Where to see outdoor art in Paris

Paris is a veritable open-air work of art in itself: in gardens, on quaysides, in tram stations and on walls around the city.

You don’t always have to go to a museum or art gallery to see a work of art. In fact, Paris is a veritable open-air work of art in itself. Art is everywhere: in gardens, on quaysides, in tram stations and on walls around the city.

All you have to do to enjoy it is keep your eyes open! Or have a look at our Open-air art and heritage in Paris guide.

Museum gardens

Musée Zadkine, Paris © OTCP - Didier Messina

The gardens of museums are naturally privileged places for outdoor works.

This is the case at the garden of the Musée Rodin, a few steps from Invalides. This verdant 3-hectare setting is home to many masterpieces by the father of modern sculpture, such as the world-famous ‘The Thinker’ and ‘The Gates of Hell’. New for Summer 2020: four late-night openings, and the chance to enjoy a picnic on the grass amidst the sculptures, as well as a view of the Eiffel Tower

Two steps from Luxembourg, the Musée Zadkine extends into a wonderful garden full of sculptures by the Cubist artist. It can be visited free of charge. Same goes for the garden of the Musée Bourdelle in the Montparnasse district: it is filled with bronze statues by Antoine Bourdelle.

Paris districts where you can see outdoor art

Stravinsky fountain, sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

In the heart of Paris, the Tuileries Gardens showcase some twenty or so works by the great French sculptor Aristide Maillol. As you saunter along the pathways, you will perhaps come across "Les Trois Grâces" or the "Jeune fille allongée".

At the foot of the Institut du Monde Arabe, the Musée de la Sculpture en plein air is an open-air sculpture museum in the Jardin Tino Rossi, a pleasant area along the banks of the River Seine. Admire some thirty modern sculptures, including works by famous names like César, Brancusi and Zadkine!

La Défense is the biggest business district in Europe and also the largest open-air museum in France. The La Défense Art Collection comprises 70-odd monumental artworks including such iconic pieces as Alexander Calder’s ’Great Red Stabile’, Joan Miró’s colourful ’Deux personnages fantastiques’ and César’s giant ‘Thumb’ sculpture. This set of sculptures is intimately linked to the history of La Défense and is now inseparable from it.

Indeed, today, many works of modern art are an integral part of the urban landscape and we could not imagine Paris without them. Prime examples are "Deux plateaux"  by Daniel Buren, more commonly known as the Buren columns, sited in the Cour d'honneur of the Palais-Royal since 1986; and, next to the Centre Pompidou, the Fontaine Igor-Stravinsky and its mobile sculptures, created by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle in 1983. At Abbesses, the I Love You wall, by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito, is the rendezvous point for lovers from around the world.

Art along the tramway line

RATP - Paris, art contemporain sur le parcours du tramway T3 © DR

The T3a tramway line (also known as Tramway du Maréchaux sud) doubles as an outdoor contemporary art trail, featuring a number of artworks along its route from Pont du Garigliano to Porte de Vincennes.

"Tchaïkovski" is a work by the French artist Claude Lévêque. This installation comprising four crumpled stainless steel panels placed on the roof of a 1930s building in stone is visible on the Vanne aqueduct at Montsouris station.

The T3b line linking Porte de Vincennes and Porte de Clichy also has works of contemporary art along the route, including the sound art installation ‘Les Voix du monde’ (Voices of the World), with a different voice announcing each stop.

Guided outdoor art tours

Retro Tour - Graffitti Montmartre, Paris

If you wish, you can also see these outdoor art and architectural treasures in the course of a fascinating tour led by a professional tour guide.

For example, you can go to see the street art on some pedestrian-only streets in the Belleville district:

Or you can put on a motorcycle helmet, climb into a sidecar and whizz around the city with Retro Tour on a fun and unusual open-air tour:

See a list of our partners offering themed tours:

List of tour guides offering tours in the language of your choice

Guided tours with a focus on contemporary art

Themed tours

Fresh Street Art Tour Paris

Guided tours
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Dive into the exciting Parisian Street Art Very much alive and colorful, the Parisian Street Art scene has nothing to envy to......

My Urban Experience

Guided tours
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My Urban Experience offers unusual tours with local guides. Its vocation is to make you discover the city in all its......

Jardin des Tuileries

Park, garden, promenade
Place de la Concorde, Paris, 75001

The Tuileries Gardens take their name from the tile factories which previously stood on the site where Queen Catherine de Medici......

Musée Zadkine

Museum
100 bis rue d'Assas, Paris, 75006

Close to the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Musée Zadkine, tucked away in the greenery of a sculpture-filled garden, is the home and......

Musée Rodin Paris

Museum
77 rue de Varenne, Paris, 75007

Situated in the heart of Paris, the Musée Rodin benefits from an exceptional location a few steps from the Eiffel Tower and the......

Le mur des je t'aime

Monument
Square Jehan Rictus, Paris, 75018

The I Love You Wall, a work of art conceived by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito, is a must-see for couples from all over the world......

Domaine national du Palais Royal

Park, garden, promenade
Place Colette, Paris, 75001

Created by the Cardinal Richelieu in 1633, the Palais Royal and its gardens, just a short walk from the Louvre, housed royal......

Musée de la Sculpture en plein air

Museum
Quai Saint Bernard - Square Tino Rossi, Paris, 75005

The open-air sculpture museum along the Quai Saint-Bernard between the Pont de Sully and the Pont d’Austerlitz provides a......

Paris La Défense

Street, area of interest
Parvis de la Défense, Paris La Défense, 92400

The district of La Défense, the largest economic center in Europe, covers three communes: Courbevoie, Puteaux and Nanterre. This......

Fontaine Igor Stravinsky

Monument
Place Igor Stravinsky, Paris, 75004

Located next to the Pompidou Centre, the Igor Stravinsky fountain designed by the artists Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle......

Jardin du Luxembourg

Park, garden, promenade
Rue de Médicis - Rue de Vaugirard, Paris, 75006

Situated on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, the Luxembourg Gardens, inspired by the Boboli......

Musée Bourdelle

Museum
18 rue Antoine Bourdelle, Paris, 75015

Discover more than five hundred statues of plaster, marble and bronze in the gardens and the workshops where Antoine Bourdelle......

Jardin Tino Rossi

Park, garden, promenade
2 quai Saint-Bernard, Paris, 75005

You can enjoy a walk along the waterfront at the Jardin Tino Rossi. It stretches along the Seine riverbanks, from the Institut du......

Paris La Défense Art Collection

Museum
15 place de La Défense, Paris La Défense Cedex, 92974

The Musée à Ciel Ouvert was built in 1972 thanks to an amibitious policy of public orders and offers you a unique journey through......

Les Extatiques

Exhibition
Summer 2021
Paris La Défense - Coeur Défense - Tour B - 110 esplanade du Général-de-Gaulle, Paris La Défense cedex

4th edition of the outdoor contemporary art exhibition