PARIS ON A SHOESTRING

How to visit Paris on a budget secrets, tips and tricks

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Museums in Paris

1.Musée du Louvre

The Musée du Louvre is one of the largest and most beloved museums in Paris, located right at the heart of the city and is near the ever-famous Tuileries Gardens. The museum contains 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 objects in eight departments. Some of the most well beloved paintings inside the Louvre museum are Leonardo da Vinci’s Monalisa, the Madame de Pompadour, Shepherds of Arcadi, Delacroix’s Freedom Guiding the People and Jacques Louis David’s Oath of the Horatii. The Louvre museum is opened every day except Tuesday and holidays. Admission fee depends on the collections that you will want to visit.

2.Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Musée des Arts Décoratifs or Pavillon de Marsan as it is also known, is located at the west wing of the Louvre museum and houses French furniture, tableware, and Aubusson carpets. The museum also houses religious artefacts, altarpieces, and medieval toy pieces. Ms. Salmon, the current curator of the museum called the collection as “the history of French taste and of the decorative arts and design in France.” Other pieces to enjoy are the ever-famous 1875 bedroom of courtesan Lucie Émilie Delabigne that said to be the inspiration behind the character of the novel Nana by Emilie Zola. The museum opens every day except Monday and admission fees depend on the accessibility of the place.

3.Musée de la Publicité

Musée de la Publicité or what it was called back then, as “Musée de l’Affiche” is a branch of Les Arts Décoratifs and is a museum that is dedicated to advertisements in the whole of Paris. Tourist will find thousands of posters dating from the 18th century to the World War II and from the 1950’s to the present. The museum recorded not only newspapers and magazines but also radio advertisement and special promotional items during specific period. Shorten museum hours also depends on the day of the week and therefore one should consult first before going to the museum. The museum is open except Mondays and admission is free of charge.

4.Musée des Arts et Métiers

Science enthusiast would find the Musée des Arts et Métiers to their liking as the museum houses scientific instruments and inventions with 80,000 objects and 15,000 drawings to boot, not to mentioned that it contained the original Foucault pendulum. The museum is divided into 7 departments, which is chronologically organized by the museum for easy access to the public. The following are the departments in their sequential order: (1) Scientific Instruments; (2) Materials; (3) Construction; (4) Communication; (5) Energy; (6) Mechanics and (7) Transportation. Admission fee, discounted prices are opened for groups, and special meetings are subject to the showing of legal and documentary papers.

5.Musée Picasso

Founded in 1974, the Musee Picasso is currently housed in the Hotel Sale after a competition was run and the design of Roland Simounet was selected. The Musee has three floors where in the second floor is set for temporary exhibitions and the third floor is reserved for researchers. Each room of the Musee follows a chronological sequence highlighting the life and works of Picasso. The musee also made an effort to display the caricatures of the artist who mocked the works of Picasso and displaying it side by side the artist’s creation. The musee is under renovation and will open in the year, 2012.

6.Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

The museum, founded in 1964, by the Sommers is a private one, which features hunting artefacts with various paintings, trophies, animal heads and hunting weapons of the time like crossbows. It also features the collections from the Fondation de la Maison de la Chasse et de la Nature. The museum earned the Musée de France status in 2003. The museum is designed by the architect François Mansart and spans two-heritage building – the Hôtel de Guénégaud, and the second floor of Château de Chambord. The museum is open daily except Mondays and holidays; an admission fee is charged. Locals and tourist can take Metro station: Hôtel de Ville or Rambuteau.

7.Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges-Pompidou

Designed based on high tech architecture, the Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges-Pompidou, it houses the Musée National d’Art Moderne which houses a vast collection of modern art in Europe. The Centre was named after the President of France, George Pompidou who decided for the creation of the centre. The GTM group of architects won the design of the centre through a competition. The Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges-Pompidou became a cultural phenomena for Parisians as it became a place where different societal and physical aspects of the modern art is being showcase and a centre of music and acoustic research.

