No other place in the world can compare to Paris when it comes to reverence for the arts. The finest art museums in Paris house some of the most important collections of fine art, sculptures, photography and various other media globally. When it comes to breadth alone, no other city can boast of having so much art as Paris does. The collective history of humanity that this city alone respects and preserves is an impressive feat, and if you were to go there, you cannot possibly leave without going to at least one or two. Here are the most famous art museums you can visit in Paris.
- The Louvre
The museum itself is a masterpiece, so just seeing it from the outside is a must. But visiting the Louvre means you’ll be encountering countless masterpieces of pre-20th-century art. It’s visited by millions of tourists each year, so make sure you know when the best time to visit will be. And as much as you might want to see the Mona Lisa or Venus de Milo, don’t forget that there are other works in the Louvre that are just as significant and might be less crowded too.
- Musee d’Orsay
Converted from an old train station just along the Seine, this art museum sits right across from the Louvre. It bridges the gap between works of modern art and pre-modern art. If you want to see some of the greatest impressionist works of art, from Monet to Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, and Gauguin, you need to visit this museum and take your time. You’ll be amazed at the amount of impressionism exists in one place.
- National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou (MNAM)
If it’s modern art you seek, the MNAM is the place for you. This MNAM houses over 100,000 works from the 20th-century masters such as Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Pollock, Braque, Warhol, and so many others. The main collection here is also constantly reshuffled all the time, so you can visit as many times as you want and not feel as if you’re seeing the same things over again.
- Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris
For a smaller museum that boasts contemporary art, the Modern Art Museum can hold its own against so many other great museums in the city. This one features over 8,000 contemporary works of art that were created mainly in the 21st and 20th centuries. One of the most exciting features of this museum is the striking view it has of the Eiffel Tower in the terrace outside the palace.
- Musee de Cluny
The National Medieval Museum is quite hard to miss. It may seem unassuming from the outside, but once you step in, you’ll be transported into the daily life and art from the medieval period. You don’t have to be a medieval history buff to appreciate this museum, which is housed in Hotel de Cluny—a late 15th century Abbey. You’ll also get the chance to explore a garden that’s meant to bring you back to what a medieval stroll might be like.