Visiting museums is likely part of your itinerary for your international trips, isn't it? Especially if it's to a city like Paris
. Home to some of the most famous museums in the world, there's no way you won't want to check them out. The problem, however, is that most of these galleries are massive. Some would even take more than a whole day for you to explore. So if your schedule is pretty tight, what do you do? Well, why not go to the smaller museums in Paris instead? Places like Musée de l’Orangerie, Palais Galliera, Musée Bourdelle, and Musee Marmottan-Monet are just as fascinating, after all.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Musée de l’Orangerie
Located in the ever-popular Jardin des Tuileries, Musée de l’Orangerie is actually among the most beloved museums in Paris. It may not be as iconic as the Louvre, but there are plenty enough tourists who know that this gallery is worth checking out. And there's a good chance that many of them like it here because it's not that big of a museum to begin with. Compared to the Parisian palace that is the Louvre, Musée de l'Orangerie is not that big. It's a treasure trove of impressionist and post-impressionist artworks that you can probably finish in a day (two days tops!).
Speaking of impressionist art, Musee Marmottan-Monet on Rue Louis Boilly in the 16th arrondissement
is another must-see for fans of the movement. Dedicated to Claude Monet, arguably the most famous French artist of the style, this Empire-style townhouse-turned-gallery is practically his own shrine. Hanging on mostly off-white walls (though some are red and green), his signature soft colors pop out even more. And since it's not that big of a gallery, this is one of the few museums in Paris where you can take your kids and they grow so bored before you leave.
Source: Musee Marmottan-Monet/ Erik LASALLE
When talking about the fashion museums in Paris
, Palais Galliera always comes up in the conversation. Formally known as Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, it's safe to say that this is the “main” fashion gallery of the city. This is even despite the fact that various haute couture houses
have set up their own museums dedicated to their respective legacies. As it stands on Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, it welcomes any fan and follower of the craft to explore the history and heritage of fashion, both in France and beyond.
Source: Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris Facebook Page
Musée Bourdelle is definitely among the smallest museums in Paris and it's a huge part of its charm. Set at the heart of the bohemian Montparnasse district
, on Rue Antoine Bourdelle, this gallery is designed to look like an artist's atelier from the 19th century. There are barely any spotlights illuminating the awe-inspiring sculptures featured here. It's why the best time to go here is during the daytime, especially when it's sunny outside. Only then can you see such masterpieces in their full, intricate glory. And its unique way of exhibition is what sets Musée Bourdelle apart from all the rest!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Langladure
At first glance, it's easy to think that Musée Jacquemart-André is a partial art gallery. It could almost rival the Louvre in terms of grandeur, after all. Located on Boulevard Haussmann, a well-known affluent avenue that spans various neighborhoods in Paris
, it's easy to get overwhelmed by its opulence. But imposing thought it may seem, Musée Jacquemart-André doesn't actually take up the entire mansion. The gallery, filled with works of the most celebrated Flemish masters, only takes up a few halls here and there. In essence, you don't have to devote an entire day in Paris to this museum.
Source: Musée Jacquemart-André
Musée Jean-Jacques Henner
If you don't know who Jean-Jacques Henner was, you're not the only one. In the 19th century, Henner worked as a prominent painter, specializing in portraits and biblical scenes. His art was captivating enough, it's just that he had a lot of legendary contemporaries as rivals. And it didn't help that you can't exactly pinpoint his art style, whether it was French impressionism or Flemish painting. Nevertheless, his works are undeniably enchanting and you can see them in Musée Jean-Jacques Henner on Avenue de Villiers. Get lost in all his haunting glory in this private mansion in the 17th arrondissement
Source: Musée Jean-Jacques Henner
Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume
At the edge of Jardin des Tuileries in the 1st arrondissement
, you'll also find Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume. A world away from Musée de l’Orangerie (which is also in the same park), both in distance and feature, this small museum in Paris is all about photography and videography. Think of some of the greatest photographers who've ever lived—Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Richard Avedon, and Robert Capa, to name a few—and you'll see their amazing, iconic works hanging in this distinctly modern space. What's great about it is that this museum isn't all that big, allowing you to go back to your favorite display ever after a day of exploring.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Amidst all this European artistry, let's not forget that other parts of the world have amazing works to offer too. Let's focus on Asia, for example. From the gilded Buddhas in the Southeast to the delicate drawings from the East, it's no surprise that the biggest continent in the world has a lot of breathtaking beauty to show. And in Paris, you'll find a lot of them in Musée Guimet, also known as “Musée National des Arts Asiatiques” (National Museum of Asian Art). Spanning such countries as China, Korea Vietnam, Japan, India, Pakistan, and more, this small museum is a trip around Asia!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Guilhem Vellut
Not too keen on spending hours and hours exploring and walking around the massive museums in Paris? Perhaps you'll enjoy your time in these smaller but just as amazing galleries instead! They're just as exciting too.