Some of the most well-known attributes of the city of Paris are its impressive museums, spacious gardens and café culture. There are a few select museums in Paris that actually have both cafés and gardens on their grounds. These additions to already excellent museums allow you to quite luxuriously spend your day in a museum, at a reasonable cost, wandering through gardens and people-watching over a cup of coffee at a café, all in the same location. Here’s where to go to make the most of your next museum visit.
Musée Rodin in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, just next to Invalides, houses some of the greatest works by the French sculptor, Auguste Rodin that date from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. In the interior portion of the museum, called The Chapel, you will find reliefs and smaller works than the sculptures than those which are found in the sculpture garden. You can also visit the The Hôtel Biron in the centre of the Musée Rodin gardens and grounds. This mansion houses the bulk of Musée Rodin’s collection. Aside from the museum buildings and sculpture garden, there is also a charming café in the gardens called the The Musée Rodin Café. Musée Rodin allows you to enter into a traditional museum setting, in a mansion no-less, as well as explore larger sculptures in a garden that has a great café.
79 Rue de Varenne, 7th arrondissement, Museum/garden hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5:45pm, Café hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5:00pm
Ticket prices: Full price: 11.30€ Reduced price: 8.30€, Sculpture garden only- Full price: 5.30 Reduced price: 3.30€
MUSÉE DU LUXEMBOURG
The Musée du Luxembourg is one of the leading museums in Paris for temporary exhibitions, hosting on average 40 a year. This fall, there is an exhibition displaying works by Henri Fatin-Latour, French painter and lithographer, who was quite famous in his life during the second half of the 19th century. Regardless of what time of year you are planning on visiting Paris, there will certainly be an exhibition worth visiting. However one of the biggest selling-points of this museum is its location in the Luxembourg gardens. The Luxembourg gardens, that span over 60 acres of the 6th arrondissement, is one of the largest and most beautiful gardens in Paris. Additionally, there is an exceptionally decadent café just next to the museum. Angelina is both a café and tearoom, with some of the greatest hot chocolate in all of Paris! All of these impressive elements combined make the Musée du Luxembourg the museum with one of the greatest café options and span of gardens.
19 Rue de Vaugirard, 6th arrondissement, Museum hours: open everyday 10:30am-7:00pm, exceptionally on Friday nights until 10pm, Angelina café hours: open everyday 10:00am-7:00pm
Ticket prices: differ depending on exhibition
While the stunning Petit Palais was first built for the 1900 World’s Fair, it opened as a public museum just two short years after. Unlike the neighboring Grand Palais, the Petit Palais houses its own permanent collection, including works by some of the most well-known painters such as Théodore Géricault, Gustave Courbet and Paul Cézanne. However, the real beauty of and reason to visit the Petit Palais in our expert opinion is the actual building itself, coupled of course with the Petit Palais’ secret café and garden. The garden is advertised as “an oasis of greenery in the heart of the museum,” a description that only begins to do the setting of this café overlooking the garden justice.
INSIDR inside tip: The permeant collection of the Petit Palais is one of the few free museums in Paris, meaning that you do not have to feel guilty about indulging in a pastry or even proper meal at the café after your visit!
Avenue Winston Churchill, 8th arrondissement, Petit Palais hours: everyday 10:00am-6:00pm, closed on Mondays, Café hours: everyday 10:00am-5:00pm, closed on Mondays
Ticket prices: Free for permanent collection, fee differs for temporary exhbitions
MUSÉE DE MONTMARTRE
In our INSIDR expert opinion, the Museé de Montmartre is the hidden-gem of Montmartre and a museum that should not be missed on a visit to Paris. What this museum lacks in physical size, it makes up for in history. From 1875-1877, Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir lived on-site at this location, which is now surrounded by gardens dedicated to him. While walking between the museum buildings and around the gardens of the museum, you will also be able to see the vineyard of Montmartre very clearly. Since the Renoir gardens are so beautiful at the Musée de Montmartre, we recommend you stop at the Café Renoir at the museum to be able to enjoy the gardens for an extended period of time.
12-14 Rue Cortot, 18th arrondissement, Museum hours: Everyday 10:00am-6:00pm
Ticket prices (to be bought on-site): Full price 9.50€, Students 7.50€, Youth 5.50€, Children under 10 years FREE