Within the city of Paris, art abounds at every turn. From local artists crafting portraits of the vibrant, colorful scenic treasures ahead to distinguished museums welcoming visitors each day, unforgettable memories are crafted within each of the city’s coveted artistic locales. Wonder and beauty are located at every turn throughout the 20 diverse arrondisements of Paris, one only needs to seek out these heralded destinations in order to find true inspiration.
1. Palace of Versailles Set within scenic Versailles (just outside of Paris), travelers are whisked back in time to 1624, when the property was first commissioned by Louis XIII. When the next successor, Louis XIV took over the throne, the palace was expanded beyond measure into one of the most opulent royal courts to date. As the property grew, it was here that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette emerged with lavish costumes and palace interiors emblematic of grandeur. Today, travelers can walk through the lush gardens, the wondrous Hall of Mirrors, and observe the rich history of the time period as it was, with artful aesthetics within each of the palace’s spaces.
2. The Louvre
Travelers are welcomed into The Louvre by its dazzling pyramid situated at its main entrance, and the artistic journey only begins there. At one of the most prominent museums in the world, visitors can feast their eyes upon awe-inspiring works including the Mona Lisa, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the statue of Aphrodite. Beyond such masterpieces, a rotational series of special exhibitions await, imparting knowledge from a variety of decades past.
3. National Museum Picasso A former artist within Paris’s own Montmartre province, Pablo Picasso’s works are currently on display at the dignified Musée Picasso. The collection is vast and varied, as Picasso himself remained the utmost collector of his own work. Artworks within the museum range from sketches to ceramics to grandiose sculptures, and of course, his notable abstract-style paintings. Alongside his authentic works, travelers can also engage in a discourse with other artworks within his collection, from those crafted by Degas to Matisse.
4. Jardin du Luxembourg
The backdrop for infinite amounts of wanderlust-inducing oil paintings, the gardens of Luxembourg span an astounding 57 acres of vast greenery. Dreamed up in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici, the gardens are situated outside of Luxembourg Palace, which resembles a design notable within her hometown of Florence. A detailed layout of hedges and floral arrangements await travelers, with awe-inspiring spots intended for picture-perfect moments.
5. Rodin Museum Garden Outside of the Rodin Museum, guests can meander through a fragrant rose garden surrounding the property and relax adjacent to a tranquil trellis. Here, artful settings flourish before even setting foot in the museum. Originally an 18th-century mansion, today the property houses the largest collection of Auguste Rodin’s works of art, including the world-renowned sculpture, The Thinker. For guests who wish to delight in an unconventional experience, the museum hosts late hours each Wednesday and is open until 8:45 p.m., affording magnificent nighttime views of the scenic gardens. 6. Galerie Vivienne Notated as a historic monument back in 1974, this splendid passage within Paris spans 577 feet for travelers to meander through, affording a variety of scenic views. Constructed in 1823, the walkway borders a variety of diverse shops amid a historical ambiance. Symmetrical vaulted designs, intricate mosaic-style flooring, and a glass dome form ornate detailing throughout. For a hidden gem boasting Neo-Classical architecture, the Galerie Vivienne is a must-see spot that promotes art-infused surroundings.
Situated on a hilltop within Paris’s 18th arrondissement, Montmartre was a former haven for artists and creative spirits. Travelers typically visit to explore the notable sight of Sacre Coeur, while the area also remained a storied habitat for the most notable of public figures. It was here that artists including Salvador Dali, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso crafted among their finest works of art, and coalitions of artists including Les Nabis and The Incoherents reigned supreme. Influenced by the Bohemian spirit, today free-standing windmills and art exhibitions preserve the unique identity of the district.
8. Belleville A celebrated Parisian neighborhood, Belleville, meaning “beautiful town”, features an array of contemporary artworks and murals in the most tucked-away of locations. Originally an 18th century immigrant community, today, the neighborhood maintains its multi-ethnic diversity with a variety of cultural attractions. The 1980s saw a migration of artists and comoposers to this community, who still inhabit the area today and work within their established studios. It was also here that Édith Piaf grew up, and where inspiration for her vast musical catalogue grew. Today, travelers can stroll throughout the neighborhood’s limits and view Street Art Alley, with vibrant murals and paintings, and Ateliers d’Artistes de Belleville, a community art gallery promoting the works of 150 artists. 9. Le Mur Street Art For modern artwork within Paris, Le MUR affords visitors with a glimpse into a contemporary art collective. With a goal to showcase urban art to locals and visitors alike, street artists craft an original work on a designated wall space on Rue Oberkampf. A range of styles are featured — such as acrylic paint, collages, and, intermittently, performance art — as one artist takes over Le MUR at a time. Through Le MUR, visitors are made privy to various forms of art and given the access to interpret them freely.
A popular must-see locale in Paris, Jardins du Trocadero is the proprietor of the most stunningly clear view of the Eiffel Tower. Artists can be seen crafting their stunning landscape paintings and sketches here, as the space’s numerous fountains emerge within the backdrop. Lush greenery surrounds the structure, perfect for snapping a photo of one of the world’s most coveted landmarks.
11. Palais de Tokyo Amid the endless reverence for classic works of art in Paris, Palais de Tokyo emerges as a refreshing change of pace for visitors wishing to complement their excursions with more contemporary stylings. Opened in 2002, the museum is one of the largest curators of contemporary art within all of Europe. Differing from the traditional museum experience, Palais de Tokyo is also host to an array of events, as well as a vibrant garden and two restaurants serving up authentic French fare and Japanese delicacies. Just outside the museum’s limits awaits the city’s oldest photo booth, where travelers can receive black and white photos as their memento. 12. Maison Victor Hugo Though Victor Hugo was an established French writer, known for novels such as Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, his home in place des Vosges features an artistic ambiance and an array of well-preserved artifacts. Alongside decades worth of memories from Hugo’s livelihood, the home boasts a myriad of treasures to be viewed within exhibits, with his permanent collection featured with free admission. A glimpse back in time to see where one of France’s most famous literary figures worked creatively is afforded during time visiting Victor Hugo’s home.
13. Tuileries Gardens
Where art abounds in Paris, so do its palaces, dispersed throughout the city’s limits. On the helm of the Tuileries Palace, the Tuileries Gardens feature a dignified walkway surrounded by an expanse of greenery, statues, and serene water elements. Take a seat at a nearby café and observe the view, or connect with nature and enjoy a leisurely stroll throughout the landscape.
14. Le Petit Palais et Le Grand Palais Alongside art collections from Paris, Le Petit Palais is also home to pieces from other revered cities including Rome and Athens. Dating back to 1900, the museum was a structure promoted during the Universal Exhibition, Paris’s distinguished world fair. Visitors and locals are drawn to this museum for its free admission for permanent collections, however there is also a rotating circuit of temporary exhibits that cost a ticketed fee. These collections typically focus on famous artists and fashions throughout history, drawing quite a crowd of admirers. Additionally, le Grand Palais — a beautiful monument and museum — hosts several large expos throughout the year, including the annual Chanel Fashion Show. 15. Centre Georges Pompidou This center is a hub for creative endeavors, from comprising the Musée National d’Art Moderne, to hosting a music center, as well as boasting a magnificent public library. The structure was opened in 1977 and features a longstanding sculpture, Horizontal, by Alexander Calder. Art mixes with music at the Stravinsky Fountain located just outside, with 16 fountain-like sculptures that work in tandem with composed works by Igor Stravinsky. Inside, a vast amount of cultural and historical knowledge awaits the center’s visitors.