I was lucky enough to be raised with a great appreciation for art. I grew up in a home full of books, music and paint supplies, which means that a visit to The Louvre was a rather serious affair for me. Which is probably why I am discussing it first in this series of posts on Paris.
The first time my husband and I went to Paris we were only there for two days. I knew that I didn’t want to rush through the Louvre just to say that I saw Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. My husband and I vowed that we would one day return to Paris for a longer period, and that we would visit The Louvre when we returned. Six months later we were back for a week, and we were able to spend a whole day at the Louvre!
Here are some of my tips for your Louvre visit:
Choose your day. A whole day:
Don’t do what we did, and pitch up on a Tuesday. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. What does work well is looking for a day that has bad weather. We trust Meteorologene for our weather forecast needs. Also know that even when you spend the whole day in the Louvre you won’t be able to see everything. There is simply too much. Hence, my next tip.
Go in to The Louvre with a plan:
To reiterate, The Louvre is enormous. So pick up a map when you buy your tickets and mark the exhibitions that you definitely want to see. Prioritising what you want to see is important so that you aren’t disappointed if you run out of time. Or discover something you really want to see just before closing time. You will also be able to see all the exhibitions in-between moving from exhibit to exhibit. Plan the route that you want to take so that you are somewhere close a café or the food court for lunch, and then carry on from there. Otherwise you might wander a while before you can feed yourself.
There is something for everyone with the broad array of art, sculpture, ceramics and artefacts. I have to admit that seeing the ‘apartments’ of Marie Antoinette and Napoleon were some of my favourite exhibitions.
Get shoes for walking:
You want to see as much as you can while you are there, so you will be walking and standing a lot. Admiring the art, the walls, the ceilings, the floors – so make sure that you go in comfy shoes. I wore ugg-like boots on our trip. They aren’t exactly fashion forward, but my feet were warm and I was able to spend the whole day standing.
There are lockers. FREE lockers:
There are super cool awesome amazing free glass lockers in The Louvre. They are to the left of the entrance, and to the right of the food courts by the information desk. You can leave your jackets, bags and umbrellas there while you roam around The Louvre. As you set your own code for the locker, your things are completely safe. Just remember your code. And once more, they are free!
Take a camera:
You can photograph almost all of the pieces on exhibition. And they ceilings and architecture are all so stunning, that you will want to photograph that too. Just don’t lean back and touch a wall or a curtain while taking a picture. The security guards are quite crabby about that. Actually, they are very crabby about that.
When you are visiting The Louvre you want to drink in the art and the ambiance. Not chug it. So if you are only spending a few days in Paris, I don’t recommend it. But if you are there for a week, spend the day with the canvases and sculptures. It is definitely an experience that I cherish dearly and I loved walking through the halls, discussing art and my thoughts on Paris with my husband surrounded by so much history and beauty.