The Rodin Museum is a must-see collection of French art in Paris, and it won’t take long to visit either. This remarkable hotel-turned-museum can be easy to miss within its garden sanctuary. That’s why I’ve written this article–to let you in on this delightful secret and help you plan how to visit the Musée Rodin.
Pro Tip: Heading to the Musée Rodin in Paris? Bookmark this post in your browser so you can easily find it when you’re in the museum. Check out our Paris Guide for more resources, our Paris Museum tours for a memorable visit, and read more about Auguste Rodin—the man behind the masterpieces.
Visiting the Rodin Museum: What We’ll Cover
Famous artworks by one of the most beloved French artists, Auguste Rodin, are displayed throughout this grand, 18th-century mansion. His sculptures are also major features of the superbly maintained garden of the building once called the Hôtel Biron where Rodin lived and worked until his death. After he died, the French state converted the building and grounds into a museum dedicated to the artist.
The Musée Rodin is shielded from the busy Paris streets and only a picturesque 20-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower. The different galleries on the ground and first floors are organized by themes, but you’ll also want to spend time outside. Some of the most renowned sculptures like The Thinker, The Kiss, and The Gates of Hell are on display inside and out the spacious sculpture garden.
In this guide, you’ll find all of the information you need to make your visit to the Musée Rodin memorable. Here’s what I’ll cover:
- Hours, info, and tickets
- How much time to budget
- How to get there
- What to see
- Guided tours
- Facts and history
- Places to eat nearby
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our best Paris tours to take and why.
Musée Rodin: Hours and Tickets
Musée Rodin Hours:
Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am – 6:30 pm (last entry is at 5:45 pm; ticket office closes at 5:30 pm; galleries begin closing at 6:15 pm)
Closed: The Musée Rodin is closed on January 1, May 1, and December 25. The museum closes early at 5:30 pm on December 24 and 31. Last entry is at 4:45 pm.
The sculpture garden closes at nightfall in the wintertime.
Musée Rodin Tickets:
Full Admission: €13
Under 18: Free
Special exhibitions are included in the general admission fee.
Visitors with disabilities and one companion enjoy free admission at the accessible entrance at 21 Boulevard des Invalides.
Free Days: The Musée Rodin is free to the public on the first Sunday of the month, from October to March. No need to book in advance!
Online Ticket Purchase: The best option is to purchase tickets online in advance to ensure admission at your preferred time and date. However, advance booking is not required unless your group is 10 or more people. Add €1 to your online ticket and you can skip the line at the museum entrance.
Pro Tip: You can purchase a combined ticket for the Musée Rodin and the Musée d’Orsay for €22.40 saves you €3 and gives access to both museums (once each) within 3 months following the purchase.
Address: 77 Rue de Varenne
Things to Know:
There is a free cloakroom at the entrance to the galleries of the permanent collection. You will be asked to check backpacks. Most museums have restrictions about allowing backpacks inside of galleries.
Do not bring larger items such as luggage. You may bring an umbrella stroller but larger strollers are not permitted in the museum or garden. Photographs are allowed without a flash.
How Much Time to Budget for the Rodin Museum
Short answer: 1 hour in the museum, 30 minutes in the garden
I wouldn’t recommend spending less than an hour for your visit to the Musée Rodin. Ideally, I advise spending at least 90 minutes so you can see everything in the museum, the special exhibition, and the 7-acre garden.
At any given time, the museum presents a special exhibition at least indirectly related to Rodin. For example, in 2022, there was an exhibition dedicated to the artistic interplay between Rodin and Picasso. I usually see the artworks in the permanent collection for some background context, then I move on to the special exhibition.
A lot of art museums are rethinking the way they display the objects in their collections. Traditionally, museums displayed art according to the medium such as painting or sculpture or by date. Contrarily, the Musée Rodin presents the art by theme. Each gallery has a theme such as Sensuality, The Eternal Masculine, The Depths of Despair, and Camille Claudel (after Rodin’s lover and muse). You’re still invited to interpret the artworks however you wish but it is nice to have a little guidance.
As I mentioned, the Musée Rodin is situated in a 7-acre garden. The artist loved nature and spent a lot of time in the garden that is still lovingly cared for by expert gardeners. It showcases many larger sculptures and is divided into distinct areas with differing atmospheres.
How to Get to the Musée Rodin
The Musée Rodin is on the east side of Paris near the Les Invalides with its golden dome and the Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. It’s only about a 20-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower, so getting to the Rodin Museum isn’t too difficult.
However, I don’t recommend driving in Paris because the traffic is usually quite busy. Also, it is difficult to find inexpensive parking. Since there are so many other transportation options, you can spend your time sightseeing rather than waiting in traffic! But you can definitely hail a taxi or an Uber if that’s what you prefer.
The Metro is the easiest way to get around Paris—and without costing much! You’ll want to stop at the Varenne (line 13) or Invalides (line 13, line 8) stations to get to Musée Rodin.
