Overcoming French Jet Lag

Monet's Nymphéas murals

I arrived in Paris at 6:00 in the morning after a restless, overnight flight from Washington DC with the knowledge that it was still too early to check-in to my hotel room. Weary and fatigued, I left my baggage with the concierge and headed to the Musée de l’Orangerie to peacefully ease my way into the day among Monet’s giant water lilies.

This small museum is an urban oasis located in the Tuileries Gardens across from the Louvre. Its two oval-shaped rooms display panoramic views of Monet’s serene Les Nymphéas mural series, Impressionist explorations of light and color from his garden at Giverny that took the artist nearly four years to complete. The elliptical viewing rooms were specially built to fit the eight monumental panels into the walls. The paintings are displayed under a glass roof, naturally bathing the room in soft light.

If you have a couple hours to kill, l’Orangerie is just large enough to admire the rest of its 19th and 20th century art collection with noteworthy works by Cézanne, Matisse, Modigliani, and Picasso.

“This room would offer a refuge for peaceful meditation in the midst of a flowering aquarium.” –Claude Monet

Impressionist paintings from the John Walter and Paul Guillaume Collection

Paintings from the John Walter and Paul Guillaume Collection (photos by Lara Dalinsky)

The best time to visit is at opening on weekday mornings. Not only will you avoid noisy school groups, but it’s a great time of day to admire the nuances of Monet’s abstract paintings change under natural light.

Musée de l’Orangerie, Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris, France, www.musee-orangerie.fr
Open 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, closed on Tuesdays
Free admission on the first Sunday of each month
Explore our one-week itinerary to Paris for more sightseeing ideas »

Lara Dalinsky
Lara Dalinsky

Lara was instilled with the travel bug at an early age and has visited over 25 countries. Her mother’s job as a flight attendant enabled a childhood of seeing the world. In addition to being the founding editor of En Route Traveler, Lara also works as the Art Director for the branding firm, Belmont Inc., in Alexandria, VA. In her spare time, she instructs high-energy Zumba dance classes, contributes as a Local Expert to AFAR, enjoys vegetarian cuisine, dabbles in photography and, of course, travels as much as possible.

Where do you go to seek refuge in the city? Share you recommendations in the reply section below.


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