In one of the biggest museums, Louvre Museum, you can encounter various artworks and objects of European arts from the medieval to the 19th century. Its glass pyramid is one of the most popular photogenic spots, and the museum is always a must-visit spot of tourists from all over the world. In order to look around this huge museum, people often say that “we need at least 5 days to see all the artworks”. However, since the schedule can be very tight in Paris, we will introduce you how to enjoy the Louvre without regret in 2 hours!
Before visiting the Louvre, we recommend you to make preparation. First, to check which artworks are in which room, and decide which artworks you will see, download a free application such as Louvre Guided Tour:Tourblink in English, or each language has their original free applications. Second, the most important thing, book a ticket or prepare a Paris Museum Pass to avoid the enormously long queue. To avoid the affluence, it’s better to visit on Wednesday morning or during the night opening hours every Wednesday and Friday. Third, check the fastest entrance gate, the way from Carrousel, a shopping mall connected to the Louvre from the metro Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre station, or a secret entrance to the Carrousel just next to the small arch in front of the place of the pyramid.
After the security check, you will arrive at the hall just under the glass pyramid in the center of the Louvre. There are ticket office, audioguide office, café, restaurant, free locker room, information desk, and 3 entrances to each wing. Here, you definitely need to do 2 things to avoid getting lost and tired. Take a map of the museum from the information desk. Just in case when you would be lost, it helps you to find the room number and the floors you want to go. And put your belongings in the free locker. However, you need to show the ticket again at 3 gates to each wing, Denon, Sully, and Richelieu, when you go in one of them. So be careful not to put the ticket in the locker.
As mentioned, the Louvre is really huge, so you will surely be exhausted at the end of discovering. So it is better to start from the upper floor to the lower floor. Below, we will introduce you the best way to visit rooms by completing their chefs-d’oeuvre in 2 hours.
First of all, after you prepared to discover the Louvre at the entrance hall, go toward the entrance of the Richelieu wing. Because there are escalators to climb up until the 2nd floor. When you go up until there, your journey in the Louvre castle starts. On the 2nd floor in Richelieu, you can see French and Northen European paintings such as Johannes Vermeer’s LA DENTEILLERE, Jean Clouet’s PORTRAIT OF FRANCOIS I, KING OF FRANCE, Jean François Millet and impressionism paintings.
After watching 2nd floor in Richlieu wing, let’s move to Sully wing on the same floor. There you can find French masters’ masterpieces such as Antoine Watteau’s rococo painting THE EMBARKATION FOR CYTHERA, the farther of neoclassicism, Dominique Ingres' THE TURKISH BATH or THE VALPINCON BATHER, academic painter George de La Tour’s THE CHEAT WITH THE ACE OF DIAMONDS. It is a real pleasure to see these works at the same time.
When you finish seeing the 2nd floor of Sully, you will come back to the Richelieu wing. So you can go downstairs by the same escalator. On the 1st floor of Richelieu wing, you can see the fabulous Appartement of Napoléon III. The huge chandeliers are everywhere on this floor. There you can see many kinds of rooms of French King, like a dining room, bedroom and so on. Its gorgeous decoration let us imagine his luxurious life.
The 1st floor in the Denon wing is where the most famous artworks are situated. There are paintings from Italy, France, and Spain such as MONA LISA.
You can appreciate other masters’ famous paintings such as Ingres’ masterpieces such as GRANDE ODALISQUE, Jacques Louis David’s THE CORONATION OF NAPOLEON, Eugène Delacroix’s LIBERTY LEADING THE PEOPLE, Théodore Géricault’s THE RAFT OF THE MEDUSA, or William Turner’s landscape painting.
After appreciating the most famous MONA LISA and rich collection of masterpieces, let’s move to the downstairs of the Denon wing, where you can see other must-see artworks, WINGED VICTORY OF SAMOTHORACE and VENUS DE MILO. WINGED VICTORY OF SAMOTHORACE, which is situated in the middle of the stairs where you go down from 1st floor to the ground floor in Denon wing. There are lots of people in front of it, so it’s easy to find it.
VENUS DE MILO is in the first room when you enter the exhibition rooms from staircases. There, you can find description boards on the wall about the history of this sculpture.
If you have more time, you can discover more objects of Roman Antiquities and European from the 16th to the 19th century sculptures which are situated at the back of this wing.
From 24th October until 24th February 2020, the Louvre museum hold the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy the precious collection. To appreciate the museum, you can use an audio guide. In the Louvre museum, the audio guide is by Nintendo 3DS, so you can enjoy the real masterpieces with some images to enjoy them better. In several museums in Paris, it is prohibited to carry a backpack in an exhibition room, but you can do it in this museum. However, we don’t recommend to carry it in exhibition rooms, because there are many pickpockets in the museum.
Also, we recommend you to fill your stomach before discovering. If you are looking for breakfast, Le Café Marlie could be a good choice. It’s opened from 8:00 and you can enjoy a breakfast menu with a view of Louvre’s pyramid. Furthermore, from numerous windows of the museum, you can find an amazing view of Paris or the glass pyramid. So, let’s try to keep in mind it to find it, and it could be one of the ways to find your location and to avoid being lost.
Words and Photographs by Yuka Ishihara
Address: Musée du Louvre 75058 Paris CEDEX 01
Transportation: Metro line 1, 7 Palais-Royal - Musée du Louvre station
Opening Hours : Mon, Thur, Sat, Sun 9:00–18:00 / Wed, Fri 9:00–21:45 / Closed on Tuesday / On the first Saturday of each month, the museum is also opened from 18:00 to 21:45 and admission fee is free for all visitors. (Closing rooms begins at 17:30, and at 21:30 on night opening days.)
Admission fee: Booking the ticket online - 17 euros / Free for: under 18 years old, under 26 years old living in the EU countries
Website: Click here