Visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris
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I had to wait for more or less 16 hours in flight from Manila to my destination. During the long hours, I was accompanied by my anticipation and my undying enthusiasm to see, for the second time around, France.
It’s my second time visiting the country but it’s my first time setting foot on Paris, and I couldn’t contain my excitement to explore the City of Love. We had the time to spend Paris for a few days, and one of those days was dedicated to visiting the one and only Louvre Museum, which is the largest museum in the world, and one of the most iconic landmarks in the country.
After checking in at Hotel Mercure Paris Opéra Lafayette, we left our baggage and headed to Louvre Museum for our scheduled afternoon tour, courtesy of AirAsia. We gathered under the huge arc located just across the famous glass Louvre Pyramid, and even before we could enter the gallery proper, we were already greeted with such a magnificent work of art, which was inevitably followed by more.
What to see in the Louvre Museum
Standing since 1793, Louvre Museum now houses more than 35,000 works of art, one of which is the original Venus de Milo, an armless statue of the Greek goddess Aphrodite (known as Venus is Roman mythology) that welcomed us across the Louvre Pyramid. The sculpture was over 2 centuries old but it served as solid evidence that beauty is timeless.
The Louvre Museum has some of the most important paintings in the world. I was able to see The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, and witnessing the painting behind a thick enclosure of bulletproof glass gave me goose bumps. Looking right into the eyes of Mona Lisa herself made me imagine how skilled the artist was to portray someone so hyper-real yet at the same time frozen.
Some of the other notable art works showcased were the bust of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, another detailed sculpture of a man; the headless but emotional sculpture of the Winged Victory of Samothrace; and the painting “The Arcadian Shepherds” by Nicolas Poussin. Each hall had its own art category.
Also displayed is the Frieze of Archers, an artwork done on tiles. It resembles hieroglyphics and the meaning behind it grows more enigmatic the longer I stared into it. It really enticed me to learn more about the world’s history.
Further inside the galleries stretched infinite hallways of paintings, sculptures, and high ceilings. Fully exploring the museum required more than just one day, and it was unfortunate that we were only able given such time.
When to visit the Louvre Museum
The doors of the Louvre are open every day from 9 AM to 6 PM, except on Tuesdays, when it is completely closed. On Wednesday to Friday, the museum is open until 9:45 PM.
Visiting the museum and appreciating the art works that have seen thousands of years pass is an activity that does not know anytime. Staring into a painting, or at each carved detail of a marble statue will draw you in at any time of the day.
However, our tour guide suggested that the best time to visit the museum is on Wednesday to Friday, when the museum is open until late at night. There are fewer people at night compared to the early morning and therefore allowed more leeway to stay in front of an artwork or two.
Why visit the Louvre Museum
Being one of the most famous museums in the world is enough reason why you should visit the Louvre. It is that one place that’s comparable to the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe—visiting Paris without seeing them isn’t visiting Paris at all!
Although it’s not your typical tourist destination, the Louvre enchants guests with its magnificent displays. Aside from permanent art galleries, there is also The Tuileries garden, the Tactile Gallery, and different art galleries to marvel at.
There are many amenities in the museum like a parking lot, payphones, and downloadable information maps, so there is no need to be intimidated by the size of the building.
How to get to Louvre Museum
Like most tourist attractions in the City of Love, Louvre is walkable from along the main streets of the city. The museum can be your first or last stop in a walking tour of Paris. Otherwise, it is reachable via two of the closest Paris Metro Train lines Louvre-Rivoli (Line 1) and Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre (Line 7).
You will need to purchase a ticket to get inside the museum. While you may buy in the museum itself, I advise getting one online as it is faster that way.
The Louvre has three entrances. One is from the nearby underground shopping mall, Carrousel du Louvre. The other one is at the Porte des Lions. The main entrance is the one across the Louvre Pyramid, where our group chose. There are people saying that there is a fourth “secret” entrance, but it is still best to enter through the main entrance. After all, why miss the Louvre Pyramid?
The museum also has an underground ticket-charged parking lot for visitors with vehicles. It is open from 7 AM to 11 PM.
- The museum follows a strict code in the entry of baggage. While there is a self-service baggage deposit area under the Louvre Pyramid, it is still advised to leave any bulky belongings in your hotel, just like what we did prior to our visit. It would be hard to appreciate art when your mind is worried about your left luggage. Women and men can bring at most a handbag.
- The official website of the museum offers downloadable guides, maps, and information materials in PDF format. They also offer a documenting app for android and iOs. Some places in the museum offer free wi-fi access.
- Also underneath the Louvre Pyramid is the Visitor Assistance Area, where visitors can borrow walking sticks, wheelchairs, foldable chairs, and the like, for free.
- Respect the artworks and remember to turn off the automatic flash off your phones.
The Louvre Museum
Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Established: 10 August 1793
Museum Hours: 9AM–6PM
Telephone: +33 1 40 20 50 50
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