8.Institut du Monde Arabe  

Established in 1980, the Institut du Monde Arabe aims to help promote cooperation and cultural information between France and the Arab world. The designer, Jean Nouvel, won the project and established the present institute. The building serves as a buffer between the Jussieu campus and the Seine. The building houses a museum, auditorium, restaurant and offices, which completes the whole package of the institute. The building also receives the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The motifs of the building have 240 apertures that control the light coming inside the building, filtering the lights, which is a part of the architecture of Islams.

9.Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle 
 
The Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle or the National Museum of Natural History was founded in 1793 during the French revolution. The museum was formerly the Royal Medicinal plant garden created by King Louis XIII but was made into a museum by King Louis XV. Under the directorship of Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, the museum became renowned and was incorporated as what it was called up to now. Under the directorship of Henri Becquerel, he discovered the radiation properties of uranium. The museum has many galleries, which include the mineralogy, palaeontology, geology, comparative anatomy, and the gallery of evolution and the ever-famous Menagerie.

10.Musée du Quai Branly 

The Musée du Quai Branly is named after its location, which was named after the physicist Édouard Branly. The museum is located near the Eiffel tower and features arts and cultural civilization from Africa, Asia, Oceania and America. The building designed by architect Jean Nouvel and opened in 2006. The museum has a “living wall” which contains plants, however poor support system have deteriorated the living wall. The museum currently hold 267,000 in their permanent collection and 3,500 of it was on display. The museum holds three departments separating the book with two reading rooms, pictures with photos, drawings and the archive section.

11.Musée de l’Armée

The Musée de l’Armée was composed of the merging of the Musée historique de l’Armée and the Musée de l’Artillerie and was originally a hospital and home of the disabled soldiers. The museum houses the tomb of Napoleon and the museum of France’s army. The museum today houses 500,000 artefact composes of weapons, artillery, armoury, weaponry and is chronologically arranged from the historical times up to the present. The museum, in 1878 hosted an “ethnographic exhibition” which features artefacts from Asia, America, Africa and Oceania, the rooms where closed in the 1931 Paris Colonial Exhibition. The museum is located at Les Invalides in Paris, France.

12.Musée d’Orsay

The Museum, which was originally a railway station but was later decommissioned due to its short platforms. In 1977, the government decided to convert the station to a museum and the conversion took place for six years. The museum holds impressive collection of impressionist and post masterpieces of artists like Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Gauguin and Van Gogh. The museum also holds French art collection dating from 1848 to 1915 including paintings, furniture, photography and sculptures. The square of the museum features six allegorical sculptures made for the Universal Exposition 1878 representing the South America, Asia, Oceania, Europe, North America and Africa.

13.Musée Rodin

The Musee Rodin features the works of the French sculptor, Auguste Rodin. The sculptor used the Hotel Biron as his residence and donated his works and famous collections to the French government in return for making the house a museum. The museum contains the sculptures The Thinker, The Kiss and The Gates of Hell, other sculptures are scattered around the garden of the place. A special room was also made to exhibit the works of Claudel, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh, for which Rodin owns. Tourist can take the metro station Varenne that also features some of Rodin’s works or Invalides station.

14.Galeries nationales du Grand Palais

Inaugurated in the International Exhibition in1900, the museum is located inside the Grand Palais in the Champs-Élysées. The gallery serves as a home to major art exhibits and cultural events sponsored by the Réunion des musées nationaux. The museum also hosts the Marie-Antoniette exhibition and the figurative narrative exhibition. The gallery is located at VIIIe arrondissement of Paris and are open six days a week. There are ways to reserve tickets however tickets are non-refundable therefore one must make sure before buying tickets online. The atrium is not part of the Grand Palais however; one can visit it during its scheduled exhibition.

15.Palais de la Découverte

Created in 1937 by Nobel Prize for Physics, Jean Baptiste Perrin, the facility was converted into a science museum. The museum occupies the area within the west wing of the Grand Palais and was built for the Universal Exposition 1900. The Palais de la Découverte was design by architect Albert-Félix-Théophile Thomas. The museum was merged with the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie and was renamed as universcience. The museum contains a zeiss planetarium with a 15-meter dome, exhibits on astrology, physics, mathematics, biology and geology and lectures and commentaries from professors. The Palais de la Découverte is located at eighth arrondissement on Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, Paris.

