Spend the day wandering around the awe inspiring world-famous paintings, sculptures and decorative arts on offer at the Louvre.
The Louvre offers 6 hectares of exhibition space housing some of the world’s most famous works of art. Visitors flock from around the globe, many drawn to the Louvre by the legendary Mona Lisa and other works including the marble statues of the Winged Victory of Samothrace and Venus de Milo. The Musée du Louvre - known to most simply as the Louvre – houses a vast collection of works with objects in the collections ranging in date from 5,000 B.C. to the 19th century.
If time allows, it’s worth visiting all three wings in Paris’s largest museum. The Sully wing is the oldest part of the museum and houses the antiquities collection. The Louvre’s impressive Greek collection is home to the Venus de Milo. This Richelieu wing showcases paintings dating back to the middle ages as well as a vast collection of sculptures. The Denon wing’s most famous resident, the Mona Lisa, lures many tourists and is therefore often the most crowded.
To get the most out of your visit to the Louvre, visit the museum’s website – an excellent resource that will help you to list the key works you wish to see. There is often a long queue to see the most prominent and famous works, so allow plenty of time if these are on your list. The website includes a detailed floor plan of the permanent and visiting exhibits, as well as an online catalogue of works. Don’t forget to buy your ticket online in advance as well, allowing you access to entrances where queues are often much shorter.
The Louvre was established in the 16th century and today welcomes more than 8 million visitors each year through its doors, many through the main entrance in the iconic Pyramide du Louvre (Louvre Pyramid), in the centre of the main courtyard, the Coeur Napoleon. Although this entrance is now an iconic symbol of the city, the steel and glass structure, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei and unveiled in 1989, was initially criticised for being too modern. The pyramid allows sunlight to stream in and illuminate the underground floor.
To further appreciate the ancient and the modern working together in harmony, rent an audio guide offering an excellent introductory overview of the museum and its key pieces. 90-minute guided tours are also available for an excellent overview of the museum and key pieces.
The Louvre is located along the Right Bank of Paris, in the 1st arrondissement, and is easily accessible by metro, bus, car or boat. The Louvre is open daily (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with night opening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. The museum closes on Christmas day, New Year’s day and on 1st May.