The southern region, appreciated for its remarkable landscapes, dynamic towns, picturesque villages, and authentic terroir, is also renowned for its many museums and foundations. Discover the most beautiful museums of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur dedicated to art, History, natural sciences, local heritage, for a stay devoted to culture.
An essentially rural department, with alpine and Provençal influences, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department has several remarkable establishments such as the Museum of Prehistory in Quinson, the Gassendi Museum in Digne-les-Bains, the Geopark of Haute-Provence and numerous ecomuseums such as the Valley Museum in Ubaye or the Olive Tree Ecomuseum in Volx.
A mountain department renowned for its ski resorts and outdoor activities, the Hautes-Alpes department also offers heritage and culture lovers numerous tourist attractions. The Departemental Museum of the Hautes-Alpes department awaits you in Gap. Ecomuseums are particularly present in the department. You can visit the Ecomuseum of Veynes, the Maison du Berger, a cultural center in Champoléon or the Muséoscope of Serre-Ponçon lake.
Since the 19th century, the French Riviera has been a favorite destination for many artists, and many painters have taken up residence here. The Matisse and Marc Chagall museums and the MAMAC in Nice, the Renoir museum in Cagnes-sur-Mer, the Bonnard museum in Le Cannet and the Picasso museum in Antibes are evidence of this cultural effervescence. Visit also, in the Alpes-Maritimes department, museums dedicated to historical and cultural heritage such as the Perfume Museum in Grasse or the Museum of Wonders in Tende.
The metropolises of Aix-en-Provence, Arles and Marseille are at the heart of the Bouches-du-Rhône department’s cultural tourism offer. The MuCEM, the latest of the major national museums with an international vocation, has been attracting many visitors since its inauguration in 2013. The Granet Museum in Aix-en-Provence attracts art lovers from all over the world, while history enthusiasts will prefer the Musée de l’Arles Antique, which plunges visitors into the heart of antiquity, when Arles was one of the richest cities of the Roman Empire.
The city of Toulon is home to many prestigious museums, such as the National Maritime Museum and the Var Departmental Museum, dedicated to the natural sciences. The past of the Var department is also highlighted: the military history of the department is illuminated by the Musée des troupes de Marine in Fréjus and the Artillery Museum in Draguignan. The ‘Gueules Rouges’, nickname given to the miners, are highlighted in Tourves. Archeology is in the spotlight in Saint-Raphaël, with rare pieces from underwater excavation campaigns.
Rich with a prosperous, enlightened, and prestigious past, the City of the Popes has many famous museums, such as the Petit Palais or the Calvet Museum. The Comtat Venaissin and the Luberon Regional Nature Park showcase their heritage through numerous museums such as the Lavender Museum in Cabrières-d’Avignon or the Cardboard and Printing Museum in Valréas. The santons are in the spotlight in Fontaine-du-Vaucluse, while in Bonnieux you can learn a lot about baking.