The Paris Metro, RER, and buses are very easy to navigate and are an inexpensive way to get around the city. City passes are available and there is a discount for buying tickets in bulk. You can even use the official transit RATP website to download bus and Metro maps onto your phone for easy travel.
Pro Tip: Paris Metro tickets are quite small so put it somewhere safe so you don’t lose it as you hop on and off the Metro during your stay.
The best stop to get to Musée Rodin if you’re using the RER is Invalides (line C). The RER is a hybrid commuter rail and rapid transit system. If you want to get across the city quickly, you can usually do so on the RER for the same price as a Metro ticket within the city boundary. Taking the RER outside of the city—for example, to Charles de Gaulle Airport—costs more.
Buses in Paris run fairly frequently too and are a good option if you don’t want to use the Metro. Lines 69, 82, 87, 92 stop closest to the Rodin Museum.
Electric Bike (Vélib)
If you’re a confident urban biker, then consider taking an e-bike. Paris’ Vélib Métropole is a pioneer in the city bike-sharing venture. Parisians and tourists make millions of journeys each month using the Vélib bikes. There are about 1,400 docking points in the city and 40 percent of the bikes are now electric. You can sign up for the service online and there are several different subscription options.
Pro Tip: Paris has many miles of dedicated bike lanes and the city keeps adding more of them. Some districts are car-free, too. The Vélib program doesn’t rent helmets and kids under 12 are required to wear them, so I don’t recommend family bike outings. Also, if you aren’t an experienced cyclist, biking in Paris is not recommended. As fun as it sounds, you may want to walk, take a taxi, or ride public transit.
Our Best Guided Tours of Paris
Likely to Sell out
Privileged Access Eiffel Tower Night Tour With Seine River Cruise
Sometimes the most amazing moments happen by chance. Other times, they are orchestrated by professionals. Our Eiffel Tower tour takes you on a cruise down the Seine River for incredible views of Notre-Dame and the Eiffel Tower. Champagne included, of course. Then you’ll be guided to the Eiffel Tower, skip the long lines, and head up the elevator to the second floor for a night to remember.
Ultimate Taste of Paris Food Tour in Le Marais
Embark on a culinary journey in Le Marais—one of the hippest neighborhoods in Paris. Most food tours in Paris offer cheese and wine, but we include a full, sit-down meal! Enjoy a feast of French cheeses, oysters, street food, boeuf bourguignon, crème brûlée, and more. This 3-hour food tour combines the best of Paris’ culinary heritage and you won’t find a better deal out there!
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our best Paris tours to take and why.
What to See and Do at the Musée Rodin
Hôtel Biron: the Main Museum
The main galleries of the museum are in Hôtel Biron (the 18th-century mansion), found on two floors. You enter through Cantor Hall, where you’ll be greeted by a grand staircase. The 18 different galleries organized by themes showcase artworks in a variety of media such as plaster, clay, bronze, marble, and so on.
The themes have to do with sources of inspiration and the processes Rodin used when he created art. Here are some of Rodin’s most famous works that you absolutely must not miss:
- The Age of Bronze, Room 3
- Danaïd, Room 7
- The Three Shades, Room 5
- The Kiss, Room 5
- The Waltz by Camille Claudel, Room 16
- The Cathedral, Room 10
- The Walking Man, Room 17
The garden of the Musée Rodin is an integral part of the museum overall. Spanning 7 acres, it is a setting of great natural beauty for several of the artist’s most beloved works. For instance, The Thinker is displayed on a pillar surrounded by box trees and, from where he sits, there’s a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower (over the garden wall, of course). Additionally, the complex masterpiece, The Gates of Hell, is in the garden as is the Monument to Balzac and The Burghers of Calais.
- The Burghers of Calais, NW Corner Near Rue de Varenne
- Monument to Balzac, West of The Thinker, Near Boulevard des Invalides
- The Gates of Hell, NE Corner
- The Thinker, Between the Gift Shop and the Museum
In 2022, the Musée Rodin opened a new interactive space for museum visitors called, “L’Atelier Rodin,” which means “Studio Rodin.” The studio provides tools, materials, and basic instruction for exploring art. It’s also a great place to relax after a visit to the museum.
L’Atelier Rodin is open during the summer only, between early June and late August from 10 am to 6 pm. Visit the museum website for more information, including specific opening dates.
The café-restaurant L’Augustine at the Musée Rodin offers a variety of simple and delightful gourmet fare and beverages—for museum ticket holders only. Seating is available both inside of the café and on the terrace. Be sure to budget enough time to sit and relax after your visit to the museum and garden.
If the weather permits, I recommend asking for outdoor seating. It’s one of the prettiest gardens in all of Paris! Next, you’ll need to top off your adventure with a dessert from Maison Lenôtre, made specially for the Musée Rodin.
Tour Options for the Rodin Museum
As you’re planning how to visit the Musée Rodin, you’ll have a variety of tour options, from self-guided tours to guided group tours. You can decide which tour best suits your needs. Here is some basic information to help you make your decision.
