First established in 1889 by prolific French art collector Edouard Guimet, this vast museum named after him is one of France's largest and most important collections of art and artifacts from around the Asian continent. Boasting thousands of precious works and art objects-- one of the largest collections outside of Asia-- over 5,500m2 of exhibition space, the National Museum of Asian Arts/Musee Guimet holds treasures from Asian cultures as diverse as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas, central Asia and southeast Asia. 5,000 years of rich artistic and cultural heritages shine through in these remarkable collections, and the gorgeous garden and separate Buddhist temple or "Pantheon" are also worth a visit. This is certainly one of the most under-appreciated collections in Paris.
Read related: 3 Best East-Asian arts museums in Paris
Location and Contact Information:
The museum is located in a quiet corner of the elegant 16th arrondissement (district) of Paris, in close reach of the world-famous Champs-Elysees district on one side, and not far away from the beautiful greenery of the Parc Monceau.
Address (Main Museum):
6, place d'Iéna, 16th arrondissement
Buddhist Pantheon: 19, avenue d'Iéna
Metro: Iéna or Boissiere (lines 9 or 6)
Tel : +33 (0)1 56 52 54 33
Visit the official website (in French only)
Access for disabled visitors? Yes. The main museum has a wheelchair-accessible ramp situated to the left of the escalators at the main entrance at 6 place d'Iéna. Elevators and lifts inside allow guests to access all floors. Unfortunately, the Buddhist Patheon is not currently accessible to visitors with limited mobility.
Read related feature: How accessible is Paris to visitors with limited mobility?
Museum Opening Hours and Tickets:
The museum is open Mondays and Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00pm.
It's closed on Tuesdays and on French bank holidays May 1st, December 25th (Christmas Day), and on January 1st.
The ticket counter closes at 5:15 pm. Make sure to arrive a few minutes earlier to ensure time to purchase tickets, or risk being turned away. Exposition halls on the 3rd and 4th floors close at 5:30 pm, and the others close at 5:45 pm.
Also be aware that on days before bank holidays, doors close at the museum at 4:45 pm.
Tickets: Visit the official website for current ticket prices (information in French only, unfortunately) and information on special rates for seniors, students, and others. Alternatively, call the information line at +33 (0)1 1 56 52 54 33 (open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm).
Entry is free for all visitors on the first Sunday of every month.
Popular Sights and Attractions Nearby:
- Bois de Boulogne (a vast, gorgeous park west of Paris)
- Musee Cernuschi (a free municipal museum also dedicated to Asian arts)
- The Village-Like Charms of the Passy neighborhood
- Musee Marmottan-Monet
- Maison de Balzac (museum dedicated to the French author of The Human Comedy)
- Champs-Elysees Neighborhood
Highlights of the Permanent Collection :
The permanent collection at the Musee Guimet is divided into several important collections, including the following:
Afghanistan-Pakistan: Highlights include rare Afghan Buddha figures and other essentially Buddhist artifacts dating from the 1st to the 7th centuries AD.
China: This remarkable collection of Chinese art comprises some 20,000 objects and works spanning seven millenia of Chinese art and culture, up through the 18th century.
Ornate, delicate ceramics, transluscent and precious works in jade and bronze, and objects from daily life such as mirrors are only a few of the highlights that await.
Japan: 11,000 works of art and applied arts (such as swords and decorative armor) await visitors in this section of the museum, which offers a panorama of Japanese artistic achievement from the 3rd to 2nd century BC to the mid-19th century.
Korea: A magnificent collection of bronzes, ceramics, decorative paintings, furniture, traditional costuming, and many other forms of art from Korea. Some of the collection originates in Japan and was formerly at the Louvre before the Musee Guimet's creation in the late nineteenth century.
India: The galleries dedicated to Indian arts and culture hold a rich collection of sculptures in bronze, wood, stone or clay dating as far back as the 3rd millennium BC.
It also holds an impressive collection of miniature or portable paintings dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries.
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