The Musée du quai Branly is a Parisian museum that celebrates non-Western cultures and art. Find out all you need to know about it, as well as a description of my visit.
Musée du quai Branly: an exotic showcase for non-Western art
The Musée du quai Branly is much more than just a museum. It’s a portal to distant worlds and cultures. Since its opening in 2006, this Parisian gem has never ceased to captivate visitors with its fascinating collection of non-Western art and culture.
The museum, designed by renowned architect Jean Nouvel, is a masterpiece of modern architecture. Its avant-garde design blends harmoniously with its natural surroundings. A lush vertical garden wraps around the building. But it’s inside that the real enchantment begins.
With over 450,000 objects in its collection, the Musée du quai Branly houses treasures from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Whether African sculptures, Oceanic masks, Asian textiles or Amerindian totem poles, these objects make for an extraordinary visit. They are divided into 4 different sections. Each part represents a continent.
What can you see at the Musée du quai Branly?
The Musée du quai Branly is a veritable Ali Baba’s cave for art and culture lovers. Here’s a glimpse of what awaits you in this Parisian showcase of the world’s cultural diversity.
First of all, there are the permanent collections, which house a plethora of objects from the four corners of the globe. You can admire African sculptures that tell stories of kings, gods and spirits with incomparable visual power. Asian textiles dazzle you with their delicate precision and magnificent use of color.
As you stroll along, you’ll encounter mystical Oceanic masks, bewitching testimonies to the spiritual traditions of these remote islands. The majestic, symbol-laden totem poles of the Amerindian peoples transport you into a world of myths and legends.
In addition, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions focusing on specific themes or regions. These exhibitions are often accompanied by lectures, workshops and guided tours that enrich the experience and provide a valuable context for better understanding of the works presented.
Finally, don’t forget to take a break in the museum’s surrounding gardens.
How much does admission to the Musée du quai Branly cost?
Admission to the musée du quai Branly is €12. Admission is free on the first Sunday of each month.
An audio tour is available for €5.
How long does a visit to the Musée du quai Branly last?
A visit to the Musée du quai Branly usually lasts between 2 and 3 hours, but if you’re an art and culture enthusiast, you could easily spend half a day there.
Where is the Musée du quai Branly located?
The exact address is 37 Quai Jacques Chirac, 75007 Paris.
How do I get to the Musée du quai Branly?
By car, take the voie Georges Pompidou and exit at quai Branly. There is a parking lot nearby at quai André Citroën.
By public transport, take RER line C to Pont de l’Alma station or metro line 9 to Iéna station. From there, the museum is just a few minutes’ walk away.
What are the opening hours of the Musée du quai Branly?
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30a.m. to 7p.m. It closes later on Thursdays (10p.m.).
The museum is closed on December 25 and May 1.
My opinion of the Musée du quai Branly: a fantastic visit!
So, do I recommend the Musée du quai Branly? Absolutely. And I’ll tell you why. And I’ll tell you why.
It’s not every day you get the chance to travel across continents without leaving Paris. The museum is a little UFO among the other Parisian art museums, which mainly house European works.
I enjoyed every continent. But what really stood out for me was the Asian collection. I’ve always been fascinated by Asian cultures, and here I was well served! From delicately painted Chinese ceramics to expressive Japanese theater masks, each object tells a story that took me on a journey to distant times and places. The highlight of the show is probably the samurai armor. They’re even more impressive in person than in the books.
But that’s not all. I was also pleasantly surprised by the way the tour was organized. The rooms are laid out intuitively, with each section leading naturally to the next. I particularly appreciated the clear signage and detailed information provided for each object. This made my visit both educational and entertaining.
The Musée du quai Branly has also done an excellent job when it comes to accessibility. Whether you’re an art expert or a complete novice, you’ll find something interesting to see and learn. I’ve even seen families with young children enjoying their visit, which is a testament to the museum’s effort to make art and culture accessible to all.
The only drawback is the waiting time. This is common for activities in Paris. When I visited the museum on a Thursday in April, I waited 30 minutes before being allowed in. In summer, this wait can get considerably longer, especially if you buy your ticket on the spot. In fact, by buying your ticket in advance, you use a faster queue.
What else can you do near the Musée du quai Branly?
After your visit to the Musée du quai Branly, why not explore the surrounding area further? Here are a few suggestions:
- Visit the Eiffel Tower, the emblem of Paris, just a stone’s throw away.
- Stroll along the Champ de Mars: one of the city’s most beautiful parks.
- Discover the Palais de Tokyo: another fascinating modern art museum.
- Take a cruise on the Seine to admire the sights of Paris.
- Visit the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
- Relax in the Trocadero gardens and enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower.
- Attend a show at the Théâtre National de Chaillot.