Of all the world’s wonderful cities, Paris is perhaps the one best known for its art. Incredibly, there are almost 200 museums in the city, each bursting with exhibits to thrill and amaze. The best known of these is the Louvre, but there’s much to see beyond the walls of that iconic building. So, why not avoid the snaking queues and visit our selection of seven amazing Parisian museums that aren’t the Louvre?
The Pompidou Centre
A Parisian landmark, the Pompidou Centre is loved by locals and tourists alike for its architecture, as well as its art. Since opening in 1977, it has grown Europe’s largest collection of modern art and with a library, a cinema and performance spaces on site, the Pompidou Centre is much more than a gallery. Look out for works by Picasso, Dalí, Matisse, Rothko and Man Ray.
The Petit Palais
The Petit Palais opened to great acclaim in 1900 and houses medieval objects, Renaissance art, Art Nouveau works, plus much more. The building itself is also a sight to behold. Finished in the Belle Époque style, the gallery comprises of four extraordinarily beautiful wings surrounding carefully tended formal gardens.
Musée Marmottan Monet
For many, the art of Monet is a key priority of any Paris visit. The Musée Marmottan Monet holds the largest collection of the painter’s work and, although the museum is set at a short distance from the city’s centre in the 16th arrondissement, car hire in Paris is easy. The museum also displays a great selection of works by other artists from the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods.
Another late Victoria gem, the Musée d'Orsay occupies a former railway station that’s flooded with light. If you enjoy the art of Degas, Cézanne, Gauguin, Manet, Monet, Renoir or Van Gogh, this is the place for you. The art at the Musée d'Orsay was created between 1848 and 1914.
Musée d'Orsay National du Moyen Age - Therems et hôtel de Cluny
France’s museum of medieval art is best known as home to the famous Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, which were woven in Flanders of wool and silk in 1500. Beyond this, the museum has plenty to see and do. The building itself, erected in the 1400s, is also a Gothic architectural masterpiece.
Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor who decided to donate his work to the public. The Musée Rodin is the result of this generosity. Two of Rodin’s most famous sculptures are The Thinker, in bronze and The Kiss, which is carved of marble. If you’re after some peace away from Paris’s busier areas, Musée Rodin’s beautiful rose garden is another highlight.
Musee de l'Orangerie
Among the most famous French artworks are Monet’s Water Lilies paintings, a series of which are housed at the Musée de l'Orangerie, along with paintings by Picasso, Soutine and Cézanne. The Musée de l'Orangerie is located by the Place de la Concorde, hidden away in a secluded corner of the Tuileries Gardens.
If you’re planning a trip to Paris, take your pick from these brilliant museums and galleries and enjoy the full flavour of the city’s artistic side.