12 Absolute Best Museums in Paris

As one of the world’s most cultured cities, Paris is an amazing place to admire exceptional art. Visitors could spend an entire vacation (or a lifetime) exploring the art collections in more than 150 museums. The most prestigious is the Louvre, which displays some of the Western Civilization’s finest masterpieces.

Other museums are devoted to specific artists, such as the Musée Picasso, the Musée Rodin, and the Musée Marmottan Monet, or genres, such as Impressionist art at the Musée d’Orsay, medieval art at the Cluny Museum, and modern art at the Pompidou Center. Paris also has appealing small museums like the Musée Jacquemart-Andre and the Musée de l’Orangerie.

Tips for Travelers: Many museums are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays, while some museums stay open late on certain days of the week. Admission to the Musée du Louvre is free of charge on the first Saturday of the month (from 6 pm to 9:45 pm). Entrance to the Musée d’Orsay and the Centre Pompidou is free on the first Sunday of the month.

Plan your visit with our list of the top museums in Paris.

12. Centre Pompidou


The Centre Pompidou astounds visitors with its stunningly modern steel-and-glass structure, considered by some to be fabulously original while others call it atrocious. The Pompidou Center houses the Musée National d’Art Moderne, an extensive collection (more than 100,000 works) of modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st century presented in chronological order, beginning with the Modern collection (including Braque, Duchamp, Dufy, Matisse, Kandinsky, and Picasso) continuing with the Contemporary collection (representing works by Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, and other renowned artists born after 1920).

Galerie de Photographies presents an assortment of photographs from the 1920s to the present day. The Design collection displays works of modern furniture and household items. The Graphic Arts collection is noteworthy for its drawings by Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, and Henri Matisse.

The Centre Pompidou covers all categories of art, including Cinema with a collection of visual art installations, as well as experimental and artistic films dating from 1902 through the 21st century. The Centre Pompidou also has a café at the mezzanine level and a 6th-floor restaurant with spectacular views of Paris landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

Address: Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris (Métro: Rambuteau, Hôtel de Ville or Châtelet-Les Halles station)