Did you know the Louvre provides many options for visitors who need accessibility help.
For the Visually Impaired, they offer in English and French audio descriptions that will guide hands over many of the sculptures. They also have what they call Tactile Tours, or Sound and Touch tours, where you can discover the museum's major works in two thematic tours: the female nude in French painting and paintings that tell stories.
For deaf or hearing-impaired visitors, they offer guided tours given in French sign language.
For wheelchair access, there are a few step-free entrances but the easiest one is at the pyramid in the main courtyard. If you are in a wheelchair, let a staff member see you and they will bring you to the front of the line. The majority of the galleries are wheelchair accessible. They also offer a 2.5 hour accessible Louvre tour which uses elevators and an accessible tour route so you can visit all the highlights of the Louvre.
Last visit May 2016
Although my favorite art museum in Paris (and perhaps the world) is the Musee d'Orsay, a visit to the Louvre, even for a short bit, is a must see in Paris. The Louvre is a very, very large place and it is quite useful to sit down with the map and figure out where you are going. The massive building now housing the art collection was a palace from the time of Francois I, it ceased being a palace during the French Revolution. Napoleon took it back from the people and restored it to being a palace, he married his 2nd wife Marie-Louise here. Be sure to find David's Coronation of Napoleon should you have an interest in French history as well as Napoleon III's apartments.
If your time is short or you have an uninterested non art lover with you, you can make a quick visit to see the must see's, DaVinci's Mona Lisa (good luck getting near to it if it's busy), Venus de Milo, Winged Victory and Michelangelo's Slaves. If your interests are more varied, you'll find Egyptian, Greek, Oriental, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, Italian renaissance paintings, European and French paintings. If impressionist art is your passion, that collection is at the Orsay. If you have several days in Paris and you have a Museum Pass, you might consider making several smaller visits to avoid museum overload.
The Louvre is included on the museum pass, the pass says that there is a special entrance in the Richlieu passageway for card holders, however, the last two times that I've visited, there has been a separate line for pass holders that cuts the queue going through I.M. Pei's glass pyramid. Both times was on a late night, from the website it looks like the Passage Richelieu entrance is only open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Check the website below for current information on opening times, etc. Currently the Louvre is open late on Wednesday and Friday until 9:45pm, closed on Tuesday and free on the 1st Sunday of the month and July 14th (Bastille Day). I was pleasantly surprised to read that on Friday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., admission to the permanent collections is free for under-26s regardless of nationality, usually it is free for under 18 unless you are a resident of the EU which is under 26.
If you like painting and art, plan a lot of time for the visit to Louvre. In fact you can easily spend there a day or two, the collection is very rich and absolutely amazing. Besides famous Mona Lisa which always gathers a crowd, you can find there Venus of Milo and Nike Samothrace and the masterpieces of Leonardo, Bottichelli, Durer, Raphael and many others.
Western art from the middle ages to 1848 and ancient civilisations such as Oriental, Greeks, Egyptians, Etruscan and Roman antiquities. Arts of Islam, Africa, Oceania and north and south America. This is the itinerary I followed inside Louvre and my visit was 3 hours long. The lines are long, I went there at 8.30, half hour before the opening and there were already people in line. With museum pass or ticket bought in advance you skip the ticket line but still you have to pass security check so it can take a lot of time anyway. You could enter from the underground where the lines are shorter but you will not save so much time.
Once you are in the main room you find three wings: Denon, Sully and Richelieu.
I started from Richelieu wing where you find the great french sculptures, then I followed for the antiquities of Mesopotamia where I found the Hammurabi code, one of the main reasons of my visit, the other one was the Canova sculpture Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss. Once I finished with the Mesopotamia, I went back in Sully direction, went one level down and started the Egyptian rooms.
As I already visited Cairo museum, I did not spend long time here. After the Egyptians room you find the Greeks and Romans statues. The statues that most caught my attention here were Nike of Samotracia and ofcourse the Venus of Milo. I went on with sculpture in the Denon wing: there are a lot of Michelangelo statues but here you find the Canova one that, for me, was the real treasure of the museum. One floor up, still in the Denon wing and you are in the paintings galleries where the main two rooms are dedicated one to french artists and one to italian ones where you find the crowded Monalisa.
I visited these two rooms and then stopped with the hope of going back and explore for more next time.
I have spent half day in Louvre, getting only a vague idea about all the treasures they accommodate in the biigest Museum on the planet.
It was much easier that I expected to get the ticket, the only challenge was to find a logic itinerary.
What else I can say about it? Nothing that…. Go there!
