Musée Rodin is a Paris, France museum home to sculptures and other works of French artist Auguste Rodin. In this post, we’ll share photos from Musée Rodin, tips & info for visiting, and review whether this museum is worth your time and money.
Located in the 7th arrondissement, which is also home to the Eiffel Tower and several popular museums, Musée Rodin is easy to visit during the course of most Paris itineraries. It’s located adjacent to the Army Museum, and within a 10 minute walk from Musée d’Orsay. Suffice to say, if you visit Paris, you’ll invariably be in the neighborhood of the Rodin Museum.
The museum itself is located in the Hôtel Biron, a grand 18th-century mansion that Auguste Rodin once used as his home and studio. The museum presents something of a ‘snapshot’ of Rodin when he was affluent and influential, already having secured his place in art history as one of the greatest modern sculptors. It also tells the story of his early struggles as the public wasn’t exactly receptive to his art showcasing raw physicality and imbued with sexuality.
The museum itself is beautifully-presented, having completed a multi-million euro refurbishment only a few years ago. This really shows, as it’s in better condition than almost any other museum in Paris. That’s fairly impressive, as Paris’ museums are all in pretty good shape considering the volume of tourists most see.
As you walk through the exhibits at Musée Rodin, it’s possible to see some of Rodin’s life story play out, particularly as works move from sketch to miniature to fully-realized versions in the garden.
However, we think it’s instructive to first read a bit of background before visiting the Rodin Museum, as even knowing a bit about his life will inform the exhibits. This is particularly true with the works about his student and lover, Camille Claudel and some of her works that are also on display.
Alternatively, renting an English audio guide is a good option.
While there are English placards providing background info on most (if not all) exhibits, the guide is a good option for color commentary.
Outside, you’ll find seven acres of lawns, gardens, and rows of meticulously-sheered trees. Oh, and some of the most iconic sculptures Rodin ever created.
The Rodin Museum highlights outside include the Thinker, Burghers of Calais, the Gates of Hell, Orpheus, and Monument to Balzac.
Musée Rodin is included with the Paris Museum Pass, which we highly recommend. Just within walking distance of this museum, there are over a half-dozen high profile points of interest that accept the pass.
We’ve bought the Paris Museum Pass on each of our last few trips to France. If you’re a first-timer, it’s a no-brainer. Even if you’ve been to Paris before, there’s a good chance the pass will offer enough value (both in terms of admission costs and time in skipping ticket lines) to justify buying one of the passes.
As for whether Musée Rodin is worth your time, it’s tough to say no. Given the location, you’re barely heading out of your way at all to visit this museum. If you do even the slightest amount of itinerary-building for Paris, you can make this an easy stop.
Despite it being yet another museum in Paris, it’s a nice change of pace option. As Musée Rodin focuses heavily on sculptures, it’s very different from the nearby Musée d’Orsay or the Louvre.
One big recommendation we have is to do the outdoor areas of Musée Rodin first. This is especially true on a nice autumn or spring day, when the weather makes it more enjoyable to be outdoors.
We far preferred these green spaces, and as noted above, there are a number of exquisite works on display outside.
As for going outside first, it’s simply a matter of time management. Our perspective is that whatever you do first you’ll do slower; whatever you do last, you’ll do faster. This is our personal experience, and your mileage may vary.
We’d also recommend visiting in the late afternoon, about 90 to 120 minutes before closing. This will give you ample time to explore the grounds, and then head inside as the crowds thin. (For most people, around 90 minutes is going to be enough time.)
If you have additional time once done, go back outside for some photos. The golden hour light kissing the statues and flittering in through the foliage makes for photogenic scenery.
Being entirely honest, Musée Rodin is not my favorite museum in Paris, or even top 5. That’s largely a matter of personal preference; I appreciate sculptures, but they’re not so much my cup of tea.
Even setting that aside, I wouldn’t place Musée Rodin in the same elite tier as d’Orsay, the Louvre, Orangerie, and a couple others. It’s almost unfortunate that the ‘competition’ is so fierce in Paris, as this would be a flagship-caliber museum almost anywhere else.
Ultimately, irrespective of where it ranks as compared to other top tier museums in Paris, Musée Rodin is definitely worth visiting, especially if you have the Paris Museum Pass. It’s convenient, has lovely grounds, a few iconic pieces on display, and offers something different from other venues in Paris. You’ll definitely want to include it in your touring plan of the 7th arrondissement.
If you’re planning a trip to France, we recommend starting by consulting our Ultimate Guide to Paris, France to plan all aspects of our vacation. You should also check out our other posts about France for ideas on other places to visit!
Have you visited Musée Rodin in Paris, France? What did you think of the experience? Do you consider it among the elite art museums in Paris? Did you prefer the outdoor pieces or indoor exhibits? Would you recommend this museum to a first-timer visiting France? Any thoughts or tips of your own to add? Does this Paris museum interest you? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!