While in Paris I bought a museum pass that was good for four days. I ended up visiting a couple of museums each day, except for one day which I dedicated to the Louvre.
The museum pass is kind of expensive, but it allows you to bypass the entrance lines. For me the price was worth it, just to bypass the line to get into the Louvre.
The pass pays for your entrance fee, but you still need to pay extra if you want the audioguide. I normally don’t buy these sorts of things, but the Louvre’s audioguide is cool in that it uses a Nintendo 3DS. It has the normal features of an audioguide, such as audio commentary on artwork, but it has some very cool additional features like an interactive map, and proximity based commentary that a normal guide doesn’t have. Also it has suggested itineraries for you to visit the museum’s most famous pieces.The Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa are probably the most famous ladies in the Louvre. They were quite popular. It’s kinda sad that there are signs warning you to be wary of pickpockets.
My favorite painting at the Louvre was the ‘Wedding Feast at Cana.’ It’s in the same room as the Mona Lisa, directly facing her. One of the interesting things about the Mona Lisa is that her eyes seem to follow you around the room. Jesus sits in the middle of the wedding feast painting, and his eyes also seem to follow you around the room. It’s like he’s ignoring the wedding party around him and peering directly into your soul… it’s sorta creepy actually…
Aside from the Louvre there were a couple of other very famous museums that did not disappoint. The Musee de l’Orangerie and Musee de Orsay were incredible. They didn’t allow pictures, and for once I didn’t try to sneak in any. They’re definitely worth a visit if you’re in Paris.
The architectural museum is one that I probably wouldn’t have visited if I didn’t have the museum pass. It was pretty interesting though. They had scale models of many of the world’s famous cathedrals, with detailed descriptions of how they were built. They also had pieces that were taken from churches and cathedrals that show the intricate details that were carved into the stone and masonry.
The museum pass also allowed entrance to some of the famous non-museum sites in Paris, such as the Arc De Triomph. The arch of the Arc De Triomph had amazing details carved into it as well.
Another museum that I probably wouldn’t have visited if I didn’t have the pass was the Asian Art Museum. I did a quick walk through it, and was surprised that they had a few pieces of Korean pottery and furniture.
The last museum I visited was the Cluny Museum, which is the museum of the middle ages. One of the highlights of this visit was the museum itself, which was actually built in the middle ages. The arches that held up the ceiling were amazing.
The most famous artwork in the Cluny is probably the ‘Lady and the Unicorn’ tapestries. There are six tapestries, one for each of the five senses, plus this sixth one labeled ‘Mon Seul Desir’ or ‘My Soul Desire.’
By the end of my time in Paris I was pretty tired and sore from walking through museums almost non stop. But I can say without hesitation that the time and money spent there was definitely worth it.