Paris Museums

Old Apr 1st, 2013, 05:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 79
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Paris Museums

Hello Fodor Friends!!

I am putting together my itinerary for Paris in June. My boyfriend and I will be there for 5 days.

How do I decide which museums to visit and which to skip? There are SO many its hard to plan the day to day itinerary of must sees and time fillers.

Also, is the Paris Museum Pass worth it?? The website states admission to all museums and skip lines for a set price.

All I know so far is the Louvre is at the top of our list to visit for museums.
When I think of visiting Paris, I don't picture myself spending the whole time in museums.

DreamingEurope is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 535
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't think the museum pass is worth it . You have to spend all day at various places! Enter the Louvre thru the carousel de Louvre shopping center on rue de Rivoli there is never a line and you can but tcckets from the machine right outside the entrance. The line at the D'Orsay moves quickly and is not too bad if you get there early. You can always buy individual tickets at FNAc stores, check the varios addresses I use the one at Bastille becouse it is convenient to where we stay There is another on Blvd St Germain
Avalon2 is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,425
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you dont intend to spend a lot of time in Museums I am not sure the pass is worth it - but others will chime in with their experience.

I enjoy the Muse D'Orsay over the Louvre. Dont miss it!

I would spend a morning or afternoon at a Museum and the rest of the time walking through the beautiful streets of Paris and sitting in cafes - visiting some of the Parks and Squares/Churches and neighborhoods

SOme ideas -

The Roudin Museum and park
Jardin du Luxembourg -
Musée de l'Orangerie in the Tuilleries

annesherrod is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How do YOU decide what to visit? What we prefer has minimal importance.

Generally, of the big three art museums: (1) The Louvre is the classical to Renaissance (Baroque, Rococo, Flemish style fat nudes) period; (2) the Musee d'Orsay is the late Romantic to Impressionism (and includes the full Rodin Gates of Hell, famous for The Thinker); (3) the Pompidou Center is the three-dots-on-a-canvas and unleash-your-inner-five-year-old stuff.

The Louvre is a flippin' nightmare - a rock concert's worth of tourists flooding through the place taking flash photos of the tiny Mona Lisa that sits behind the glass case that protects her from attendees' complete inability to avoid using flash photography to photograph iconic paintings. I had a much better experience seeing one of the rare Leonardo paintings in Krakow . . .

There is also a Dali museum near Sacre Coeur, a Rodin Museum, a Picasso Museum, and the permanent Monet collection at the Musee Marmottan and this is just a quick scratch on the surface.

It is probably as easy to get museum'd-out in Paris as it is to become church'd-out in Italy. Pick your interests and go with them.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 621
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I also enjoyed Muse D'Orsay. On every visit to Paris I manage to find time to soak up ambiance and people watch in Jardin du Luxembourg, as well as on a ( concrete) seat on Pont Neuf and also around a fountain in the square by the Louvre. Take a stroll along the Seine. Take a boat ride on the Seine. Savor all that Paris is. It's my favorite city.
LoisL is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 747
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm going to Paris at end of June/beginning of July. I am planning to buy a four day Museum Pass and go to lots of museums during this trip.

I have been to Paris twice before. I don't really remember the first time, though my parents claim we did go into the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa. On my second trip I didn't go into any museums at all, unless you count Versailles as a museum.

This time I want to be able to go into lots of museums.

I know from past experience that I am likely to get bored after only a few hours, even in a large musuem. Some places are likely to bore me after half an hour. Paying full price for a quick look at a few paintings/sculptures would be silly. But with a Museum Pass I can take a quick look into three or four museums in one day, leaving each of them as soon as I get bored, without feeling like I've thrown away the money for entrance.

I've looked at the website for the Museum Pass and it is easy to group musuems by geographical area.

I am quite certain that by the fourth day I will be so tired of museums that I will not want to see any more for another year. But by that time the number of museums I've been inside will have been worth the cost of the pass.
anyegr is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 07:18 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It may sound odd, but if you are in Paris for your first time, do not waste to much time in museums.

The city itself is in fact a gigantic museum. There is so much to see and to explore - mainly by walking streets and squares and buildings.

