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Help with day/plan for D'Orsay, L'Orangerie and Louvre

Hey everyone. We arrive in Paris on Sunday, Sept 4th and leave Thursday morning, Sept 8. We already know to stay a mile away from any museum on the 4th as they are free and likely mobbed. The D'Orsay is closed Mondays so the Louvre is likely to be busier that day and the Louvre is closed Tuesdays making the D'Orsay busier that day. Wednesday seems our only legitimate day to see both of these great museums. Insert sweating emoji. On top of this, I know L' Orangerie is a quick swim across the Seine from the D'Orsay which now makes it 3 museums to see on this one fateful day. Obviously, my proposed plan is laughable but at the same time, we're not the type to run through an art museum snapping stressed pics with our cell phones and are totally fine with heading to floor 5 at the D'orsay, for instance, and then spending the entire time with Monet's Lilies at L'Orangerie. The Louvre on the other hand is def overwhelming. We'll prob make a list of the top 7? works we want to spend time with.

Anyways, we don't expect to see everything at these great museums but would still like to have a good time.

For those of you who have been to all these museums, do you think Wednesday is our only legitimate window or could we go later in the day on Mon or Tuesday, for instance, to one of them?

Posted by
4781 posts

John,
Please note that the Louvre is closed on Tuesday not Monday.
You’ll need to reserve a time slot.
Here’s the official website: Louvre

Haven’t done the math, but you may consider getting the Paris Museum Pass for the two days you’ll be visiting museums.

Posted by
71 posts

That's right, I'll edit that. Thank you. I guess what I meant is Mon/Tues don't seem like great options for any of the Museums?

Posted by
1851 posts

My strategy would be to get to the D’Orsay when it first opens its doors. The museum is small in comparison to the Louvre, can be digested in a fairly short period of time and the crowds will have not had time to build hopefully by the time you leave. Then head to the Orangerie and revel in the water lilies. Finally in the later afternoon/early evening (not sure what time it closes) go to the Louvre. I would look at the different galleries of the Louvre online and choose what interests me the most and see those. You can’t see everything there anyway so be selective. That is a lot of museum viewing for one day and your interest and energy might flag by the time you get to the Louvre. I would look at the individual museum websites to see if the visits are timed reservations which they probably are now and purchase your tickets online.

Posted by
72 posts

I don't know specifically about the crowds right now, or in September. We are doing Louvre on a Monday in July as that is the day we have. It might be mobbed, but I think it will be busy any day we go so what can you do? We are going at the opening times, and will just do what we can do. I cannot fathom trying to do all three in one day, personally. I would not have much brain power left to enjoy anything after the Louvre, I don't think! My last visit was 20 years ago, and I mostly remember being overwhelmed.

Posted by
71 posts

Thanks very much Beth and Mary! I agree, 3 great Museums in a day is a BAD idea. The thought of yawning while pretending to be impressed by the Master's great works is pointless. I'm thinking D'orsay and L'Orangerie on Wed am like Mary suggested and then doing Louvre 3pm-6 on Monday...

Posted by
1666 posts

Why do you have to do all three museums in a day? Louvre on Monday, D'Orsay on Tuesday. L'Orangerie on Wednesday. One big museum a day is enough. That gives you plenty of time to add smaller museums and enjoy the sights. The big museums will be busy no matter which day you go. What else do you have planned? Make a list of your "must sees" and know you won't be able to see everything. You can add walking tours and eating tours or just meander on your own.

I will be in Paris Sept 6-9. Last visit was 53 years ago. After much thought and changing my itinerary many times, I finally figured out what I want to see and do, knowing that may change when I get there. Because I am travelling solo for the first time, my itinerary is quite full but I don't have to rush. I gave myself time to sit in cafes and enjoy Paris.

Bon Voyage!

Posted by
4592 posts

John, are you arriving to Paris on Sunday from overseas, or is it another stop on your itinerary? The reason I’m asking is that I would have a hard time being in the Louvre indoors the day after I arrived from the West Coast. I would try to make them Tuesday/Wednesday activities if that was the case and do outdoor sites on Monday.

Posted by
71 posts

Horsewoofie. I think the thought was to have a big Museum day and then spend the other 3 days strolling and taking in Paris. But, perhaps breaking it up each day would be better.

Jean - we arrive in London on Aug 30 so we should be awake by then haha.

Posted by
130 posts

The louvre is closed on Tuesday? My exact words as we strolled up to the Pyramid. The sentence before I had said...looks like we are in luck, there's a light crowd today LOL It was in my notes & everything

our boy found the D'Orsay & we loved it. I would not let crowds dissuade you. Just go

Posted by
7700 posts

It is a really silly idea to put all three museums on one day, and especially because they will (or may) be more crowded on the others' closure days.

There is just no way you will get anything (including enjoyment) out of it the third museum. To a much greater degree than the crowds will affect you -- and these museums are always busy.

Just go to one per day.

Posted by
71 posts

Hi Kim. Yes, I agree! We'll break it up and do the Louvre on Monday. Thanks!

Posted by
4165 posts

Not sure it's been mentioned, but combining Orsay and the Orangerie on the same day makes a lot of sense from an art history standpoint, and is quite manageable in terms of museum size. They are jointly managed, and at some point in time there was a joint ticket - not sure if it is still the case.

Posted by
179 posts

I recommend getting to the Orsay and Orangerie first thing in the morning (separate mornings), when they open. When I did this recently I had an almost unobstructed view of the art I wanted to see. The Impressionists at Orsay and the Water Lilies at the Orangerie . I also arrived at opening time at the Cluny, and I had the Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries all to myself! It was really nice to be able to look at them with no one else around, except for the museum worker.

Posted by
6727 posts

We love museums; I have been to the Louvre a couple of dozen times and to the Orsay many many times. And I could not manage more than one in a day. Who cares about crowds? It is summer; it will be crowded every day. Get timed tickets and go for it. And you will find that the Louvre is not very crowded in many of the wings that don't have a line up for the Mona Lisa.

The Orsay has lines for each half hour time slot; they go fairly quickly. Don't plan to check anything as those lines are ridiculously long. At the Louvre you can enter with a timed ticket at the Carousel entrance underground which is more pleasant than standing in the sun in the courtyard. (at least this was true in April and May -- they do change things up occasionally.