I heard that a few of the museums are free the first Sunday of the month. Has anyone taken advantage of this? I want to see Louvre, Orsay, etc. Is it better to get a museum pass, go on the other days, instead of fighting, what I imagine will be a large crowd? Any tips?
When I lived in Paris I always took adavange of the free sundays. It was great. That way I could only look at what I wanted w/o feeling like I was wasting the admission. I never found the lines longer than normal (though I usually went in the dead of winter). The one exception was New Years Day once. The line was the longest I have ever seen. But once the museum opened the line moved really fast.
Just got back from Paris and we went to the Orsay on the 1st of July. The line outside looked awful but moved very quickly. The museum was a little crowded but not uncomfortably so. Rick says take an hour to go through and even my teenage granddaughter laughed and said he was nuts. It took us three hours, same for the Pompidou. Warning about the latter, it is one of the worst marked museums I've ever seen. We had to ask directions twice to find the permanent collection. We passed on the Louvre since the lines were horrible and way too many people are carrying Rick's books and looking for the fast way in. LOL
I went twice last summer but did not go on a Sunday. I was afraid of the long lines too. I went first thing in the morning at both the underground entrance and the top of the pyramid and there were absolutely no lines! So, its not as crazy as everyone says unless I got really lucky for 2 days straight!! lol
I think you'll be just fine.
You might try to see one of these on a free Sunday, but I think a Museum Pass is the best - you don't want to do, for example, d'Orsay and the Louvre on the same day. Too much sensory stimulation! The museum pass is worth it just for skipping the lines! If you have enough time and it's warm out, make sure to go to the Rodin Museum and spend some time lounging in the garden.
Hi Lori -
We had great luck visiting the Louvre (June 27) on their late opening night which I believe is Wednesday. We went after an early dinner and enjoyed a fairly uncrowded visit. The security line moved very quickly out front to enter the pyramid and then we bought our tickets at the automatic dispensers below the escalators.
Good luck! - Valerie
Definitely get the museum pass. You will go see those big museums but then fill in some down time with fun little museums you can use the pass for. The museum pass is also worth it to be able to bypass lots of lines. It's really fun to waltz right into Versailles while all the masses wait in line!