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top 10 museums loved by parisians - Petit Palais

Top 10 Museums Loved by Parisians

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Why you will love it?

The Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou… these are the names of the most famous museums in Paris that hold massive global audiences. These names are those that tourists dream of, but for Parisians, they are synonymous with endless lines and being crammed amongst a crowd in front of displayed works. Fortunately, Paris accounts for over 130 museums, and, avoiding the most atypical ones, there are more than enough that include extraordinary pieces. However, they are a little off the beaten path of the classic tourists… all the better for amateurs in art and culture. Here are 10 of the best museums selected by Parisians that are waiting for you! Enjoy! Parisianist

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Our Insiders' Article

Petit Palais

The Petit Palais has everything to please: a unique collection of fine arts, a remarkable architecture from 1900, a peaceful and charming courtyard, and free entry! It’s difficult to do better than that, especially when you can see works by Rembrandt, Monet, Rodin, and many other notable figures in the world of painting and sculpture.

Make the most of it: Plan your visit during lunch so that you can also enjoy the delightful restaurant that lies in the courtyard of the Petit Palais.

Useful Information:

  • Address: Avenue Winston Churchill, 8th arrondisement
  • Metro: lines 1 and 13, Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau station
  • Hours: Open daily from 10 am until 6 pm, except on Mondays; temporary exhibitions open until 9 pm on Friday
  • Price: Free entry for the permanent collection, 5-12 for temporary exhibitions

Marmottant Monet

If you would like to ponder the numerous works of one of the founding fathers of Impressionism—none other than Monsieur Claude Monet himself—alongside many other major impressionist painters, the Museum Marmottant Monet is the place for you. This museum has a much more intimate atmosphere than that of the wide-open old train station of Musée d’Orsay. This ancient estate of the art collector Jules Marmottant was given many impressionist masterpieces. Here you can find the namesake work of the artistic movement (Impression, Rising Sun) as well as many paintings of the renowned water lilies.

Make the most of it: A visit during lunch amidst a weekday will allow you to discover the museum more personally, especially when a temporary exposition is taking place.

Useful Information:

  • Address: 2 Rue Louis-Bouilly, 16th arrondisement
  • Metro: line 9, La Muette station
  • Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, except Mondays; open until 9 pm on Thursdays
  • Price: 11


You can find this museum, which showcases various Asian art forms, right next to the lush Parc Monceau. As with all museums that are owned by the city of Paris, it’s free! The collection, most certainly impressive for its cultural richness, is not overwhelmingly immense and focuses specifically on arts from China, Japan, and Korea. The Musée Cernuschi is smaller than you might expect, but it aimed particularly towards enthusiasts of Asian art. The major work in this museum? A giant statue of Buddha that dominates the central gallery.

Make the most of it: Combine a quick visit of this museum with the Museum Nissim of Camondo and a stroll in the Parc Monceau.

Useful Information:

  • Address: 7 Avenue Velázquez, 8th arrondisement
  • Metro: line 2, Monceau station
  • Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, except Mondays
  • Price: Free entry for the permanent collection

Nissim de Camondo

The Musée Nissim de Camondo is a prime example of a home built during the 20th century, with every comfort of the era; however, it is strongly inspired by the 18th century. Moïse de Camondo, a wealthy banker, built his luxurious mansion on the edge of the Parc Monceau, in order to accommodate his impressive collection of furniture, paintings and knickknacks from the 18th century. This unique collection housed in such a marvelous mansion makes for a must-see.

Make the most of it: Go in the late afternoon of a nice day so that you can enjoy a pleasant walk in the Parc Monceau.

Useful Information:

  • Address: 60 Rue de Monceau, 8th arrondisement
  • Metro: line 2, Monceau station
  • Hours: Open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 5:30 pm
  • Price:  9

Musée d'Art Moderne

The Museum of Modern Art of the city of Paris might not have the largest collection of modern art, a title held by the Centre Georges Pompidou; nevertheless, it showcases an extensive collection consisting of the most well known modern and contemporary artists, including Picasso, Braque, Delaunay, Matisse, and more. The works of art all flow nicely together in the museum’s more intimate setting, which is less frequented by tourists.

Make the most of it: Plan your visit at the end of the day and then hop over to the neighboring Palais de Tokyo to see some of the most interesting temporary exhibitions together in one outing.

