Paris Travel

Museums That You Absolutely Have to Visit When in Paris

April 14, 2017

As I’ve said (probably way too many times), I’m a big museum nerd. Whether they focus on art, natural history, or science, I love them all. And, as y’all probably already know, Paris has some of the best museums in the world, rich with history and culture. So when Matt and I were in Paris the other week, I dragged him along with me to a few of my favorite museums.

Musée d’Orsay

Of all of the museums in Paris, the Musée d’orsay is definitely my favorite. Impressionist art was really what sparked my love of art and art history when I was 15, so walking around the d’Orsay is a dream come true. Plus the space itself–it was converted from a train station in the 1980s–is absolutely gorgeous and honestly takes my breath away a little every time I walk through the doors. Located right on the Seine, the d’Orsay has an amazing view of the river, the Tuileries, and the Louvre from the top floor. Definitely a must-visit in my book!

Highlights: Degas’ Small Dancer, Manet’s Luncheon on the Green, Renoir’s Bal du Moulin de la Galette, Monet’s Houses of Parliament, Manet’s Olympia, and Van Gogh’s Self Potrait

Centre Pompidou

Another favorite museum of mine is the Centre Pompidou. While not everyone is a fan of modern and contemporary art, I’ve always loved the stories behind the works of art that the artists have poured their hearts and souls into throughout the years. And don’t judge me but I legitimately cried when I saw Duchamp’s Fountaine for the first time. Yes, I am a total nerd.

Highlights: Duchamp’s Fountain, Rothko’s Untitled (Black, Red Over Black on Red), and Warhol’s Self-Portrait in Drag

Louvre

The Louvre is an obvious choice when you’re in Paris but it’s still near and dear to my heart. To get the full experience, you’ll need to spend a good part of your day exploring the museum or else you’ll miss some of the best works of art and artifacts in the world! You might also want to look into getting a tour guide just because the Louvre can be a bit intimidating at first glance–I once got so lost that I honestly thought that I would never find my way out. Granted getting lost and exploring a wing of the Louvre I’d never even heard of was pretty cool, so to each her own!

Highlights: Winged Victory of Samothrace, Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, Gericault’s The Raft of the MedusaVenus de Milo, and Law Code of Hammurabi

Musée de l’Orangerie

This is another must-see for those of y’all who are big fans of Impressionist works, especially Monet’s water lilies! His paintings take up entire walls within the museum and the entire experience, at least for me, bordered on spiritual because I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and serenity while studying his brushstrokes in person. I’d absolutely love to visit Giverny someday and see his water lilies for myself someday.

Highlights: Monet’s Water Lillies

Musée Rodin

This is the perfect museum to visit in Paris when you want to be cultured but also want to take advantage of a beautiful day. You enter through the house that Rodin once lived in and while there are sculptures inside, I 100% recommend spending the majority of your time exploring the gardens. Plus if you go to the Musée d’Orsay, you can use your ticket for admission to the Musée Rodin as well!

Highlights: The ThinkerThe Gates of Hell, and The Kiss

Musée Picasso

I went to the Musée Picasso with Matt and his sister for the first time two weeks ago and I absolutely LOVED everything about the museum. I’m a huge fan of Picasso’s career, especially how radically his art evolved over the course of his life, from his pubescent years to his death. I also loved getting a peek into his life throughout his first marriage and subsequent divorce in their special exhibit about Olga Picasso.

Highlights: The Barefoot GirlThe Death of Casagemas, and Self-Portrait

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  • Biana Perez

    We went to Muse D’Orsay and of course the Lourve and hit the highlights as I like to say – but there are so many other great small museums we went to as well! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    • The Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre are definitely two of my favorite museums in Paris!! There’s just so much to see and explore!

  • Thanks for sharing this important list. I need to go back to Paris so I can see all of these. These pics are beautiful. Have a fantastic Easter weekend Courtney!

    http://www.kathrineeldridge.com

    • Paris is just so beautiful!! I hope that you have a wonderful Easter weekend as well!

  • Violette

    These museums are all a must for sure 🙂 Hope you enjoyed!

    http://violettedaily.com

    • I absolutely loved all of our time in Paris! I already can’t wait to go back again soon!

  • I really want to go to all of these now haha love Paris!

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

    • Paris is just so amazing!! It’s hard not to fall in love with the city!

  • These museums all look so beautiful on the outside and I can only imagine the gorgeous works of art in the inside! Thanks for all these suggestions, girlie, I’ll definitely have to make note for whenever I do visit Paris, which I hope is someday soon 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • I hope that you’re able to visit Paris someday soon too! It’s such a gorgeous city and I feel like everyone who visits is totally enchanted by the allure of the city!

