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13 September 2015 / leggypeggy

Planning to visit the Louvre? Take stilts

blocking the view of the Mona Lisa

Where’s the Mona Lisa?

Mona LIsa

Oh there she is!

Just about every visitor to Paris will manage to squeeze in a visit to that famous art gallery–museum, the Louvre. In fact, it is the most visited museum in the world with about 15,000 guests per day. Poor John and I were a paltry two of them.

We joined the queue, which wasn’t too long, about 2:30pm because Poor John’s guidebook said admission was half-price after 3pm. You can imagine the ticket seller rolling her eyes when she laughed and said ‘that deal ended years ago’.

I checked his guidebook, purchased secondhand a couple of weeks ago in Australia—copyright 1994. Duh! So we agreed then that history might not have changed, but the particulars of open hours and admission prices probably have.

Louvre crowds

Plenty of visitors

crowds in the Louvre

Almost a stampede

Louvre ceiling

You get a clear view of the ceilings

But as soon as you enter the museum itself you are confronted with the other 14,998 visitors who decided to come that day. And they all have cameras, tablets or mobile phones.

It’s a good thing I didn’t come expecting a close-up view of the museum’s two most popular exhibits—Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. You can barely see them for all the arms holding cameras aloft. Luckily, I had a reasonable view of these gals about 12 years ago and an even better one in the 1970s. So if you want a good view now, take your stilts.

Venus de Milo

Venus de Milo still has her legs, but you wouldn’t know it

But there are plenty of other gems to see. I’ve been told that some people come in just to see the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo and then leave. Woo-hoo! Good riddance.

So on to some of the other exhibits. The museum holds about 380,000 items, with about 35,000 on display at any one time. Works date from the extremely distant past to the 21st century, and include just about any kind of work you can think of.

Mosaic of the Seasons

Mosaic of the Seasons

Poor John and I headed to the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo first, just to say we’d tried, and then moved on to enjoy some other treats. Having lived in the Middle East for quite a few years, we lingered at some relevant works.

We also sought out the furniture displays that show how the Louvre (it used to be a palace) might have been furnished.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures. Too crowded to get many good shots of displays, and just crowded enough to get good shots of people. Lots of people. Don’t forget your stilts.

And if you’re tired and hungry after all this sightseeing, try a restorative French dish of salade niçoise on my cooking blog.

Louvre exterior

Louvre exterior

Louvre interior

Louvre interior

40 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. backtowhatever / Sep 13 2015 8:26 am

    I have always wanted to go there but seeing all those tourists makes me think about whether I have the nerves for that lol

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 13 2015 3:38 pm

      It’s definitely worth going. And I think being there first thing in the morning makes a difference.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. highland hind / Sep 13 2015 8:43 am

    Too crowded. You’re right!

    Like

  3. Dorothy / Sep 13 2015 8:50 am

    Love the ceilings and floor tiles, just imagine what it would have looked like when it was a palace. Trouble is the people didn’t bathe much then and had to swing pomanders round for the stench so be thankful it smells better now. Great post Peggy, I enjoy my armchair travel through your blog.

    dorothysstories.wordpress.com

    >

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    • leggypeggy / Sep 13 2015 3:40 pm

      You can never be too sure about the smells generated by a big crowd, but it was okay the day we were there.

      Like

  4. yeahanotherblogger / Sep 13 2015 9:07 am

    An amazing museum, with one-third as many visitors daily as there are objects to look at.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 13 2015 3:42 pm

      It is an amazing museum. Glad we went, but won’t miss the crowds.

      Like

  5. Vicki / Sep 13 2015 10:10 am

    Can’t remember much from my visit in the mid 1970s, but looking at the interior and volume of tourists makes me glad I did visit way back then.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 13 2015 3:43 pm

      It’s always worth a visit, but I think early morning is better.

      Like

  6. blondieaka / Sep 13 2015 10:39 am

    Some stunning work but so many tourists… 🙂

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 13 2015 3:44 pm

      Yep, way too many tourists. But they pay the museums way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • blondieaka / Sep 13 2015 4:19 pm

        Yes there is that I suppose just a few less would be deal 🙂

        Like

  7. Joanne T Ferguson / Sep 13 2015 11:49 am

    I am not one for crowds Peggy! I have been to the museum many times and that was in the days where one was not allowed to photograph the Mona Lisa (which I almost got arrested for even back then) MANY years ago. I can also see tickets have gone up tremendously!

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 13 2015 4:09 pm

      I don’t love crowds, but I can put up with almost anything for at least a while. And, yes, admission is high at 15 euros per person, but I read that admission fees cover just half of the museum’s annual expenses.

