Paris offers an astonishing number of museums and monuments - 129 at last count, although the number continues to grow.

Although the Louvre Museum leaps to most people's minds as the most famous repository of art in Paris, you'll find many more places in this guide where you can immerse yourself in art and culture.   In fact, you'll probably discover at least a few you've never heard of.

And traditional "art" is just the beginning what they have to offer. So whether your interests focus on fashion, military history, economics, scientific innovations, graffiti art, wine, chocolate, vintage carousels, immersive art, architecture, or magic, you'll find at least one Paris museum or monument devoted to your favorite subject.

In case you want to explore more than one museum or monument in a day or simply want to find out what's nearby, this guide groups them by arrondissement (Paris administrative districts). It also includes a few places in the Paris suburbs and nearby towns, such as the Palace of Versailles and even Monet's home and gardens in Giverny.

Here are quick links to each area and the best-known museums and monuments in each:

Top photo: The Pantheon in Paris's Latin Quarter, (c) Paris Discovery Guide


1st & 2nd Districts: Paris's Most Famous Museums & Medieval Monuments

  • Arts Décoratifs Museum - Design and decorative arts, including fashion
  • Conciergerie - Historical monument: medieval palace and French Revolution/Reign of Terror prison
  • Louvre Museum - Former French Renaissance palace, and now the world's biggest art museum; home to Da Vinci's Mona Lisa
  • Memorial des Martyrs de la Deportation - Memorial to the 200,000+ French and Eastern European Jews, Roma, and other people who the Vichy France government deported to Nazi death camps during World War II
  • Musée en Herbe - Interactive art museum for children
  • Orangerie Museum - Art museum with Monet's massive water lily paintings
  • Pinault Collection - Contemporary art in Paris's historical Bourse
  • Sainte-Chapelle - Historical monument: medieval royal chapel with stunning stained glass
  • Saint-Eustache Church - Historical monument; flamboyant Gothic architecture, with Renaissance and Classical interior details; significant art in the chapels
  • Tour Jean Sans Peur - Historical monument: a medieval tower which was once part of a medieval private mansion and contained bedrooms and a grand stairway on the lower level and a fortified upper level; open for self-guided tours

Special Exhibitions at Paris Museums

In addition to their permanent collections, many Paris museums such as the Louvre also offer rotating temporary exhibitions.  You can check what's on here.



3rd & 4th Districts: Marais & Île de la Cité Museums & Monuments

  • Archaelogical Crypt of Île de la Cité - Archaeological museum with displays representing 2,000+ years of Paris history
  • Arts et Métiers Museum - History of innovations in science, technology, engineering communications, transportation, materials (and more)
  • Carnavalet Museum - History museum focused on the history of Paris from the Romans forward
  • Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Hunting and Nature Museum) - Beautifully curated exploration of the relationships between humans who hunt and the animals they pursue
  • Centre Pompidou (Museum National d'Art Moderne) - Modern and contemporary art
  • Cognacq-Jay Museum - House museum; primarily 18th century French decor and art
  • Gaite Lyric - Contemporary art, digital, and immersive exhibitions
  • Hotel de Ville (Paris's City Hall) - Historical monument
  • Maison Européeanne de la Photographie - Contemporary photography
  • Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaisme (Jewish Art and History Museum) - History and art
  • Musée de la Magie - Small museum devoted to magical arts
  • Musée Pierre Cardin - Fashion museum; displays haute couture designs by French designer Pierre Cardin (closed through the end of 2022)
  • Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral - Historical monument; Medieval Gothic architecture; priceless art and religious artifacts
  • Pavillon de l'Arsenal - Paris urban planning exhibition space and resource center
  • Picasso Museum - Modern art, mostly by Pablo Picasso
  • Hotel de Sens - Medieval mansion, now occupied by the Forney Library (decorative arts), with a lovely formal garden
  • Saint-Jacques Tower (Tour Saint-Jacques) - Historical monument: a 16th century Flamboyant Gothic tower; all that remains of a church destroyed during the French Revolution
  • Shoah Memorial (Holocaust Museum) - History museum focused on the history of the Holocaust, particularly from the perspective of French Jews during World War II; outside the museum is the Wall of the Righteous, containing the names of 3,300 non-Jewish people who helped save Jewish people during the war
  • Swedish Cultural Center (Institut Tessin) - Small permanent collection and temporary expositions of Swedish art.
  • Victor Hugo's House - House museum; French writer Victor Hugo's apartment at Place des Vosges   