Museums are something for rainy days - unlesss you have a very special interest. In any case, make sure to wander

- along the Seine riverbanks, with visits to Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle (many say, the most impressive gothic church at all),

- along Champs Elysée, from Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde, one of Paris' most beautiful squares,

- through Dôme des Invalides, a most impressive baroque structure, to the Eiffel Tower on Champ the Mars with some more impressive structures,

- around the City Center with Place Vendome (one of Paris' most beautiful squares), Madelaine Church, Opera, the Royal Palaces,

- around Montmartre, with the Sacré-Cœur Basilica on top.

A boat ride on the Seine is another, more relaxing way of sightseeing.

Enjoy the magnicent buildings, the monuments, the spirit of history, the stream of people, the little shops and markets and especially the light of the "City of Light". Just if the weather is nasty, enter a museum.

The exception is Louvre. The buildings, a former Royal Palace, is an attraction in its own right. Just walk through the aisles and halls and soak up the atmosphere.

When you come back (and you will!), start visiting the other museums.
traveller1959 is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,203
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
My favorites are Musee d'Orsay, L'Orangerie and Musee Rodin. Rodin's sculptures are outside so you can just buy a garden pass for 1 Euro. L'Orangerie is small and very special with the large Monet water lilies on display.The Louvre is huge so plot your time and itinerary there if you visit. I've been several times and now skip it and return to those listed above.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,704
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Everyone travels differently and has their own priorities for time management when on holiday but I think dedicating at least 2 days to seeing some of the worlds' greatest art and monuments is definitely worth it, especially for a first-timer to Paris.

The 2 day museum pass is €39/person and it's valid for 2 consecutive days from the first time it is used. Don't forget the pass includes some major monuments too, not just museums. If you planned those two days out you will easily save money using the pass. By planning I mean taking into account opening/closing times, locations of the venues and outlining a logical order in which you will visit the sites.

For example, you could do the following list in two days:

Arc de Triomphe €8.00 From April 1 to September 30: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. From October 1 to March 31: 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Notre Dame €8.50 to climb up the tower - 422 steps, no lift. (10am-6:30pm from 04.1 to 09.30, late opening until 11pm on Saturdays and Fridays of July and August. Last entry 45 min prior to closing.). The cathedral itself is free and open every day of the year from 8:00 am to 6:45 pm (7:15 pm on Saturdays and Sundays). Access to the cathedral is open and free of charge every day of the year, during the opening hours.

Sainte-Chappelle €8.50 Open every day 1 March to 31 October : 9:30 am to 6 pm, 1 November to 28 February : 9 am to 5 pm , open in the evening on Wednesdays 15 May to 15 September, last admission at 9 pm.

Conciergerie €8.50 (€12.50 if combined w/Sainte Chappelle) Open everyday : 9.30 am to 6 pm

Rodin €10.80, closed Mondays, other days open from 10am to 5.45pm

Orsay €9.00 ( €6.50 from 4.30pm (except Thursdays = from 6pm) closed Mondays, other days open from 9.30am to 6pm except Thursdays, Thursdays until 9.45pm

Louvre €11.00 (closed Tuesdays) (Wed & Fri open until 9:30pm)

The museum pass allows unlimited entries for the valid period, so if the Louvre is too overwhelming for one visit you can go back later to see more of it.
Also keep in mind that many museums are free on the 1st Sunday of the month, year-round.

So, if you visited all of the suggested places above the total price comparison is:

General admission x 2: €128.60
Museum Pass x 2: €78

Should you decide to get the passes, just wait until you get to Paris and purchase them to avoid the steep handling/shipping cost.
bluestar is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,299
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
> How do I decide which museums to visit and which to skip?

Think about the kinds of art you most enjoy, or that you most want to see, or most want to learn about -- that will tell you which ones to visit. Check their hours, so you can see whether they will fit into your other plans or what it would take to plan around them. Be flexible, so you can spend more or less time than you originally planned. Think of ways to interweave time in museums with time elsewhere.

Many people -- including many who have already responded -- find that there is a limit to how much time they can enjoy in a museum in any given interval of time. I haven't yet found my limit -- I can spend all day, every day, in art museums for several consecutive days and still want more! (At least that's true if I like the art I'm seeing, and if not, I leave.) Even so, I tend to try to mix it up a bit, so I generally visit a variety of types of sites (museums and parks and churches and interesting streets and markets and...) on any given day.

