The Louvre is the largest museum in the world. With 35,000 objects and over 60,000 square meters of space, you better bring your walking shoes to explore it. And with more than 9 million visitors each year, you need to plan ahead for your visit. And visit, you should, not only to see the Mona Lisa…
The Louvre is one of the few museums that’s worth visiting, even if you have no plans to enter it! It’s housed in the Louvre palace, which is a sight all on its own. Sitting on the right bank of the Seine, opening to the Tuileries gardens, it is an impressive sight – just the way it was planned to impress by the French kings going all the way back to the 12th century. Except for the glass pyramid, which was added in 1989, to much controversy. Whether you like it or not, it sure adds some contrast and an opportunity for interesting photos to the palace.
If you do decide to enter the museum, it does offer some stunning exhibits. With so many objects on display over such a large area, I’d recommend to focus on one or two exhibits – and just come back again for another visit. My two favorite exhibits are paintings and Greek, Etruscan and Roman sculptures. Yes, you should see the Mona Lisa – it is a master piece and everybody will ask you, if you did see it – so, go! But don’t be like many tourists rushing through on a group tour and miss some of the equally impressive pieces of the Italian masters! I sometimes have to chuckle when I see walking right be works of Michelangelo or Raphael, who deserve as much admiration! I also love the Greek and Roman sculptures – every time I see the works in white marble, I have to remind myself that they are 2,000 years old! If that’s not old enough for you, you can head to the Egyptian Antiquities – another exhibition that would justify a visit on its own.
If you are ready to go, plan ahead: The museum is open everyday, except Tuesdays, during day time. On Wednesday and Friday it’s open late, till 9:45pm. Full tickets are 16EUR, 12EUR for the permanent collection. Teachers, children under 18 and EEC visitors under 25 as well as the unemployed and disabled are free. Everybody can go for free on Sundays during winter (Oct-Mar). The lines at the Louvre can be very, very long, so your best bet is to buy advance tickets online here. The Louvre is easily reached by Metro, bus or taxi and you can walk to other sights from here! There are multiple cafes and restaurants, as well as the inevitable book and souvenir stores, so you are well covered on each count! You can find more details on the collection, times and tickets here to help you plan your visit, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!