanent collection and garden is free, but temporary exhibits are charged between 10 and 20 euros for the full, non-reduced rate.

Petit Palais is at Avenue Winston-Churchill, Paris, 75008.

12- Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac

Explore almost 370,000 works originating in Africa, the Near East, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas featuring the vast richness and cultural diversity of non-European civilizations from the Neolithic period (+/-10,000 B.C.) to the 20th century, creating one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind.

Open Tuesday through Sunday (and late on Thursdays!), admission to permanent collections and temporary exhibits in the Garden Gallery is 12 euros at the full price. Skip the line and order your ticket online here

Workshops, guided tours, shows, and concerts are also regularly offered for a fee but do not require museum entry tickets.

Musée du quai Branly is at 37 Quai Branly, Paris 75007.

13- Musée des Arts Decoratifs

Explore decorative arts, including collections of furniture, ceramics, glass, and more, at two separate sites open to the public, spanning over 500,00 works across five distinct eras: the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the 17th to 18th centuries, the 19th century, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco, Modern and Contemporary.

Its expansive fashion and textile collection is featured in the world’s most significant fashion and textile space and includes the most famous names in fashion design, including Lacroix, Dior, Saint Laurent, Poiret, Moreni and Vionnet.

In addition, the museum is the home to an extensive advertising and graphic design collection relating to decorative arts and other rare historical documents in its Library and Documentation Center, featuring books, manuscripts, prints, engraving, photographs, artist archives, and more.

The Monceau site features Musée Nissim de Camondo, a historical mansion displaying an 18th-century home with pieces acquired from the owner and collector Count Moise de Camondo (plus the restaurant Le Camondo).

Their third, Raspail, site primarily houses its school for artists, designers, etc.

The Musée des Arts Decoratifs is open Tuesday through Sunday, while the Musée Nissim de Camondo at the Monceaur site is open Wednesday to Sunday.

Full-price admission to the collections and exhibits is 14 euros for the Musée des Arts Decoratifs and 12 euros for the Musée Nissim de Camondo, but you can purchase a joint ticket for 20 euros which is valid for four days.

Site Rivoli is at 107-111 Rue de Rivoli, Paris, 75001 and Site Monceau is at 63 Rue de Monceau, Paris, 75008.

14- Cite de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine

Created in 2004 and opened to the public in 2007, the Cite de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine combines a museum, architecture centre, school, library and archive to celebrate and share architecture and heritage.

Travel through architecture from the 11th century to today in the Musée des Monuments Francais.

Temporary exhibits and programming weave historical and contemporary work and themes to share common ideas about heritage, cities, and more.

The permanent collection and temporary exhibits are open Wednesday through Monday with a full-price admission of 9 euros for the permanent collection, 9 euros for the temporary exhibition, and joint tickets that include the temporary exhibit for 12 euros.

The Cite de l’Architecture ed du Patrimoine is at 1 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, Paris, 75116.

15- City of Science and Industry (Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie)

contemporary exterior of the museums and blue sky
The City of Science and Industry is a contemporary museum that covers a range of subjects.

Explore transportation, energy, astronomy, math, sustainability, a submarine, and more at this fantastic science museum.

THe museum features one of Paris’ biggest green spaces with three massive 32m greenhouses facing the park at the entrance.

In addition to the exhibits, the museum also has a planetarium and IMAX in a geodesic dome known as La Geode.

Open Tuesday through Sunday, full-price admission is 12 euros and includes all exhibits (temporary and permanent), the Planetarium, and the Argonaut submarine.

Online booking is highly recommended and add what areas you plan to visit. Book your ticket online here

City of Science and Industry is at 30 Avenue Corentin-Cariou, Paris, 75019.

16- National Museum of Natural History

The National Museum of Natural History began in the early 1600s as King Louis XIII’s royal garden for medicinal plants.

During the French Revolution, it officially became the first version of a public museum.

