Paris’ Free Museums

Louvre Pyramide

With over 30 million visitors a year, Paris is the world’s most visited city. Among its many attractions are its 153 museums, which showcase an incredibly diverse collection of art from all around the world. In a bid to widen accessibility to this impressive cultural heritage, the city of Paris has allowed free admission to 11 of its museums’ permanent collections. From modern art and antiquity, to literary works, these 11 museums are a brilliant, free access point into a city brimming with culture and the arts:

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris Dedicated to art of the 20th century, the museum’s collection gives an overview of artistic trends of the century, from Fauvism and Cubism to 1990’s abstraction. Highlights include Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Modigliani and Matisse’s gigantesque The Dance in its very own “Salle Matisse”. 11 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris Métro : Alma-Marceau / Iéna

Maison de Balzac A literary museum dedicated to the 19th century French writer considered to be one of the founders of Realism. A collection of his keepsakes, paintings and original works on display in the apartment in which he lived between 1840 to 1847. 47 rue Raynouard, 75016 Paris Métro : Passy / La Muette

Musée Bourdelle A museum devoted to the work of Rodin’s star pupil, Antoine Bourdelle. A large collection of his drawings, paintings and sculptures are on permanent display in the studio, house and garden, including his impressive 21 studies of Beethoven, 18 rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris
Métro :Montparnasse – Bienvenüe / Falguière

Musée Carnavalet : Musée de l’Histoire de Paris A vast history of Paris from prehistoric times to the present day. Located in two mansions, the collection includes paintings, artefacts and furniture recording the development and expansion of the city from the small village of Lutece to one of the most visited cities in the world today. Highlights include a beautiful perfume and wine bottle from the 4th century and paintings showing the infamous storming of the Bastille in 1789. 23 rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris
Métro : Saint-Paul / Chemin vert

Musée Cernuschi : Musée des Arts de l’Asie One of the largest museums dedicated to art of the Orient in Europe, the museum consists of Henri Cernuschi’s collection of pieces acquired during his 19th century travels around the world. The museum houses over 900 Chinese, Korean and Japanese artefacts, offering a retrospective of various eras and dynasties, including a fine collection of archaic bronze pieces from the 3rd century BC. 7 avenue Vélasquez, 75008 Paris. Métro : Villiers / Monceau

Musée Cognacq Jay, Musée du XVIII siècle The collection of Théodore Ernest Cognacq and Marie Louis-Jay, founders of the La Samaritaine department store. The museum displays decorative items and fine art with an emphasis on 19th century French pieces, including paintings by Hubert Robert and Jean-Antoine Watteau. The works are all displayed in 20 panelled rooms in the styles of Louis XV and XVI. 8 rue Elzévir, 75003 Paris. Métro : Saint-Paul / Chemin-Vert / Rambuteau

Mémorial Leclerc et de la Libération de Paris, Musée Jean Moulin Two museums devoted to the World War II occupation of Paris, and two of its key figures, French general Maréchal Leclerc and Jean Moulin, leader of the Resistance. Audiovisual displays transport the visitor into occupied Paris and the two museums work alongside each other to offer two historical perspectives on this period of French history. 3 Allée de la 2e DB, Jardin Atlantique 75015 Paris. Métro : Montparnasse-Bienvenüe / Gaîté / Pasteur

Petit Palais, Musée de Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris A panorama of art from Ancient Greece to the beginning of the 20th century. The collection includes art objects of the ancient world, 17th century furniture, paintings from the Italian and French Renaissance, and well known pieces by Delacroix, Monet, Sisley and Courbet. An impressively diverse collection of works, all in display in the recently renovated Petit Palais, constructed as part of the Universal Exhibtion in 1900. Avenue Winston Churchill , 75008 Paris. Métro: Champs-Elysées Clémenceau

Maison de Victor Hugo The house in which the great French novelist lived between 1832 and 1848, now turned into a museum dedicated to his life and works. The collection includes some of his furniture, mementos of his writing career and more than 450 of his drawings illustrating scenes from his own novels. Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée, 6 place des Vosges, 75004 Paris Métro: Bastille / Saint-Paul / Chemin-vert

Musée de la Vie Romantique A literary museum devoted to the Romantic period, in particular to the French writer and 19th century rebel George Sand and the painter Ary Scheffer. The collection includes much of Sand’s jewellery and a plaster cast of the hand of the composer Frederic Chopin, one of her many lovers. Housed in a picturesque hotel particulier with a charming garden. Hôtel Scheffer-Renan, 16 rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris. Métro: Saint-Georges / Pigalle / Blanche / Liège

Musée Zadkine A museum dedicated to sculptor Ossip Zadkine in his former home and studio. The collection shows Zadkine’s involvement in the Cubist movement in the early 20th century and his later interest in African art. A highlight is the garden, where the artist’s major works are on display, including his memorial to World War Two in the sculpture “The Destroyed City”. 100 bis rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris
Métro : Notre-Dame des Champs / Vavin

Museums Free First Sunday

If you’re lucky enough to be in Paris on the first Sunday of the month, these museums are all free:

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, 4th
Musée de l’Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, 5th
Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet, 16th
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, 3th
Musée National Eugène Delacroix, 6th
Musée Gustave Moreau, 9th
Musée National Jean-Jacques Henner, 17th
Musée du Louvre, 1st
Musée National du Moyen Âge – Thermes de Cluny, 5th
Musée National de l’Orangerie, 1st
Musée d’Orsay, 7th
Musée National Picasso, 3rd
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, 16th
Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, 12th
Musée du Quai Branly, 7th
Musée Rodin, 7th

Paris Museum Pass

And if these free museums are not enough, the Paris Museum Pass is a great way to jump the
queues and save some money. Valid for more than 60 museums and monuments in and around the
Paris region:

2 days: €35
4 days: €50
6 days: €65