|Museums by Area, Paris, France|
|Paris is big, and although all museums are reachable by public transportation, you might want to group some geographically.|
If you're trying to be efficient with time and/or make the best use of your Paris Museum Pass, you might want to organize your visits geographically. Here are some broad descriptions of which museums are where.
Near the Louvre
In and Near the Marais
This area has a lot of museums, spread across the two arrondissements that make up the Marais. You'll find the Musée des Arts et Métiers, the Musée Picasso, the Carnavalet, the Musée de l'Art et du Histoire du Judaïsme, the Centre Pompidou, the Cognacq-Jay Museum, and the Maison Victor Hugo (at the Place des Vosges) here. (3rd and 4th arrondissements, Right Bank)
Cross a bridge onto the Île de la Cité and you'll have several museums to visit, mostly in the category of Museum-Monuments. The Conciergerie is just next door to the lovely Sainte-Chapelle. The Notre-Dame Towers provide lovely views; as you look down on the Parvis or square in front of the cathedral, you'll be looking at the Crypte du Parvis Notre-Dame. (4th arrondissement, Île de la Cité)
On the Left Bank, just across the Seine from the Tuileries Gardens, is the lovely Musée D'Orsay, with its fine collections of Impressionists and much more. And across the street from the Musée d'Orsay is the Legion of Honor Museum. (7th arrondissement, Left Bank)
If you look across the river from the terrace of the Musée d'Orsay, you'll see the beautiful buildings of the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. And the back of the Grand Palais is also home to the Palais de la Découverte. (8th arrondissement, Right Bank)
Staying on the Left Bank, if you leave the Musée d'Orsay and continue along the Seine in the direction of the Eiffel Tower, you'll come to the Musée des Égouts (Sewer Museum) and the fascinating Quai Branly Museum, with its international collections. (7th arrondissement, Left Bank)
In fact, the 7th arrondissement is full of museums. In addition to those noted above that are on or near the River Seine, this area is also home to Les Invalides and the Rodin Museum. (7th arrondissement, Left Bank)
Near the Eiffel Tower
It might also be helpful to look at all the museums that are near the Eiffel Tower. This includes the Quai Branly and the Sewers on the Left Bank; the Musée de la Marine, the Musée de l'Homme, and the Cité de l'Architecture & du Patrimoine (all in the Palais de Chaillot); the Musée Guimet, at the Place d'Iéna; and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. (7th arrondissement, Left Bank; and 16th arrondissement, Right Bank)
On the Left Bank in and around the Latin Quarter and the Jardin des Plantes you'll find the Museum of Natural History, the Institut du Monde Arabe, the Panthéon, and the Cluny Museum. (5th arrondissement, Left Bank)
In and Near Montmartre
When you go to Montmartre, you can visit both the lovely Musée Montmartre and the Espace Dali, both on the butte. (18th arrondissement) On your way there, if you go by the Grands Boulevards, you can stop at the Passage Jouffroy and see the Musée Grévin, Paris's wax museum. (9th arrondissement)
Denfert-Rochereau & Montparnasse
How about the Catacombs? You'll find them near the Place Denfert-Rochereau. If you want to continue on a theme, you could also visit the nearby Montparnasse Cemetery, where you'll find the tombs of people ranging from Charles Baudelaire to Susan Sontag to Marguerite Duras. (14th arrondissement)
So far most of these have been in the central parts of the city. Here are some that are somewhat farther out, but still easily accessible by public transportation.
Near the Bois de Boulogne is the wonderful Marmottan Monet Museum. You might want to combine this visit with a stroll or lunch in the Bois de Boulogne. The Bois de Boulogne is also home to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, which opened in 2014. This private museum of contemporary art is housed in a distinctive Frank Gehry building (16th arrondissement).
Just south of the Bois de Boulogne is the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, home of the Musée des Années Trente (Museum of the 1930s) with a superb collection of all arts from the 1930s (les années trente) by a wide variety of artists active between the World Wars. More...
Near the Parc Monceau
Near the Parc Monceau you'll find the Nissim de Camondo Museum, and a few blocks south of that the Jacquemart-André Museum, both of which have lovely personal art collections. The Arc de Triomphe isn't far away at the Place de l'Étoile. (8th arrondissement, Right Bank)
The Parc de la Villette is home to both the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie and the wonderful Musée de la Musique. If you want you can combine these visits with a canal boat trip. (19th arrondissement)