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What to Expect When Exploring the Louvre

exploring the louvre

Ah, the Louvre, the stunning architectural and artistic wonder of fine Pah-rhee. It is as stunning on the outside as the treasures displayed indoors. It’s no wonder that the Louvre is on everyone’s must-see list when they visit Paris—if it’s not on yours, it certainly should be! 

Before you visit this grand sensation, you need the insider scoop on everything to expect so you can not simply visit the Louvre, but rather explore it the right way. You may be a tourist on your trip to France, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wander Paris’s national treasure like the Parisians do. To ace your visit to the Louvre like a local, you first need to know all the details of what you can expect when you get there, as well as what you should avoid.

exploring the louvre 2

The History

The Louvre has been impressing visitors since its grand opening in 1793 due to the famous artwork hung within, its gorgeous location on the River Seine, and its majestic building reminiscent of royalty. If it reminds you of a palace, there’s a reason for this—it was lived in by multiple generations of the King of France before Verseille became the new favored location. Now an estimated 9.6 million people flock to the Louvre’s majestic facade yearly, making it one of the world’s most visited museums.

How to Make Visiting the Louvre a Day Trip

When you get to the Louvre, you’ll see just how much there is to look at. You’re most certainly going to want to spend the whole day exploring (and even then you won’t see it all), which means you need to prepare ahead of time. Dress comfortably in layers and wear walking shoes. The Louvre is climate controlled inside, but you may also want to wander through the Jardin des Tuileries, a public garden located nearby, which could vary in temperature. 

One more very important thing to prepare for your day: make sure you aren’t lugging suitcases and bags around with you. Not only does this prevent you from exploring the Louvre in style, but it’s also cumbersome and will probably taint your experience. Let your day be free from worry by booking luggage storage in Louvre ahead of your visit. 

Famous Art You Can’t Miss

There are good reasons why the Louvre is one of the most famous and prized museums in the world, and they have to do with the treasures it contains. The Louvre houses artworks you’ve probably dreamed of one day seeing. Here are a few masterpieces you should be sure not to miss:

The Mona Lisa

Leonardo DaVinci’s captivating woman is one of the most widely recognized paintings in existence. It has become somewhat synonymous with the Louvre and vice versa, as it’s one of the pieces visitors eagerly anticipate seeing. It was painted in 1503 and acquired by the Louvre in 1804.

The Venus de Milo

You might not recognize the name, but you’ll certainly recognize this statue. This over-six-feet-tall ancient Greek goddess sculpted from marble no longer contains her arms, but that doesn’t prevent her from being an iconic portrayal of beauty. She was created by Alexandros of Antioch sometime between 150 and 125 BC and acquired by the Louvre in 1821.

Liberty Leading the People

This oil painting memorializes Paris’s July Revolution of 1830 by depicting Lady Liberty leading her people. It was painted by Eugène Delacroix the same year, in 1830, and acquired by the Louvre in 1874.

How to Enter

The Louvre’s popularity makes it crowded most every day of the year, but here’s a tip for how to avoid the large entrance crowd: the Louvre’s pyramid is eye-catching and draws the most people to its entrance, but it’s not the only way to enter the museum. The Carrousel du Louvre entrance is also generally busy. Try instead one of the lesser known entrances—the entrance on the Rue de Richelieu, or the Portes de Lions entrance by the lion statues.

Note that Covid-19 policies may change which entrances are open, so make sure you check right before your visit.

The Visitation Hours 

The Louvre is open most days of the year save for a few holidays. Visiting hours are from 9:00am-6:00pm CET Wednesdays to Mondays (closed on Tuesdays). Make sure you plan your trip around its closed day.

The Entrance Fee

Standard entrance tickets are fifteen euros on location and seventeen euros online, but due to the long lineups at the entrances, it’s better to buy your tickets in advance and pay a little more. Certain individuals are eligible for discounts, so be sure to look into whether you qualify for a cheaper rate before purchasing. 

Private tours, while more costly than standard ticket rates, are highly reviewed for the comprehensive knowledge they provide and the personalized tour options. You can see and learn more by going with a guided tour, so consider whether this might be a good option for you.

Now You’re Ready for Your Trip!

We know you’ll have a wonderful time exploring the Louvre—how could you not? Its corridors contain historical wonders that still carry their significance and beauty today, and if you get finished early, you can marvel at the Louvre’s inspiring architecture and gorgeous nearby Tuileries Gardens.

 

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