If you’re ever in Paris, visiting the Louvre is an absolute must, an experience you’ll never forget. I remember taking an art history class back in school, looking at all these beautiful pictures of paintings and sculptures that I’d probably never get to see in person. I would never have imagined I’d be there, standing in the heavy crowds of people one day, trying to get a glimpse (or take a picture) of the Mona Lisa. The iconic view of the Louvre from the outside alone is worth taking a trip to Paris; and the inside is just breathtaking.
What to do when visiting the Louvre museum:
- Wear comfortable shoes (This is very important, the halls are long and you’ll be walking for hours)
- Wear layered clothing in the winter (It’s warm inside and some of the rooms get very stuffy, so make sure you bring clothes you can remove easily)
- Pack snacks and water (If you’re on a budget some of the cafe’s inside can be a bit pricey)
- Plan what you’d like to see (It can get quite overwhelming, there’s so much to see and chances are you won’t get to see everything in one visit)
- Grab a map (They have free maps of the Louvre in the inside bottom level main entrance with maps for every language. This will be a huge help as the hallways and rooms can feel like you’re in a bit of a maze)
- Take pics (Not every museum allows pictures so take advantage of it but remember to also enjoy the experience and take in the moment. There’s so much art work and history within the walls; even the ceilings have beautiful artwork.
- Guided Tour (If you’d rather not roam aimlessly and don’t fancy venturing on your own this option is available for you. It’s a 90 min tour and is available in English as well as other languages)
- Be weary of pickpocketers (Always make sure to carry your items in the front of your pockets)
- Don’t leave bags/items unattended (People will be on the lookout for tourists who leave their belongings on the floor or behind them)
The Louvre Tickets (How I got in free)
I got lucky to go on a the first Sunday of the month when the admission to the museum is free. It was a nice surprise, especially since I decided to go spontaneously without any previous plans. Usually you would purchase tickets here. If you’re under the age of 18, or 18-25 and resident of the EU it’s also free. There’s a list of other ways you can get in for free so make sure you check here before you go. Be prepared to wait in long queues outside if you come on a Sunday.
The Louvre Opening Times
Daily (except Tuesdays): 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m.–9:45 p.m.
Just remember it’s closed every Tuesday of the year and closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25
Where to enter the museum
Porte des Lions entrance: This entrance is reserved only for groups with their booking confirmation, so if you don’t have one you’ll most likely be turned away. (If you’re able to, this would be my recommended entrance of choice)
Pyramid and Galerie du Carrousel entrances: This area is open every day from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays; and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Passage Richelieu entrance: Every day from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Only from 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Where to find the Mona Lisa (La Joconde)
The Porte des Lions entrance is the quickest way to her, you’ll head upstairs and there will be signs with a picture of her with her french name “La Joconde” directing you towards her. It took me a while to finally find her because I started off on the opposite wing of the museum wandering aimlessly; so if you’re in a hurry to see her first that entrance might be your easiest way. Be sure to brace yourself for the amount of people who will be surrounding her, taking pictures like the paparazzi (myself included) but it’s to be expected. She’s iconic, controversial, expensive, and quite frankly the most famous painting in the world. I’m sure Leonardo da Vinci would have never imagined what an impact and fame his painting would accrue worldwide over time. To my pleasant surprise, she wasn’t as small as I thought she’d be and I couldn’t help but get a rush of joy and emotion when I finally saw her. Although it will feel a bit overwhelming and chaotic in that room, I would still highly recommend seeing her; it will be a surreal lifetime experience.
My Louvre Gallery
Enjoy your trip to the Louvre museum, the Mona Lisa is a must but keep in mind there’s a whole world of things to see inside the Louvre! Be sure to leave me a comment if you have any other tips, and make sure to let me know if my tips were helpful to you on your visit.
Love, Cristal <3