Paris Official Most Visited Museums and Monuments: Part II

   2011  
Paris Official Most Visited Museums and Monuments: Part II

Here are numbers 11—20 of the Top 20 most visited Paris Museums and Monuments based on statistics from the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau that tracks the number of visitors to each site (based on year 2009, most current report as of 2011).

11. Musée du Quai-Branly: This art museum is built around its extensive collection of indigenous art and cultural relics from civilizations in Africa, Asia Oceania and the Americas. The work of Australian aboriginal artists is an especially popular attraction. The museum also has an important research library. Located at a curve in the scenic Seine, the museum is an easy walk from the Eiffel Tower, as well as from #16 on this list.

Musee Quai Branly © Jean-Pierre Dalbera

Musée du Quai-Branly

Address: 37, quai Branly, Paris 7th

Métro: Line 9, Alma-Marceau, Iéna; Line 6, Bir Hakeim

RER: Line C, Pont de l’Alma

Bus: 42, 63, 69, 72, 80, 82, 87, 92

Hours: Open daily (except Mondays) 11am — 7pm (until 9pm Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays)

Admission: Begins at €8,50

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible from Rue de l’Université (southern side of museum)

12. Musée de l’Armée (Invalides): Originally a home and hospital for retired war vets, Invalides now features a series of buildings that include a war museum, burial site for war heroes and a soaring cathedral. While the most famous draw may be Napoleon’s tomb, the collection of arms, armaments and other military memorabilia are themselves a hit with kids and adults alike.

Invalides © Matthieu Milliot

Musée de l’Armée (Invalides)

Address: 129, rue de Grenelle, Paris 7th

Métro: Line 8, Latour-Maubourg, Invalides; Line 13, Varenne, Saint François-Xavier

Bus: Lines 28, 63, 69, 80, 82, 83, 87, 92, 93

Hours: Open daily form 10am — 6pm April 1 to Sept 30; 10am — 5pm Oct 1 to March 31

Admission: Begins at €9; Free for anyone under 18 and any uniformed member of any military

Accessibility: Accessible entrance on the south side of museum (admission is free for handicapped visitor and one companion)

13. Sainte-Chapelle: This Gothic chapel found on the centrally located Ile de la Cité has some of the city’s best stained glass windows and is an impeccable overall example of Gothic architecture; its fantastic blue ceiling alone merits a visit. Beyond that, the chapel offers a more intimate visiting experience than its much more famous neighbor, Notre Dame cathedral.

Sainte Chappelle © Scott

Sainte-Chapelle

Address: 4, boulevard du Palais, Paris 4th

Métro: Line 4, Cité; Line 7, Pont Neuf

RER: Lines B & C, Saint Michel — Notre Dame

Bus: 21, 27, 38, 85, 96

Hours: Open daily 9:30am — 6pm March 1 to Oct 31; 9am — 5pm Nov 1 to Feb 28 (closed 1pm — 2pm during the week all year)

Admission: Begins at €8; free for visitors under 18, disabled persons and their companions

Accessibility: Accessible entrance on Boulevard du Palais (southeast side)

14. Musée Rodin: Located in the Hotel Biron, this museum is a tribute to the great sculptor August Rodin and features many of his works and sketches in a variety of materials including marble, bronze and terra cotta. Rodin’s iconic piece The Thinker (pictured) is housed here, as are The Kiss and The Gates of Hell. The museum also has a pristine garden that offers a refreshing alternative to purely indoor museums.

Musee Rodin Thinker © Bryan Smith

Musée Rodin

Address: 79, rue de Varenne, Paris 7th

Métro: Line 13, Varenne or Invalides

RER: Line C, Invalides

Bus: 69, 82, 87, 92

Hours: Open daily (except Mondays) 10am — 5:45pm

Admission: Begins at €6; visitors under 18 free; all visitors are free the first Sunday of each month

Accessibility: Accessible entrance on Rue de Varenne (north side of building)

15. Musée Grévin: Charlemagne. Michael Jackson. Einstein. Ray Charles. Gandhi. Pope John Paul II. See them all and over 300 other characters at Musée Grevin, one of Europe’s oldest wax museums. The museum opened in 1882 and includes panoramas of historical scenes in addition to stand-alone celebrity figures.

Musee Grevin Monroe © Raissa Bandou

Musée Grévin

Address: 10, Boulevard Montmartre, Paris 2nd

Métro: Lines 8 & 9, Grands Boulevards or Richelieu—Drouot

Bus: 20, 39, 48, 67, 74, 85

Hours: Open daily 10am — 6:30pm (until 7pm Saturdays and Sundays)

Admission: Begins at €21, with discounts for children and families

Accessibility: The museum is 100% wheelchair accessible.

