Paris Museums Other than the Louvre that are Worth Visiting

June 14, 2024

Paris is a city filled with so much rich history and culture, and one of the best ways to experience it is through its museums. While the Louvre is the biggest and one of the most famous museums in the world, Paris has a so many other fantastic museums worth visiting. When I lived there, I spent so much time getting lost in Paris museums all over the city on rainy days, and the first Sunday of the month, when many are free for Paris residents. Here are my top five favorite lesser-known Paris museums other than the Louvre that are worth visiting.

The Musée l’Orangerie

The Musée de l’Orangerie is a museum located just down the way from Le Louvre on the other end of the Tuileries Gardens, right in the heart of Paris along the Seine. It’s known for its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including works by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Matisse. One of the most famous works in the museum is Monet’s Water Lilies, a series of paintings that span two oval rooms, and are worth a visit on their own, especially if you plan to visit Monet’s home in Giverny at some point. The museum is relatively small, making it easy to navigate, and it’s a great choice for those who want to see some beautiful art without having to fight the crowds that come with larger museums.

The Musée Rodin

The Musée Rodin is a museum dedicated to the works of the famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin in the 7th arrondissement, not far from Napoleon’s Tomb. The museum is located in the Hôtel Biron, a stunning 18th-century mansion that serves as the perfect backdrop for Rodin’s sculptures, and the museum collection includes some of his most famous works, including The Thinker and The Kiss. As a result, even though the indoor galleries inside the home are beautiful, getting to take a leisurely stroll through the sculpture garden is what most museum goers keep talking about long after their visit.

The Musée Carnavalet

The Musée Carnavalet is a museum dedicated to the history of Paris, housed in two neighboring mansions within the trendy Marais neighborhood that date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The museum recently re-opened after extensive renovations, and the collection includes a wide range of objects, from ancient artifacts to modern-day photographs. Every room and floor feels unique – one of the highlights of the museum is its recreation of an 18th-century Parisian salon, giving visitors a glimpse into Old Paris life. Tickets are free, but best to book ahead.

The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature is a museum dedicated to the history of hunting and nature. The museum is located in a beautiful 17th-century mansion, also in the Marais district. This museum feels a bit more niche, but is undoubtedly a memorable experience. The collection includes a wide range of artifacts related to hunting, from antique firearms to taxidermy animals. plus art and artifacts related to botany and nature. Walking through this historic house, you will see a mix of permanent collections, and themed exhibitions they rotate two or three times a year.

The Musée de la Vie Romantique

The Musée de la Vie romantique is one of the three literary museums in Paris, tucked away in a charming 19th-century house in the Pigalle neighborhood – so much so that you may accidentally walk past it if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The museum is dedicated to the Romantic era in France and features a collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the period. It has always been a beloved local gem, but recently found new attention after being featured in Emily in Paris when Emily is helping Gabriel select a proposal spot. The museum’s courtyard is a particularly lovely spot to linger and read on a sunny Paris day.

Paris is a city that’s filled with so many museums and other cultural curiosities, and while the Louvre is undoubtedly worth a visit, there are plenty of other museums that are worth exploring as well. From the Musée de l’Orangerie’s beautiful Impressionist paintings to the Musée Carnavalet’s thorough documentation of Parisian history, there’s something for everyone to discover in this list of Paris’s lesser-known museums. So the next time you’re in Paris, make sure to take some time to visit these hidden gems in addition to the Louvre.

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