Museum Guided Tours
Museum guided tours are available for groups. They offer different tours for groups of adults (26+) with 10 – 25 visitors, and youth (18 to 25) with 10 – 30 visitors. here are also tours for youth under 18 years old.
All group tours must be booked online ahead of time. Each tour lasts from 1 – 1.5 hours and includes artworks from the permanent collections in the main museum, the Hôtel Biron, and the sculpture garden.
Adults: Adults have several tour options: Theme 1: “At the Heart of Masterpieces.” Theme 2: “Heart to Heart with Rodin.” Theme 3: “Welcome to Hell.”
Youth ages 11 – 17: The museum offers an age-appropriate version of the “At the Heart of Masterpieces” tour.
Children ages 3 – 10: Children have several tour options: “The Hand at Work” (ages 6 – 10). “Rodin’s Garden” (ages 6 – 10). “Tell Me About Rodin” (ages 3 – 5).
Multimedia Audio Guide
A multimedia audio guide featuring 2 hours of commentary on artworks in the Musée Rodin (inside and outside) is available in the museum entrance area. The audio guide includes images, biographical information on Rodin, and interviews with experts. An interactive map will help you find your way around the galleries and garden.
The audio guide is available in French, English, Spanish, Chinese, German, and Portuguese.
Kids’ Touchscreen Game Tour Option
Kids can experience the Musée Rodin and the garden using a touchscreen tablet. The tablets are free for kids age 6 and up to use. Their fictional guides are Dante and Clarissa.
Dante, the writer who penned The Divine Comedy (a major source of inspiration for Rodin), is the main character of this fun adventure along with a new museum guide named Clarissa. They lead kids through the site on a quest that includes interactive games, clues, and a final quiz. The tour lasts about an hour and is available in French and English.
Not ready to book a tour? Discover the top artworks to see at Musée Rodin.
Facts and History of the Musée Rodin
To get you excited for your trip, here are some interesting facts about the Rodin Museum and its history, thanks to the official website and French art historian Gilles Néret.
- Rodin lived at the Hôtel Biron which became the museum after his death.
- The artist bequeathed the Hôtel Biron, his art there and at his home in Meudon (outside of Paris), and all of his belongings to the French state. The government bought the mansion and grounds and agreed to turn it into a museum.
- Rodin died in 1917 and the Musée Rodin opened its doors in 1919.
- The Musée Rodin owns the rights to all of Rodin’s artworks, including the molds and models. Some artworks in bronze were actually cast long after the artist died but are still considered his original artworks because he created the models and molds.
- The limit of casts from models and molds is 12 editions (versions). The limit has already been reached for some of his famous works such as The Kiss.
- The Musée Rodin is the only self-funding museum in France. It is able to support itself through the sale of original artworks in bronze to private collectors and museums. These sales account for 30 to 35% of the museum’s overall income, however, admission fees are another major source of income.
- The Hôtel Biron was designed by a French architect named Jean Aubert. It was built in 1732 in the Rococo style, which is a lively, elaborate version of the already ornate Baroque style.
- When Rodin discovered it in 1908, the Hôtel Biron was in a sorry state of disrepair. He slowly renovated it while renting out rooms on the ground level. In 1911, he took over the entire building.
Places to Eat Nearby
The Musée Rodin is located in the 7th arrondissement—a very upscale part of the city of Paris. Therefore, restaurant options are abundant but few are inexpensive. You may opt to have coffee and a pastry or lunch at the museum’s café-restaurant, L’Augustine.
Or, you can choose from one of the restaurants I’ve listed below. These are definitely not the only options but they are all very good and within close walking distance of the museum.
- Le Recrutement Café | €€ | This brasserie serves traditional French fare in a lively atmosphere. It’s a pleasant walk from the museum past the front of the stately, Les Invalides (the side facing the Seine river across the long, park space).
- Café de l’Esplanade | €€€ | With its impressive wine list and stellar menu, the Café de l’Esplanade is a neighborhood favorite. Since its prices are a bit higher than a typical brasserie, it isn’t a typical tourist spot. I recommend the lobster salad, which is unforgettable. Enjoy it with a lovely 2015 Sauternes.
- Le Basilic | €€€ | Le Basilic is one of my favorite restaurants on the south side of the Seine river. I recommend the Tartare de boeuf (beef tartare) or the truffle risotto. The restaurant is located on a quiet street just 5 minutes northeast of the museum.
- La Boulangerie des Invalides | €€ | If light bites seem like just the right thing, head over to La Boulangerie des Invalides for simple but delightful sandwiches, pastries, coffee, etc. On a fair day, definitely grab something to-go and head over to the Champs de Mars, which is the Eiffel Tower park just 20 minutes away on foot.
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our best Paris tours to take and why.
Where To Stay in Paris
With a city as magnificent as Paris, it can be hard to find the perfect hotel at the perfect price. Explore the best hotels and places to stay in these incredible neighborhoods in Paris.
Leave a Comment