20 de October de 2023 mariana

Small Museums in Paris You’ll Love To Visit

Paris boasts a wealth of world-famous landmarks and art institutions such as the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. With their imposing structures, these landmarks are on every traveler’s itinerary to the city. However, there are lesser-known museums that hold their own charm, offering a quieter and more personal experience of the city’s history, art, and culture. These small-scale treasures are perfect for those seeking a more intimate museum encounter. Here’s a list of some if the most delightful small museums in Paris for you to check out on your next visit to the French capital.Musée Carnavalet- small museums in Paris

Small Museums in Paris You’ll Love To Visit

Musée Gustave Moreau

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the 9th arrondissement, the Musee Gustave Moreau in Paris is undoubtedly one of the city’s most Instagram-worthy museums, largely thanks to its iconic spiral staircase. Beyond its photogenic charm, the museum holds the legacy of Gustave Moreau, a prominent French Symbolist painter whose renowned works grace prestigious institutions such as The Met in NYC, the Musee d’Orsay, the Louvre in Paris, and even the Art Institute of Chicago. However, for an immersive encounter with the bulk of Moreau’s iconic pieces, the Musee Gustave Moreau is the destination of choice. Here, visitors can marvel at masterpieces like “Prometheus,” “Andromeda,” and “The Peacock Complaining to Juno.” The museum offers a unique glimpse into Moreau’s world, allowing you to explore his apartment and the top two floors dedicated to his workshops and art. With fewer crowds compared to the larger museums in Paris, it’s a hidden gem well worth a visit.

Location: 14 Rue Catherine de la Rochefoucauld, 75009 Paris

Carnavalet Museum

While Paris boasts numerous small art museums, it’s worth noting that the city is also home to some spectacular history museums that offer an equally enriching experience. One such gem is the Carnavalet Museum, an institution dedicated exclusively to the vibrant history of Paris itself. Set in the Marais district with two adjacent mansions, it tells the story of the city’s evolution through a rich collection of artifacts, paintings, and sculptures. Nestled within two historic mansions, the Hôtel Carnavalet and the former Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau, this museum is a captivating journey through time. From prehistoric and Gallo-Roman eras, when Paris was known as Lutetia, to the Middle Ages, Renaissance, French Revolution, and into the Belle Epoque, Lost Generation, and contemporary times, the Carnavalet Museum paints a comprehensive portrait of the city’s enduring legacy. The museum’s entrance, adorned with vintage shop signs, sets the stage for a truly immersive exploration of Paris’s rich and expansive history.


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Location: 23 Rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris

Maison de Victor Hugo

Nestled near the picturesque Place de Vosges, this museum pays homage to the legendary French romantic writer, Victor Hugo. Situated in the very space where Hugo resided from 1832 to 1848, it offers a poignant glimpse into the life of the literary giant behind timeless classics like “Les Misérables” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Victor Hugo’s former abode is a true treasure trove, housing a diverse collection of artistic creations, from paintings to photographs. What’s more, exploring the lavishly decorated apartment itself is an experience in itself, offering a tangible connection to the writer’s illustrious past. A visit to this museum is a delightful immersion into the world of Victor Hugo and a must for fans of his literary legacy.

Location: 6 Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris

Maison Européenne de la Photographie

Located in the Marais district, this museum is a haven for photography enthusiasts. It hosts a rotating selection of exhibitions showcasing the works of both established and emerging photographers.


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Location5/7 Rue de Fourcy, 75004 Paris

CLUNY Museum

Located in the Latin Quarter, this museum is a portal to the medieval world. Housed in a magnificent medieval building, it showcases an unparalleled collection of artifacts, including the famous Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. It’s a fascinating collection, especially considering that much of art history education tends to focus on the Renaissance and beyond. However, the Middle Ages were an era of considerable advancement, far surpassing the commonly held notion of a “Dark Ages.” What’s particularly remarkable is that the museum is housed within a genuine Medieval building, which adds a whole new layer of authenticity to the visit.


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Location: 28 Rue du Sommerard, 75005 Paris

Musée Curie

A tribute to the pioneering scientist Marie Curie, this museum in the Latin Quarter provides insights into her groundbreaking research in the field of radiology. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the life and work of a Nobel laureate. For science enthusiasts, this museum is a true gem. Devoted to the field of radiological research, it finds its home in the very laboratory where Marie Curie once conducted groundbreaking experiments. Today, it offers a wealth of exhibits on radioactivity and its wide-ranging applications, particularly in the realm of medicine. Guided tours in both French and English are available, though they must be arranged in advance. Visitors have the opportunity to delve into the illustrious history of the Curie family, a scientific dynasty renowned for receiving an astounding five Nobel Prizes. Gain deeper insights into their pioneering work and contributions to the world of science. Additionally, the museum hosts occasional temporary exhibitions, providing a dynamic and ever-evolving educational experience for all who visit.