5th District: Latin Quarter and Jardin des Plantes Museums

  • Arenes de Lutece - Historical monument: 1st century Roman arena
  • Musée de l'Assistance Publique - History museum; focus is on the history of Paris's hospitals
  • Cluny Museum - Roman and medieval art museum
  • Galerie de Geologie et de Mineralogie (Geology and Mineralogy Gallery) - Museum in Jardin des Plantes with collections (and stunning displays) of rocks, meteorites, gemstones, and crystals
  • Grandee Mosquée de Paris - Historic monument; used by an Alberian branch of the French Resistance during World War II to hide rescued British parachutists as well as Jewish refugees.  Today, it is the largest mosque in France, wiith a beautiful interior garden, marble Turkish baths (for women only), and a popular tea room
  • Histoire de la Médecine - Medical history museum
  • Histoire Naturelle - Natural history museum
  • Institute du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) - Renowned for its architecture by Jean Nouvel; its museum displays art and objects from the Arab world from pre-Islam times through the 20th century and hosts numerous special exhibitions.  A rooftop terrace offers some of the best skyline views of Paris
  • Musée Curie - Historical science museum housed in Marie Curie's office and chemistry lab, and focused on the work of Marie and Pierre Curie; displays include the research apparatus used prior to 1940
  • Musée de la Sculpture en Plein Air - Late 20th century sculptures displayed outdoors in Jardin Tino Rossi along the banks of the Seine River
  • Musée du Service de Santé des Armées (Museum of Army Health Services) - Historical museum focused on French military medical services, on and off the battlefield
  • Pantheon - Historical monument with tombs of "national heroes," including American singer Josephine Baker, honored for her work in the French Resistance during World War II
  • Paris Police Museum - History museum focused on the history of the Paris police
  • Zadkine Museum - Small museum displaying the work of this modern Russian-born sculptor.

6th District

  • Delacroix Museum - 19th century painter Eugene Delacroix's final apartment and studio, with a number of his works on display
  • Fondation Dubuffet - House museum; personal archives and works of 20th century artist Jean Dubuffet
  • Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint Museum) - Combines a museum and a factory for a unique experience
  • Mundolingua - Language museum - Objects, information, and artifacts related to languages, linguistic diversity, and language acquisition
  • Musée du Luxembourg - Art museum; hosts temporary exhibitions of contemporary art
  • Saint Germain des Pres Church - Historical monument; one of the oldest churches in Paris with tower that dates back to around the year 1000.
  • Saint Sulpice Church - Historical monument; second largest church in Paris (only Notre Dame Cathedral is larger), known for its historical Cavaille-Coll organ and an elaborate 18th century gnomon (the part of a sundial that casts the shadow)

7th District

  • Army Museum (Musée de l'Armée) - Military history museum focused on the French army; located in the huge Les Invalides complex which also contains the dome where Napoleon's Tomb is located in a shrine of leading French military figures
  • Egouts de Paris (Paris Sewers) - Museum in the sewers under the Quai d'Orsay, known for its sewer tours focusing on the history of the Paris sewers, roles of sewer workers, and water treatment methods
  • Eiffel Tower - Historical monument (and some of the best views of Paris)
  • Fluctuart - The work of street artists/graffiti artists/urban artists exhibited in a barge-turned-gallery floating on the Seine Rive
  • Fondation Custodia - Private collection of Old Master drawings, prints, and paintings located in Hôtel Turgot (private mansion), with regular exhibitions
  • Les Invalides (Military Museum with Napoleon's Tomb) - French military history
  • Maillol Museum - Art museum, featuring the work of 20th century sculptor Aristide Maillol, as well as work by Degas, Matisse, Cezanne, Kadinsky, and Duchamp, established by Dina Vierny, Maillol's final model
  • Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine - Military history museum, library, and archive center located in Les Invalides; includes documents, paintings and other art, photos, and even postcards
  • Musée des Plans-Reliefs - Military history museum located in Les Invalides, with collections of military topographic models created between 1668 and 1870 of fortified cities
  • Musée National de la Legion d'Honneur et des Ordres de Chevalerie - Military history museum focused on France's medals, decorations, knightly orders, and honors from Louis XI to the present; includes an assortment of Napoleon souvenirs and 300+ portraits of military men
  • Quai Branly (Non-Western Arts Museum) - Major art and ethnography museum focused on the indigenous peoples and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas
  • Rodin Museum - Art museum dedicated to the work of French sculptor August Rodin; beautiful garden with outdoor sculptures and s magnificent rose garden 

