Louvre, Paris

4.5 out of 5 stars 795 Reviews

99 rue de Rivoli, Paris, France, 75058 +33 1 40 20 50 50
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  • Louvre Museum, Paris, France
    Louvre Museum, Paris, France
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  • The Lady with an Ermine by da Vinci.
    The Lady with an Ermine by da Vinci.
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    Louvre

    by Dabs Updated Jun 8, 2016

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Directions: Closest metro: Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home_flash.jsp?bmLocale=en

    Michelangelo's Slave I.M. Pei's glass pyramid

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  • jpeter's Profile Photo

    A Paradise for art lovers!

    by jpeter Written Jan 27, 2016

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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    "My" Louvre

    by xaver Written Oct 1, 2015

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    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.

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    Phone: +33 1 40 20 50 50

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr

    Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss Louvre Hammurabi Code Venus Nike
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    Louvre

    by adema29 Updated Jul 22, 2015

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    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!

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

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    Le Louvre

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jun 22, 2015

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    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.

    Address: Palais Royal

    Directions: Musee de Louvre: Metro #7, Louvre-Rivoli: Metro #1

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp?bmLocale=en

    Pyramid at the Louvre at night Le Louvre Another view of the pyramid at night. Odelisk Mona Lisa
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  • chattygirl7491's Profile Photo

    Surreal to see such famous art in person

    by chattygirl7491 Updated May 22, 2015

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    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.

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    Richelieu - Paintings of Northern Schools.

    by breughel Updated May 7, 2015

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    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.

    Address: Richelieu wing - Second floor.

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    Louvre - Quentin Metsys Louvre - The two Vermeer, room 38 Louvre - Frans Hals Louvre - Hans Memling Louvre - P.P. Rubens at Medecis gallery, room  18.
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  • WONDERFULLLLL

    by spassky64 Updated Apr 18, 2015

    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

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    The Louvre Pyramid - Pyramide du Louvre.

    by breughel Updated Feb 24, 2015

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    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.

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    Pyramide du Louvre and Cour Napoleon. Cour Carree du Louvre. Queue at Pyramid. Louvre and Cour Napoleon in the 1950s. Louvre and Tuileries around 1860.
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    Van Eyck & Vermeer in wing Richelieu.

    by breughel Updated Feb 24, 2015

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    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).

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre.

    The two Vermeer. The explanatory panel.
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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Tapestries "the Hunts of Maximilian".

    by breughel Updated Feb 24, 2015

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    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.

    Address: Wing Richelieu, 1st floor, room 19

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    Louvre - Tapestries Louvre - Tapestries -December, killing a wild boar Louvre - Tapestries - hunting a stag
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  • Arial_27's Profile Photo

    La Musée du Louvre

    by Arial_27 Updated Feb 21, 2015

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    I would definitely recommend to anyone to visit the Louvre, especially if you're interested in the fine arts, culture and history. The Louvre is very big and easy to get lost in.. but once you figure out the very confusing map they give you' you'll easily be able to find everything. One thing I really liked was how you can enter and exit the museum in an escalator under the large, glass pyramid outside the building. It costs € 11,00 to get in, but it's extra if you want to see the Napoléon Hall. Some of the highlights for me at the Louvre were seeing some of the paintings from the Renaissance, including the Mona Lisa (which is actually only a foot big, but there is always a large crowd of people standing in front of it.) I also liked seeing the paintings from the Neoclassical period (especially 'The Raft of the Medusa' by Gericault.) It's my favourite painting.
    The apartments of Napoléon were facinating, as they were very luxurious, looked similar to the inside of the Chateau de Versailles. You will also find a post office in the museum, along with a money-exchange office, a bookstore and a gift shop.

    The Louvre is open every day except for Tuesdays. I would set aside a couple hours of line-up time if you are going on a weekend, or during a holiday. Afterwards, I'd give yourself a few hours of exploration time inside. If you get hungry, you can leave the museum and re-enter with your ticket without having to queue up again which is good.
    There are plenty of upper-scale shops underground around where the upside down pyramid is (where this photo was taken.) It's a great place to buy nicer souvenirs and gifts for people.
    There is also a luggage check which is free to visitors.

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royale

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr

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    GREEK ANTIQUITIES.

    by breughel Updated Feb 19, 2015

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    The department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities underwent reorganization in order to improve the exhibition spaces. On my visit in August 2009 rooms 7, 14 - 16 on the Sully ground floor were closed.
    The rooms devoted to the classical Greek and Hellenistic art (Sully, rooms 7-17) were completely refurbished, and are again open to the public since July 7, 2010.
    The Venus of Milo stands in room 7 (will be moved to room 16).
    The highlight of the museum, the Winged Victory of Samothrace stands at the staircase linking the Denon and Sully wings (28 on the museum map).

    To these highlights of the Western art was added in 2004 a remarkable acquisition; a life-sized horse's head (photo 1), fragment from an Archaic Greek sculpture dating from the 6th century BC.

    We spent some time admiring the Greek terracotta figurines - arranged chronologically, geographically, and thematically - in rooms 35 - 37 of what is called the Musée Charles X.
    You will find here an amazing combination of a palace décor from 1827 evoking Homer, Pompeii and Herculaneum, executed by the best artists (a.o. Ingres, Vernet, Fragonard) from the reign of Charles X and antiquities collections.
    These rooms have been renovated and are just wonderful by the décor and the content (photo 2).