Useful Information:

  • Address: 11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 16th arrondisement
  • Metro: line 9, Alma-Marceau or Iéna stations
  • Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, except Mondays
  • Price: Free entry for the permanent collection, 5-12 euros for temporary exhibitions


The Musée Carnavalet, located at the heart of the Marais, is the museum of the history of Paris. The collection contains every known first trace from civilization in the region, dating back to the Pirogues of Bercy from 4800-4300 B.C., and continues on to show modern history as we know it. The museum displays fascinating objects and artifacts, which symbolize the rich and passionate history of the French capital. Their comprehensive collection illustrates the boundless stories of characters of the past and demonstrates the importance of French history in everyday life.

Make the most of it: During the week, go at lunchtime to visit this museum in order to discover the fascinating past of France in a more intimate and personal setting. In the adjoining Georges Cain square, you can find the remains of the first City Hall (Hôtel de Ville), which burned down in 1871, a sight that would surely tie together your historical visit quite nicely.

Useful Information:

  • Address: 16 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 3rd arrondisement
  • Metro: Saint-Paul station (line 1) or Chemin vert station (line 8)
  • Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, except Mondays
  • Price: Free entry for the permanent collection

Musée Jacquemart André

With a rich collection of artwork exquisitely exhibited in an especially sumptuous hotel, it’s difficult to do better than the Musée Jacquemart André. Upon entering the museum, you are immediately immersed in the magnificent and comforting atmosphere right in the home of the Jacquemart-André couple. These two dedicated their time and fortune to acquire an extensive art collection. Here, one can find works by Rembrandt, Botticelli, and Hubert Robert in an extraordinary setting.

Make the most of it: It’s most enjoyable to plan you visit for the late morning, and then have lunch in the museum’s restaurant.

Useful Information:

  • Address: 158 Boulevard Haussmann, 8th arrondisement
  • Metro: lines 9 and 13; Saint-Augustin, Miromesnil, or Saint-Philippe du Roule stations
  • Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm; when there is an exhibition, the museum is open until 8:30 pm on Mondays and Saturdays
  • Price: 12 for the permanent collection, audio guide included

Cité de l'Architecture

Architecture, although oftentimes overlooked as an art form, is what composes the unique and monumental foundation of Paris and France in general.  If you still doubt it, take a little tour of the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, where you will find the fascinating life size moldings of beautiful monuments of France. The grandeur, the complexity, the space, and the beauty of the objects all work harmoniously—surely to take your breath away.

Make the most of it: Come during the late morning, and have lunch in the museum’s restaurant. After, walk through the esplanade of the Trocadéro to reach the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Useful Information:

  • Address: 1 Place du Trocadéro, 16th arrondisement
  • Metro: line 9, Trocadéro station
  • Hours: Daily from 11 am to 7 pm, except Tuesdays; open until 9 pm on Thursday
  • Price: 8 €

Musée de Cluny

The history of the Middle Ages might not be everyone’s favorite era, as it mostly consists of relics of religious art. However, this museum contains astounding pieces over 600 years old. These artifacts are displayed in a dwelling from the 15th century amongst the ruins of the Roman baths of the second century, which makes for a fantastic visit. The masterpieces of the Musée de Cluny are the six beautiful tapestries that incorporate the famous Lady and the Unicorn (Dame de la Licorne).

Make the most of it: Take advantage of this museum’s wonderful location by going later in the morning so that you can explore the Latin Quarter for lunch. Then, wander over to the Pantheon and the Luxembourg Gardens.

Useful Information:

  • Address: 6 Place Paul Painlevé, 5th arrondisement
  • Metro: line 10, Cluny-La Sorbonne station
  • Hours: Open daily from 9:15 am to 5:45 pm, except Tuesdays
  • Price: 8€

Musée Montmartre

The quarter of Montmartre is more like a small village within Paris. Its narrow streets, artistic background, and history set it entirely apart. The Museum of Montmartre, which was once the home of Auguste Renoir, capitalizes the area’s history and especially involves the lives of artists in splendid exhibitions. From Toulouse-Lautrec and Steinlen, who frequently strolled through the vineyards here, to the cabarets and the history of the little mountain upon which Montmartre rests, the museum certainly highlights the best of the quarter.

Make the most of it: Going during lunchtime is always a good idea to avoid a large amount of tourists. Combine your visit with a nice stroll in the area… you will never run out of things to see!

Useful Information:

  • Address: 12 rue Cortot, 18th arrondisement
  • Metro: line 12, Lamarck-Caulaincourt
  • Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm
  • Price: 9.50 €, free audio guide included

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