The museums in Paris are world famous. Make sure to check out our top recommendations:
The Louvre: I don’t go to the Louvre each trip, but when and if I go, it is to see a few select pieces. I am just not interested in seeing most of what is shown there. I M Pei’s glass pyramid, which is the new entrance to the museum, is a striking contrast against the older historic buildings that make up the museum.
Musee Marmottan, at 2 rue Louis Boilly, is my favorite museum in Paris. It is a smaller museum in a 19th-century mansion near the Bois de Boulogne that houses the 65 paintings of Claude Monet that were in the private collection of his son Michael Monet. It also has some of Monet’s personal collection of art by Pissaro, Renoir and Sisley and includes several of Monet’s famous Water Lilies. It is a short walk from the Muette Metro Station.
Musee Picasso: I enjoyed the Picasso Museum immensely. It is located in the Marais, in the 17th century mansion, Hotel Sale at 5 rue de Thorigny. It has many examples of his Blue and Cubist periods. The museum was renovated and is now re-opened.
Musee de Rodin, at 77 rue de Varenne: I also loved the Rodin Museum where some of his most celebrated sculptures, like The Thinker, are found in the garden. The museum was recently restored.
Musee de l’Orangerie, Jardines des Tuileries at the Place de la Concorde: This is a wonderful museum in that the lower level has many of Monet’s large Waterlilies or Nympheas in oval rooms.
Musee d’Orsay, 1 rue Bellechasse: The former Gare d’Orsay, or Orsay train station, was transformed in 1986 into one of the best museums in Paris with its extensive art nouveau, impressionist and neo-impressionist paintings. This is a must see each time I am in Paris. I also like the view through the old clock from the upstairs café. I always start on the 3rd floor to focus on the impressionist pieces first. In 2020, they announced a major expansion that will be completed in two phases through 2026, so be prepared for some possible interruptions.
Pompidou Center: I have not been to the Musee National d’Art Moderne at the Pompidou center but this will be first on my list on my next trip. Represented are works in the Fauvism, Cubism and Surrealism schools.
Galerie National du Jeu de Paume: Opposite the Musee de l’Orangerie this was the former site of the impressionist paintings before they were moved to the Musee d’Orsay. This is where I first saw many of my favorites. Now it is used for exhibitions of contemporary art.
The famous Petit Palais is now the Museum of Fine Arts of the City of Paris. I am anxious to visit on my next trip.