If you ask different people to describe their visits to Paris and share what they saw, the stories would be very different because Paris offers opportunities for everyone’s tastes. Our plan included some of everything and still left some flexible time to explore hidden gems.
Our last visit was a multi-generational trip with my husband and me, our daughter, and our granddaughter with each of us having different interests. I love museums, history, and walking. Our daughter loves sipping wine, art, and sampling the many luscious-looking French desserts. Our seven-year-old granddaughter loves interactive exhibits, art, and playgrounds. My husband just wants us all to be happy. We all love great food. Paris is full of all these things, so where do we start?
Our first stops were to visit some of Paris’s great art. We took a children’s tour of the Louvre with Georgi from With Locals Tours. We arrived at the Louvre at 6:00 on a Friday evening to meet Georgi and the other family and begin a wonderfully intriguing tour. (This time was great since the crowds had dwindled, probably because everyone else was at dinner.) Georgi engaged the children with a scavenger hunt, colors, and mysteries. The girls loved the tour as did the adults. Georgi made the trip both educational and fun for all of us. (Our three adults were amazed at how much we learned and enjoyed the visit.)
Our next art museum was Musee d’Orsay which is located on the Left Bank of the Seine River in the former Gare d’Orsay, an architecturally beautiful railway station that was built between 1898 and 1900. The building itself is a piece of art that serves a beautiful, airy backdrop for the art. The d’Orsay features artists of the late 19th Century such as Monet, Morisot, Renoir, and Van Gogh. In addition, the museum houses sculpture, furniture, and photographs from the same era.
There are so many art museums to visit, but my favorite, if you can call it a museum, is one of the newest and most unusual. The Atelier des Lumières is located in an unlikely building to house an art installation, an old warehouse. Its walls, floors, and ceiling provide a clean backdrop for the digitized artwork that comes alive on them. Upon entering the warehouse, and once my eyes are accustomed to the darkness, I was amazed at the beautiful flecks of the pictures that flew, blinked, or appeared and finally joined together to create a painting by the featured artist, Klimt. These creations covered entire walls and bled over onto the floors in a mesmerizing fashion as the images were accompanied by music that intertwined with the pieces. The overwhelmingly beautiful presentations left me speechless and amazed. I joined many others in taking a place on the floor while waiting for the paintings to slowly, and seemingly magically, change to another breathtaking digitized Klimt painting. I am already looking forward to our next trip to Paris just to see the new Van Gogh exhibit. I truly believe that even those who are not art museum lovers will be intrigued and amazed by this presentation. (Some special tips: You must buy tickets online before going. There are no ticket sales on site. You can take the metro, bus, or taxi to get to the site. To see a sample of this incredible artwork, visit the museum’s website here.)
Are there more spaces to see art in Paris? Definitely, and all are different! Please share your favorite, or least favorite, Paris art museum with us!