Paris: city of light, cultural capital, world class museums… The Paris Observatory of Tourism and Congresses quite long list of 206 museums and art galleries in 2016. While we can’t list them all here, we’re taking you along with us to our selection of 10 iconic museums in Paris. Follow us!
Museums in Paris: the largest in the world, the Louvre
We couldn’t start our list of museums in Paris without mentioning the most famous of them all: the Louvre. It’s the most visited museum in the world and welcomed 9.6 million visitors in 2019. Foreign visitors accounted for nearly three-quarters of the visitors, led by Americans and Chinese. The Louvre is also appreciated by a young public: more than one out of every two visitors is under the age of 30!
Nearly 35,000 works of art are on display, from the most famous such as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, or the Winged Victory of Samothrace to other more unusual ones. To admire all the works of art in the museum, even for 10 seconds, would require three days and two nights non-stop. The Louvre is a true labyrinth (it has 403 rooms, 243,000 m2 of floor space, 14.5 km of corridors, 10,000 steps, 410 windows, 3,000 locks, among so much more).
So why not explore the most famous museum with your colleagues during a Louvre treasure hunt organized by the Booster2Success teams? An original way to (re)discover it and see why it’s one of our most popular events!
Musée de la Vie Romantique: the most romantic museum in Paris
Located in the lively Pigalle and New Athens district, the Musée de la Vie Romantique is housed in the former home of the painter Ary Scheffer, which was built in 1830. This charming Parisian museum evokes the Romantic period through the reconstitution of a historical and harmonious setting. On the ground floor, George Sand is in the spotlight. The latter, who frequented the painter’s studio, seems to live again and welcomes visitors. There are many portraits, furniture and jewellery that seem to whisper to anyone who wants to hear it. On the first floor, Ary Scheffer’s paintings are on display along with others by his contemporaries.
Feel free to visit the Rose Bakery Tea Room in the museum’s garden for a real gourmet break. A treat not to be overlooked!
Afterwards, you can continue your visit with an adult treasure hunt in Montmartre!
Museums in Paris: the temple of Impressionism, the Musée d’Orsay
Let’s continue our list of the most beautiful museums in Paris, through the enchanting setting of the former Gare d’Orsay station, where the Musée d’Orsay is now located. Opened in 1986, the museum exhibits more than 4,000 works of art from most of the artistic movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries on 57,400 m2 (617 850 sqft). You will admire masterpieces by the masters of impressionism, sculpture, decorative arts and photography.
If you’re looking to discover the museum with an fresh eye while having fun, Booster2Success will introduce you to the masters Courbet, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Renoir and so many other illustrious geniuses during a team building experience at the Musée d’Orsay.
Musée Carnavalet: all you need to know about the history of Paris
Nestled in the heart of the Marais in Paris, one of the oldest and most prestigious districts of the French capital city, the Musée Carnavalet is our next destination of culture. Carnavalet occupies two private mansions, with nearly a hundred rooms for visitors to explore. The Paris historical museum is currently closed, but is scheduled to reopen its doors this year after renovation work. Much appreciated by tourists interested in the French Revolution, the museum has more than 600,000 works including paintings, drawings, photographs, pieces of furniture, and thousands of archaeological remains.
Some famous names have left some of their furniture in the museum: Madame de Sévigné’s desk or Voltaire’s mortuary armchair come to mind. Also, the evolution and urbanization of Paris are narrated through a series of paintings from the Middle Ages to the present day. Perfect to learn more about Paris history.
Musée Picasso Museums in Paris: Contemporary art in the spotlight at the Musée Picasso
Just a few steps from the Musée Carnavalet is the Hotel Salé. This baroque-style mansion is home to the Musée National Picasso Paris. With a collection of more than 5,000 works of art and nearly 200,000 archive pieces, the museum of the same name houses the largest collection of Picasso’s work in the world. Go through all of Picasso’s painted, sculpted, engraved and drawn works and appreciate the artist’s creative process and style development. Dedicated to the evolution of his life’s work, be sure to enjoy the careful curation of pieces, and be sure to look out the window to admire the view of the Montmartre hill, where Picasso lived and painted. Another great location to explore!
