Paris is wonderful destination whichever way you look at it, with its array of famous landmarks, historic attractions and other enticements. The city has been famous for centuries, and today it is most well-known for its culinary prowess and its position on the world fashion stage. As well as all this, however, there’s no disputing the artistic legacy of Paris; it is one that has an important link to both its history and culture.
It is no surprise that the majority of the artistic heritage in the city has been made accessible to everyone. In total there are 15 free museums in Paris and, while it is tough to pick out my favourites, I have chosen to highlight four that I think are a definite ‘must see’.
Le Petit Palais
Almost on the door of the Champs-Elysées, Le Petit Palais is an incredible place, home to more than 1300 works of art spanning hundreds of years. Some of my highlights include works by Paul Cézanne and Claude Monet. Beautifully laid out and very easy to enjoy, the museum is known for its many temporary exhibitions that come with longer visiting hours so more people can appreciate them.
The new sculpture room is definitely worth a visit. Remember though, like most museums in the city, this one is closed on a Monday.
For something a little different, head to this striking museum, bursting with a superior collection of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese art. Donated by a 19th century collector, the exhibition is famous for its wealth of ancient pottery, bronzes and Buddhist artefacts. I was astounded at the quality of the 20th century Chinese paintings – you won’t find anything like this anywhere else in the city.
If you have a real interest in this genre of art, book onto a guided tour and your whole experience will be taken to another level.
If sculpture is an art form that gets you excited then make sure you include a visit to this magnificent spot. Despite his incredible works (and the fact that he trained Giacommetti and Germaine Richier), French sculptor, Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, was never very well known. Living and working in the building that is now the museum, he created bronze, marble and plaster sculptures that today have earned him the accolade he always deserved.
I love coming to this quiet and secluded place; it is the perfect refuge from the city’s daily bustle.
The Musée Carnavalet
I revel in the genuine sincerity of what this museum has to offer. Not only is it the oldest of the municipal museums, but it gives visitors a fascinating insight into what this city has experienced throughout the centuries. With exhibits dating back to 4600 BC, the displays bring you right up to the present day and the sheer variety of artefacts is astounding. Combining history and art, this museum (set in two architecturally stunning town houses), takes in one hundred rooms, plus gardens. You definitely need a day to explore this wonderful place.
Where to Stay
Hotel Port Royal – A classic building on a wide street in the heart of Paris, Hotel Port Royal is within easy reach of all the top attractions. After enjoying the delicious continental breakfast, you can head out to tick more of the wonderful Parisian museums off your list. Staff are very helpful here and are on hand to answer any questions.
The free Wi-Fi on offer also helps with keeping in touch and researching the next day’s itinerary.
Hôtel Tilde – A boutique style hotel, boasting individually decorated rooms, this charming accommodation offers a buffet breakfast that you can even enjoy in your room should you prefer. Perfectly located for all of the city’s main sights, the hotel is convenient, comfortable and well equipped. The fitness centre is an added bonus, especially if you like to keep fit while away from home. The free Wi-Fi is another welcome facility provided at this lovely Parisian hotel.
How to Get to Paris
Getting to Paris from London could not be easier. There are several weekly flights provided by various airlines, and with a flight time of barely over an hour you have just enough time to enjoy a cup of coffee. I recommend flying to Charles de Gaulle Airport, from where a transfer to the city is only 40 minutes.
On arrival, a private transfer is definitely my preferred option when it comes to getting to my accommodation and Shuttle Direct are my top choice. Providing comfortable, efficient and friendly transfers from the airport to your hotel, you can look forward to seamless onward travel. Book in advance and you have nothing else to think about other than looking forward to your trip!
- UK to CDG: 1 hour 10 minutes
- CDG to Paris Distance: 22 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 40 minutes
About Shuttle Direct
Or team at Shuttle Direct are proud to be the face of a reputable transfer company that provides direct airport transfer services throughout various destinations. On hand to meet you at the airport, we have an excellent team of drivers who take great care of every part of your onward travel. Book in advance and look forward to a stress free airport transfer.