Louvre Museum in Paris, France



I spent three full days in Louvre Museum and I didn't see all of it. I could easily spend another three or four days in the museum and would probably want to visit again for a few more days.   Louvre museum is the best  one of the very few truly interesting places to visit in Paris.  The touristy places like Eiffel and Champs Elysses are just that - very touristy. If at all interested, you are supposed to take a whirlwind tour of all those places,  just to be able to say you went there in chitchat conversation in a restaurant over dinner table when you are waiting for your food to arrive - unless you have some special connection to these places.


Picture Links

Here are pictures of some of the exhibits. Pages are under construction. More descriptions will be added soon.

Pictures of Egyptian Civilization Collection

  1. Egyptian Civilization Exhibits at Louvre Musuem - all thumbnails in one page
  2. Egyptian Civilization Exhibits at Louvre Museum - thumbnail pages
  3. Egyptian Civilization Exhibits at Louvre Museum - text-only pages

Visiting Louvre Museum

Arrive at the museum very very early before the museum opens. There are two entrances to the lourvre pyramid thumbnailmuseum. One entrance is underground in the same level as the Metro train. All bags and purses go through the X-ray machine and you walk through a metal detector.  Then you are in the Louvre shopping area and then underneath the glass pyramid.  The other entrance is at the ground level. You enter a large glass pyramid and take the escalators down to the underground level.

Sunday is a free-entrance day. The queue is so long that it goes all the way around both Queue extending into Sully squarecourtyards and to the road and curves around a couple of times on the sidewalk. They allow people into the pyramid at a very small rate to prevent overcrowding of the museum.  Late evening is the least crowded time and is the best time to visit La Joconde (Mona Lisa) in Denon pavilion.

Pick up the entrance tickets in the pyramid area (below ground level) and also the pamphlets in any or all of the six or seven languages. The pamphlets have the maps of all floors in all the pavilions of the museum.  While you are there, watch for notices that tell you the sections of the museum that are closed for that day or week. Buying tickets with credit card in any of the vending machines is much faster than standing in a queue to buy from a human ticket vendor. 

The pyramid is in the middle of a very large open space. The three pavilions Richelieu, Sully and  built around a big courtyard. Denon cover three sides of that open space. Sully pavilion itself is a very large square The fourth side of that open space leads to Tuileries.  Granted, it is historically a famous spot, but you won't miss much if you don't visit the Tuileries.

You can rent audio-guides at the entrance of any of the three pavilions. Just mention the language and pay about $5 to rent one for the whole day. It is worth every penny. You will have to leave an identity card such as driving license or passport.  You will have to return the audio-guide exactly where you picked it up.  The audio guide does not have explanations for all the exhibits. Many important (say,... about 30% of all exhibits) are covered by the audioguide. Some exhibits are numbered with an alphabet and a four digit number like in this exhibit of xyz.  You  type in the number and play it. The audio-guide automatically moves on to the next numbered exhibit which is around there. Sometimes you end up searching for the exhibit which might be around the corner or  even behind you.

In every room or a major area, they have pamphlets in about seven or eight languages. They contain a wealth of information about the exhibits in that room. Image of a pamphlet in LouvreIf you have a good digital camera, you might want to take a snapshot of both pages if you want some sort of reference later. The picture here is compressed heavily for the web, just to give you an idea. But the high resolution image is more than readable on the computer (I used a 6 megapixel camera).  Most rooms have benches for people to rest. There were some chairs as well, but I think they are reserved for the volunteers that watch over the exhibits.

The stores in the shopping area sell a lot of different books that help you make the most out of your visiting experience. You probably don't need it when you are walking around with the audio-guide, but some books have a plenty of additional information.  The books in general cover much less exhibits than the audioguide, but only the most important exhibits.

Miscellaneous

No food or drink (except water bottles) is allowed inside the museum. There are water fountains at several places. The restrooms are quite small inside the musuem. The restrooms  in the courtyard under the pyramid accommodate several people.  The pyramid area has a couple of mediocre and often-crowded fast food places.

As you zig zag your way through all the rooms seeing all exhibits, you would have walked a few miles. Be kind to your feet and wear extremely comfortable shoes. Avoid carrying too much stuff in your backpack or purse.

Caution

Be watchful of pickpockets, thieves and fake uniformed cops in trains and in public places in Paris. The city is full of such nuisance and crimes, worse so than in many big cities. Watch your belongings at all times.  It is generally much much safer inside the museum though.


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