Before or after the visit, we recommend you wander around the neighbourhood for a Booster2Success adult treasure hunt team building in the Marais and soak up the neighborhood vibe and history!
The Petit Palais: the Museum of Fine Arts in Paris
Located on the prestigious Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Petit Palais proudly sits on its throne. This architectural gem was built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition and it faces the Grand Palais – you can’t miss it. The Petit Palais is one of the museums in Paris that should not be missed during a stay in the French capital. It houses the Museum of Fine Arts of the City of Paris. Nearly 1300 works of art are exhibited there, offering a wide artistic panorama (antique and medieval collections, French and Italian Renaissance works, Flemish and Dutch paintings, collection of French paintings by major 19th-century artists). As a bonus: an interior garden that increases the charm of the place tenfold! A must not miss museum!
Museums in Paris: science and technology at the Musée des Arts et Métiers
This “Museum of France” (labelled in 2002 and placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Research) is housed in the former abbey of Saint-Martin-des-Champs in the 3rd district of Paris. The Musée des Arts et Métiers houses real treasures presented chronologically, retracing the history of techniques from the 16th century. Seven fields are presented: scientific instruments, materials, construction, communication, energy, mechanics and transport. Visitors will discover among other things, a charming automaton dating back to 1784: the Tympanon Player, or the famous Foucault pendulum dating back to 1851.
Before finishing the visit, don’t forget to visit one of the two statues of liberty. To find out where the others are hiding in Paris, you have to read our article on the subject!
The Musée de Cluny , the medieval era
Visit one of the oldest museums in Paris, Boulevard Saint-Michel, where you can admire the remains of Gallo-Roman baths even before entering the museum. After a journey back in time to 14 centuries, you will find yourself in the majestic courtyard of the Hôtel de Cluny dating from the end of the 15th century. The museum’s collections house many treasures from Antiquity to the Renaissance, including the Pillar of the Nautes (1st century) and the six tapestries making up the famous set of the Lady with Unicorn (15th century). But plan carefully – the museum is closed until May 2021 for renovations, but keep it on your list!
And be sure to take the opportunity to explore the Notre-Dame district and its lovely islands during our adult treasure hunt while your there!
Museums in Paris: explore the civilizations at the Musée du Quai Branly
A few steps from the famous Eiffel Tower, the Quai Branly Museum is an iconic cultural building in the heart of Paris. Championed by President Jacques Chirac, it was inaugurated in 2006 and recognized by its famous green wall, the Musée du Quai Branly is dedicated to non-Western civilizations. The architectural complex imagined by Jean Nouvel is located in the heart of wooded savannah, a 2-hectare garden where you can take a relaxing break once the visit is over. Through its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions, the museum highlights the cultural wealth of the first civilizations.
The museum’s collections include nearly 700,000 photographs and 300,000 works and objects (musical instruments, textiles, clothing) from Oceania, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. A fascinating exploration of civilizations awaits you!
The Palais de Tokyo: “The Palace of Modern Art Museums”
The Palais de Tokyo is housed in a monumental building constructed for the 1937 World’s Fair. Located a stone’s throw from the Trocadero and the Musée du Quai Branly, the west wing of the museum houses one of the largest European centres for the creation of contemporary art in a 22,000m² space. The site offers public exhibitions, screenings, and concerts, as well as activities for children. In the east wing, the Paris Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to contemporary creation in all its forms: paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and videos. There are more than 15,000 works, illustrating the various styles of 20th-century art: cubism, the Paris school, abstraction, and new realism.
It’s also a stop on the team building rally in the Eiffel Tower district, where you can admire the Palais de Tokyo building from the outside!
With so many museums in Paris to visit, this list is, of course, not exhaustive, but why not visit a completely new kind of museum, a 2.0 museum? Be sure to explore the atelier des lumières while your out. You won’t be disappointed! Join us at Booster2Success and let us show you what you’ve been missing!
Cover photo credit: Detail of the painting Le Cirque, Georges Seurat, Booster2Success©.
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