Always dreamed of visiting the Louvre? Of course you have, it’s the biggest museum in the world—filled with art and historic relics. Come with me now on a virtual tour of just a few of Musée du Louvre’s 72,000 square metres.
As you can see, we picked a good time to visit: there was no queue! 😱 One bonus of being in Paris out of season is that the city is much quieter. It turns out Friday evenings are a particularly good time to go to the Louvre—especially if you’re under 26, when admission after 6pm is free.
Here’s my first tip: whenever you’re visiting the Louvre, I’d absolutely recommend booking tickets in advance. Just in case.
It’s said that to see the Louvre’s entire collection would take 6 weeks, if you spent a minute looking at each article. Obviously even if you’re going at a faster rate you aren’t going to see all 35,000 objects in one visit. So my next recommendation is to decide on the things you absolutely have to see and come up with a plan of action for checking them all off your list.
My next piece of advice is to wear comfortable shoes. With 300 rooms to explore you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. Now let’s go inside!
The museum is made up of two former royal palaces: the Louvre and the Tuileries (after which the gardens outside are named).
Underneath the Louvre, in the museum’s Sully wing, a medieval fort was uncovered in the 1980s during a restoration project. You can now walk through what was the moat.
Our must-sees were the Mona Lisa, of course, and the Venus de Milo. But one of the sections I found most interesting was the Department of Egyptian Antiquities. Located outside of those rooms, the Musée also displays the Great Sphinx of Tanis and a selection of mummies.
While fascinating, I’m not sure how I feel about the Louvre being home to so many ancient Egyptian artefacts that were likely taken out of the country illegally, as was the way when all these treasures were being uncovered—I’m not saying this is an issue exclusive to the Louvre or to France, plenty of museums across the world house this type of collection. And it always makes me uncomfortable. Moving on!
A department I didn’t see on my previous visit to the Louvre, in 2012 (I think), is From Louis XIV to Louis XVI: The Art of French Living. These galleries contain antique furniture and other homewares like tapestries and ceramics, all set up like a grand home.
The contents of this faux apartment are similar to that found in the Palace of Versailles, on a much smaller scale. If you don’t have time to visit the Château this new-ish section of the museum is a nice way to get a feel for how (fancy) French people used to live.
To be honest, the scale of the Louvre’s collection was too much for me. The Musée is undoubtedly full of amazing treasures but there are only so many paintings and statues this gal can look at before she gets a bit overwhelmed—and bored.
On this trip to Paris we also paid a visit to the Musée de l’Orangerie and to be honest I did prefer it over the Louvre. It’s a nicer size and contains Monet’s Water Lilies, which might’ve become my new favourite piece of art. After seeing the paintings in person I’ve developed a whole new appreciation.
I hope you enjoyed visiting the Louvre with me! I didn’t want to give too much away as it really is a must-do if you ever find yourself in Paris. Make sure you see it for yourself at least once in your life!
Check out the rest of my Paris posts for tips on what to see and eat in the City of Light.