France is home to some of the world’s most notable galleries and our top 10 best museums to visit in the country unveil where to visit and why.
With over 1,200 galleries tucked across the country, every exhibit offers a new perspective on France and its history, heritage, and culture.
Whether focusing on Greek statues or Impressionist masters, gigantic paintings or ancient tapestries, museums in France can display indelible grandeur and should find a place on an itinerary.
With a history of French kings and global masterpieces, the Louvre Museum is one of the world’s most notable galleries and one of the most famous museums in Paris, France.
A treasure trove of some of Western civilization’s most famous masterpieces and collections of the Mediterranean’s most important artifacts, you can travel the world and venture through time.
There is much to explore across the museum’s 785,765 square feet of exhibition space, with 70 rooms brimming with paintings, sculptures, and artistic artifacts.
Focused on fabulous works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries, the Musee d’Orsay embodies the Belle Epoque, down to the artistic design of the gallery itself, which is easily visited on a couple’s trip to Paris or a romantic France tour for seniors.
A haven for Impressionist artists and masterful works presented in chronological order, you can follow the progression of artistic aesthetics through the ages as creative perception transitioned between movements, all captured in pieces by the likes of Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Cezanne.
The modern aesthetic of the Centre Pompidou contrasts the Paris most find familiar, as the stunning collection of steel and glass creates an original design.
The extensive collection possesses more than 100,000 works of modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries, displayed in chronological order.
From Kandinsky to Picasso, Braque to Warhol, you can find exceptional diversity housed under the umbrella of modern art and accentuated by the fantastic views over the city.
The town of Bayeux reflects a remarkable history captured in the renowned Bayeux Tapestry in the Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux.
The museum gallery highlights the infamous history of the region, embroidered as it is into the masterful medieval artwork using 10 shades of yarn and dating back to the 11th century.
When the museum is coupled with Bayeux’s Old Town, you can find an enchanting reflection of preserved history in half-timbered houses and elegant mansions capturing the spirit of an essential French museum.
The Palais de la Berbie from the early Middle Ages houses the elaborate reflection of the Belle Epoch with the Musee Toulouse-Lautrec, the most extensive collection of works by the famous artist outside of Paris.
As you explore the galleries, you can find a timeline of the artist’s development as he transitioned from one aesthetic to portraits and poster works. Each piece demonstrates a wry and playful humor, until plunging into the Parisian underworld of the era, while showcasing distinctive technique and perspective.
The Musée Ingres in the Dordogne shines through the 17th-century bishops’ palace, one that features works of classicists admired by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
The Musée Ingres may not be France’s most famous museum, but with more than 4,000 drawings and paintings, the galleries embody the essence of a fine-arts museum and the preferred aesthetic of the neoclassical painter and violinist who collected the works.
From Ingres’s own works to the likes of Tintoretto and Van Dyck, the extensive collection offers a refined perspective on art in the Dordogne.
Instead of a broader history of France or works brought from around the world, the Musée Historique Lorraine is one of the best reflections of the province. The galleries bring to life the past and reveal why history remains relevant in contemporary life.
With a collection that features 16th-century engravings, masterpieces by local artists, antique furniture, and exhibits on Jewish history in eastern France, Musée Historique Lorraine is hyper-local, yet incredibly extensive.
As one of France’s most famous and glamorous palaces, the Baroque chateau immerses you in elegance and opulence that spans 2,300 rooms, with gardens that overtake more than 1,976 acres.
From roaming the landscape to view the foundation and waterfalls to strolling through the gilded reflections in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles is an exceptional representation of the historic pomp and prestige of French aristocracy in which you can indulge during a private tour or planned picnic.
The Matisse Museum sits on a secluded hill within a Genoese villa that remarks on the glamour and heritage of the region, one that touches the Cote d’Azur and the Italian border.
The extensive collection of Matisse’s works creates a diverse ensemble of paintings, sculptures, and sketches in the South of France, demonstrating the artist’s distinctive methods and creative genius, and accounting for one of the best museums in Nice.
The charming setting, connection to the celebrated coastline, and featured cultural exhibits and art workshops create a formidable heritage center instead of simply a museum gallery.
The Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse creates a dramatic image in Old Town Lille. The museum grounds spread through the wings built between the 15th and 18th centuries, with each new corner sharing a piece of local history, from an old hospital ward to a convent.
The collection of tapestries, sculptures, and Flemish porcelain adds to the enticing preserved history of Lille. While small, the museum’s collections speak loudly by demonstrating a tangible sense of Lille’s past and how it informed the present.
A France tour unveils the beauty of the past and the unforgettable style of contemporary culture. Masterpieces of art and architecture create an unforgettable ambiance from the beaches of Normandy to the lavender fields of Provence. A France travel specialist can personalize your trip, with experiences tailored to your preferences, from helping you find the best time to visit to exploring possible places to go in winter.