I loved going to the Louvre, but the sheer size of the place was overwhelming. Maybe that is why I didnt enjoy it as much as the Orsay. The one thing I did like about the Louvre was that you could take pictures without the flash, hence my Mona Lisa. Perhaps if I had taken parts of the Louvre and seen it a different times, but I just found it to be crowded and loud.
The Musee d'Orsay on the other hand is much more manageable. It covers a relatively short time period (1848-1914) and it is quiet. There are guards roaming around to keep things in line and to shush you if you are getting too loud. When I was there, there were school children quietly sitting on the floor sketching a Van Gogh. I really felt like I was in Paris and spent the time I was at the Orsay pinching myself.
I guess I am biased because I love the impressionist paintings. Monet and Renoir! I could have spent all day in the Monet room and at least an hour staring at Renoir's Bal du Moulin de la Galette.
You can easily see everything at the Orsay in a day taking your time. I did it in much less than that and I was very satisfied.
Of course seeing Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo is a must see when you visit Paris, and I was very glad I did. I just got much more out of the Orsay.
I am looking forward to a return trip when I can visit some more of the beautiful museums Paris has to offer.
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