7 Lesser Known Museums and Galleries in Paris
Skip the queues and jump straight to the culture instead.
You’ve queued for the Louvre five times before, you’ve been lost for a day within the d’Orsay. Of course, these institutions of art are tourist hotspots for a reason, but there are lesser known gems eager to be explored too. Here’s our guide to Paris’ smaller but equally magical museums and galleries.
1. Musée Bourdelle
Explore the works of Antoine Bourdelle, lauded sculptor and student of Rodin's, within his former studio and apartment in the heart of Montparnasse. Once you’re done exploring the works inside, wander around the gardens and wonder at some of Bourdelle’s best bronzes too.
2. Musée Nissim de Camondo
Overlooking the grounds of Parc Monceau sits Hôtel Camondo, a large mansion and former residence of the eponymous family. The museum remains in its original (and opulent) state, displaying some of the rarest furniture and objets d’art of the 18th century. And if those masterpieces aren’t enough to sate your appetite, there’s also a pretty swanky on-site restaurant too, aptly named Le Camondo.
3. Musée Gustave Moreau
Step back in time with a visit to the former home and studio of Symbolist painter, Gustave Moreau. This now-museum displays artworks by Moreau himself as well as those of his peers. Look out for the attention-grabbing staircase, not that you’d miss it…
4. Atelier Brancusi
On the piazza of the Centre Pompidou, Atelier Brancusi is the reconstructed studio of namesake artist, Constantin Brancusi. The renowned sculptor left everything within his workshop to the state of France, granting the opportunity for visitors to discover the treasure trove of sculptures, pedestals, paintings and original photographs left within it.
5. Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent spent over three decades designing his collections from within a hôtel particulier on the corner of Avenue Marceau. Luckily for us, the very same building is now open to visitors and has been recreated to mirror the atelier it once was. It offers a glimpse into the genius behind the iconic garments and jewels on display within the museum, and is a must-visit for serious style inspiration.
6. Maison La Roche
Maison La Roche was designed in 1923 by Le Corbusier and his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret (talk about good genes) on behalf of a close friend and client who owned the space. It is a Modernist building divided into two white blocks and is one of the best examples of 1920s architecture and design in Paris today.
7. Musée Cernuschi
Following his trip to Asia, Henri Cernuschi commissioned a Neoclassical mansion to be built in Paris’ 8th arrondissement. The economist and art collector wanted a space to house the objects he had collected during his travels around the Orient, naturally. Firstly a Centre of Japonisme, Musée Cernuschi officially opened in 1989 as a Museum of Asian Arts. Now, visitors can peruse ancient and contemporary works alike from Japan, Korea, Vietnam and beyond.
And once you've ticked these off your list, try out some of our favourite masterclasses in Paris too.