Le Louvre should be on everyone's list of places to see while in Paris and I am sure that it probably is. Here you will find the famous Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace, Venus di Milo and Michealangelo's "Dying Slave" to name a few.
I love visiting the Louvre and wandering its many wings. Because the museum is huge my word of advise, if you are limited in time or are overwhelmed by the size, just pick a wing with your interests and go explore. Its the best way to concentrate on just one era or exhibit without getting the overwhelming feeling you can get when you are faced with way too much.
Check out my travelogue for a few pics from Le Louvre.
Our Bredon tour guided found local people to show us the highlights and make in interesting. I'd love to go back some day but it was a must if your in Paris. With that said I truly have never understood the allure of the Mona Lisa but seeing it in person it was even .. less so. It was much smaller and darker than I'd imagined ... our Brendon rep told us we could take pics there as long as we didn't use a flash .. the Louvre staff did not agree ... so my only picture is blurry.
We could have explored more there but we only had a few days in Paris and so much more to experience .. Paris is amazing.
As soon as you reach the Second Floor of Wing Richelieu by the main escalator you will see the large Gallery Medicis with 24 large paintings (1622-1625) by Rubens (photo 5).
These paintings ordered by Queen Marie de Medicis glorify this famous Queen of France (wife of Henri IV and mother of Louis XIII).
From here you may visit about 40 smaller rooms with a large collection of Flemish, Dutch and German paintings from the 15th to the 17th century.
The highlights of this collection are from the Flemish School (Flemish Primitives):
Jan Van Eyck "La vierge du Chevalier Rolin" (1434), Rogier van der Weyden "L'Annonciation" (1435). Room 5 shows six paintings of Hans Memling (photo 4) what makes of Le Louvre the second museum outside the town of Brugge to have so many Memling's. From the 16th c. is shown the famous painting "Prêteur et sa femme" (1514) from Quentin Metsys (photo 1) and a small Pieter Bruegel "Les mendiants" (1568).
The Dutch School is very well represented by two Vermeer's "La Dentellière" and "l'Astronome" in room 38 (photo 2). I was pleased to see that tourists, mainly from Asia, have now discovered the existence of these two Vermeer's at the Louvre; on my previous visits I was nearly alone in that section, no more now. Nearly all famous Dutch painters of the 17th c. are on display here: Rembrandt with "Bethsabée au bain" (1654), Frans Hals with the excellent "la Bohémienne" (1666) (photo 3), Pieter de Hooch, Van Ruysdael, Wouverman and many others shown in small cabinets.
The German school is present with great names such as Dürer, Cranach and Holbein with a famous portrait of "Erasmus" (1523).
Even the tourist on a 1 day visit of Le Louvre should not omit to spend some time on this 2nd Floor of Richelieu Wing.
Bonjour everybody, Louvre is something you cannot discuss, as Prado, Uffizi and National Gallery, but I can olny recommend to visit is completely alone and, please, without children crying. Thank you and regards
I have seen Le Louvre for the first time in the early sixties (*) well before the pyramid which dates from 1989 but also well before the huge renovation works outside and inside undergone by the Palais du Louvre.
A photo from the 1950s shows that there was a garden where now stands the Pyramid. That's how it looked at my first visit; cars could park along that garden. The entrance was in the left building because the part of the Louvre seen from the roof on the right was the Ministry of Finances till 1989. Presently it is the Richelieu wing .
I found an engraving from the time of Emperor Napoleon III (1860s) showing in perspective how the Palais du Louvre and the Palais des Tuileries (no more existing see my Palais des Tuileries) were joined.
Since 1793 part of the palace was already a museum.
I have been asked if I like the Pyramid or not.
For me the Pyramid is only a small part of the titanesque project called Grand Louvre which officially started in 1983 and aimed at transforming all the Palais du Louvre and the Tuileries in a grandiose museum increasing its surface from 57000 to 161000 m2.
My favorite is this huge renovation work of the Palais du Louvre of which the Pyramid from Ming Pei was the only controversial part. For me it is a detail compared to what is on display inside the museum.
Presently I'm used to it standing in the main courtyard (photo 1) called Cour Napoléon. If I want to see what it looked before I go and look at the Cour Carrée (photo 2) in the back.
The problem with the Pyramid, now twenty years old, is that it can not handle the enormous number of visitors. It was conceived for 4 millions visitors/year and there were 9.3 million in 2013.
That’s why I recommend the other entries in my tip " Avoiding The Queues" or "Buy your ticket in advance."
