This Paris Luxury Tour is designed to give visitors who only have a single day to explore Paris’s major museums an overview of some of the highlights at three of its most important museums: the Louvre, Orsay and Marmottan Museums. Rather than thinking of it as a simple Paris Museum Tour, one might consider it an homage to Impressionism and the role of France in the history of art in the Western world.
The structure of the Louvre is itself an extraordinary monument and an important facet of Paris’s history and architecture. The collections inside are so extensive that visitors there could literally spend months of morning-to-night exploration without seeing half of what is available. This Paris Museum Tour therefore only scratches the surface.
Our Paris museum tour begins with a short exterior tour of the Louvre buildings, around the Square Court where the 12th century dungeon once stood at one end, to its phantom Tuileries Palace at the other, over six hundred years of continuous construction. We enter the Louvre Museum through I.M. Pei’s ingenious pyramid, and have a look at some of the museum’s most famous residents: the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. You will also have time to visit a section of the Louvre Museum of your own choice.
This Paris Museum Tour then crosses the Seine River, over to the 19th century railway station so imaginatively converted into the present Orsay Museum, which houses one of the world’s finest collections of Impressionist art. We will first visit a section that so many visitors miss, on the ground floor, where you will see a rich cache of works of Degas, Bazile, Manet and Monet, among others. Our Paris Museum Tour then takes a lunch break, perhaps at the museum’s brasserie, one of the most beautiful in the city, with its turn of the century decorations, which survives from the days when the same brasserie served the original 19th century railway hotel located in the station.
There are many other options for a lunch break, including some of the nicest bistros and brasseries in the City of Light, which are near-by in the Orsay neighborhood.
After lunch, this Paris Luxury Tour completes its visit of the Orsay Museum’s Impressionist collection on the upper floor, when we leave the Orsay Museum for yet another extraordinary Impressionist collection at the Marmottan Museum on the western edge of the city. There this Paris Museum Tour visits a collection of no less than 150 works of Claude Monet, not to mention a collection of, among others, Boudin, Caillebotte, Degas, Guillaumin, Jongkind, Manet, Morisot, Pissarro, Rodin and Renoir works on the first floor.
The sweep of Monet representation at the Marmottan, the world’s largest collection of works of the master, staggers one’s senses. It includes his Le Havre caricatures, works painted on the Normandy coast (including “Impression, sunrise” which gave Impressionism its name), railway stations, portraits, scenes from Argenteuil, Vetheuil, Paris, London, Rouen, Norway, Italy, and an amazing series of irises, water-lilies and roses at Giverny—from 1857 to his death in 1926.
Paris Luxury Tours has researched and designed this tour to provide its clients with an overview of what is available in three famous Paris museums. Far from being an exhaustive Paris Museum Tour, it provides a relaxed and enjoyable day tour of Paris Museums that will whet your appetite for French art and entice you to come back for more of the city’s treasures. It is led by a guide with extensive knowledge of its themes, who will drive you in a comfortable upscale vehicle smoothly from one location to the next.
An even more enjoyable option to consider is to book this tour in tandem with one of our general tours of Paris, such as our Paris Overview Tour, https://www.parisluxurytours.com/paris-france-tours/, or our Paris Tour, Chronologically, https://www.parisluxurytours.com/historical-paris-tour/. That makes it possible to split each tour in two parts and mix and match them with the other, so that you experience half of each tour on each of the two consecutive days, alleviating what some experience as ‘museum overload.’