If you ask your neighbors the name of a city world-famous for its museums, they will probably say: “Paris, for example”.
Indeed, Paris is not the city with the largest number of museums (London and Washington D.C. surpass it, probably); yet, it is arguably that where the most famous ones are located. From the Louvre (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 major cultural institutions than any other metropolis on Earth, with the possible exception of New York.
Paris’ museums inaugurated, 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 located within the Boulevard Periphérique, the ring road which defines the city’s administrative limit, and particularly in the first seven arrondissements; notable exceptions are the Palace of Versailles and Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye which are located within Paris’ metropolitan area but outside its urban area.
Yet, Paris doesn’t have a “museum district” such as Amsterdam, Berlin or Washington D.C., large and small museums are located throughout the whole urban area; therefore, we suggest to buy a discounted travel pass, such as the Paris Visite, which at a reasonable price allows the traveler to use, without limits, the city’s vast public transport network.
Cover image: the “Renaissance” facade of the Louvre Museum; photo Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.
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