Breezing Through the Louvre


When visiting Paris, there is an overwhelming amount of pressure to visit the Louvre. As one of the most recognized museums in the world, it's usually a 'must' on everyone's Paris list. Well, it was and it wasn't for us. We decided that if the line to get in was low, we would check it out. If it was long, we were perfectly fine with skipping it altogether....





We were fortunate to arrive to a nonexistent line. But we didn't immediately queue up. Just walking into the Louvre Palace square is a moment in itself. We wandered around, taking in the massive building, before heading for the entrance.




A word of advice: The Louvre is massive. I wholeheartedly suggest doing some major research on the exhibits and the artwork. Make a list of what you absolutely must see. If you do not have a plan, you will end up just wandering around, become tired, and leave before you see everything....just like we did!

What we didn't know was the Louvre Palace began as a medieval palace in the 12th century. Remnants of the original palace still exist within the museum and this was where we began our Louvre explorations. We actually spent a good bit of time wandering around the ruins. 


But let's talk about what we did see. And I mean wow. As a lover of my art studies throughout high school and college, I was in heaven as I looked upon pieces that I had learned about while growing up. There is something pretty special about being able to see them in person. For example, Venus de Milo, one of the most famous ancient Greek statues.


I loved wandering amongst the Greek and Roman statues. After our previous trip to Rome and the Colosseum, I was still in a little bit of a Roman mindset.


And so was my husband....


Yeah, that really happened!





After some time, we finally happened upon one of my favorites: Winged Victory of Samothrace. Estimated to have been created between 200-190 BC, this statue was created to honor the goddess Nike and also a sea battle, In person, it's breathtaking. 


After we had our fill of marble, we headed to the paintings section. This seemed to be the most crowded section and unfortunately so because I could have stopped and stared at each piece for some time. Of course, when you visit the Louvre, you have to go and find the Mona Lisa....which is why this area was so crowded!



And here she is, da Vinci's Mona Lisa....in all her blurry glory (thanks camera). But to be honest, the painting is behind glass and it was impossible to get any closer. 


What's comical is that this painting below, directly across from Mona Lisa, seemed just as important and famous to me! I immediately recognized it as The Wedding at Cana



After the paintings, I was starting to feel a little sickly and we decided to go take a walk in the Tuileries Garden which is a fantastic idea after visiting the Louvre. They have THE best chairs scattered around the fountains. I literally could have laid sat their all day. 




Visiting the Louvre in Paris can easily take up an entire day of your trip, especially if you have to wait in line. While I think that a visit to the Louvre is a great idea, if you are not an art lover you may want to leave this attraction off of your itinerary. And don't feel bad about it! Walk by the Palace, take some photos and move on with your day! There are so many things to do in Paris! 


Have you been to the Louvre? What are your thoughts?

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38 comments

  1. When we went, my kids couldn't believe how small the Mona Lisa was! they'd read about it at school and expected it to be bigger considering how famous it is.

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  2. I can imagine their shock! The Mona Lisa definitely is a little bit underwhelming but at the same time...I was happy to be able to see it :)

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  3. We didn't have a plan going in either -- we just looked around until we got tired and decided we had had enough, haha! It was nice, but if I went back to Paris I wouldn't visit again. I feel like it's definitely one of those attractions you can't miss out on though.

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  4. I breezed through the Louvre quite quickly when I was there! We identified the things I had to see and then didn't stay much to just look around!x

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  5. While I enjoy the Louvre (been twice), I don't know if I would ever go back unless it was to take our son. Like you said, it's massive and I would rather spend my time there walking around the city. The last time we went, the line was crazy long but I bought our tickets online before hand and we just walked right in. Totally recommend doing that to bypass their lines... only thing is that you have to pick up your tickets at a third party location (which was on the way for us).

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  6. Sounds like you did the right thing then ;) While I am so glad we did go by, I don't think its a absolute 'must do' for everyone!

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  7. I feel the exact same way! Glad we went but wouldn't go back and would only recommend someone go if they enjoyed art :)

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  8. I usually buy all of our attraction tickets ahead of time but I wanted to leave the Louvre up to chance for some reason...weird right? I bet when you went the second time, you had a better understanding of what you wanted to see!!

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  9. I completely agree, major research is needed when visiting the Louvre. I went knowing nothing and felt too overwhelmed. I'd love to go back one day and actually spend time seeing the things I want to see!

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  10. Haven't been to Paris, but if I'm going to see the interior of the Louvre, I think I'd have to go in the offseason and budget an entire day like you've suggested just to wander and see a bit of everything, including those ancient ruins! I'd be happy just wandering the grounds and taking photos of the architecture alone, however!

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  11. Meee tooo!! I didn't really rush through, but I would love to go on a night that they stay open late....I think that would be pretty cool!!

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  12. The square itself is incredibly impressive! We were lucky enough to visit on a fairly slow day...I actually think it may have been Thanksgiving ;)

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  13. The Louvre is simply crazy amazing isn't it?

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  14. Hahaha my family and I spent an ENTIRE DAY in the Louvre and needless to say, we had enough. My mother actually fell asleep at one point in those comfy chairs within the museum itself—I'm pretty sure this kid took a photo of her and shared it all over the webs somewhere. My favorite place is the statues as well... way more interesting!

