A trip to Paris is always a special moment, once you have reserved your flight ticket and your vacation rental, you can focus on planning your visit. Paris has a reputation for high prices, but wise travellers will discover Paris’ museums for free as describe below.
LE PETIT PALAIS
Built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, this museum presents works since Antiquity until end of the XIXth century. The collections are organised in two major parts : the ancient art fund (French, Flemish, Renaissance, XVIIIth century art) and the XIXth century French art fund (Doré, Delacroix, Monet, Pissaro, Sisley, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec...).
Le Petit Palais (Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris), 5, avenue Dutuit 75008 Paris
Opening time : 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Closing time : Monday and bank holidays
Late night opening : Thuesday (8 p.m.) during temporary exhibitions
Permanent exhibition FREE
Métro : Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau (lines 1/13) or Concorde (lines 1/8/12)
L'Atelier Brancusi (The Brancusi Workshop) is a reconstruction of the workshop, with original furnitures and tools, of the sculptor Constantin Brancusi. You can discover most of his sculptures (finished but sketches too) in their original spirit : Brancusi was preoccupied by the relation between sculptures and space.
L'Atelier Brancusi - Beaubourg Piazza, 19 rue Beaubourg 75004 Paris
Opening time : 2 pm to 6 pm
Closing time : Tuesdays and May 1st
Métro : Rambuteau (line 11) / châtelet les halles (RER)
Free entrance (in the permanente exhibition) first sunday of the month
Most famous museum of Paris, and one of the largest in the world, Le Louvre presents a permanent collection of 35000 works (Archeology, Decorative Arts, Jewellery, Furniture, Painting, Sculpture, Textile, Graphic art...) since High Antiquity (-7000) until 1850.
Musée du Louvre - Pyramide - Cour Napoléon, 34, 36 quai du Louvre 75001 Paris
Opening time :
- Museum: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (except Monday, 1/01, 1/05, 8/05, 15/08)
- Pyramid: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Closing time : Tuesday, 1st January, 1st May, 8th May, 25th December
Museum late night : opening on Wednesday, Friday (10 p.m.)
Métro : Palais Royal – musée du Louvre (lines 1,7)
Located in a beautiful mansion : the « hôtel particulier » Salé, the Picasso Museum presents more than 3000 works of the artists including paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics etc.
Musée Picasso - Hôtel Salé, 5 rue de Thorigny 75003 Paris
Opening time :
- Summer : April 1st - September 30 : 9.30 a.m. – 6.00 p.m.
- Winter : October 1st - Mars 31 : 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Closing time : Tuesday, 01/01
Métro : Saint-Paul / Saint-Sébastien Froissart / Chemin Vert
MUSEE DES THERMES DE CLUNY
The musée des Thermes de Cluny (Museum of medieval art), located between the gallo-romans ruins and a medieval hotel, presents master works of the medieval art and in particular the famous tapestries called The Lady with the Unicorn (« La Dame à la licorne »).
Musée national du Moyen Âge - Thermes et hôtel de Cluny, 6 place Paul Painlevé 75005 Paris
Opening time : 9.15 a.m. - 17.45 p.m.
Closing time : Thuesday, 1st January, 1st May, 25 December
Métro : Cluny-La Sorbonne / Saint-Michel / Odéon
Originally a train station built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, this museum is dedicated to all artistic production (Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Furniture, Cinema, Photography etc) from 1848 to 1914. Chronologically the collections presented in the Musee d'Orsay are before the one of the Louvre and after the one of the Musée d'Art Moderne Beaubourg.
Musée d'Orsay, 62 rue de Lille 75007 Paris
Opening time : 9.30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Closing time : Monday, 1st January, 1st May, 25th December
Late night opening : Thursday (9.45 p.m)
Métro : Solférino (Line 12)
This museum, located in a XVIIIth century mansion, presents sculptures (marble, bronze, plaster etc) but also drawins from the sculptor Auguste Rodin. In addition, works from others artists, coming from the personal collection of Rodin, a exposed too. Few master works (and especally the famous Thinker) are exposed in the garden.
Musée Rodin, 77 rue de Varenne 75007 Paris
Opening time :
- Winter (October - March): 9.30 a.m. - 4.45 p.m.
- Summer (April - September) : 9.30 a.m. - 5.45 p.m.
Closing time : Monday, 01/01, 01/05, 25/12
Métro : Varenne, Invalides, Saint-François-Xavier
MUSEE DES ARTS ASIATIQUES - GUIMET
Major center for the knowledge of Asian civilizations, this museem presents one of the largest collection in the world (45000 objects), of all types of Asian art and in particular an amazing collection of archeology and antics objects.
Musée des Arts asiatiques - Guimet, 6 place d'Iéna - 19, avenue d'Iéna 75008 Paris
Opening time : 10 a.m – 6 p.m.
Closing time: Tuesday
Métro : Iéna (9)
MUSEE NATIONAL D'ART MODERNE (BEAUBOURG)
Well known for his curious architecture , the Pompidou Center is a great cultural Center. It contains the Musée National d'Art Moderne which presents works since 1905 until present time. The museem is divides in two majors sections : moderne art (since 1905 until 1960) and contemporary art (since 1960 until now).
Musée National d'Art Moderne - Beaubourg Piazza 75004 Paris
Opening time : 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Closing time : Tuesday, 1st May
Métro : Rambuteau (11) / châtelet les halles (RER)
LE CHATEAU DE VERSAILLES
Commissioned by Louis XV The Château de Versailles was the official residence of the royal court until the french revolution. Considered as the high point of French art and architecture during the 17th and 18th centuries The Château de Versailles is the prototype of French classical art. The gardens, designed by Le Nôtre, represents the quintessence of the « jardin à la française ».
Château de Versailles
Opening time :
- Summer : April 3t - October 31 : 9 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
- Winter : November 1st - April 2d : 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Closing time : Monday, May 1st, May 28th, December 25th
By train :
- RER ligne C, direction Versailles-rive-gauche-château
- from Montparnasse station, train SNCF direction Versailles-Chantiers
- from Saint-Lazare station, train SNCF direction Versailles-rive-droite