Paris's Best: Museums & Galleries
Museum Louvre Musee du Louvre-The Musee de Louvre, containing one of the most important art collections in the world, has a history extending back to medieval times. Also One of the more recent additions is a glass pyramid in the main courtyard from which all the galleries are reached. Open 9am-6pm Wednesday-Monday (to 10pm Wednesday and Friday). Take off Metro Station: Palais Royal or Musee du Louvre. Website
Pompidou Center Pompidou Center-It is like a building turned inside out: escalators, air and water ducts, and even the massive steel struts that are the building's skeleton have all been placed on the outside. This allowed the architects, Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, and Gianfranco Franchini, to create an uncluttered and flexible space within it for the Musee National d'Art Moderne and for the Pompidou's other activities. Open 11am to 9pm, (last admissions 8pm) except Tuesdays Take off Metro Station: Rambuteau or Chatelet or Hotel de bVille. Website
Museum Picasso Musee Picasso-On the death of the Spanish-born artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), who lived most of his life in France, the French state inherited many of his works in lieu of death duties. It used them to establish the Musee Picasso, which opened in 1985. It still closed for renovation work until 2012. Take off Metro Station: St-Sebastien Froissart or St-Paul. Website
Museum Carnavalet Musee Carnavalet-Devoted to the history of Paris this huge museum occupies two adjoining mansions, with entire rooms decorated with paneling furniture and objets d'art; many works of art such as paintings and sculptures of prominent personalities; and engravings showing Paris being built. Open 10am-6pm Tuesday-Sunday. Take off Metro Station: St-Paul. Website
Museum National de Moyen Age Musee National de Moyen Age-Previously known as the Musee de Cluny, its original owner was Pierre de Chalus, Abbot of Cluny, who bought the ruins in 1330. Surrounded by imaginatively re-created medieval gardens, the museum is a unique combination of Gallo-Roman ruins, incorporated into a medieval mansion, and one of the world's finest collections of medieval art. Open 9:15am-5:45pm Wednesday-Monday. Take off Metro Station: Cluny-La-Sorbonne or St-Michel or Odeon. Website
Museum d'Orsay Musee d'Orsay--It was one of the last great mansions to be built in the area (1782). In 1986, 47 years after it had closed as a mainline railroad station, Victor Laloux's superb late 19th- century building was reopened as the Musee d'Orsay. Open 9am-6pm Tuesday-Sunday (to 9:45pm Thursday). Take off Metro Station: Solferino. Website
Museum Rodin Musee Rodin-Auguste Rodin, widely regarded as the greatest 19th century French sculptor, lived and worked in the Hotel Biron, an elegant 18th century mansion, from 1908 until his death in 1917. In return for a state-owned apartment and studio, Rodin left his work to the nation, and it is now exhibited here. Some of his most celebrated sculptures are on display in the garden. Open 10:00am-5:45pm daily. Take off Metro Station: Varenne or Invalides Website
Museum du Quai Branly Musee du Quai Branly-Widely regarded as former President Jacques Chirac's legacy to Paris's cultural scene, Quai Branly has proved a major tourist pull since it opened in 2006. The stylish Jean Nouvel building displays 3,500 exhibits from the French state's vast non-western art collection, one of the world's most prolific. Open 11am-7pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday (to 9pm Thursday-Saturday). Take off Metro Station: Alma-Marceau or Bir-Hakeim or Lena. Website
Museum Petit Palais Petit Palais-Built for the Universal Exhibition in 1900, to stage a major display of French art, this jewel of a building now houses the Musee des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris. Arranged around a pretty semicircular courtyard and garden, the palace is similar in style to the Grand Palais, and has Ionic columns, a grand porch, and a dome which echoes that of the Invalides. Open 10am-6pm Tuesday-Sunday. Take off Metro station: Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau Website
Museum des Art Decoratifs Musee des Arts Decoratifs-With five floors and over 100 rooms, this museum offers an eclectic display of decorative and ornamental art and design from the Middle Ages to the present. Open 11am-6pm Tuesday-Fri(until 9pm Thurs.) 10am-6pm Sat and Sun. Take off Metro Station: Palais. Website
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