16. Musée d’Art Moderne: This museum holds a giant collection of 20th century artistic trailblazers like Picasso, Matisse and Léger. Genres like surrealism, abstract and modern are on hand. The over 8,000 pieces hail mostly from Europe, though other regions are represented as well.

Musee d'Art Moderne © ConstantMusée d’Art Moderne

Address: 11, avenue du Président Wilson, Paris 16th

Métro: Line 9, Alma-Marceau or Iéna

RER: Line C, Pont de l’Alma

Bus: 32, 42, 63, 72, 80, 92

Hours: Open daily (except Mondays) 10am — 6pm (until 10pm Thursdays)

Admission: Free for permanent collection; temporary collection admission ranges from €5 — €11

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible through ramps and elevators

17. Institut du Monde Arabe: This collection of exhibits on past and present Arab culture also functions as a research & education center and provides a great rooftop view of central Paris. Paintings, sculptures, pottery, movies and other media are well represented in this museum located just across the Seine from Notre Dame. In addition to the contents of the center, the building’s walls are quite the sight: they’re made up of adjustable metal lenses that close and open in relation to the amount of sunlight they receive.

Institut du Monde Arabe © Jessica SpenglerInstitut du Monde Arabe

Address: 1, rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, Paris 13th

Métro: Line 7, Sully; Lines 7 & 10, Jussieu; Line 10, Cardinal Lemoine

Bus: 24, 63, 67, 86, 87, 89

Hours: Open daily (except Mondays) 10am — 6pm

Admission: Begins at €5,50

Accessibility: Wheelchair access via ramps and elevators

18. Tour Montparnasse: Though Parisians complain that the building itself is less than stunning, this skyscraper is beloved for its views, which are the best in the city. Visitors can marvel at the beauty of the city’s rooftops and rivers during the day and the gorgeous city lights at night. After coming down the elevator, be sure to take advantage of the area’s excellent high-end shopping.

Tour Montparnasse

Address: 33, avenue du Maine, Paris 14th

Métro: Lines 4, 6, 12, 13, Montparnasse Bienvenue

RER: Line B, Port Royal

Bus: 25, 58, 82, 88, 89, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96

Hours: Open daily 9:30am — 11:30pm April 1 to Sept 30; 9:30am — 10:30pm Oct 1 to March 31 (until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays)

Admission: 56th floor observation deck begins at €10, with discounts for students, children and disabled persons

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible

19. Panthéon: Nestled into the Left Bank near the Sorbonne and the Luxembourg Gardens, the Panthéon is a majestic church that was rededicated and continues to serve as a secular mausoleum honoring the “great men” of France. Buried within its majestic walls are the remains of Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Louis Braille, Marie Curie and others. Fantastic statues and tributes also make a trip inside this patriotic temple worthwhile.

Pantheon at night © Stavros MarkopoulosPanthéon

Address: Le Panthéon, Paris 5th

Métro: Line 10, Cardinal Lemoine

RER: Line B, Luxembourg

Bus: 21, 27, 38, 82, 84, 85, 89

Hours: Open daily 10am — 6pm (until 6:30pm April 1 to Sept 30)

Admission: Begins at €8; visitors under 18 are free, as are disabled visitors and their companions

Accessibility: There is no ramp or elevator for the 11 steps at the entrance.

20. Musée Carnavalet: Found within the Marias, this gem chronicles the history of Paris itself. Housed in two exquisite mansions, le Musée Carnavalet is not to be missed. The museum houses about 150,000 photographs and twice as many engravings among its many treasures. Marie Antoinette’s personal belongings, paintings of the storming of the Bastille and Napoleon’s favorite toiletries are among the memorable pieces.

Musee Carnavalet garden © LulybelleMusée Carnavalet

Address: 23, rue de Sévigné, Paris 3rd

Métro: Line 1, Saint Paul; Line 8, Chemin Vert

Bus: 29, 69, 76, 96

Hours: Open daily (except Mondays) 10am — 6pm

Admission: No charge for permanent collection; temporary exhibits average around €6

Accessibility: There is an accessible entrance, but there is no elevator to the second floor.

Click here for the Top 10 Most Visited Museums & Monuments.

Photo Credits: Métro sign © Howard Stanbury; Musée du Quai Branly © Jean-Pierre Dalbéra; Invalides © Matthieu Milliot; Sainte Chappelle © Scott; Musée Rodin Thinker © Bryan Smith; Musée Grevin Marilyn Monroe © Raissa Bandou; Musée d’Art Moderne © Constant; Institut du Monde Arabe © Jessica Spengler; Panthéon at night © Stavros Markopoulos; and Musée Carnavalet garden © Lulybelle

Adam Weiner is an editorial assistant for BonjourParis.

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