When it was founded in 1750, the Musée du Luxembourg was the first museum to be open to the French public. Back then, it was housed in a wing of the Palais du Luxembourg. Today, it occupies an adjacent, standalone building in the Jardin du Luxembourg. It has no permanent collection, but showcases several temporary exhibitions each year.
When the Musée du Luxembourg first opened to the public in 1750, it showcased masterpieces by artists including Rubens, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. Later, that collection was transferred to the Louvre, and in 1818 the Musée du Luxembourg was reborn as a contemporary art institution. It moved to its current home in the Palais du Luxembourg’s former orangery in the late 19th century, and held the first Impressionist art exhibition ever in a national museum. After a long period of closure (1937–1979), the museum is now one of Paris’ leading exhibition spaces. In lieu of a permanent collection, it displays several temporary exhibits each year.
The Musée du Luxembourg can be seen on select hop-on hop-off bus tours. It is also easy to explore independently; a visit is a nice complement to a stroll in the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The museum hosts an outpost of Paris’ celebrated Angelina tea room, which is famous for its hot chocolate and signature Mont-Blanc pastry.
- The Musée du Luxembourg is fully accessible for visitors with reduced mobility; free admission for disabled visitors is also offered.
- Audio guides are available via a smartphone app that can be downloaded for a small additional fee.
How to Get There
The Musée du Luxembourg is located on the edge of the Jardin du Luxembourg, in Paris’ sixth arrondissement. Take Métro Line 4 to Saint-Sulpice, or ride the RER B to the Gare du Luxembourg. The museum is served by bus routes 58, 84, and 89. It is also easily accessible on foot, by Vélib’ bike, or by car or taxi.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily, from 10:30am to 7pm, though extended hours are offered Monday and Friday. Note that the Musée du Luxembourg is closed between exhibitions and on Christmas Day.