  • Nina

    I still regret that I didn’t visit these museums while I was in Paris, but unfortunately it was impossible to do it with my 5 years old. Hopefully next time I will get a chance. You are a lucky girl. xx

    Nina’s Style Blog

    • Oh my goodness, yes I can only imagine how tough it would be to go through a museum with a 5 year old!! I hope that you make it back someday soon 🙂

  • Rach

    My husband and I love going to museums! Thanks for sharing this because if we ever head to Paris, this will be on our list!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

    • Matt’s not a huge fan of museums but he puts up with them because I love exploring them so much!

  • I’m not a big fan of museums but the Louvre was amazing!

    The Fashion Matters– Travel & Fashion Blog

    • The Louvre is so amazing!! I also love how it used to be a palace hundreds of years ago!

    • No problem! I love sharing good museums!

  • I think the Musee d’Orsay is my fave from when I lived there, although I love the Musee de l’Orangerie too. Seriously impressed at how much you managed to fit in, Courtney!

    • It really is amazing what you can accomplish thanks to jet lag waking you up super early in the morning! The Musée d’Orsay is definitely my favorite too!

  • Kelly M

    Great share. I feel the same way as you, completely obsessed with museums!!!! 🙂 Thank you for this detailed list. Can’t wait to check them out!!

    XOXO
    kellmenow | http://www.kellmenow.com/environmentallychic/
    Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/kell_menow/

    • Museums are the best!! Let me know what your favorite museum is the next time you’re in Paris!

  • Some great suggestions to visit in Paris, the last time I visited was 2006, a great place with so much to see! Laura xo
    http://www.shehearts.net

    • I hope that you get to visit Paris again someday soon! There really is so much to do in the city!

  • Living on Cloud Nine

    This is such an awesome list!!! I love the trips you take!! Happy weekend gorgeous!!

    • Aww thank you!! I hope that you have a wonderful weekend as well!

  • Definitely going to keep this post for the future! It sounds like you had an amazing time! Can’t wait to visit Paris one day. 🙂

    xo, Chloe // http://funinthecloset.com/styling-halter-jumpsuit/

    • Paris is such an incredible city!! I really hope that you get to visit someday soon!

  • I would love to for to France to visit all these! Im a massive fan of architecture, and these look stunning! Shall definitely be making a list of these! Thankyou lovely!
    Kate xx
    themakeupartistschoice.com

    • The architecture in Paris is absolutely gorgeous!! I took so many pictures of the different buildings and homes while I was in the city!

  • Oh these museums sound wonderful – I hadn’t heard of them all, so thanks for the guide! I’d really like to visit Paris one day 🙂

    Hope you are having a lovely Easter and enjoying the long weekend.

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • I hope that you get to visit Paris someday soon! It’s such a magical city!

  • Giles

    That’s good.
    http://www.angtiyang.com

  • La Veine

    I have to go back to Paris and visit the museums I missed last time!

    LA VEINE

    • I already can’t wait for my next trip to Paris! You can never have too much Paris in your life!

  • Ahh Thanks for sharing. I want to go to Paris and all of these one day so badly!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Paris is such a magical city! I love all of the city’s museums but I would also just be happy to get lost in the maze of tiny streets!

  • I’m a big museum nerd also. I dragged my friends to tons of museums when I traveled abroad. Sadly the Louvre was closed when I visited but I did spend hours in the Musee d’Orsay.

    • We actually wanted to go to the Musée d’Orsay the Monday that we were in Paris but it was closed, so we ended up going the next day! And museums are the absolute best!!

  • Paris has been always a dream destination to me. Glad to get some of its glimpses here. 🙂

    Love,
    Manavi
    http://www.beforbeauty.com

    • I hope that you get to visit Paris someday soon!

  • I still never been to Paris, but it’s on my list of places. Thanks for sharing this!

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

    • I hope that you make it to Paris someday soon!! It’s such a magical city!

  • All of these museums sound amazing, I would love to go one day
    xo
    http://www.laurajaneatelier.com

    • All of these museums are AMAZING! Paris definitely has such a great variety of museums!

  • The Musée d’Orsay is one of my favorites and is definitely the most gorgeous museum I’ve ever visited! I could have spent an entire day exploring the different wings!

  • Ah so many amazing museums in this town! I could never pick a favourite! There is even a private fan museum, that I recently discovered in my neighbourhood! This city is magical <3
    Stella
    http://www.stellaasteria.com

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