The smaller companion to the neighboring Grand Palais, the aptly named Petit Palais is both an art venue and an architectural landmark. Like the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais was originally built for the World’s Fair in 1900. Today, it houses the Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris (the Fine Arts Museum of the City of Paris).
A designated Historic Monument since 1975, the opulent Petit Palais is recognizable for its Beaux-Arts design; its grand, arched entryway; and the detailed sculptures that embellish its facade. Built alongside the Grand Palais and the Pont Alexandre III in time for the 1900 World’s Fair, it is regarded as a Parisian architectural highlight. Today, the palace houses the Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, which contains thousands of works that span from ancient times to the present day.
The Petit Palais can be glimpsed during Seine River cruises as well as hop-on hop-off bus tours, bike tours, Segway tours, and more. Book a private walking tour to explore the area further; you can also visit the museum’s galleries independently.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Petit Palais’ elegant garden cafe offers a tranquil, hidden escape from the urban bustle.
- The museum’s permanent collections are free.
- An on-site auditorium hosts a regular schedule of talks, musical performances, and other special events.
How to Get There
The nearest Métro stop to the Petit Palais is Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau, which is served by lines 1 and 13. You can also take lines 8 and 13 (or the RER C) to the Invalides stop, which is located just across the Seine. Bus lines 28, 42, 72, 73, 83, and 93 all stop nearby. Thanks to its central location, the venue is also easily accessible on foot, by taxi, or by Vélib’.
When to Get There
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris is open from 10am–6pm, Tuesday–Sunday, and is open until 9pm on Friday evenings while temporary exhibitions are on display.
The museum’s wide-ranging collection spans thousands of years and includes thousands of works. Seek out etchings by Dürer, canvases by Cézanne and Monet, paintings by Rembrandt and Delacroix, sculptures and ceramics from antiquity, and more.