If you fancy walking to a museum close to our hotel in the 6th arrondissement of Paris (75006), it could not be easier. Musée Eugène Delacroix, where the famous painter lived, Musée Maillol, which boasts one of the finest collections of paintings and sculptures in Paris, Musée Rodin, home to the major sculptures of Auguste Rodin and a number by Camille Claudel, and the Musée du Luxembourg, which puts on fabulous temporary exhibitions, are less than a 15-minute walk from the hotel.
A little further away, the world’s largest museum and one of the most visited – the Louvre – under its transparent Pyramid, has continued its efforts to present the world’s art and history, from Egyptian Antiquity to the 18th century in a less austere way. The Musée d’Orsay, famous for its collection of Impressionist painters, is housed in a former train station with light, open spaces showcasing the best of the 19th century in all fields of art.
If the history of Paris interests you, head to the Musée Carnavalet, near Bastille and Place des Vosges (where you will find Victor Hugo’s house), and the Marais district.
The Pompidou Centre in the district of Les Halles (the topic of Zola’s “Le Ventre de Paris”), is of a completely different style. The modernist design and architecture (by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, built in 1977) reflects the collection it houses in all fields of contemporary art.
Instigated by President Jacques Chirac, the Musée du Quai Branly is devoted to primitive art from around the world. The collections are presented in a pleasant, easy flowing manner accessible to visitors of all ages. Further upstream on the Seine, you will find the Jardin des Plantes and Natural History Museum. The Gallery of Evolution alone is worth the trip.