      Like

  8. Carol Taloni / Sep 13 2015 12:23 pm

    Peggy. Words cannot tell you how much I enjoy seeing these wonderful sights through your eyes and writings. You have opened up a new world to me. Most of your other friends seemed to have seen these sights, but to one who has never been able to travel, I am left speechless with the beautiful sites you explore. Your in depth description and photos, whether it be a place, person or the variety of foods and spices you encounter have given me a different perspective on so many things. I often smile when people complain of long flights and queues. They are fortunate to have been able to visit such places. I feel I am on a continuous holiday with you. Love. Carol T

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 13 2015 4:12 pm

      Oh Carol, it is my pleasure and privilege to have you join me on this continuous holiday. When I started this blog it was mainly for my own record—sort of a public diary. I never imagined having so many followers, and feel very humbled that others are happy to toddle along with me. Thanks so much for the company.

      Like

  9. Curious to the Max / Sep 13 2015 1:23 pm

    Ditto to Carol Taloni’s comments!

    Like

  10. Andrew Petcher / Sep 13 2015 5:28 pm

    I visited in 1990. I don’t remember it being that busy. Like everyone else we went to see Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Mona Lisa. My friend Martin spent a few seconds gazing at the world’s most famous masterpiece and then declared, “It’s ok but I wouldn’t want it hanging in my front room!”

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 13 2015 5:40 pm

      I agree with Martin. I wonder why it’s so famous.

      Like

  11. thegreyeye / Sep 14 2015 6:54 am

    Louvre is one thing in paris totally worth 12€, if not more! And I gave it a day, so obviously it is incomplete visit. I saw Monalisa and some paintings, and off course the egyptian display and the roman and Greek sculptures. I would definitely visit next time, preferably on first Sunday, as u know obviously first Sunday the entry is free 😀

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2015 4:14 pm

      The Louvre is definitely a must-see in Paris, but I’m not so sure I’d go on a free day. That would take the crowds to unimaginable numbers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thegreyeye / Sep 14 2015 6:54 pm

        Yeah, may be that’s true 🙂 I went in February, and it was not a free day. But little crowd was there due to winter

        Like

  12. weezaj / Sep 14 2015 9:57 am

    Heheh

    I have almost exactly the same shots from when I was there in ’96!!!!

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2015 4:16 pm

      Ah, so the numbers haven’t changed much over the years. I remember smaller crowds in 2003. Maybe it was a different time of day.

      Like

  13. myohmine / Sep 14 2015 11:41 pm

    You’re experience is close to ours. Luckily, me and my husband are tall or we wouldn’t have seen much of the Mona Lisa. 🙂 And as you said, there are so many other treasures that are much more worth seeing them…

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Oct 11 2015 9:40 am

      Yes, the Louvre is filled with worthy treasures.

      Like

  14. Galavanting Gran / Sep 16 2015 8:47 am

    I haven’t been since 1982. I visited the Hermitage in 2008 with a tour of 40 minutes to crowded most famous paintings. Then I returned alone the next day and had a wonderful time often rooms with no other people. The elderly guards turning my map up the right way and pointing me off to the next delight. Love the grey hair sisterhood. These Museums are so big and have so many wonderful pieces that often what interests me most is not the ‘must sees’.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 16 2015 4:54 pm

      You are so right—our grey brothers and sisters do look after us. And we are lucky when the most wonderful pieces are not the must-see ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. The Sock Mistress / Sep 17 2015 10:29 am

    Maybe a selfie stick or a telescopic arm for your camera to photograph the art works, even if you can’t see them? 🙂

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 17 2015 4:08 pm

      One of them would help, but then I’d be one of the crowd. If I’m really desperate I can always look them up in a quality art book.

      Like

  16. amaya911 / Sep 19 2015 9:18 am

    I loved going there! Paris is such a beautiful city! I hope I can go back in the near future. Thank you for sharing this post!

    Like

  17. Toni / Sep 25 2015 1:05 am

    After all that, a test is waiting for you at the end.

    Like

  18. cookiesnchem / Sep 26 2015 10:15 am

    Isn’t the Louvre an incredible place? I’m not even a fan of art and I really enjoyed it when I visited Paris last month.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Sep 26 2015 4:09 pm

      It really is incredible. I loved the Musée d’Orsay and the Pompidou Centre too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cookiesnchem / Sep 26 2015 10:58 pm

        Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to go into the Musee d’Orsay! But I did see le Centre Pompidou, which was very impressive! Did you visit la Musee Jacquemart-Andre? It’s more of a hidden gem but an absolutely lovely mansion with lots of artwork.

        Like

      • leggypeggy / Sep 27 2015 1:54 am

        Thanks for that tip. I return to Paris tomorrow and have a week there to see lots more.

        Like

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