Au revoir to the days when you'd go through a museum faster than running the mandatory mile during gym class. As you get older, art takes on a little more meaning. And since I lack the ability to draw, paint or sculpt, I truly appreciate the arts. I also know what I do and don't like. I prefer impressionism to surrealism (Sorry Dali; no offense). So before trying to tackle ALL of the museums in Paris, think about what you're interested in. You don't want to wait in line to see a series of paintings of the same water lilies (which I always do because how can you not love Monet) and leave thinking, "I could have painted that," (btw you couldn't have).
1. Louvre - Don't get swept up into the chaos of the Louvre. Buy your tickets online and get there in the morning. Everyone and their mother gets to the Louvre at noon so you might be in the same room as the Mona Lisa but you might not be getting the view you're expecting. Check the map and mark the things you absolutely want to see. Just walking from one piece of art to another will expose you to a ton of the museum. But nobody can do the entire Louvre in one day so just let it go. I've been there over 30 times and the last time I was there I discovered an entire section I didn't know existed.
Personal favorite - Greek and Roman statues
2. Musée d'Orsay - This is a little less daunting than the Louvre. Once a train station, this beautiful museum is manageable to see in two hours. The plus side? There's a yummy cafe on the second floor.
Personal highlight - Auguste Renoir, Bal du Moulin de la Galette
3. The Musée de l'Orangerie - Located at the edge of the Tulleries, this is a great museum to go to when you have an hour of free time. My favorite room in any museum is here. The Monet water lilies are in large circular rooms with natural lighting. Every time I've seen the water lilies they look different depending on the weather or time of day.
4. Grand Musée du Parfum - For people who love perfume, this is your heaven. Relatively new, this museum was interactive and educational. You will learn a great deal about both the history of perfume and the art of perfume designing.