Visiting the Louvre !?

Jun 27th, 2003, 12:23 PM
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Visiting the Louvre !?

Just trying to get an understanding about the Louvre in Paris.
When is the best day of the week / time of the day to visit?
I see that you can buy different tickets to different parts, true?, so, which part or parts should first-time visitor see?
We aren't very cultured when it comes to most art, but we do appreciate some of the varied works like Monet and such.
We did enjoy Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim in NY, but personally for me, it was the architecture that I was more interested in.
Although a few of the exhibits did catch my attention.

Thx! for any input
James is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 12:47 PM
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First of all, there is just one basic admission charge for the Louvre. Sometimes, there is a special exhibit for which you might pay extra, in general, it's one charge.
As for what to see, if you like "Monet and such," you might be better off going to the Musee d'Orsay, which has one of the great collections of Impressionist art (i.e., "Monet and such") in the world. When you there, go directly to the third floor.
HowardR is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 12:56 PM
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The Louvre is of architectural interest as well, on both the very old and the very modern level(s). The problem I had, which I?ve experienced in a lot of museums and galleries, is the obsessive urge to ?see it all? in one visit. I just don?t believe it?s possible and that way lays madness. Check out some literature/guide books well before hand and try to figure out what areas you would MOST like to see and have a leisurely time of it. You can catch some of the rest on a later day or another trip. If you?re with someone else or a group, split up and agree to meet back at a given point at X o?clock and move at your own pace. Relax and enjoy it.
DiAblo is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 12:57 PM
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I suggest you get the Michelin Green Guide for Paris and look at the part about the Louvre to map out what you want to see. But be aware that not all the wings are open every day so have an alternate plan for your visit.
Gretchen is online now  
Jun 27th, 2003, 01:23 PM
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the Louvre website is a wonderful tool--it lists hours of admission,what's located where, and you can take a virtual tour to preview what you want to see.
The Louvre's art collection covers a period in time ending in the early 19th century, definitely pre-Monet and his friends.


Sundays are the most crowded. Advance tickets can be purchased from the website, or you can use the Paris Museum Pass.

The Orsay museum mentioned above is a converted former train station; the buildings is a stunner imo.

I have a file on Paris; if you'd like to see it, email me at
[email protected]
elaine is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 01:38 PM
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Louvre tickets are about half-price daily after 3pm and i think on Sundays. First Sunday of month has been free and super crowded. Abort long lines by buying Paris Museum Pass, which lets you in via a separate entrance only for those with passes. If buying tickets and lines are long, go to the underground coach/car park in the subterranean shopping mall of the Louvre complex where there is a vending machine taking charge cards that sells tickets. there have been many strikes of government employees recently and thus the museum has either been closed or parts of it are often closed due to staff shortages - when i was there in December, the ticket takers were on strike so the museum was free. But there have been many strikes so go as soon as possible when arriving in Paris if it's important to you. Always closed on Tuesday but hours other days have been extended far into the evening, when lines are less. As it is closed on Tuesday, lines may be longer on Wednesday due to pent up demand. As far as i know there is only one ticket to all of the museum except special exhibitions. Folks under 26 get reductions, those under 18 i think are free all the time. Museum passes are a good deal if you are visitng several museums and are sold at every participating museum, which is virtually every state-run museum, including most major mueums.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 02:42 PM
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The Louvre is a problematic place to visit. I think lot people go there just to say they have been. I went there in 1999, but on two subsequent trips, I haven't gone there because other places got my attention.

The Louvre is such a huge place, and there is so much there that unless you have specific objectives, it is quite easy to wander aimlessly and see nothing distinctly. I find that after about 3 to 4 hours, I am ready to quit. After 4 hours, I rarely remember what I saw or why.

If you like architecture, I think the suggestion to get a copy of the Green Michelin Guide is excellent.

The one place in Paris that amazes me perhaps more than any other is Ste. Chapelle which is inside the gates of the Palace of Justice. The stained glass windows are marvelous, astounding even. The building was so well placed and so well built that in the last 300+ years the panes of stained glass have not been cracked because of building stress.
The storm that did so much damage to Versailles and the gardens broke some of the precious glass, but the stress of settling has not been a major settling.
bob_brown is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 02:56 PM
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If you are going to say you've been and to see the Mona Lisa, personally I'd skip it. The Louvre is an awe some museum and there are ways to see it in a managable way.
Get a musuem pass. Not only will you be able to skip the lines at the Louvre, but at most other heavily touristed sites as well, including the Orsay museum and Versailles. skipping the lines alone is worth it, but the pass pays for itself in like 3 site visits. They can be puchased at metro stations and the TI on the Champs Elysee.
Second, Rick Steves has a book called Mona Winks that provides a fabulous self guided tour of this Museum. The tour is also in his Paris book. The instructions are easy to follow, take you to the major pieces and does it in about a 2 to 3 hour period. You will see things you may have known about but didn't know were at the Louvre. It is updated annually so you shouldn't have trouble finding pieces moved or anything.
Lastly, the Louvre is not air conditioned. It is obviously extremely crowded. Visit it right when it opens or on one of the late nights, one of which I believe is Wednesday. The museum is open until 9 on late nights and is suprisingly uncrowded even in summer. The thing about the Louvre is that much of it is very uncrowded or even deserted. The crowded areas are the parts eveyone including you will want to see. What always amazes me is that in people's quest to see the great Mona Lisa, they never notice the two other Leonardo De Vinci's they pass while they are in line! There are only something like 9 or 10 da Vinci's on display in the world and 3 are in the Louvre!
McBetsy is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 10:48 PM
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If your bent is more modern art, as Monet, forget the stuffy Louvre and head across the Seine to the Orsay Museum, with the world's finest Impressionist art collect, or to the Musee Marmotan, which was bequeathed oodles of Monets by the Monet family, but not the Louvre, largely devoted to ancient art.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 12:39 AM
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May have been posted already, but make sure to go in through the entrance from the subway, by all the stores. You will save hours and hours of time.
allovereurope is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 05:57 AM
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It is impossible to see the entire Louvre in one day. The place is huge. It is possible to spend an entire day just seeing Egyptian antiquities.

Also, due to Louvre budget problems, many exhibits are closed on certain days of the week. First decide what your interests are. Then go to the Louvre Web site to see what will be open on the day you want to visit.

You mentioned an interest in architecture. If this extends to interior design, do not miss the Napoleon rooms. These rooms are not open everyday, so check the Louvre Web site before going.
JoyceL is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 07:38 AM
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ah, the poor maligned pompidou center and the oft forgotten or lightly regarded national museum of modern art, the third jewel in the artistic crown of paris.

as the orsay picks up with corot and courbet from the louvre and then carrys thru post impressionism, so does the national begin with the fauves and cubism to the recent time.

from a quality of collection perspective it stands with the louvre and the orsay not competing but rather completing and complimenting both. also it is generally much less crowded. as with its sisters, the carte musee is valid.
subcon is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 08:35 AM
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Sure the Louvre is large and confusing. But, it's also one of the world's great museums. And, it's a lot more than just ancient art!
HowardR is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 08:36 AM
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PS: The previously recommended Rick Steves' Mona Winks is a big help in overcoming the Louvre's confusion and bigness!
HowardR is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 08:43 AM
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Anyone interested in architecture and period furnishings would enjoy touring Napoleon's apartment, rebuilt in the Louvre. Spectacular!

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