16.Musée Grévin

Founded in 1882, the Musée Grévin was the oldest wax museum in Europe. The baroque style of the museum is a unique style; it also offers a mirror mirage and a theatre for magic shoes. The museum currently holds 300 wax figures and is arranged per time in the history. Some of the scenes highlight showcases event from Charlemagne to Napoleon, Albert Einstein, scenes from the French revolution, Mahatma Gandhi and the Pope. The museum also holds the actual knife and bathtub, which was used by Corday to murder the famous Marat. The museum is currently open daily and admission fees are charged.

17.Musée national Gustave Moreau

Formerly the dwelling place of the artist Gustave Moreau, the house was transformed in 1895 into a museum, which houses the artist’s works like paintings, sculptures, watercolours and drawings. The museum is open daily except Tuesday and an admission fee is charged. The museum is located at IXe arrondissement at 14, rue de la Rochefoucauld, in Paris France. Moreau’s work centered on the biblical and mythological figures and some symbolist artists look up to him as the forerunner of their movement. Moreau’s works include A Scene from the Song of Songs and The Death of Darius in the Salon of 1853, Athenians with the Minotaur and Moses Putting Off his Sandals within Sight of the Promised Land.

18.Musée de La Poste

The Musee de la Poste or the Musée postal de France opened in 1946, which specializes in the collection of the history of the French postal. The first place it was put up was on Choiseul-Praslin hotel. However, the place was not large enough to hold the exhibition that it was later on move to near the Montparnasse station, where it occupies 1,500 square meter of space. The permanent collections feature correspondence, work of postal workers, 3000+ postage stamps. Temporary exhibitions on same subjects are place on the ground floor whereas a public library is set up on the upper office.

19.Musée Pasteur

Dedicated to the life and works of Louis Pasteur, the museum was established in 1935 to preserve some 1000+ scientific instruments of the scientist. The Musee Pasteur contains impressive rooms, which commemorates the life of the scientist and the chapel where he was buried. The museum is located at 25 Rue du Docteur Roux, and is open daily during warm months, an admission fee is also charged for entrance. Louis Pasteur is a French chemist who created the first vaccine for rabies and anthrax. Pasteur’s notable works includes “Etudes sur le Vin” and “Etudes sur le Vinaigre”. Louis Pasteur died from complications coming from strokes.

20.Musée Marmottan Monet

The Musée Marmottan Monet was formally a hunting lodge by the Duke of Valmy and was bought by Marmottan and later on bequeathed to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. The musee houses impressive collections of post impressionist paintings from Monet, Manet, Sisley, Pissarro and Renoir. The museum also housed the Wildenstein Collection of illuminated manuscripts and the Marmottan collection of Napoleonic arts and Flemish paintings. In 1985, a robbery took place, which stole famous paintings like Monet’s Impression of Sunrise, Bather Sitting on a Rock and Portrait of Monet by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the total of the paintings cost the museum $12m, however it was later on discovered in a small Corsican village.

21.Musée national des Arts et Traditions Populaires

The Musée national des Arts et Traditions Populaires was created in 1937 to house popular arts and traditions of France. The museum was then moved to its own building which rest besides the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne. The museum concentrated on the traditional agricultural France including contemporary urban culture, printed materials, home furniture, costumes and the civilization of the French peasants. The museum is now closed for public viewing as the artefacts are being transferred to the Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerrané in Marseilles. The architect Jean Dubuisson designs the museum’s building in 1969. 

22.Guimet Museum

The Museum was first located in Lyon but was later transferred to Paris in 1885. Émile Étienne Guimet, who was an industrialist and an avid traveller, founded the museum. His collections compose of artefacts from the Far East. The museum contains artefacts from China and Japan like porcelains and religious artworks that are not limited to the two countries but also from Egypt, Greece and Rome. The museum also contains collections from the Kabul museum and archaeological pieces from the city of Ai-Khanoum, and the Indo-Scythian treasure of Tillia Tepe. The asian art museum is located at 6, place d’Iéna in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, France.