8th District

  • Arc de Triomphe - Historical monument
  • Cernuschi Museum - Asian art museum, founded by collector Henri Cernuschi in 1898 to display his collections of Chinese and Japanese art, but now much expanded to include art from Korea and Vietnam
  • Chapelle Expiatoire - Small chapel (now considered a monument) memorializes King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette
  • Grand Palais - Historical monument with an enormous glass dome, exhibition hall, and museum complex, currently closed for major renovations
  • Hotel de la Marine - 18th century mansion, now a registered national monument, which once housed the Navy Ministry offices, with stunningly elaborate decor rivals the Palace of Versailles; one wing contains Collection Al Thani, the private art collection of a Qatari sheik
  • Jacquemart-André Museum - House museum in a mansion owned by a wealthy banker and society painter who devoted a fortune to acquiring art (especially 15th and 16th Italian sculpture) and decorating their house in 18th-century styles.
  • Jeu de Paume - Modern and contemporary photography and digital arts museum
  • Nissim de Camondo Museum - House museum in a mansion built to display the owner's extensive collection of late-18th century French decorative arts
  • Palais Garnier (Paris Opera House) - Ornate 19th century opera house used for operas and ballets, with dazzling public spaces and a museum gallery displaying costumes, art, and set models; historical monument.
  • Palais de la Découverte - Children's science museum in a wing of the Grand Palais; currently closed for renovations
  • Petit Palais (Musée des Beaux Arts) - Fine arts museum

9th District

  • Grevin Wax Museum - Fun museum where life-like wax figures of French and International celebrities bring to life French culture (music, sports, politics, kitchens) as well as the gorier parts of French history (medieval dungeons, the Inquisition, the French Revolution, Reign of Terror, etc)
  • Gustave Moreau Museum - Art museum displaying the works of 19th century painter Gustave Moreau in his former apartment and studio/museum.
  • Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie - Small museum of Freemasonry; displays historical artifacts of Freemasonry, fraternal organizations with their roots in medieval craft guilds
  • Musée de la Vie Romantique - Literary museum located in the New Athens neighborhood at the foot of Montmartre, this former home of painter Ary Scheffler displays items once owned by writer George Sand including some of her own watercolors, as well as works by many of the artists who once gathered here for the Friday night salons attended by Sand, Chopin, Delacrois, Ingres, Lamartine, Liszt, Dickens, and others.
  • Musée du Parfum Fragonard (Fragonard Perfume Museum) - Offers guided tours showing how perfume is made, and displays an extensive collection of perfume bottles from Ancient Egypt through the 20th century

10th, 11th, & 12th Districts

  • Arts Forains (Carnival Arts Museum) - Preserves merry-go-rounds, carousels, amusement rides, fair attractions and booths and other carnival artifacts
  • Atelier Anne Hoguet Eventails (Fan Museum) - Museum and workshop devoted to the art and craft of fan-making
  • Atelier des Lumières - Digital art museum/exhibition space
  • Choco Story (Chocolate Museum) - Museum devoted to the history and art of making chocolate
  • Edith Piaf Museum - Biographical museum about the life of French singer Edith Piaf
  • Musée de la Cinémathèque - Film museum devoted to the history of film and pre-cinema in France and around the world
  • Musée de l'Histoire de l'Immigration - Museum focused on the history of migration in France and the roles immigrants have played in the development of the country
  • Musée du Fumeur - Museum with a collection of objects related to smoking, including pipes snuffboxes, hookahs, cigars, and hemp-fiber clothing

13th, 14th, & 15th Districts

  • Bibliotheque Nationale - Francois Mitterand Library -
  • Catacombes -
  • Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain - Contemporary art and photography exhibitions
  • Galerie Itinerrance/Street Art 13 -
  • Gobelins Tapestry Manufacture
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson Fondation
  • La Fab - Contemporary art; exhibitions from the permanent street art collection of iconic French fashion designer, agnès b., as well as temporary exhibitions of other artists 
  • Montparnasse Tower - Monument
  • Musée Bourdelle -
  • Musée de la Liberation de Paris
  • Musée Pasteur - Biographical museum; focused on the life of scientist Louis Pasteur
  • Postal Museum - Philatelic museum focused on postal stamps and postal history of France 

16th District

  • Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - Modern and contemporary art
  • Guimet Museum (Musée National des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet) - Ancient through contemporary Asian art; the top Asian art museum in Europe and one of the best in the world
  • Baccarat Museum - Perfume museum
  • Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine - Architecture museum with not-quite-life-sized casts of 12th to 18th century French cathedrals and monuments, copies of stained glass and murals from French Romanesque and Gothic churches, and models of mid-19th century to present-day French and international architecture
  • Fondation Louis Vuitton - Modern & contemporary art - blockbuster exhibitions in a unique building designed by Frank Gehry on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne
  • La Roche House - House museum - Early 20th century house designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier (aka Charles Edouard Jeanneret) and his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret; Corbusier's apartment and studio are nearby and can also be visited
  • Librairie du Compagnonnage - Small museum focused on French trade guilds
  • Maison Balzac - House museum - The hillside cottage in Passy where 19th century novelist Honoré de Balzac lived and worked
  • Musée Clemenceau - House museum - The apartment and garden of French statesman Georges Clemenceau, who lived there for the last 34 years of his life
  • Musée d'Art Dentaire Pierre Fauchard - History museum covering the development of dentistry in Paris, with a collection of about 1,500 instruments and other items, including some from the 1600s.
  • Musée de l'Homme - Anthropology museum
  • Musée de la Contrefaçon - Small museum dedicated to showing the differences between authentic items and counterfeits, with side-by-side displays of hundreds of objects
  • Musée de la Marine - Naval history museum, with ship modes, maritime art, artifacts, and photos
  • Musée de Vin - Wine museum
  • Musée Marmottan Monet - The world's largest collection of art by Claude Monet, plus other art
  • Musée Yves Saint-Laurent Paris - Fashion museum devoted to the couture of Yves Saint-Laurent located in the designers former haute couture house
  • Palais de Tokyo - Contemporary art
  • Palais Galliera - Fashion museum, with exhibits of French fashion design and costumes from the 18th century to the present; closed during exhibitions
  • Pavillon de l'Eau - Specialty museum focused on City of Paris water and the history of the city's water system
  • Roland Garros Museum - Tennis museum; currently closed for renovations and updating, including the incorporation of immersive experiences

17th & 18th Districts:

  • Citéco (aka Cité de l'Economie et de la Monnaie) - Economics museum housed in the 19th century Hôtel Baillard, a neo-Renaissance private mansion with much of its lavish interior paneling and other details still intact
  • Espace Dalí -
  • Halle Saint-Pierre - "Outsider" art museum   
  • Musée National Jean-Jacques Henner - Art museum focused on the works of early 19th century French painter Jean-Jacques Henner  
  • Montmartre Museum - History museum focused on the history of the local area as documented through paintings, posters, photos, and manuscripts
  • Sacre Coeur Basilica

19th & 20th Districts

  • Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie - Science and technology museum, which much of the content kid-friendly
  • Musée de la Musique
  • Pere Lachaise Cemetery   

Museums & Monuments in Paris Suburbs & Nearby Towns

  • Air et de l'Espace - Air and space museum at Le Bourget airport
  • Chateau de Vincennes - Medieval castle in the town of Vincennes, adjacent to Bois de Vincennes in the 12th arrondissement
  • Grande Arche, La Defense - Triumphal
  • L'Arche du Photojournalisme - Exhibition space devoted to photojournalism
  • La Défense Open Air Museum - 69 mostly modern and contemporary, mostly massive sculptures located on and near the Esplanade de Defense
  • Palace of Versailles
  • Monet's Home & Gardens in Giverny   
  • Saint-Denis Basilica Cathedral  

Botanical Gardens, Zoos, & Aquariums

Botanical gardens, zoos, and aquariums, with their displays of living plants, animals, and fish, at first glance, may not seem like museums.  But because their mission typically is to maintain, research, and protect collections of species, they are fundamentally the same as, let's say, the Louvre.

Here's a quick guide to the botanical gardens, zoos, and aquariums you'll find in Paris:

Botanical Gardens in Paris

  • Parc de Bagatelle (16th) - Located in the center of Bois de Boulogne; best known for its rose garden with 10,000 rose bushes representing 1,200 different species; also has a waterfall, grotto, 19th century Chinese pagoda, a lush kitchen garden used to display new vegetable varieties, and a small chateau
  • Jardin des Plantes (5th arr) - Formally founded in 1635 as a royal medicinal plant garden, plants are maintained and displayed in four large greenhouses, and specialized outdoor gardens where you can see displays of roses, ornamental cherry trees, alpine species, irises, decorative plants, and much more
  • Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil (Greenhouses at Auteuil) (16th arr) - Located at the edge of Bois de Boulogne between Roland Garros and the Parc des Princes stadium; formal outdoor gardens including a Japanese garden, English garden, and rose garden, five large greenhouses, and about 6,000 plant species; one of four botanical gardens managed by the City of Paris
  • Parc Floral de Paris (12th) - Fourth-largest park in Paris, located within Bois de Vincennes (the city's second-largest park); in addition to a spectacular floral display which differs each year, a variety of botanical gardens feature species such as ferns, rhododendrons, Japanese bonsai, cactus, Mediterranean plants, and much more

Paris Zoos

  • Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes (5th arr) - Originally populated with animal rescued after the French Revolution from the royal zoo at the Palace of Versailles, it now includes many rare smaller and medium-sized mammals, plus numerious varieties of birds and reptiles
  • Parc Zoologique de Paris ("Vincennes Zoo") (12th arr) - Part of the National Museum of Natural History, this large zoo in the Bois de Vincennes is dedicated to the protection of about 3,000 animals grouped into five biozones designed to replicate their natural habitats; also has a large greenhouse with a tropical rainforest habitat.

Paris Aquariums

  • Aquarium de Paris (16th arr) - More than 7,500 species, including a gigantic tank with 50 sharks and Europe's largest jellyfish exhibit
  • Aquarium Tropical de la Porte Dorée (12th arr) - Piranhas, electric fish, sharks, and many more species of tropical marine life

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