Paris has often been called the city of art, housing some of the most important artworks in the world across the centuries. There are literally hundreds of art museums located within its limits. With so many options to transport you through time and space, it can be difficult to narrow the number down to a manageable few. Although all of them are worth viewing, there are 5 museums that you absolutely must visit if you’re going to be in Paris.
1. The Louvre
If you can only go to one museum in Paris, make it the Louvre. It is home to Leonardo Da Vinci’s world-famous painting “Mona Lisa” and hundreds of other Western masterpieces. Originally a royal palace, the Louvre was transformed into a museum during the French Revolution in 1793. Even if you know absolutely nothing about art, this is the place to go. They offer great visual audio tours on Nintendo 3DS devices that are easy to carry around. Be sure to get there early because it can get rather crowded!
2. Musée d’Orsay
If you are a fan of any of the Impressionist artists–like Van Gogh or Monet–you simply must put this museum on your list. The museum has one of the most comprehensive collections of Impressionist works in the world. Aside from these pieces, it also has a lovely collection of modern and contemporary sculpture and photography. The museum itself is amazing as well. A rehabilitated train station, it is a gorgeous building that overlooks the Seine River.
3. Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou is a world-class contemporary art museum. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the museum is currently showcasing a completely new program of exhibitions. A multi-level beauty of steel and glass, the building itself is a gigantic work of art and has become an architectural icon of the 20th century. Go on a clear day to experience the great natural lighting and incredible views of the city from the top floors. It is definitely worth waiting in line for.
4. Musée Picasso
This museum is dedicated to the works of legendary artist, Pablo Picasso. Located within the walls of the beautiful Hotel Salé, this collection displays the incredible evolution of Picasso’s work across all mediums—painting, sculpture, and even photography. On the third floor, you can also find works by Picasso’s friends with evidence of strong influences between all of the artists. It is truly a delight to get to experience the artist’s work in a more intimate setting.
5. Musée Rodin
Another museum that focuses on one brilliant artist, the Musée Rodin houses a huge collection of Auguste Rodin’s works. It is split across two locations in Paris–one of which is the artist’s former mansion. This is a unique opportunity to view his work within his own home and among his gardens. Here you will find his most famous sculpture, “The Thinker.” Rodin was an artist with incredible attention to detail. Getting to see his works up close and personal is something that should not be missed!