The exhibition - almost 100 works loaned from Frankfurt's Stadel Museum - features works by household names such as Renoir, Rousseau, Degas, Picasso and Monet.
On the whole, the works are mostly by German and French painters. It includes landscapes in the Realist and Impressionist traditions, sculpture, exquisite portraits and Surrealist works. Themes covered range from the domestic, to biblical and social commentary.
The Council's Economic Portfolio Leader, Councillor Jo Coughlan, says it's well worth taking a few hours out of your day to check it out.
"Through rates, Wellingtonians have contributed to making this exhibition happen, so it's great to be able to give something back to our residents," says Cr Coughlan. "This kind of initiative helps our economy, too as Wellingtonians become ambassadors for our attractions.
"Major events and exhibitions such as this are a key factor in maintaining Wellington's position as New Zealanders' favourite destination and ensuring our visitors have an experience fitting of the 'coolest little capital in the world'."
Cr Coughlan says the free day for Wellington residents will be really busy and people should expect to queue.
"A certain amount of people will be let in to the space at any given time to avoid overcrowding. Thursday is also Te Papa's late night, so everyone has a chance to get to the exhibition," she says.
To gain free entry, Wellington City residents need to present proof of their residential or ratepayer's status, such as a bill or rates invoice showing their residential address. This offer does not apply to Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua or Kapiti residents.
Te Papa is open from 10.00am until 9.00pm on Thursdays. Last entry is at 8.30pm.
The exhibition is at Te Papa until Sunday 27 February. The usual admission charge is $22.50 for an adult.