If you're a fan of Monet, this place has to be on the top of your list. The musée d'Orsay may have a larger selection of his work (88 paintings, not all exposed), but seeing the master's Nymphéas (water lilies) exposed on all walls of two specially-conceived rooms has got to be one of the most jaw-dropping cultural experiences the city has to offer.
Built in the mid-1800s as (believe it or not) an orangery, subsequently used in a variety of vulgar ways (exam room, barracks, dog shows!), the setting was chosen and designed by Monet himself in the 1920s to house the eight giant paintings. At that point, the building only had one floor, and gentle natural light was t be used to show them to their advantage. Monet died six months before the exhibition rooms opened.
The addition of a second art collection to the building and a botched 'renovation' in the 1960s saw Monet's work – to general indifference – relegated to a dark basement. Despite being left to abandon in the face of newer, more prestigious exhibition spaces (the Pompidou Centre, Musée d'Orsay, Grand Palais...) visits to the Orangerie continued to rise, more than doubling in the space of fourteen years and effectively forcing the authorities to renovate.
Finally, since 2006, Monet's paintings can be seen in decent conditions. Up to 17 metres long, if you've only ever seen them on postcards you'll be in awe.
Once you arrive in Paris, stop by the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau for tourist information about the city (museums, events, attractions....). You can also book your hotel and plan daytrips, an evening at a Cabaret, or a trip to the amusement park. Paris Visite cards and other museum passes are also available for sale.
25 rue des Pyramides 75001 Paris
Open every day from 9am to 7pm
Metro : Pyramides, Opera, Palais Royal