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  15. It would be a must stop for us. We visit art museums in every city we travel to. Although I know we would have to narrow down our must see list! I can imagine being completely overwhelmed if not prepared though! I didn't realize the Mona Lisa was so small either!

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  16. Haha I went with my family too five years ago. My brother also took a snooze and I took pictures of him. I really only cared about seeing the Mona Lisa then I was more concerned about finding my next Nutella banana crepe. Priorities.

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  17. I completely agree with your assessment of the Louvre - it is amazing for art lovers, but it may not be the best choice for everyone on a trip to Paris. And if someone was only visiting for a few days, I probably would advise that person to skip the Louvre and spend more time walking around the city, or perhaps to visit a smaller, more manageable museum instead.


    With that said, living here I bought an annual membership to the Louvre. I love the freedom of being able to stop by for an hour or so, pick a small little section to see, and then not feel bad about leaving. Museum fatigue is a real thing! I recently discovered the Islamic art section which is so beautiful! And it's never crowded, no matter how busy the Louvre is, so it's a nice little haven when you need a moment away from the masses :-)

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  18. It was my second time, but my husband's first so he wanted to walk around. The good news was that we didn't stay tooooo long though cause it was literally our first stop after getting off the plane and dropping our bags off at the hotel so we were both tired and hungry!

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  19. I so wanted to go to the Louvre but the line was incredibly long, so we decided to skip it! I'm glad we did because we were able to see so many other wonderful things. But of course, it is on the list for next time.

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  20. This makes me so happy that you didn't waste your time standing in line!! There will be a next time and you will eventually get there :)

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  21. Yes, for you two...you would have to go!! See my hubs isn't very 'artsy' per se but he did want to go. The Mona Lisa was like..eh, there is is. Haha!! It was too crowded and therefore it kinda took away from the experience.

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  22. <3 the Tuileries too! One of my favorites.
    The Lourve is special..... but it's just outta control. Even thinking about it makes me exhausted! Not sure I would go back anytime soon, but I love the other Paris museums that are a bit more manageable.

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  23. We skipped out on visiting The Hermitage in St. Petersburg because the queue was hours long. I'm not prepared to spend my time queuing when I could be exploring. It's so nice that you got to see the Louvre. Museums on cold days are a great way to spend your time.

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  24. I really liked the Louvre, but it's one of those places you need a lifetime to see everything. We were there for almost a whole day and only touched on it.

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  25. It was a little exhausting....luckliy we found refuge in the Islamic section but man....the Louvre was just huge! Luckily the weather was decent to lounge in the Tuileries afterward! I would love to go back in the Spring!

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  26. I know....I just can't imagine waiting hours for a museum! Boring! :) I'm glad the line was short when we went because I do appreciate that we got the chance to visit the Louvre!

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  27. Wouldn't you love to live there and just pop in on a weekly basis? That would be amazing :)

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  28. I had no idea the Louvre began as a medieval palace! Did you feel like you'd traveled through a time warp down there?

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  29. I love that medieval bit! We were ridiculously spoiled in college when I studied in Paris. They gave us cards that stated we were art history students and we could go in whenever we wanted. The Louvre is so wonderful when you can just stroll in, visit for an hour and stroll back out again. Its so overwhelming when you have just a day to see it!

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  30. LOVE this museum. I just visited last week and funny enough, I think I was sat in the exact same spot on the edge of one of the pools out front! How random.


    Unfortunately I didn't have time to go in because the queues were already a minimum one hour long (even the lesser known entrances). So sad. I'll be back though!


    x
    V

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  31. I've been to Paris several times and have always taken pictures outside of the Louvre but have never been in. Haha. And I love museums...I'll definitely make it a goal to go inside the next time I visit. Thanks for the tips! :)

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  32. That picture of your husband cracked me up!! Love it!! I'm definitely a Musee d'Orsay person myself, but I do love the gardens surrounding the Louvre. I was there in October 2004, and it was the most beautiful time of year I could have ever imagined. We're going back next month, and I'm hoping springtime will still be beautiful!

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  33. Isn't he ridiculous?! Haha! I am so sad we missed the Musee d'Orsay! I bet you will have some amazing blooms popping up around Paris when you go! We've had a good bit of sunny weather lately and I think all of the colors are about to burst out..yay!!!

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  34. I loved just being outside the museum anyway....isn't it gorgeous! If the lines are too long, I would definitely just recommend staying outside anyway ;)

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  35. I'm glad you didn't force yourself to wait in line....there is so much more to see!!

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  36. It was really interesting....it looked very similar to the shapes of the castles we visit! It was definitely an interesting little bit of the museum (although everything was written in French haha)

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  37. That is so amazing! Ugh, why didn't I study abroad?! I would love the chance to leisurely explore Paris!!

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  38. Love your photos! I lived in the Paris area for two years before I set foot in it - and I'm glad I waited! I was able to go on a free Sunday during the winter, and walked right in through the underground mall. You did see the main things in the Louvre, don't worry. The only other 2 things I'd really recommend are the rock with Hammurabi's Code inscribed on it and Napoleon's apartments (if you like old furnishings and decor). You are totally right; if someone doesn't like art, they need to skip the Louvre altogether and just enjoy the pretty outside! Great post!

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