23.Musée Dapper

The museum is founded by the Olfert Dapper foundation in commemoration of the Dutch humanist, Olfert Dapper. Dapper published an encyclopaedic description of Africa that made the country known in the European country. The museum specializes in African art and also sponsors events like dance featuring African countries like Burkina Faso, Benin and Martinique; concerts featuring musicians from Guam, Cuba and Mali and plays and child shows including puppet shows and storytelling. The museum opened in 1986, is located at XVIe arrondissement at 35 rue Paul Valéry, and is open daily except Tuesdays. Admission fee is charged for going inside the museum.

24.Musée de Montmartre

The Musee de Montmartre was housed in a 1th century abbey called the “maison de Rosimond” which is named after the famous actor of Moliere troupe within the old village of Montmartre. The museum houses famous artist like Van Gogh, Satir, and Renoir. The painting “The Garden in the Rue Cortot, Montmartre” by Renoi was painted in the museum’s garden in 1876. The museum also houses a working vineyard that is still in use up until now. The museum currently holds a collection of manuscripts, a cultural centre, and temporary exhibits. The museum has an entrance fee and it is open daily except Monday.

25.Espace Dali

The museum Espace Dali is dedicated to Salvatore Dali who is the master of surrealism. The museum houses the biggest collection of Dalinian sculptures like the “The Space Elephant” or “Alice in Wonderland”. Salvatore Dali’s illustrated works features his poetic visions and literary concepts. The museum features a musical guide, which guides visitors through the entire museum. The museum is composed of two galleries – first is the Galerie Dali which displays the artist’s works and the Galerie Montmartre which showcase other artist’s contemporary work. The museum pays tribute to the contribution of Dali through the hologram and three-dimensional screens bringing the experience of visiting the museum to a new height.

26.Musée de l’érotisme

The musee de l’erotisme or the museum of eroticism founded in 1997 is a collection of antique dealer, Alain Plumey and French teacher, Jo Khalifa that solely devotes to the erotic art collection. The museum is composed of five floors with a basement exhibition. A floor is devoted to the legal brothel and collections of pornographic shots are displayed which are formerly exhibited in the maisons closes. The collection also includes ancient erotic and religious art that comes from the countries of – India, Japan and Africa. The museum is located at Pigalle district of Paris, at 72 Boulevard de Clichy.

27.Halle Saint-Pierre

The Halle Saint Pierre houses a gallery, a museum, and library, auditorium, and cafes and host temporary exhibitions. Located near the Butte Monmarte garden, it dedicated itself to major art cultures and events. In 1995, the Art Brut and Company brings together 5 major French collections of art brut and since then more than fifty exhibitions have continued. The museum also features thematic exhibitions featuring Smugglers of Light – 17, angel and devil – Czech Art Brut – Black on White – The eye in the wild – Eye for an Eye – among others and feature also solo exhibitions by known artists.

28.Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

Located in Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondisement of Paris, France, the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is the heart of science and technical knowledge. The centre features a planetarium, submarine, IMAX theatre and a special department store. Opened in 1986, the centre was designed by the architect Adrien Fainsilber and engineer Peter Rice. The most notable features of the “bioclimatic facade” of the centre are the three greenhouses with structural glass walls. The centre is the biggest science museum in the whole of Europe and it was built to spread scientific and technical knowledge to the public especially to the young people.

29.Cité de la Musique

Designed by the architect Christian de Portzamparc, the centre for music opened up in 1995. It consists of amphitheatre, a concert hall that can house a total of 800 – 1000 audiences, music museum. The museum also highlights classical music instruments, exhibition halls, workshops and archives. The Cité de la Musique also contains violins by renowned Italian Antonio Stradivari, the Guarneri family, Nicolò Amati; French and Flemish harpsichords; pianos by French piano-makers Erard and Ignaz Pleyel; and saxophones by Adolph Sax. The Cité de la Musique reinvented the place La Villete that is a former slaughterhouse and is located at 221, Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris.