Paris Design Guide – TOP 10 Museums ⇒ Paris has a varied choice of museums to visit. Checking out the posters in the metro is a great way to see what’s going on without even trying. When it comes to museums, be sure to check opening hours before you head out (many museums are closed either Monday or Tuesday). Better yet, check for the days that the museum is open late. This not only allows you to take advantage of daylight hours when shops are open, but it means shorter lines, fewer crowds and, sometimes, discounted ticket prices. It’s a good idea to check what’s showing at each museum because it will help you narrow down your “to see” list. Enjoy!
This is the one to visit for sure! Despite being the most well known of the bunch, it can be overwhelming. When going, one should try Wednesday or Friday evenings, it’s open until 9:45 pm. They no longer offer discounts, but one can only hope that there are fewer crowds. And if the Mona Lisa is on your “must-see” list, make sure you take the time to people watch, as watching people’s faces and reactions can be equally as satisfying as seeing the real deal.
The premier museum for French Impressionist art, Musee D’Orsay is worth visiting just to see the architecture of this former train station. Visit the restaurant upstairs for a beautiful view out of the clock/window toward Montmarte. Thursdays are the night the museum is open late.
This is the kind of place you’ll want to stay all day and hang out in the gardens surrounding the main museum. Filled with sculptures by Rodin, this is a delightful place to spend the afternoon pondering “The Thinker”.
If you’ve never been to Asia, this is a great place to get a thorough overview of the culture. The museum layout and lack of tourists make it a peaceful visit.
This contemporary museum can make for an interesting visit. The changing exhibits will always give you something to think about, and even if you’re not a fan of the current show, you can process it over a beer at the bar or restaurant housed in the museum. Possibly the coolest thing about this museum is that it’s regularly open until midnight, making a great evening activity (especially teamed with dinner in the restaurant, which is outside in the summer). There is also a great bookstore inside with tons of design titles. Make sure you see what’s on before you head here because they have been doing some renovations. The Musée d’Art Moderne happens to be next door, too, so you could catch them both.
104, aka Centquatre, is a former funerary hall turned contemporary art center in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. There are often large-scale installations or events taking place in the main hall. Also fun is a visit to their photo booth, cafe (or pizza truck), bookstore and Emmaus (France’s version of Goodwill).
Commonly referred to as the “eye sore,” this modern museum was very controversial when it first opened, as it definitely stands out against the more traditional rooftops of Paris. Part of the experience is wandering the fountains around the building, taking in the street performers out front and riding the clear escalators up to the top floor for amazing views of the city (the cafe may be pricey, but at least visit to check out their view and latest decor). The public library and film series are also worth checking out if you have the time. The museum is open until 11 pm on Thursdays.
Located in the heart of the Marais, this “hunting museum” is an unexpected gem that will transport you to a fantastical world of colorful rooms, decor and “stuffed” animals, in a most beautiful form.
Another place in Paris where the bookstore shines as much as the museum. Located just next to the Louvre along Rue du Rivoli, the typical tourist may lose this museum but not the designer.
A wonderful resource for photography in the city. With ever-changing shows and the extensive library, you can’t help but leave this place inspired and ready to break out your camera with a fresh eye. The center’s quaint location tucked in the Marais makes for an easy visit followed by a fresh pastry around the corner.
Source: Design Sponge