Paris is host to over a hundred museums and monuments. It may be viewed as impractical to cover even just a quarter of it in one week, unless you are willing to subject yourself to sensory overload. =)
Paris offers a museum pass, which is available for sale in major METRO stations and museum entrances. I bought a two-day pass for 39E. A pass entitles the holder to a less-to-hassle-free entrance; shorter or no queue at all at dedicated entrances. It also comes with a couple of freebies, and it sometimes goes on sale, too – thus, bigger discounts. To know more about Paris pass and museum pass, please follow this link: http://parispass.com/how-it-works/paris-museum-pass.html
I made a plan to cover only 4 museums: Day 1 – Musee D’Orsay for Impressionism, and Centre Georges Pompidou for Modern Art; Day 2 – Chateau De Versailles for history; and that weekend, which I tagged as Day 3, ticket at 10E – Musee D’Louvre for the Italian-Catholic paintings, plus Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.
My main objective, as stated in my Schengen cover letter, was to learn more about the development of Impressionism, and the best classical and neo-classical impressionists. This prompted me to spend over half-a-day at Musee D’Orsay, and I could not be more satisfied with the learning.
Day 1 – Museum #1 : Musee D’Orsay
It is a former rail station in the left bank of the Seine River, also utilized as a post office during World War II. It was inaugurated to a museum in December 1986. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces by celebrated artists – the likes of Claude Monet, Edoardo Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Vincent Van Gogh (my favorite).
Getting there: METRO 12 Solferino / RER C Musee D’Orsay / Bus #24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, 94 / Hop On Hop Off Bus / Hop On Hop Off BATOBUS (Seine River).
The museum galleries have ample space to accomodate hundreds of people. Cameras and camcorders are not allowed in exhibition halls; though it is not unusual to see some people just sitting on the floor, trying to come up with their rendition of masterpieces. If you are not able to bring a sketchpad and pen, you can easily buy these materials from the museum shop. The museum also has a bookstore near the entrance/exit hall. I bought my second book about Van Gogh for 10E, in anticipation for my visit to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Next stop: Centre Georges Pompidou