High culture is a quintessential part of Paris’ personality, and nowhere is that better expressed than in the city’s wealth of world-class museums. From art-world heavyweights to modernist stylings, here are six of the City of Light’s top museums.
Musée de la Musique
221 avenue Jean-Jaurès, Paris, France, 75019
Located on the northeastern edge of Paris in the Parc de la Villette, the Musée de la Musique is one of the highlights of the Cité de la Musique: a major musical complex, designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc, that contains a concert hall, an amphitheater, and other educational spaces. The collection includes instruments and objects that hail from across the Western musical traditions, as well as items sourced from around the globe. Collection highlights range from a piano once used by Chopin to a guitar owned by Georges Brassens. The museum also hosts free daily concerts, as well as temporary exhibitions, talks with visiting musicians, and other events.
The Musée de la Musique is included in select Paris Museum Pass schemes, making for an affordable and accessible way to visit.
Things to Know Before You Go
The museum is fully accessible to visitors with mobility issues.
Ticket holders for concerts at the Philharmonie de Paris receive reduced admission to the Musée de la Musique.
Free audio guides are available with entry, and allow visitors to hear some of the instruments on display.
From 2–5pm daily, visiting musicians play in the galleries and chat with visitors.
How to Get There
The Musée de la Musique is accessible via Métro line 5, which stops at the nearby Porte de Pantin station. Bus routes 75 and 171 also stop nearby. The Philharmonie additionally offers free shuttle service to select locations in central Paris for those attending late-running evening performances.
When to Get There
The Musée de la Musique is open from 12–6pm on Tuesday–Friday, and from 10am–6pm on Saturday–Sunday. It’s closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and May 1st; it also closes an hour early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The museum hosts numerous special events and temporary exhibitions in addition to its daily concerts.
The Philharmonie de Paris
A recent addition to the Cité de la Musique complex, the new Philharmonie de Paris building—designed by starchitect Jean Nouvel—debuted in 2015. Distinct for its bright metallic facade and phenomenal acoustics, the building hosts a world-class symphonic hall (the Grande Salle Pierre Boulez).
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- Buttes-Chaumont Park (Parc des Buttes-Chaumont)
- La Villette Park (Parc de la Villette)
- La Cité des Sciences et de L'lndustrie
- Bassin de la Villette (La Villette Basin)
- Musée Edith Piaf
- Canal Saint-Martin
- 10th Arrondissement
- Gare du Nord
- Place de la République
- Père Lachaise Cemetery
- Le Manoir de Paris
- 11th Arrondissement
- Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
- Marché des Enfants Rouges