Paris offers a network of no less than 136 museums! Art and history museums, charming houses, and even artists' apartments... From painting, sculpture, and photography to contemporary art and science, there is something for every taste. In addition to their permanent collections, which delight tourists from all over the world, Parisian museums regularly host temporary exhibitions that are increasingly rich, creative, and innovative, making Paris the greatest cultural capital in the world.
While many museums in Paris are still paid, it's good to know that some of them are free throughout the year, and others offer free admission on the first Sunday of each month. Check out the list and schedule of free museums in Paris.
Here are the main museums in Paris, undoubtedly the most visited but also the most essential ones. We advise you to book your skip-the-line tickets in advance on our website to avoid waiting in line at the ticket office.
The largest art museum in the world, the Louvre boasts an exhibition area of 72,735m². Originally a fortress, then a royal palace, it has now become a world-famous museum, with its iconic glass pyramid situated in the impressive Cour Napoleon of the Palais du Louvre.
The Louvre specialises in the art and artefacts of various civilisations throughout history. In total, there are over 460,000 items on display, which are divided into eight departments: Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, paintings, sculptures and other works of art from the Middle Ages, along with art from the Renaissance, the Islamic World and the Modernist era.
Famous items in the collection include the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the Raft of Medusa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Seated Scribe and the Code of Hammurabi.
Useful information: The museum is open every day between 9am and 6pm, except on Tuesdays. Evening openings take place until 9:45pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Make admission easy and save time by booking Louvre Tickets including priority access.
2The Musée d'Orsay
Like the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay is a must-see Parisian attraction. Located on the banks of the Seine in what used to be the Orsay railway station, which is famous for its instantly recognisable golden clock. The museum specialises in western artists of the 19th century, including a world-class collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, while other spaces are devoted to sculpture, photography and graphic art.
Some of the masterpieces on display include: Manet's "Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe", Courbet's "L'Origine du monde", Cézanne's "the Card Players" and Renoir's "Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette".
Useful information: The museum is open every day between 9:30am and 6pm, except on Mondays. It also opens until 9:45pm on Thursdays.
Make admission easy and save time by booking Musée d'Orsay tickets, including priority access via Entrance C.
3The Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou or Beaubourg, is located at the heart of the city, between the districts of Les Halles and the Marais. The main building is unmistakeable due to its coloured exterior pipework. Each pipe has its own colour scheme: blue for air conditioning, green for water, yellow for power cables and white for ventilation ducts. The 6th floor also provides beautiful views of the Parisian skyline, including the Eiffel Tower.
The Pompidou Centre is home to one the world's great collections of modern and contemporary art. Across its eight levels, you will find a constantly changing variety of temporary and retrospective exhibitions, including artists like Matisse, Kandinsky, Warhol, Klee, Munch and Soulages.
Useful information: The museum is open every day between 11am and 10pm, except on Tuesdays. It is also open until 11pm on Thursdays.
Make entrance easier by booking Centre Pompidou tickets for €14. Tickets include priority queueing to speed things up.
4The Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
The Musée du Quai Branly is the newest of Paris' four major museums. Opened in 2006 by Jacques Chirac, and located right next to the Eiffel Tower, it features a striking main building designed by Jean Nouvel with silk-screened glass facades. Another impressive building is covered with a wall of vegetation, overlooking a gorgeous garden.
With a total exhibition space of 40,600m², the Musée du Quai Branly is devoted to the culture and artworks of non-western peoples in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. It features many rare and surprising objects that offer a unique window onto distant cultures.
Temporary exhibitions form a key part of the museum's schedule, with many debates, shows and cinema evenings on the institution's calendar.
Useful information: The museum is open every day between 11am and 7pm, except for Mondays. It also opens until 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Save time by booking tickets for the Musée du Quai Branly with us for €10, which enable you to access priority entrances.
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