When you picture your perfect Paris vacation, I’m sure you see yourself drinking coffee on a terrace while reading a newspaper. I bet you picture yourself strolling cobblestone streets and buying pastries. And I know that you imagine yourself lost inside one of the more than 100 museums located within the city limits of Paris – but which one? While you may be tempted to head to the Louvre to see the infamous La Joconde (Mona Lisa) Paris has so many other incredible museums that you’d be remiss not to visit.
When it comes to Impressionist art, the Musée d’Orsay does not mess around. The structure itself was previously a train station and hotel, still obvious from its fabulous architecture. In the mid-80s, the Musée d’Orsay was opened to the public and currently boasts the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art in the world. Don’t miss the Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, and more in this gorgeous museum. Take a peek at the view of Montmartre out of the incredible working clock window and enjoy.
Another museum famous for the impressionist and post-impressionist art it houses is the Musée de l’Orangerie. This museum is a quick one to visit and makes for a nice cultural pit stop while walking through the Tuileries garden. Pop in to see 8 panels of Monet’s famous Water Lillies, stay for Matisse, Picasso, Rousseau, Renoir, and many rotating fascinating temporary exhibits.
The Musée Rodin, in Hôtel Biron, Rodin’s former workshop, is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris at metro stop Varenne. This museum and sprawling garden contain an incredible amount of Rodin’s work including his extremely famous The Thinker and the Kiss. Also visible in the museum are Rodin’s photographs and drawings as well as a room dedicated to the works of Camille Claudel, his student, model, lover, and talented artist.
The Musée National d’Art Moderne is located in the Centre Pompidou, a building famous in Paris for its interesting façade. The building itself is designed ‘inside out’ with all of its plumbing, electricity, and various other systems visible from the outside. The Museum itself has the second-largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the world (after the MoMA in New York City). Be sure to pop up to the 6th floor and take in the gorgeous view.
The Musée de la vie Romantique is one of three ‘literary’ museums in Paris and is primarily dedicated to mementos of the life of George Sand (Amantine Lucile Dupin) but it also contains sculptures, paintings, and objets d’art. This museum tucked away in the 9th, is a favorite, not only for its displayed works but also for the small garden, architecture, and adorable greenhouse café.