Louvre, where does one start?

Aug 1st, 2004, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,049
My wife and I spent two weeks in Paris and used two five-day passes, each. Check what museums you will want to see, as not all are included on the passes, and plan to visit those on the pass during the term of your pass, and those not on the pass on other days.

Unless you hit an abnormal day, there will be lines outside many of the museums, and with the pass you can just bypass those lines; that's a big time saver.

The Louvre is huge, and you may not be interested in seeing all of it, so visit the web site and pick out your must-see galleries and the routes to them. I would insert a plug here for two statues by Michelangelo which don't seem to be mentioned often, but which are wonderful.

Going early in the morning and heading right for the Mona Lisa is often recommended, as it draws huge crowds, to the point where it is hard to see.

Try to break up you visit, perhaps with lunch in the cafe. We found it much easier to get around on our third visit than our first, not that we had become experts, but we at least knew which direction was up.

Most importantly, when you have identified the galleries you really want to see, stop at the desk on your initial visit and ask when those galleries will be closed. They apparently have not enough staff, and close some galleries rather than leaving them unguarded, and their schedule seems to change frequently, so you need absolutely current information. You can also buy passes there.

If you do get the pass, or even if you don't, look into visiting the Orsay; many people find it more accessible than the Louvre, and the impressionistic art there is overwhelming in its excellence. They also have some restaurants and cafes to break up your visit.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Aug 1st, 2004, 08:18 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 447

I'll be visiting Paris next week with my two twentysomething children. Let us hope the weather cooperates.

This forum is a tremendous resource of information. Thanks to the all posters.
Kansan is offline  
Aug 1st, 2004, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,733
underhill, Boston has a wonderful Egyption collection.
cigalechanta is offline  
Aug 1st, 2004, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,184
I found the Musee d'Orsay very pleasant to visit and to navigate and I enjoy Impressionistic art.

I like the Louvre also, but it was much more crowded (on a Friday afternoon) than the Musee d'Orsay (on a Wednesday afternoon). At the Louvre, it was fun to actually see the Mona Lisa surrounded by dozens of people taking flash pictures (why is that allowed) and to unexpectedly see Whistler's Mother. I saw numerous other paintings too of course, but given the heat and crowds I didn't feel I could properly appreciate them.

At some point I would like to see the Louvre properly. I think this will mean at least a two-week stay, a hotel or apartment very near the Louvre so I can easily visit every day for a few hours, and a non-summer visiting time.
WillTravel is offline  
Aug 1st, 2004, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,302

We've actually seen the fine Egyptian collection at the Bostom Museum--thrice, in fact--along with the wonderful Japanese wood-block prints.

And the Egyptian collections at the British Museum and the Ashmolean at Oxford. And the Rosacrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, CA. Can you tell I nearly became an archaeologist and still devour books on ancient Egypt?

Next on the list is the collection in the Berlin museum (the one with the bust of Nerertiti) and of course the Metropolitan Museum in New York. One of these days....
Underhill is online now  
Aug 1st, 2004, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,113
We made multiple visits over a week's visit to Paris and I agree it's a good way to avoid Louvre overload.

One day we "stumbled" into the Marly courtyard, French sculpture-17th & 18th centuries. The enormous horse scupltures are magnificent, not to mention the hall with its huge skylight.
Not often mentioned, but I think it's well worth a visit.
JeanneB is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 335
One thing I took to the Louvre that I found amazing was a pair of binoculars. They made a big difference at the more popular attractions. I must have studied Mona Lisa from the back of room away from the "pushers" for 30 minutes. Alot of stares but it truly was a "close up" like no other. The Monets, Van Goghs, stautues, huge paintings, wow! (no, I have not read The Davinci Code)
Smokyboy is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,579
Like JeanneB, we stumbled upon the Marley horses. It is unfortunate that most visitors only have time or inclination for the "must sees" and miss the surprises that come from just wandering in such a treasure trove.
jsmith is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,302
Why the guards at the Louvre allow flash photography when those at the Orsay do not remains a mystery.
Underhill is online now  
Aug 5th, 2004, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,579
This is from the Louvre website.

Title V / Taking of photographs, copies and surveys

Article 25
During public opening hours in the rooms of permanent exhibitions, you may photograph or shoot displays for private use.

Concerning temporary exhibitions, taking of photograph are prohibited, unless you hear to the contrary, mentioned at the entrance of the rooms.

Article 26
The use of flash-lights is not recommended. The use of lamps or any kind of lightning is forbidden.
The use of the cameras is forbidden in the room of the Monna Lisa and the Vénus de Milo.


I would presume the guards are just overwhelmed in attempting to enforce the regulations.
jsmith is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
I'm trying to find an article/pull out from a travel mag (National Geographic Traveler? Conde Nast Traveler?)that had a quick visit guide along with a map...I'll keep looking, but this may stir a memory of someone here...it looked like a good plan
Michel_Paris is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,120
Michel, Conde Nast Traveler had such a pullout section a number of years ago. Is that what you're looking for? I think it was something like "60 minutes in the Louvre".
shellio is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:17 AM.