When I say “Paris museum”, you probably think of the Louvre or the Musee d’Orsay. You maybe also think long queues, overwhelming buildings, and more tourists than artworks.
But what you maybe didn’t realize is that there is an impossibly high number of smaller museums all across the city that are ripe for visiting. And often empty.
And no one knows them better than Emma Jacobs, an illustrator and journalist who’s just released a new book on the topic: The Little(r) Museums of Paris: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems.
Emma was a guest on The Earful Tower podcast talking about her favourite five smaller museums in Paris. Listen by hitting play below, and be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Meanwhile, here’s the information about five top museums for your next culture jaunt in Paris. I’ve explained them with a few quotes from the podcast episode to give you an idea, but obviously listen to the chat for more.
The images are taken directly from Emma’s book, which you can find online here.
Five of the best smaller museums in Paris
Musée de la chasse et de la Nature
This whimsical museum is all about hunting and nature, imagine modern art and taxidermy. It’s one of the most unique Paris museums out there.
Address: 62 Rue des Archives, 75003 Paris
Musée Nissim de Camondo
This one is a house museum of decorative arts, built in 1911 to match the collector’s 18th century furniture collection. Be prepared to feel like you’re walking into a time machine – located right by the stunning Parc Monceau.
Address: 63 Rue de Monceau, 75008 Paris
This one is a huge mansion that’s very elegant and full of interesting furniture and Italian art. The collection was privately put together by artists Édouard André (1833–1894) and Nélie Jacquemart.
Address: 158 Boulevard Haussmann, 75008 Paris
This is a museum of Asian art that began as a private collection and is arranged as the owners left it. It features nearly 7,000 items to give you a glimpse into daily life in Japan and China from the 12th to 19th centuries.
Address: 59 Avenue Foch, 75116 Paris
Musée Gustave Moreau
Another artist who turned his home into a museum, with what may just be the most beautiful staircase in Paris. The art sees a mix of biblical imagery and Greek mythology.
Address: 14 Rue de la Rochefoucauld, 75009 Paris
Appartements de Nélie Jacquemart
Here’s a bonus one, it’s actually outside of Paris but well worth a visit. It features the personal apartments of the artist Nélie Jacquemart.
Address: Chaalis Abbey 60300 Fontaine-Chaalis
Well, that’s it! Thanks for reading. Now, you may notice from the episode above that The Earful Tower podcast has a new sponsor – Fat Tire Tours. Simply enter the code word “earful” while booking any of their tours around the world and you’ll get ten percent off!
Enter the code at the checkout, right before you pay. Here’s the link to their Paris tours page – and this week I specifically took the night time ride around Paris and the sunset river cruise, which I talked about at the end of the episode. You might have seen it on my Instagram stories.
Do you like museums in Paris? Here’s the story from when I tried to visit as many as I could over four days.
Happy museum hunting, and don’t forget to check out Emma’s Book!