Location: 1 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005 Paris

Musée National Eugène Delacroix

Located in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the museum dedicated to Eugène Delacroix, the renowned artist behind the iconic Louvre painting “Liberty Leading the People,” invites visitors into the very space where the French Romantic painter once resided from 1857 to 1863. This intimate museum, tucked away along the picturesque Place de Furstenberg, may be small in size but it is rich in the artistic legacy of Delacroix. Stepping beyond the apartment’s threshold, you’ll find yourself in a tranquil garden and studio, a delightful extension of this creative sanctuary. The space is not only adorned with Delacroix’s masterpieces but also offers a serene oasis amidst the vibrant pulse of the city, where one can truly immerse themselves in the essence of this artistic haven.

Location6 Rue de Furstemberg, 75006 Paris

Musée Rodin

If you love sculptures and the tranquil allure of sculpture gardens, the Musée Rodin is the right place for you. Set amidst lush gardens, the Musee Rodin celebrates the life and works of the celebrated sculptor Auguste Rodin. Located in the 7th arrondissement, this museum offers a serene escape from the bustling city, allowing visitors to admire Rodin’s masterpieces in a tranquil setting. The sculpture garden is a verdant sanctuary, adorned with blooming flowers and frequented by ducks leisurely swimming in a charming sculpture pond. Inside the museum, Rodin’s magnificent works take center stage, and no visit would be complete without beholding the iconic masterpiece, “The Thinker.” It’s an idyllic retreat for art lovers seeking both inspiration and reprieve in the heart of Paris.


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Location: 77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris

Musée de la Vie Romantique

This museum is a tribute to the Romantic era, featuring an enchanting collection of art, letters, and personal belongings that evoke the spirit of the time. Once the cherished residence of the Dutch-French painter Ary Scheffer, this venues holds a rich history of hosting renowned artists and intellectuals of the time. The likes of Georges Sand, Charles Dickens, and Frederick Chopin graced its halls with their presence. Today, the museum lovingly preserves Scheffer’s former abode, dedicating it to the works of art from not only George Sand and Ary Scheffer himself, but also other distinguished artists of their era. Beyond the captivating interior, a charming outdoor tea room and garden offer a perfect setting to bask in the beauty of a nice day. Best of all, the permanent collection welcomes all visitors with open arms, offering a taste of this artistic legacy at no cost. For those eager to explore temporary exhibitions, admission prices may vary.

Location: 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris

Petit Palais

Paris boasts a wealth of renowned art museums, and among them, the Petit Palais stands as a distinguished gem that sometimes flies under the radar. Originally constructed for the 1900 Exposition Universelle, it now houses the Museum of Fine Arts in Paris. Inside, a splendid array of art spans from Antiquity to the early 1900s, featuring paintings, sculptures, and more by celebrated artists including Degas, Cezanne, Gauguin, Eugene Delacroix, Monet, Rembrandt, and many others. What truly sets the Petit Palais apart is the opportunity to relish these exquisite works without the usual hustle and bustle of larger museums, all while basking in the beauty of a central garden. The permanent collection is open for all to enjoy, free of charge, but fees may apply for temporary exhibitions! It’s a haven for art lovers seeking both quality and serenity in their exploration of Paris’s cultural treasures.

Location: Av. Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris

Musée Jacquemart-André

Housed in a sumptuous mansion, the Musee Jacquemart-André in the 8th arrondissement offers a glimpse into the opulent world of 19th-century art collectors. Its rich collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts evokes the grandeur of a bygone era. The former residence of Edouard Andre and Nelie Jacquemart has been transformed into a remarkable museum showcasing their extensive collection. Edouard Andre, a prosperous art enthusiast, and Nelie Jacquemart, a prominent society painter, once inhabited this lavish abode adorned with masterpieces by renowned artists such as Jacques-Louis David, Botticelli, and Rembrandt, among others. Beyond its impressive art collection, the museum also boasts one of the most exquisite tea rooms in Paris, nestled in their former dining room. This elegant space offers a delightful setting to savor a light lunch or indulge in delectable pastries, adding an extra layer of charm to the museum experience. It’s a must-visit destination for both art connoisseurs and those seeking a taste of refined Parisian elegance.

Location: 158 Bd Haussmann, 75008 Paris

La Galerie Dior

On the prestigious Avenue Montaigne, this gallery is a tribute to the enduring legacy of the iconic fashion house. For the devoted fashion enthusiasts, La Galerie Dior stands as an absolute treasure among small museums in Paris. This unique space offers an immersive journey through the storied history of the iconic fashion house. The scenographic narrative is nothing short of extraordinary, allowing visitors to delve into the legacy of Dior while feasting their eyes on sketches, couture looks, and exceptional pieces from Dior’s illustrious collections. It’s an intimate space that showcases the artistry and innovation that define the world of Dior. For those enamored with both the brand and the broader realm of French fashion, this museum is an absolute must-visit when in Paris!


