Paris is a paradise for history and art lovers. In this beautiful city, you will get to see more than enough globally renowned museums housing some of the legendary paintings and artworks of the world. If you are a history lover and would love to explore the City of Lights more, given below are the top 10 museums that you should not miss on your Paris city tour.
The Louvre is the world’s largest and most visited museum with 8.1 million visitors having visited the place yesteryear alone. This museum by itself is a huge masterpiece holding collections of artworks modified and added from century to century. The most famous artwork here is the well-known Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. Apart from that, you can see a total of 35,000 artworks and artifacts on display across eight departments in the Louvre.
Musée d’Orsay is another popular museum in Paris, known for its stunning Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpiece artworks collection. The museum holds a collection of about 480 Impressionist paintings and 1100 post-Impressionist works. The highlights of the museum are Jean-François Millet’s Glaneuses (Barbizon School, Realism), Un enterrement à Ornans (Realism), and Corot’s landscapes (Realism, Romanticism).
The Centre Pompidou
The architecture of this multicultural complex with its primary colors, exposed air ducts, and pipes are quite an interesting site to see. This feature was designed by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano as a part of the competition and they won it by their ‘inside out’ broiler approach which put pipes, lifts, escalators, and air conditioning pipes, on the outside thereby leaving enough space on the inside. Inside the Pompidou, there is a huge public library and modern art museum.
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
The giant stone building Grand Palais was built for 1900 Universal Exhibition, dedicated by ‘the Republic to the glory of French art’. In 2000, the museum was classified as a historical monument. In this museum, you can see collections of Cubism, Fauvism, Modernism, Expressionism, Surrealism, Futurism, Dadaism, L’abstraction, Mouvemnet, and Contemporary artworks. Furthermore, this museum also hosts many temporary events and exhibits.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
This museum is located in the western wing of the Louvre and houses an enormous collection of decorative and designer arts. In addition, this museum hosts many exhibitions of advertising, fashion, and graphic arts from its assortment from Musée de la mode et du textile and Musée de la Publicité. You can also see French furniture, carpets, tableware, porcelains, and many items in the Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and contemporary styles.
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine
This heritage and architecture museum opened in 2007 is a fascinating museum to visit with kids of all ages. There are many colorful interactive games held near the permanent display zones and kids can try their hand in architecture and learn about the Gothic and Romanesque concepts. In the modern architecture area, the main feature is the walk-in imitation of an apartment from Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse in Marseille.
This museum was built in 1548 as a house, and it was transformed to a museum later in 1866, during the time when Georges-Eugène Haussmann persuaded the city for maintaining its beautiful interiors. The Musée Carnavalet, having 140 chronological rooms, depicts Paris’s history from pre-Roam Gaul to the 12th Century. You can see collections regarding the medieval city, the Renaissance, Wars of Religion, the French Revolution, Paris, Capital of the 19th Century, and Paris in the 20th Century.
Petit Palais, also known as the ‘Little Palace’, is located just opposite to the Le Grand Palais. This fine art museum has a collection of works by Poussin, Courbet, and Doré. Apart from this, it also is home to many sculptures and painting from the ancient times to 1900’s. If you go downstairs, you can see knickknacks and jewelry by Belle Epoque, Gallé, and Lalique, supernatural creations by ceramicist Jean Carriès’, and furniture by Hector Guimard.
Musée du Quai Branly
Located on the banks of River Seine, Musée du Quai Branly is a museum that features indigenous culture and art of Asia, Oceania, Africa, and the Americas. Of the total collection of 450,000 artifacts, you can see 3,500 on display during temporary as well as permanent exhibits. The major highlights here include Vietnamese costumes, a 10th Century anthropomorphic Dogon statue from Mali, Gabonese masks, Peruvian feather tunics, Aztec statues, and rare frescoes from Ethiopia.
Musée National Du Moyen Age – Thermes De Cluny
The museum building, commonly referred to as ‘Cluny’, is one of the rarest examples of fifteenth-century secular Gothic architecture. Its vaulted chapel, foliate Gothic doorways, and hexagonal staircase extending out to the facades, are all highlights of the Gothic style. You can see a vast collection of medieval artifacts in the museum, including tapestry collection, medieval sculptures, stained glass, antique furnishings, works of gold, and illuminated manuscripts.