When it opened in 2002, many thought the Palais’s stripped-back interior was a design statement. In fact, it was a response to tight finances. The 1937 building has now come into its own as an open-plan space with a skylit central hall, hosting exhibitions and performances. Extended hours and a funky café have drawn a younger audience, and the roll-call of contemporary artists is impressive (Pierre Joseph, Wang Du and others). The name dates to the 1937 Exposition Internationale, but is also a reminder of links with a new generation of artists from the Far East.
Paris is home to the world’s most recognisable smile (well, smirk), but there’s much more to the City of Light's museum offering than Mona Lisa’s grin. And sure, you have to explore the Louvre's sprawling collection at least once, but that shouldn't mean missing out on the rest of the great museums on offer.
Whether it’s contemporary art, fashion, architecture or temples to some of the world’s biggest names, there’s a museum for visual art in all its forms here. So grab your camera – and a sketchpad should you feel inspired – and head down to one of the very best museums in Paris according to us.
This article was written by the editorial team at Time Out Paris. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. This guide includes affiliate links, which have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.