Hidden Paris: 12 Small Museums Off the Tourist Trail

Discover & Explore Paris

by cfryer

Hidden Paris: 12 Small Museums Off the Tourist Trail

Hidden Paris: 12 Small Museums Off the Tourist Trail

Discover and Explore Paris

Paris, the city of light, art, and history, is a one of the most popular European cities to visit. But when you visit do you just do the usual Eiffel Tower, Bateaux Mouches, Sacré Coeur and Louvre tour? Or are you yearning to discover more?

Hidden Paris: 12 Small Museums Off the Tourist Trail

There are in fact a treasure trove of quaint museums that offer interesting insights into niche corners of French culture, art, and history. These small museums, often overlooked in favour of grander institutions, provide intimate, charming experiences that are just as enriching as visiting the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay.

Here are twelve such gems where you can explore unique collections away from the typical tourist paths. So why not dive deeper on your next trip to Paris and discover more of the city beyond the tourist tours…..

Hidden Paris: 12 Small Museums Off the Tourist Trail

1. Musée Cognacq-Jay

Set in a refined hôtel particulier in the Marais, the Musée Cognacq-Jay exhibits 18th-century French art, including paintings, tapestries, and furniture collected by the founders of La Samaritaine department store. It’s a window into the opulent Parisian life of the past.

Address: 8 Rue Elzévir, 75003 Paris, France
Website: Musée Cognacq-Jay

2. Musée de la Vie Romantique

Nestled at the end of a cobbled street, this Italianate villa was the 19th-century salon of painter Ary Scheffer and now houses art and memorabilia of figures like George Sand and Chopin. The pretty garden café here offers a peaceful escape.

Address: 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris, France
Website: Musée de la Vie Romantique

3. Musée Zadkine

Discover the home-atelier of Russian sculptor Ossip Zadkine, just steps from the Luxembourg Gardens. Filled with his expressive sculptures, this museum is an urban oasis celebrating Zadkine’s work and his impact on modern art.

Address: 100bis Rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris, France
Website: Musée Zadkine

4. Musée Jacquemart-André

Experience the splendour of 19th-century Parisian life in the home of Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart. Admire their extensive collection of Italian artworks and enjoy a moment of reflection in the ornate dining room.

Address: 158 Boulevard Haussmann, 75008 Paris, France
Website: Musée Jacquemart-André

5. Musée Nissim de Camondo

A stone’s throw from Parc Monceau, this museum showcases Moïse de Camondo’s collection of 18th-century art and furniture. The preserved mansion offers a glimpse into the sumptuous lifestyle of the Camondo family.

Address: 63 Rue de Monceau, 75008 Paris, France
Website: Musée Nissim de Camondo

6. Musée Bourdelle

Explore the atelier of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, capturing the essence of turn-of-the-century Paris. The museum, a mix of grandeur and intimacy, features a striking collection of Bourdelle’s works.

Address: 18 Rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris, France
Website: Musée Bourdelle

7. Musée Gustave Moreau

This museum, once the home and studio of symbolist painter Gustave Moreau, is decorated with his spectacular paintings and drawings. It’s an intimate setting to appreciate one of France’s artistic pioneers.

Address: 14 Rue de la Rochefoucauld, 75009 Paris, France
Website: Musée Gustave Moreau

8. Musée des Arts et Métiers

Dedicated to innovation and invention, this museum, housed in a former priory, showcases a vast collection of technological advancements, from early bicycles to biplanes, and includes Foucault’s original pendulum.

Address: 60 Rue Réaumur, 75003 Paris, France
Website: Musée des Arts et Métiers

9. Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

This unique museum is set in a historic Marais mansion and delves into the relationship between humans and nature. Explore its eclectic mix of fine arts, taxidermy, and interactive installations.

Address: 62 Rue des Archives, 75003 Paris, France
Website: Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

10. Maison de Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo’s former residence at Place des Vosges offers an intimate glimpse into the life of France’s revered writer, featuring personal memorabilia and various editions of his works.

Address: 6 Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France
Website: Maison de Victor Hugo

11. Musée Eugène Delacroix

Set in a picturesque square, this museum not only celebrates Delacroix’s art but also includes his preserved studio and a charming garden, providing a comprehensive look at his life and works.

Address: 6 Rue de Furstenberg, 75006 Paris, France
Website: Musée Eugène Delacroix

12. Maison de Balzac

A quaint cottage in Passy that was once the home of novelist Honoré de Balzac, filled with personal belongings, manuscripts, and artworks, all set against the backdrop of a beautiful garden.

Address: 47 Rue Raynouard, 75016 Paris, France
Website: Maison de Balzac

These museums not only provide a quieter, more specialized alternative to Paris’ larger institutions, but they also offer a unique and deeply personal look into the art, history, and culture that define this illustrious city. Enjoy your journey off the beaten path!

Hidden Paris: 12 Small Museums Off the Tourist Trail

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