Enjoying art at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris

Paris – one of the best places to visit in Europe – is certainly a fantastic city for art lovers, but for a traveller with just an average level of interest in art, it can be a bit overwhelming, and most people probably end up just heading to the super-famous Louvre. Of course, the Louvre is a pretty impressive affair, but if you only have time for one gallery visit while you’re in Paris, my Europe travel tip for this week is to skip the queues for the Mona Lisa and instead head down to the Musee d’Orsay.

For a start, the Musee d’Orsay is housed in an interesting building – it is a former railway station of impressive proportions, and adds an extra level of interest to your gallery experience. And like the Louvre, it also houses a diverse array of accessible artwork – enough Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh to suit the average art-lover as well as collections of sculptures, photography and so on. Of course it’s a popular Paris attraction, but I found it wasn’t quite as crowded as the Louvre, and the building itself – as you can see in the picture – is very open and airy. All in all, I had a much more pleasant afternoon at the d’Orsay, so it comes as a highly recommended.

When planning your visit, be aware that the Musee d’Orsay is closed on Mondays, like many museums and galleries. At the moment there are some renovations in progress, due to be finished in March 2011. Current admission price is €8 and you can buy your tickets online in advance if you want.

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Paris is in Europe a la Carte’s top ten European cities to visit. Read our best of Paris tips” to help you plan your visit to this lovely city. Find out about must-see Paris museums.

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More on European Museums

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