If you ask the average Joe and Jane the name of a “museum city”, they would probably say “Paris”.
Maybe Paris is not the city with most museums in the world; yet, it is probably that with the most famous ones. From the Louvre (still the world’s most popular museum, with over 9 million visitors a year) to the Centre Pompidou, from the Musée d’Orsay to the Palace of Versailles, the French capital can proudly claim to have more world-renowned cultural institutions than any other city on Earth, with the possible exception of New York.
Museums opened, or substantially renovated, in recent times include the Vuitton Foundation, the Pathé Foundation, and the Picasso Museum. Almost all major cultural attractions in Paris are situated within the Boulevard Periphérique ring road which defines the city’s administrative limit, notable exceptions are the Palace of Versailles and Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye which are located in Paris’ metropolitan area but not in its urban area.
Yet, Paris doesn’t have a “museum district”, large and small museums are located throughout the city, therefore it is highly recommended to buy a travel pass, such as the Paris Visite, which at a very reasonable price allows the traveler to use the public transport network without limits.
Cover image: the “Renaissance” facade of the Louvre Museum; photo Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.
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