If you have only one day in Paris to spend at a museum, consider going to the Musee d’Orsay. I know, but what about the Louvre? Yes, the Louvre is fantastic when you have the time. However, the vastness is overwhelming and needs some planning. That said, unless you know your art history, hiring a tour guide, someone who is knowledgeable, will enhance your visit.
The Musee d’Orsay was a treat to visit, housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station I last visited 23 years ago. The building itself is stunning, and it was hard to believe that, at one point, this beautiful structure was slated for demolition. I’m unsure if I love art more or the history surrounding art; it’s a chicken-egg dilemma for me. What makes d’Orsay unique? It’s home to the most extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces worldwide, no small feat.
Fortunately, I had my friend join me on my visit through d’Orsay. Even better, she has a degree in Art History, a total bonus! I learned so much from her in those couple hours; keyhole art, symbolism, impressionist prostitution and porn? What?! Google it. So interesting.
We managed to glide through the museum in just under two hours. We weren’t rushed or felt we were missing anything. When you have limited time, it’s nice to know you can tackle a museum of this scale and still get out to see other sites. This is a “user-friendly” museum where your children will recognize and appreciate the artwork and not be bored. There’s a lovely cafe on the top floor, and you can take in the spectacular views on the outside deck and take the perfect “selfie.”