There are about 250 museums in Paris with the Musee du Louvre being the most famous. Add to this the historical monuments and art galleries and you can see why tourists keep returning to Paris. There is so much to see!
So how do you decide what to see? Here are some of my favourites and why they are my favourite, followed by some information on how to see them for free. [Next week I’ll cover the Paris Museum Pass}.
Musee d’Orsay (#1 in Tripadvisor)
It carries the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world (ie. Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir and Cezanne) but I love it because of the architecture. It was a train station, Gare d’Orsay in the late 1800’s.
Musee du Louvre (#2 in Tripadvisor)
One of the world’s largest and famous. It is also the most visited museum in the world, averaging 15,000 visitors A DAY (according to Wikipedia) so be forewarned: it can get very crowded and I feel the best time to go is Wednesday night. It’s not as crowded and nighttime simply has a different feel. It was once housed in the Palace du Louvre and was made a museum during the French Revolution (1792). The glass pyramid, designed by architect I.M. Pei is the focal point of the Louvre. Today there are more than 380,000 objects and 35,000 works of art including:
- The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
- Winged Victory or Nike of Samothrace (There is a classic scene with Audrey Hepburn in the movie, “Funny Face”, that has Winged Victory
- Liberty Leading The People by Eugene Delacroix
- Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci
- Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques Louis David
- Venus de Milo
Musee de l’Orangerie* (#3 in Tripadvisor)
Located right next to the Place de la Concorde and houses Monet’s “Les Nympheas” (“Water Lilies”) murals plus the paintings of Picasso, Renoir, and Matisse.
Musee Rodin* (#4 in Tripadvisor)
You’ll recognize the “The Thinker” and “The Kiss”, but this museum is much more than that. So many sculptures by Auguste Rodin and a beautiful garden to sit and contemplate life.
* Woody Allen’s movie, “Midnight In Paris” was filmed at both of these museums.
Visit Museums For Free On The First Sunday Of Each Month
All months: Including Musee D’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, and Musee national de l’Orangerie,
From October 1-March 31: Musee de Louvre
From November 1-March 31: Arc de Triomphe, Conciergerie, Pantheon, Tours de Notre Dame
Visit These Museums For Free At Any Time
Free permanent collections: including the Musee Carnavalet, Maison de Victor Hugo
Free entry: Musee Curie, Musee de Parfum Fragonard, Arenes de Lutece
**See this list of all free admission museums