Exterior of Musee du Louvre in Paris France
Arts + Culture

9 Paris Museums and Art Galleries to Visit Now

No matter how many times you’ve been to Paris, a trip there just isn’t complete without a visit to the city’s museums and art galleries. The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay may be classic must-sees, but there are a number of lesser-known spots to add to your cultural bucket list. Here, everything to fit in on your next art-filled getaway to the City of Light.

Centre Pompidou in France
Staircases in Centre Pompidou
Centre Pompidou in France
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Centre Pompidou

An art gallery and cultural hub, the striking Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers-designed Centre Pompidou is a one-stop shop for cutting-edge exhibitions, hands-on workshops, and live performances. You’ll have no problem finding it thanks to an instantly recognizable façade which is covered in exterior escalators, pipes, and tubing, and houses over 50,000 works and multiple temporary exhibitions.

Exterior of Musee du Louvre in Paris France
Exterior of Musee du Louvre in Paris France
Exterior of Musee du Louvre in Paris

Photos by Olivier Ouadah

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Musee du Louvre

The Louvre is the biggest, busiest, and most well-known museum in the world. In the interest of actually enjoying your time there, we'd recommend tackling a single floor, wing, or section rather than darting around the museum in search of its most popular treasures. Most visitors start at the Denon wing to see the Mona Lisa, Veronese’s Wedding Feast at Cana, and Delacroix’s Liberty Guiding the People. But if you’re not prepared to jostle your way through the crowds, we’d recommend heading for Richelieu—the least crowded of the museum’s three wings—to glimpse its sculpture terraces and the apartments of Napoléon III.

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Paintings hanging in Musee d’Orsay in Paris
Statue in Musee d’Orsay in Paris France

Photos Courtesy of Musée d'Orsay / Patrice Schmidt

Exterior of Musee d’Orsay
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Musee d’Orsay

Students of Impressionism won’t want to miss the Musée d’Orsay, whose permanent collection includes masterworks by the likes of Degas, Monet, Manet, Cézanne, and Matisse. The museum occupies the Beaux-Arts Orsay railway station—a stunning, glass-roofed building that floods the galleries in light.

TOUR TO BOOK: Want to dive even further into the lives of Paris's lauded Impressionists? An art historian leads this three-hour private walking tour of Montmartre, where Van Gogh, Renoir, and Picasso (among other artists) used to live and work. Highlights include the Moulin Rouge, the Moulin de la Galette (painted by Renoir), the atelier of Suzanne Valadon (Manet's pupil), the Musée de Montmartre, and the Sacré-Coeur cathedral.

 

Interior of Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris
Interior of Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris
Interior of Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris

Photos by S. Lloyd

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Musée Jacquemart-André

This Belle Époque mansion is the former residence of banking heir Edouard André and his artist wife, Nélie Jacquemart, who wandered the globe collecting Renaissance works by the likes of Botticelli, Donatello, and Titian, among others. Today, these fancy finds are on display in the mansion’s resplendent ballrooms and extravagant salons where the couple previously threw quite a few high-society events.

Exterior of Palais de Tokyo in Paris
Exterior of Palais de Tokyo in Paris

Photos by Florent Michel

Diarama at Palais de Tokyo in Paris

Photo by Richard Barnes

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Palais de Tokyo

There’s always a cool, cutting-edge exhibition or performance on view at Palais de Tokyo, one of the largest centers for contemporary art in Europe. Modern French art is is the main draw, along with a bookshop that houses hundreds of independent magazines and specialty books, an exotic garden, and a nightclub called YoYo.

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Interior view of Musée Nissim de Camondo
Interior view of Musée Nissim de Camondo
Interior view of Musée Nissim de Camondo
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Musée Nissim de Camondo

After losing his son in World War I, Moïse de Camondo, a successful banker from Istanbul, found his only solace in stocking his showpiece mansion with exquisite objets d’art sourced from around the world. These priceless pieces— Louis XVI chaises, fine silver, ormolu clocks, and canvases by the likes of Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun— are on view in the home’s grand salons and gilded private rooms which Moïse donated to the state after his death.

TOUR TO BOOK: Pick up some unique treasures of your own during a local tour of the sprawling 15-acre St-Ouen flea market, whose open stalls peddle everything from original art and first-edition books to vintage clothing and antique furniture. In addition to helping you navigate, your guide will also help haggle, find the best bargains, and ship your purchases home.

Interior view of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Exterior view of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Paintings hanging in Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Photos Courtesy of Siobhan Reid

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Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

You’ll have to venture just outside city limits—to the up-and-coming suburb of Pantin—to see art dealer Thaddeus Ropac's fourth gallery (his second in the city). But considering that the gallery is one of the most buzzed-about new arts spaces in Paris, it’s a small price to pay to see some of the world’s most daring, large-scale works. The setting itself is just as monumental as the collection; spread across 54,0000 square feet, there’s a cavernous main gallery (a former ironworks factory), an outdoor sculpture garden, a space for private collectors, and a charming café.

Exterior view of Galerie Perrotin
Painting hanging in Galerie Perrotin
Installation view at Galerie Perrotin

Photos Courtesy of Siobhan Reid

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Galerie Perrotin

Set inside a 17th-century hotel particulier in the Marais, Galerie Perrotin has one of the most quintessentially Parisian settings we’ve ever seen. But inside, the feel is refreshingly global, with works from artists from all over the world. (No surprise, given that Emmanuel Perrotin, the gallery’s founder, represents international avant-garde artists including Takashi Murakami and Maurizio Cattelan.) Currently on view: kaleidoscopic paintings by LA-based artist Zach Harris, and sculptures by Chinese performance artist Xu Zhen.

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Marian Goodman Gallery
Marian Goodman Gallery

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