Well Planned Travel

Paris: Quick trip to the Louvre

The Louvre is one of the largest and most famous museums in the world.  You can spend days and days at the Louvre so if you want to see the highlights and want to see the rest of Paris, this is plan is for you.  The Louvre was originally a fortress and later a palace.  After Louis XIV and Louis XV chose Versailles over the Louvre Palace, its importance declined.  During the French Revolution, the palace first became a Museum.  Over ten million people visit the Louvre every year, because of this it is very crowded, but you can plan around it.  While the Louvre deserves a days visit, you can get a feeling for it with a four hour trip.  I would not plan for less than that as it would not be worth the price of admission.
The Louvre, one of the largest and most famous museums in the world.

The Louvre, one of the largest and most famous museums in the world.

General Info The most important thing to know about the Louvre is that it is CLOSED ON TUESDAYS so plan ahead.  Secondly, while it might feel like a part of the experience to enter the museum through the pyramid, you can end up waiting for an hour or even more on the weekends.  There are several other places you can enter so that you will not have to wait in a long line.  The entrance that I recommend is at the metro stop.  The metro stop is called "Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre" on line 1.  You get off the train, walk through some shops and of course the very French Starbucks and enter the museum.  If you want to save even more time, you can purchase your tickets before hand but note that they mail these tickets to you and you cannot print them.
While it is tempting to enter at the pyramid, I recommend entering through the metro station.

While it is tempting to enter at the pyramid, I recommend entering through the metro station.

Planning your time I would start my planning by downloading a map from the Louvre website.  Print it off and use it as a guide.  The Louvre website also gives good walking plans for seeing certain sights in the museum.  There are two that I recommend doing.  The first is the masterpiece trail.  You can see the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo among other great pieces.  This gives you a chance to walk around and look at some of the rooms and other art as well.  I would mark this trail in your map in a color so that you can have it handy as well as printing off the information about this trail from the website, make sure that you expand all before printing.  The only masterpiece that I feel this is missing is the Vermeer, so make sure you make the time to see this as well.  The second trail that I would take is the from palace to museum trail.  This will get you all over the museum and see a lot of the art and the building.  I recommend printing this as well and then take another color pen and mark the trail on your map.  The website says it takes three hours to see it, but I think you can do it faster and see these highlights in four hours without a problem.  Note that the masterpieces are going to be really crowded.  Also, it is really annoying but common that people stand in front of the masterpieces and have their picture taken or more recently taking selfies.  It can really make it hard to get good looks at the art, but I find it best to ignore them and just look at the art.  It may sound rude, but if you wait for people to be done and not get in their way, you can wait for ever.
When looking at the masterpieces it can be very crowded and many people taking selfies.

When looking at the masterpieces it can be very crowded and many people taking selfies.

You can find people restoring the art if you look carefully.

You can find people restoring the art if you look carefully.

Take the Palace and Museum walk to see the history of the building including Napoleon's apartments.

Take the Palace and Museum walk to see the history of the building including Napoleon's apartments.

While four hours is short, if that is all the time you have, it can be done and you will have a rewarding experience.
One of the greatest art museums, but also a palace and seeing the building should be a part of your visit.

One of the greatest art museums, but also a palace and seeing the building should be a part of your visit.

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