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Location: 11 Rue François 1er, 75008 Paris

59 Rivoli

For a delightful dose of creativity in Paris, look no further than 59 Rivoli. Located in the 1st arrondissement, 59 Rivoli showcases ever-changing exhibitions and hosts resident artists, creating an immersive and dynamic artistic experience. This unique space has a fascinating history, once a thriving artist squat until its transformation in 2006 into a vibrant venue for exhibitions and events. Today, it houses an impressive array of 30 artist studios, with 15 serving as permanent creative spaces and the remaining 15 reserved for artists on temporary residencies. This dynamic setup ensures that each visit promises a fresh and evolving artistic experience, as residencies typically span a period of 3 to 6 months. For those seeking a taste of contemporary art and a cost-free museum experience in Paris, this eclectic haven is an absolute must-visit.


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Location: 59 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

Musée de l’Orangerie

Nestled in the Tuileries Gardens, this museum offers an unparalleled encounter with Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces.While the Louvre may reign as Paris’s most famous art museum, this lesser-known treasure lies just a stroll away across the Tuileries Gardens. The Musee de l’Orangerie offers a more intimate experience, one of the small museums in Paris that can be fully appreciated in under 90 minutes. The oval rooms provide a unique setting for the mesmerizing Water Lilies by Monet and other iconic works. Adorning the walls of two oval-shaped rooms, these expansive, concave masterpieces are a sight to behold. Once you’ve immersed yourself in the beauty on the ground floor, venture downstairs to the basement, where you’ll discover a rich collection from the estates of Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume. Here, the works of Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, and more await your admiration. This museum is a true delight to explore, especially for those with limited time to spare in Paris!

Location: Jardin des Tuileries, 75001 Paris

Dali Paris

In the artistic enclave of Montmartre, this museum pays homage to the surrealist genius Salvador Dali. It’s an opportunity to explore the eccentric and imaginative world of one of the 20th century’s most iconic artists. Though being one of the small museums in Paris that sometimes goes under the radar, it boasts the largest private collection of Salvador Dali’s art in France. Housing predominantly sculptures and engravings, this venues offers a mesmerizing journey into the surrealistic realm of this renowned artist. Beyond Dali’s own creations, the museum plays host to temporary exhibitions featuring works by other artists, adding an extra layer of artistic diversity to the experience. Situated in the midst of the bustling Montmartre neighborhood, this museum stands out as a truly unique and immersive destination, providing a respite from the usual crowds that flock to this part of the city. It’s a must-visit for art enthusiasts and those seeking a distinctive cultural encounter in Paris.


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Location: 11 Rue Poulbot, 75018 Paris

Montmartre Museum

This museum invites visitors to explore the history and artistic heritage of one of Paris’s most iconic neighborhoods. Housed in a charming 17th-century mansion, this charming establishment was once the residence and workspace of numerous esteemed artists, including Auguste Renoir, Suzanne Valadon, and Émile Bernard, among others. Within the museum, visitors have the opportunity to explore the meticulously recreated workshop and apartment of Suzanne Valadon, wander through Renoir’s enchanting gardens, and peruse the permanent collections that vividly narrate the history of Montmartre, including its legendary cabaret era. Adding to its allure, the museum is also home to Paris’s only working vineyard. It’s a must-visit destination for those eager to delve into the artistic and cultural tapestry of Montmartre.

Location: 12 Rue Cortot, 75018 Paris

Musée Bourdelle

The former studio of the renowned French sculptor Antoine Bourdelle has been transformed into a captivating museum. It offers visitors a remarkable glimpse into the world of ateliers, or workshops, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum houses an extensive collection of works of art, encompassing bronze, plaster, and marble sculptures, alongside an array of photographs, paintings, and graphic art. These pieces hail from both the artist’s own creations and his personal collection, providing a comprehensive overview of Bourdelle’s artistic legacy.


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Location18 Rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris

Museum of Fairground Arts

Tucked away in the quaint district of Bercy, a bit removed from the bustling heart of Paris, the Museum of Fairground Arts is a whimsical haven for visitors young and old. This charming Parisian gem is dedicated to the treasures of fairgrounds from the years 1850 to 1950. What sets it apart is its immersive, hands-on approach; here, you’re not just an observer, but an active participant in the magic of a bygone era. Picture dancing to the melodies of vintage fair-time music, watching a captivating Italian opera performed by animated mannequins, and even taking a spin on antique rides that transport you back in time. It’s worth noting that as a private museum, tours need to be booked in advance, with regular tours conducted in French and occasional offerings in English.

Location: 53 Av. des Terroirs de France, 75012 Paris

These small museums in Paris offer a different, often more intimate, perspective on the city’s life. Whether you’re drawn to the whimsical world of magic or the contemplative beauty of outdoor sculptures, these hidden treasures are waiting to be discovered by the discerning traveler. So, next time you’re in Paris, consider taking a detour to one of these captivating small museums for a truly enriching experience.

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