Musée Rodin

Top choice

Museum

in St-Germain & Les Invalides

Grounds of Rodin Museum sculpture garden.

©Will Salter/Lonely Planet

Even if you're not an art lover, it is worth visiting this high-profile art museum to lose yourself in its romantic gardens.

Sculptor, painter, sketcher, engraver and collector Auguste Rodin donated his entire collection to the French state in 1908 on the proviso that it dedicate his former workshop and showroom, the beautiful 1730 Hôtel Biron, to displaying his works. This is where he lived and worked while in Paris. Rodin's artwork is not only installed in the mansion itself, but also on its rose-filled garden—one of the most peaceful places in central Paris.

Grounds of Rodin Museum sculpture garden
Formal flowerbeds and boxed-hedge arrangements framing 18th-century mansion Hôtel Biron ©Will Salter/Lonely Planet

Highlights

The rose garden is a wonderful spot to contemplate his famous work The Thinker. Other sculptural highlights are: The Gates of Hell, the 180 figures of which comprise an intricate scene from Dante’s Inferno; Rodin’s marble monument to love, The Kiss; and the world's largest collection of works by Rodin’s protégé and muse, Camille Claudel.

On the 1st floor, in room 12, admire paintings by Van Gogh and Monet that belonged to Rodin. The ground-floor 'Rodin at the Hôtel Biron' room incorporates an eclectic collection of sculptures and curiosities acquired by Rodin and placed in the room in which he worked in 1908.

Le Baiser (meaning The Kiss) is an 1889 marble sculpture by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin at Rodin Museum
Marble monument to love The Kiss (Le Baiser) caused controversy on completion due to Rodin’s then-radical depiction of women as equal partners in ardour  ©alarico/Shutterstock

Tickets, tips and accessibility

A combined ticket with the Musée d'Orsay costs €21; tickets are valid for a single visit to each museum within three months. An audioguide costs €6. End your visit with a relaxed drink alfresco in the museum's garden cafe (closes 5pm). If you just want to see the outdoor sculptures, cheaper garden-only entry is available. Pre-purchase tickets online to avoid queuing.

The Musée Rodin is free for everyone on the first Sunday of the month, from October to March. 

The exhibition, garden, cafe and auditorium are accessible, and the museum is equipped with ramps. Wheelchairs are available to visitors free of charge.

Blind and visually impaired visitors can avail of a visitor services assistant who will provide them with gloves and a list of work that can be explored by touch. Guide dogs are welcome.

Induction loops are available throughout the museum for visitors with hearing difficulties.

Rodin's 'The Thinker' with the Eiffel Tower in the background
The garden is the one of the most peaceful spots in central Paris ©Grant Faint/Getty Images

What's nearby?

Both Musée d'Orsay and Hôtel des Invalides are about a 15-minute walk away. Nearby boulangeries (bakeries) include Besnier. For traditional French fare, book a table at Paris' oldest and still excellent restaurant, À la Petite Chaise. For something a bit livelier, try Chez L'Ami Jean.

How to get there

Metro Varenne (line 13), right next door, or Invalides (line 8 or 13), 10 minutes' away on foot.

RER Invalides (line C) then a 10-minute south.