Depending on what you plan to visit, the museum pass may/may not be a good option. I found it very useful for moving to the front of the line for several museums I visited. If the price is similar to the combined price of individual admissions, it may help you feel that you can leave a museum that doesn't capture your hearts or make time to return to one that grabbed you unexpectedly.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,008
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
You can't see everything in 5 days. Unless you are highly unusual, you can't spend every day in museums either. The Louvre is too big to see it all in a day anyway. So, pick and choose, and realize that the impossible is not possible.

My favorite Paris museums, other than the usual suspects, in no particular order:

The Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages (the Unicorn Tapestries)

The Rodin (and, unlike the other poster, i think the sculptures inside are very well worth it.)

The Picasso Museum (unfortunately still closed for renovations and unavailable)

The Pompidou Center (Modern art and usually an interesting special display)

Marmiton (Monet)

The ethnological collection in the Louvre (includes one of the Easter Island statues)

Musee de l'Homme (ethnological and anthropological)

What do YOU like?
AJPeabody is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,584
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
1. Orsay

2. Rodin

3. Jaquemart-Andre

4. Tour of UNESCO to see Miro fresco and Neguchi garden

My grandparens lived on Avenue Kleber for 30 years and I used to ride my bicycle through the Bois du Boulogne.

Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2013, 10:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love musuems and they are not all just "art" I love visiting Napoleons Apartments in the Louvre, hello, chandilers the size of cars, gold tableware etc,, over the top and fun to see. When at Louvre go downstairs and visit the Medival Louvre , its the excavated remains of the old fort( the Louvre was a fort at first not a palace)moat. Visit the section with the crowns and jewels, interesting..

I also always recommend the Invalids Army Museum, my kids loved it, and I found it way more interesting then I would have thought. It starts way back with medival weapons, lances, armour( even horse armour) samuri swords etc, and works all the way up to the WWI and II. Uniforms, rations etc, all kinda interesting and best of all never crowded.

The Museum pass is also good for a visit to Versailles , that alone is an 18 euro value. And a great daytrip, one of my favorites.. spend the day there , see the palace and enjoy the huge grounds.

Museum pass may or may not be worth while , I agree its a good way to get a taste of many sites and museums. The line skipping feature is nice BUT not always needed, ( worse for lines are Orsay and Orangerie, Louvre is easy to avoid lines at if you use alternate entrance) , but the line skipping feature is not allowed for Towers of Notre Dame ( admission price is covered however) so that is one site with long long slow moving lines, and no way to skip, get there 1/2 hr before it even opens.
justineparis is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2013, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Impossible question to answer. There are too many and varied museums and everyone has his or her favorites. I would get a 2-day museum pass if you plan to visit several museums.

After 8 trips to Paris, we enjoy retuning to the Louvre each trip and still see portions of the museum that we have never seen before. Be sure to do homework in advance to see what is important to you - you can't see it all.

The D'Orsay is my favorite and much more manageaboe. If you like impressionist art, don't miss it. And don't miss Sainte Chapelle (not a museum as such but on the pass).

Do researcn on museums to see what appeals.
mamcalice is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2013, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 228
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know it's not a museum and we are not morbid people but we had an enjoyable time walking around Pere LaChaise. Maybe because it was a sunny warm day? Anyways, there is a lot of history in the cemetary too. (not just Jim Morrison) And it's free.
pauljagman is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2013, 05:53 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,770
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
5 days is awesome. You could see a lot of Paris in that period if you plan well and keep moving. You could probably spend time in all the museums listed above, and still spend time strolling etc.

If you haven't already, check out a Rick Steves guidebook. He "grades" sites for based on average interest.

We have always gotten the museum card, which allows us to pop into even marginal museums if it is nearby (and there is always a museum nearby).

You will go to the Louvre and you will go see the Mona Lisa. Inside, the Louvre has nice short guides of some of the must sees. Perfect for a first visit.
Bitter is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Aug 4th, 2014 10:19 AM
Oct 22nd, 2012 04:01 AM
Jul 2nd, 2012 01:29 PM
Mar 7th, 2008 11:42 AM
Jan 25th, 2004 08:07 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -