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.
Place des Vosges
14 Place des Vosges, Paris, France, 75004
Named Place Royale prior to the Napoleonic Wars, the square was rededicated to Vosges, after the French region that was the first to pay its war taxes. Bisected by diagonal paths, its four mirror quadrants offer a peaceful space to spend time. Travelers may enjoy the square day or night to stroll, sit, and observe the cosmopolitan denizens of the Marais. The house where Victor Hugo, author of ""Les Misérables,” once lived is now a museum, free for travelers to visit.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families.
- Tours may include guide, round trip hotel transport, but not food or drink. Check specific tours for details.
- In the cooler months, do as the Parisians do and enjoy a chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) at one of the terrace cafés.
How to Get There
Place des Vosges is in the historic Marais district of Paris, which stretches across both the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. Take the Métro line 7 to Sully-Morland, then head down Rue Beautreillis, which ends at the stately residences that surround Place des Vosges.
When to Get There
In Paris, each season brings its own charms. For the best weather, come late spring through early fall, May - September. Deals on hotels may be found in winter and early spring months. Festivals abound year-round; highlights include Bastille Day in July, and the springtime jazz and blues festival, Banlieues Bleues, and the summertime city-wide music festival, Quartier d’Été. Victor Hugo’s former home at the Place des Vosges is open 9:00am - 6:00pm every day except Monday.
Where Once A Swamp Before the Marais evolved into one of the most exclusive areas of Paris, the land was actually a swampy no-man’s land. (“Le Marais” translates to “the marsh.”) During the Middle Ages, the city was so crammed into into the Île de la Cité (the island in the Seine where Notre Dame cathedral stands), a group of monks dredged the marshlands to build a monastery, and soon the quiet area attracted the nobility, and the king himself.
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- Maison de Victor Hugo
- Carnavalet Museum (Musée Carnavalet)
- Museum of Magic (Musée de la Magie)
- Picasso Museum (Musée National Picasso Paris)
- Museum of Jewish Art and History (Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme)
- 4th Arrondissement
- Le Marais
- Mémorial de la Shoah (Shoah Memorial)
- Bastille Opera House (Opéra Bastille)
- Ile Saint-Louis
- Promenade Plantée
- Marché des Enfants Rouges
- Arab World Institute (Institut du Monde Arabe)