Yes. It’s possible! Totally, and you don’t have to go rushing through each museum to get it done either. Sure, you could spend days in the Louvre, but when it’s your first time in Paris and you have to check out all the other sites how do you have the time!?
Well, we did it! We started off the morning (late, as the Parisians do) by heading to our closest Metro train station. Now this was our first time navigating the Metro, so obviously I screwed it up and we went the wrong way. Then of course when we got back on track and were heading the right direction the train broke down and we had to wait.
Anyway… we made it to the Musee du Louvre stop and got off to find something to eat.
I can’t remember exactly what time it was, but it was later in the morning when we started our walk to Orsay. We went around the Louvre and made our way through the Tuileries Garden and across the Seine to get there! It couldn’t have been a prettier day either.
The line to get into the museum wasn’t bad, maybe five or ten minutes through security and another five or ten to get tickets. Tip, get the ticket that lets you into Orsay and L’Orangerie to save time later. And enter!
Orsay is dope. Plain and simple. We didn’t scour the rooms and ponder artists’ thoughts as we made our way through the galleries, but we did enjoy ourselves and didn’t rush things. We even grabbed a snack at the cafe on the first level.
I snapped quite a few pictures of things that stuck out, and I found quite a few! The highlights of Orsay are of course are the Impressionism paintings, and Monet is all over this place. My highlight was Van Gogh!
This piece by Van Gogh was probably my favorite painting in Paris!
Once you get through hall after hall of Impressionism there is plenty more to see. Some lovely sculptures make up the main floor, and everyone loves taking pictures of the clock upstairs that looks out to Sacré Cœur.
With Orsay done, we walked back across the Seine to l’Orangerie. The main selling point here is Monet’s Water Lilies, but there are some cool paintings downstairs that are worth the look (lots of Picasso’s down there if that’s your thing). We were in and out of l’Orangerie in half an hour or so. The crowds weren’t too bad, and the main thing we wanted to see was Water Lilies.
We saved the best for last, Le Louvre. This place is a beast! It’s massive, and it gets terribly confusing when you get deep into some of the halls and stairways. Right when we got there we went straight in the main entrance down to where you can buy tickets and the museum breaks off into the three wings. We ate at Bistro Benoit before we tackled the museum, and I had the best croque monsieur EVER. My mouth is still watering.
So we started with the Richelieu wing, which I figured would just be a quick jaunt, but I loved the French sculpture section! I’m a huge fan of Greek and Roman mythology, so the statues of all the gods were right up my alley. From there we tried to get to the Mesopotamian artifacts, but got a little lost and ended up all over throughout the wing. That took up a ton of time. You try to find the sortie only to end up going in a circle and then somehow get deeper and deeper. We saw a few cool things, but were ready to head to the Sully wing.
The signs weren’t much better in the Sully wing, as we got lost for a few minutes trying to find the Venus de Milo, but we made it and it was worth it! I was pretty excited to see this statue, and it didn’t disappoint for me.
We meandered through the rest of the Greek and Roman sculptures (so cool!), and randomly ended up at the foot of the stairs that led to the Winged Victory of Samothrace. I forgot this was even here, and to be honest I’m not sure if I even knew that it was! It was a pleasant surprise regardless.
I was up taking pictures of good ol’ Nike when I noticed a sign saying that the Mona Lisa was just down the hall. Seriously!? Eff yeah! I hopped back down the stairs to grab my tired wife and ran right back up. We snuck into the Denon wing and followed the signs toward the Mona Lisa. I hoped the crowd wouldn’t be too bad since we went on a Wednesday and it was way late in the afternoon. There was a solid crowd, but I’m sure at more peak times it could get pretty jam packed! I weaseled my up to the front and got my selfie and a few pics.
A lot of people talk about how disappointed they are when they see the Mona Lisa. I wasn’t at all. With all the talk I’d heard about how small it was I almost expected her to be the size of a piece of paper, but she’s more comparable to regular sized poster. She really is a lovely piece.
On our way out we stopped and sat for a bit. I looked up some things about the Louvre, and saw that there were some sculptures from Michelangelo. Say what!? I just saw Leonardo, some pieces of Raphael were down the hall in Denon, and now I get to see Mikey? Awesome. I didn’t realize until we got back to our hotel that some Donatello work was there too, but I suppose it give me an excuse to go back.
So we finished up our Louvre trip by checking out these two:
That about does it. I ended up walking 21,000 steps on the day. We made it back to our hotel in the Latin Quarter when it started to get dark. We really did get to see quite a bit of all three museums, and if we really wanted to we probably could’ve packed in more. The bottom line is we had an amazing time and made some amazing memories.