There is now a projet aiming, after modifications, to increase the capacity at 10 million visitors.
(*) Can you imagine that on my first visit in 1961 we were only 4 visitors in front of "La Joconde"!
NB. I have a problem with Le Louvre. There is so much to see in the eight departments, all of utmost importance for art and history, that the dilemma is the following: should I write one sole tip about Le Louvre; if yes I could review it all by "Wow, this is great!" and load up photos.
I apologize but I'm unable to follow that trend.
But nobody is obliged to read my tips.
Van Eyck & Vermeer.
Two of the best painters of their time can be admired on level 2 from the Richelieu wing (room 38), which is far away from La Joconde in the opposite wing Denon with its crowds.
Everybody knows Vermeer from the Dutch 17th c. "Gouden Eeuw" (Golden Age) school. The Louvre has "La Dentellière - The Lace maker" and the "Astronomer".
"The Astronomer" and "The Geographer" (Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt) are the only paintings by Vermeer showing a male person, probably the same man in the same interior.
On my first visits here in the 1990s there were nearly no visitors in this section of the Richelieu wing. Now there are some but no crowd like in front of the Vermeer in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. See Rijksmuseum Gouden Eeuw and Rijksmuseum.
But let go back by two centuries to the years 1400 with what we call in Belgium the "Flemish Primitives" with a future icon of Le Louvre: "La Vierge du Chancelier Rolin" by Jan van Eyck in 1435 (room 5).
I say a future icon of Le Louvre because this painting is now already marked as one of the highlights on the museum map; guides with school groups make a long stop here and the French TV showed a 20 minutes document about all aspects - symbolism, techniques, perspective - of this highlight of the Flemish primitives. Van Eyck was one of the first artists to use oil paint.
Nicolas Rolin (1376?–1462), who was chancellor to Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, is kneeling before the Virgin and Child. The Virgin is seated on a marble throne wearing a full, embroidered cloak adorned with precious stones.
Here I must say that the red color of her cloak seemed somewhat dull and brownish as compared to photos on the website of Le Louvre, who show a brilliant red which is not what one sees on the wall of the museum. I fear that the glass protecting the painting is the reason of these dull colors (the same happens with La Joconde looking greenish). In a second photo I saturated somewhat the red color.
The idealized landscape in the back is imaginary, full of architectural symbols.
Despite numerous attempts, it is impossible to identify the cities on both sides of the river with towns in Flanders. These are symbolic images of the earthly and the heavenly Jerusalem, traditionally placed on the left and right, separated by the river of life.
I observed that the texts on the explanatory panels for all the works of art in wing Richelieu have been extended and are well documented. (They are only in French but visitors can use audio guides and I don't remember having seen explanations in another language than English in the museums of the UK).
If you would like to know more about this highlight of Le Louvre go the website http://musee.louvre.fr/oal/viergerolin/indexFR.html (in French).
When you are in the Richelieu wing on the first floor which shows the decorative arts from the Middle Ages to the 19th c. you must visit the large room 19 of the Renaissance section.
Here are hanging 12 of the most beautiful tapestries in the world called the "Hunts of Maximilian". Archduke Maximilian of Habsbourg, later emperor of Austria was the brother of Emperor Charles V (Charles Quint born in Gent, Belgium) who in that time had his palace in Brussels. He liked to go hunting in the forest of Soignes (still existing) just outside Brussels. The 12 large (about 5 x 7 m) tapestries show scenes of hunting at the 12 months of the year.
The picturesque, realistic and detailed landscapes show, in the back ground, the still existing abbey of Rouge Cloître, the village of La Hulpe and the town hall of Brussels.
The inspiration is from the Italian renaissance, the technical mastery is that of the painter and cartoon designer Bernard van Orley and the weavers from Brussels (ref. my tip on Brussels tapestries at the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Cinquantenaire, Brussels).
They were manufactured between 1531 and 1533 probably by Guillaume Dermoyen.
The "lissiers" tapestry weavers used two type of weaving loom: the horizontal loom called "basse lisse" and the vertical one "haute lisse". In both case the weavers worked on the back side. It has been calculated that one "lissier" would weave about 1 square meter in one month!
Although ordered by the Habsbourg, in the 16th c. they belonged to the French Ducs de Guise, then Mazarin and King Louis XIV. These tapestries contain gold wire but fortunately escaped the destructions of the French revolutionaries.
The French Manufacture des Gobelins made a number of copies of the original tapestries around 1700.
These 12 marvellous tapestries are very well presented in the large room 19.
It is sad that so few visitors of the museum stop here to really look at them.