    The terracotta figures ("Tanagra figurines") date from the Archaic, Pre-Classical Hellenistic and Roman periods. I much liked a small and quite elegant "Victory with wings" from 190 BC (photo 3).

    Here are also on display in new and elegant showcases a large number of Greek vases of all shapes (the Louvre collection counts 2700 vases): amphora, krater, hydria, long shaped lekythos, cups and some interesting rythons with a head of a donkey. Unique is this oenochoe (wine jug) in the form of a head from a black slave (photo 4 - room 43).

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    Le Louvre - Greek-Attic horse Le Louvre - Charles X rooms - Greek antiquities Le Louvre - Le Louvre - Greek rythons.
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    La Joconde - A last visit.

    by breughel Updated Feb 7, 2015

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    Ten years ago I wrote here a somewhat ironic comment about "Mona Lisa in the crowd".
    Last summer I returned to the Louvre and arriving early I could admire at ease the famous painting of Da Vinci.
    Standing on the first line, in the centre, I could contemplate during several minutes this work which is the centre of attraction of the Louvre museum.
    From an academic point there is no doubt for me that this portrait is excellent. The enigmatic- ironic smile of the model certainly contributed to its glory.
    But … if on my first visit in 1962 I felt curiosity "so that's Mona Lisa", I never felt on my many visits that emotion, attraction, complicity which I often felt with other portraits.
    It seems that between La Joconde and me there is no rapport, no feeling.
    This visit was thus my last one, a good-bye visit.

    ====================================

    Il y a dix ans j'ai écrit ici un commentaire quelque peu ironique sur Mona Lisa.
    Je suis encore retourné en été au Louvre et étant arrivé tôt j'ai pu admirer à mon aise le célèbre tableau de Da Vinci. J'ai pu rester en première ligne, au centre, pendant plusieurs minutes pour contempler le plus objectivement possible cet œuvre qui est le pôle d'attraction du musée.
    D'un point de vue académique il est certain qu'il s'agit d'un excellent portrait dont le sourire énigmatique ou ironique a fait la gloire. Cependant en ce qui me concerne je n'ai jamais ressenti face à ce portrait cette émotion, cette attraction, ce sentiment de connivence que j'ai souvent ressenti avec d'autres portraits.
    Entre la Joconde et moi le courant n'est jamais passé. Cette visite est donc un adieu; elle ne m'en voudra pas, je lui ai rendu visite pendant quarante ans.

    Address: Le Louvre, Denon wing, room 6

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    La Joconde.
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    The Louvre, a definite must-see

    by Beausoleil Updated Feb 6, 2015

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    If you go to Paris, there are a few things that are almost obligatory, Notre Dame, the Latin Quarter, the Ave. des Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, the Musée d'Orsay and certainly, the Louvre.

    The others don't take quite as much time as the Louvre, so you need to plan your visit to the Louvre carefully. You could spend weeks inside the museum, never leaving it and constantly seeing something new. It is huge. If you have a particular period of art or a particular artist, it would be a good idea to look them up on the Louvre web site ahead of time, get the excellent map when you buy your ticket and go straight to what you want to see. If you have time left, you can wander . . . nearly forever.

    There are several things in the Louvre that are at the top of many people's list, the Mona Lisa (called La Giaconda in France), the Winged Victory of Samothrace, Venus de Milo and the Apartments of Napoleon. If you want to see only these, the museum map is invaluable. Just locate them, walk to them and you have accomplished your goal.

    If you have more time, enjoy your walk between the exhibits above. If you have other interests, locate them before you start so you can see them on the way to the Big Four. I love the Houdon busts of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin so we always visit those no matter what else we are visiting that day.

    One word of caution . . . If you are a fan of the Impressionists, don't look for them in the Louvre. They are across the river in the Musée d'Orsay. Many people are disappointed to discover this after they've bought their ticket. You can't get a combination ticket (that I know of) for the Louvre and the Orsay, but you can get a combination ticket for the Musée d'Orsay and the Orangerie which is a bargain since they are smaller and can be visited in one day.

    If this is your first visit to the Louvre or you don't know a lot about art, you might enjoy the audio guide that is available. It's very popular. There are also guided tours by museum-approved tour guides that are brief (hour and a half) but informative and help you get oriented. Then you can wander at will. I've never liked audio guides so the hour and a half guided tour seems excellent to me. Afterwards, the museum is yours for the day.

    Guided Tours of the Louvre

    The museum is closed on Tuesdays so factor that into your travel plans. The hours and costs are at the official Louvre web site listed below. From October to March the first Sunday of the month is free admission. We've done that and it was fine but expect huge crowds. You will stand in line for hours if you go to the main entrance so don't. Go to one of the other entrances listed on the museum map. Our favorite is the Lion's Gate but if you enter at either the Carrousel de la Louvre or Metro Entrances, the lines will be much shorter so try those.

    Address: central Paris on the Seine

    Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre

    Phone: +33 (0)1 4020-5317

    Website: http://www.louvre.fr/en/hours-admission

    The Louvre from the Arc du Carrousel The Pei Pyramid in the Courtyard Venus de Milo The Lion's Gate Entrance to the Louvre Underneath the Pei Pyramid inside the Louvre
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Comments (1)

  • Jan 12, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    Breughel's review describing her first visit to The Louvre in 1962 brought back memories of MY first visit to the city and the museum that same year. It was Easter weekend and there were no queues and just a few people (maybe 10) clustered around The Mona Lisa. A totally different experience from today's museum visitors.