Métro: Champs Elysées (line 1 or 13)
Address: Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris
Hours: Tuesday-Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (last entrance at 5:00pm)
Closed on Monday and holidays
Did you know that Paris did not have any museum until 1880? It seems so surreal to me. Sometimes I think museums are as old as homo sapience. I know pretty naive. It's was of the purpose of the Universal Expo of 1900: to make Paris a city of culture, refinement and art. Le Petit Palais translated the Small Palace (little sister of the Grand Palais located across the street) was build for that purpose and was part of the Universal Expo of 1900. After the expo, the city of Paris decided to keep the building and transformed it into the Museum of Fine Arts of Paris. Pfff, close death avoided. It became the second museum of the city of Paris, right after Carnavalet.
Le Petit Palais is literally 2 steps away from the Champs Elysées and the main collection are free. Only the temporary exhibit have a fee. Like all the free museums of Paris, you will still need to get a ticket before going in.
Ah the garden court! Probably one of my favorite spot. You can seat at the little café, eating a pretty affordable and good meal enjoying the view of the lush garden. The magnificent fresco represent the months as well as the hours of Night and Day using Renaissance techniques.
Construction of the Dome started the day after World War I was declared and represent the History of French art with portraits of famous French artists as well as their work.
Now that we drooled over the splendor of the architecture, let's faint in front of the beauty of its collection. I love this museum because you get a bit of everything and I just can't get over it. Your eyes get constantly stimulated by what they see.
La Femme au singe (1908) by Camille Alaphilippe
Le Noueau-né (1881) by Angré Gill
You can find paintings from Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet, Manet, Mary Cassatt, Boudin, Cézanne, Corot, Courbet, Signac or Sisley just to name of few. Yeah I know, you're about to pass out. But I'm not done, you can also admire pieces from Roman antiquity, Medieval art or Renaissance. You can also admire wonderful sculptures (from Rodin, for example) or prints (from Dürer). Did I mention it is free? You have NO excuse not to go.
L'église de Moret (1894) by Alfred Sisley
Beau temps à Pern (1901) by Henry Moret