Paris: Musée de l’Orangerie For Monet’s Water Lilies And How To Skip The Line

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The Musee de l”Orangerie has housed Claude Monet’s famous Water Lilies paintings and we weren’t about to miss a visit here on our first trip to the City of Lights.

On our first visit to Paris one of the best things we’d spend money on was the  Paris Museum Pass. The pass, while pass isn’t inexpensive, it will save you a ton of time visiting the packed museums by sending you to the front of the line. The Paris Museum Pass can be bought online here or just as easily arranged through your hotel concierge. For our visit, we simply added it to our request to the concierge. The passes can be bought for consecutive days including 2, 4 and 6 days. We requested 2 passes for 4 of our 5 days during our first visit to the city. Upon arrival at the hotel, the concierge handed us an envelope with our tickets and confirming our dinner reservations for the week.

We visited Musée de l’Orangerie in the afternoon and the walk over to the entrance which is near the Place de la Concorde.



The line wrapped around the side of the building. We were dreading this moment, but headed straight for the front of the line, flashed our Museum passes and were escorted directly through the glass doors. We were inside in a matter of moments. The cost of the passes were well worth it just for this visit alone.


We took our time near the water lilies, otherwise known as Nymphéas. They are a series of 250 oil paintings.







Bottom Line

The Musée de l’Orangerie was briefly closed from 1999 through 2006 for renovations, but has since been open to the public. If you are like me and want to see the water lilies on your first visit to Paris, but would rather sip wine at a cafe than stand in a line, consider the Paris Museum Pass to skip to the front of the line and avoid the wait.

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Great pics – they take me back to my visit when it first opened up again. Lines were not that bad, but I do remember bad line other places. Will definitely look into that pass next time.

  2. SO and I were hugely disappointed at the exhibit. The feature painting is boringly repetitive because it is really a massive wall covering. We also had the Paris Pass but the L’Orangerie was easily the worst museum we saw and we quickly left. Far and away best value is being able to cut the massive line at the Louvre by going thru the side entrance. Close second was cutting line at the Orsay. Well worth every penny just to cut those two lines.

    I suggest a day trip to go see the gardens at Monet’s home in Giverny. You can take a bike tour (don’t bother with a tour guide/company like we used as most of the day was wasted waiting on stragglers and herding us like small children). Take the train to Giverny and there’s a bike rental shop (in a small grocery if I recall) behind the station. Buy some food in the local farmers market and have a picnic near the river and then take the bike trail out to the home (about a 15 min leisurely ride on the old train route). Probably the highlight of out trip (with all due respect to the wonders of Paris and Versailles).

  3. It’s amazing how museums affect people in so many different ways. Went to the L’Orangerie in July for the first time and was literally in tears when I walked in the first room. We got there early so it wasn’t crowded yet and the people there were very quiet. I can’t imagine a better space to showcase these paintings. These pictures don’t do it justice (am surprised you even got them because the museum guards were really on top of people trying to snap photos). The museum pass is definitely worth every penny though! So worth it to be able to skip the lines. The only place we had trouble doing that was at Sainte Chapelle, where an independent tour guide stood at the security entrance and kept telling people to get to the end of the line because “she was a guide and her people had to wait in this line too”. It was bizarre. We ended up seeing her in Versailles a few days later trying to pull a similar stunt with people there as well!

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