Complete Insiders Guide to the Top Paris Museums

There are over 150 museums in Paris — 14 of them are free! Paris museums are the most visited in the world. As a visitor, the real challenge is choosing the right ones for you. For instance, The Louvre is so big that you could spend your whole trip there! Or you could choose to focus on the small Paris museums with specialized themes like specific artists, the history of Paris, or photography.

You will definitely encounter long ticket line-ups at the top museums in Paris. But, a Paris Insiders secret is to buy a Paris Pass before you leave home. The included museum pass lets you bypass the ticket lines at museums — it also includes unlimited Metro travel! When we last visited the fabulous Impressionist Musée d'Orsay, we were able to breeze past the long line in front of the ticket lineup and instead go directly in through the express door with no waiting. It's worth it!

Louvre Art Museum

Louvre Paris France

The Louvre can be overwhelming, but don't worry, we're here to help.

Use Paris Insiders Guide tips to plan your visit to one of the most famous, and biggest, museums in the world. Here's our best advice about how to make the most of your time there and have fun, instead of merely getting tired out.

Learn what to see, the history of the Louvre, and the best ways to beat the massive ticket lines.

Orsay Museum – the Impressionist Gem

Musee d'Orsay

Van Gogh, Manet, Monet and all the most famous Impressionist painters, together at last under one roof.

Musée d'Orsay is a jewel of a museum. Plan to spend at least a full morning viewing the Impressionists and other 19th-century French artists, and then have lunch in the museum's spectacular Belle Époque dining room.

Although not as daunting as the Louvre, the ticket lines are still pretty long. So, we recommend a skip-the-line guided tour

Centre Pompidou – France's Modern Art Museum

Centre Pompidou Paris

It's the converse of the Orsay Museum. Instead of 19th-century French artists, Pompidou is filled with the masters of 20th-century modern art such as Warhol, Kandinsky, Duchamp, and of course Picasso.

Sleek, modern and controversial when it was first built, the Pompidou Center is the greatest modern art museum in Europe.

One of Our Best Paris Insiders Secrets

Paris Pass

Long ticket lines at the major museums can be discouraging, especially when you have so little time in Paris.

The Paris Pass is a great way to save money and have unlimited access to museums, monuments, and other attractions. But, it's also the best way to skip the lines at the museums.

It includes free entry to the 60 best museums and monuments in Paris.

Also included as part of the package is a Metro Pass, allowing you to travel anywhere in Paris free! Plus loads of extras.

Art Museums in Paris

Art Museums in Paris

We all know about the Louvre, the Orsay Museum and the Pompidou Center, but what about the other dozen or so Paris museums dedicated to art?

Did you know that there's another modern art museum in Paris that we like even better than the Pompidou Centrer? Or that there are at least two Paris museums dedicated to Asian art? What about the arts of fashion and furniture? You need to read our guide!

Artist Museums in Paris

Artist Museums in Paris

France loves and honors its artists. That's why there are quite a number of Paris museums featuring the work of a single artist.

Some of the greatest French artists are honored in these dedicated museums — such as Delacroix, Gustave Moreau and, even though he wasn't French, Picasso.

Romantic Paris Museums

Romantic Paris Museums

"Romantic" doesn't mean love, at least not in the case of these museums. It means charming, small-scale, and a delight to be in. (come to think of it, "love" is also a delight to be in.)

In fact, one of our favorite small museums in Paris is called the Museum of the Romantic Life (Musée de la Vie Romantique), located on an unassuming street in the 9th Arrondissement.

Museums of the History of Paris

Museums of the History of Paris

When a city, like Paris, is over 2,000 years old, there's a lot of history, and it takes a lot of museums to cover it!

The predominant museum in Paris that's dedicated to the history of the city is Musée Carnavalet, in the Marais, which follows the long and varied history.

But there's also a Museum of the Middle Ages, museums of daily life and furniture from various periods, the Museum of French Liberation… The list goes on!

Paris Photography Museums

Paris Museums Photography

While you're in Paris we encourage you to take the chance to see the work of some of the best photographers in the world by visiting an exhibit at one of the city's photography museums.

Two of our favorites are the Institute of European Photography (Maison Européenne de la Photographie) and the Jeu de Paume in the Tuileries.

Family Museums

Family Museums in Paris

There's a lot for a family to see and do in Paris, including this list of kid-friendly museums.

There's a couple of hands-on science museums, a giant geo-dome in northeast Paris, a museum of music, the Museum of Natural History, a museum of arts and crafts, and even a toy museum!

Free Museums in Paris

Free Museums in Paris

Did you know you could spend a week in Paris, see a dozen museums, and not spend a Euro?

Do it by visiting the fascinating free museums that are found throughout the city. Most of the museums owned by the City of Paris now offer free entrance to the regular exhibits.

Interested in the history of Paris? The museum is free. So is the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art, the museum of the French Resistance in World War II, and many other fascinating museums.

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