Today, the Museum includes 11 sites, showcasing over 67 million specimens ranging from plants and skeletons to cultural artifacts, archaeologic remains, and minerals, including meteorites.

Explore all things natural history across their sites in Paris and the surrounding regions, including the Museum of Mankind, a paleontology gallery, a children’s gallery, a Virtual Reality space, a marine centre, a zoological park, libraries and a botanical garden.

Check out the main website for details on how to visit each and the required details. Other sites are located throughout the country as well.

You may want to join this Family Dinosaur Tour in the Natural History Museum.

The National Museum of Natural History’s main location is 57 Rue Cuvie, Paris, 75005.

17- Louis Vuitton Foundation (Fondation Louis Vuitton)

Opened to the public in 2014, the famous Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry designed the building named after the iconic designer brand to look like a magical sailboat.

The Foundation promotes contemporary and historical art, making art and culture accessible to everyone.

It hosts events across the arts and cultural spectrum, including concerts, performances, conferences and film screenings.

Open Wednesday through Monday, admission is 16 euros, but they offer different discounts, including a family rate of 32 euros.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton is at 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi Bois de Boulogne, Paris, 75116.

18- Musée de la Vie Romantique

The Museum of the Romantic Life has gone through many reincarnations, including private residences, artist studios and schools, but has been a museum since the 1980s.

Dedicated to showcasing Romanticism in the late 18th century and into the 19th century, exemplified by Lord Byron and other creatives across various fields such as writing, art, and more, many of whom flocked to Paris to be among similar groups.

In addition to its permanent collection and temporary exhibits, there is a tea room called the Rose Bakery on site and the connected gardens and square to relax among nature.

Open Tuesday to Sunday, access to the permanent collections is free and does not require a reservation. Prices vary for temporary exhibits and booking online is recommended, even for those who benefit from discounted or free admission.

Musée de la Vie Romantique is at Hotel Scheffer-Renan, 16 Rue Chaptal, Paris, 75009.

19- Musée du Parfum

Sniff your way through history and science at the Museum of Perfume, in the heart of Paries near the Opera Garnier.

This unique and fun museum focuses on perfume, a previously luxury item for the upper class but now an everyday item.

Learn how it is made, explore the iconic bottles from Ancient Egypt to the 20th century, test your sense of smell and create your own perfume.

Entry and guided tours are free to the museum and collections, and you book workshops online.

Musée du Parfum is at 9 Rue Scribe, Paris, 75009.

20- Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace

Located just north of Paris at the Paris-Le Bourget Airport, launch into the skies at the Air and Space Museum.

Explore the evolution of aircraft from its beginnings to contemporary times, including our journey into space with real aircraft, a control tower, aviation artifacts, related artwork, interactive experiences and even shows in the planetarium.

If travelling with children, check out the interactive child-friendly space called Pilot Planet to explore what it’s really like to fly and even be in space.

It’s free for children under four years and 5 euros for everyone over four, including accompanying adults.

Plan to grab a quick bite at L’Helice while checking out the museum’s tarmac with planes, including the Boeing 747, from an excellent vantage point or bring your own food and picnic on the tarmac.

Open Tuesday to Sunday, full-rate admission is 16 euros. Get the Paris Museum Pass for two, four or six days here.

Musée l’Air ed de l’Espace is north of Pairs at the Paris-Bourget Airport at 3 Esplanade de l’Air et de l’Espace, 93350 Le Bourget.

Smaller museums you may also like are:

Previous article20 Places To Visit On A Houston to Denver Road Trip
Next article20 Places To Visit On A Montreal to New York Road Trip
cropped sarah hoffschwelle.jpg
Sarah Hoffschwelle is an author and freelance writer with a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Museum Studies focusing on science communication and education. Originally from Texas, she moved to South Korea as a child for a couple of years, travelling to China, Thailand, Japan, and Australia during her time there. She has travelled to Germany, England, and Ireland and studied abroad for a summer in Italy. She currently lives in New Hampshire and continues to travel domestically as much as possible and is planning several international trips for the next few years