At the Louvre

Musee du Louvre

Musee du Louvre

Musee du Louvre

Musee du Louvre

Musee du Louvre

Musee du Louvre

I bought a Louvre membership my first week here, knowing it would pay for itself after three visits. The €35 I spent was the best investment I could have made: amazing trove of art aside, I get to skip the outrageously long line that snakes throughout the main courtyard by the pyramid in favor of a separately sectioned-off line, without a metal detector, and with a separate door. Passing through each ticket check-point is as simple as flashing them my membership card (I’d show you, but the picture they printed on it is totally dopey; she never told me when she took my photo, so I sat there smiling for a good two minutes. The results are less than spectacular). The dirty looks this garnered me from exhausted tourists stuck in yet another queue were worth the price alone; I’m important! I’m efficient! Out of my way, frustratingly ever-present Asian tour groups!

Unlike a lot of other things in Paris, the Louvre is one destination I would recommend not visiting first thing in the morning. Wait until the afternoon, and you’ll have a much more enjoyable time. On my first visit, I skipped the Denon wing where the Mona Lisa is housed and the insane crowds that go along with it. Instead, I headed to the Sully wing (Peintures Françaises, XVII-XIXeme siecles) in the other direction, where I had full galleries to myself. On my second trip, I caved and went to see La Joconde in all her tiny glory. I also saw a tourist take a photo of a direction sign for the Mona Lisa, as well as another tourist take a photo of a Mona Lisa poster in the gift shop. (Nothing, however, beats the time I saw someone on the Champs-Élysées taking a photo of a McDonald’s sign. Tourists! We are the worst!)

The sheer size of the museum is impossible to explain; I could go every single day I’m here and still not see everything. For now, I’ll settle for going once a week.

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May 19, 2014 / art / photo / At the Museum / Travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 23

23 comments

  • The Mona Lisa or……hanging right here on this wall, behind bullet proof plexiglass is a—–POSTAGE STAMP SIZE PAINTING OF…..Mona Lisa. I dare you to try to see it over the heads of the 10,000 obnoxious tourists in front of you even if you are my height! Walk past quickly so you can tell your friends and family that you have been there, done that and go enjoy the rest of the Museum. I’m finished with my advice column for travelers.

    • I got a really funny photo of a couple ‘selfie-ing’ in front of it, and when they were done they walked away, without ever turning around to see it in person. I wanted to trip them so badly. The thing that bothers me the most, and I just talked about this with my friend Lauren and her husband, is that 95% of the people that go see the Mona Lisa have no idea what they’re looking at. Could then even tell you the artist? What material it’s painted on? That it was stolen in 1911? Anything? NO. It’s become one of those “things” that people do just to say they did. Like running a marathon. It’s all very self-congratulatory and strange. But then again, I hate 95% of people inside museums anyway, so that’s just my opinion. xo

  • Every single day does not sound excessive to me. There is something about museums that is so magical. Maybe it started with The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler but museums are just so romantical to me

    • Right? And I think I just fell in love with you a little bit more for referencing “The Mixed Up Files.” THAT BOOK! God, when we read that in middle school…I still remember how I felt reading it. I might have to get another copy, stat. xo

      • That book is the entire reason why I went to the Met every single weekend the summer I was in NYC :)

  • well, that’s settled then, when i go to paris i am just buying a membership card to the louvre. and, the bonus would be that it would be the best keepsake ever. i am sure after i returned home i’d keep in my wallet and when i went to purchase something i’d “accidentally” flash my louvre card, and say “oops, that’s my louvre card membership card! silly me.” seriously. i think i’d do that. xoxo

    • Um, did you think I had anything different planned for my membership card upon returning home? I mean, I considered framing it and hanging it in the guest bathroom as a conversation started, buuut ;) No, I’m teasing. I’m going to carry it with me always as a reminder to get my butt back to Paris! xo

  • Ta cinquième photo est comment a décor de cinéma, elle est incroyable ! Je dois te confessé quelque chose d’horrible. Je suis allée 3 fois à Paris et je ne suis jamais rentré au Louvre ! Pour ma défense, je dois dire que les trois fois, j’avais le temps très limité pour voir un ville si belle.
    On a essayer comme même et à chaque fois on a étais décourage par tous les touristes qu’attende pour rentre. Et en plus, j’aime voir le musé comme toi, ça veut dire petit à petit. Je déteste passer une journée entier. Le musé de Prado à Madrid j’ai le connais bien, j’ai le visité par thèmes, par peintres….
    Tu as beaucoup de chance de pouvoir visité le Louvre petit à petit…xo

    • Il y a toujours la prochaine fois, Eva! Si tu aime le Prado (je n’ai jamais visité! un jour, je vais!) tu vas aimer le Louvre, c’est évident! Petit à petit, c’est le meilleur idée. Le musée est plus grand que je peux voir cette voyage, mais je vais essayer! :) xo

  • Haha is there anything a tourist WON’T take a photo of?? Too funny!

    • Seriously! I might have to start a blog about tourists taking ridiculous photos. I’d have no shortage of material!! xo

  • Beautiful photos!!!

    • Merci beaucoup, Marine!! xo

  • sounds like you are really making the best of your time in Paris. what other museums do you like?

    • I’m trying, P :) I love the Rodin more than the Louvre, if I can be honest. €2 for the gardens and you get to see some of the most gorgeous sculptures ever created. The main building is a marvel, too. I could stare at marble all day. xo

  • Ah, the Louvre. Another casualty of Cal’s strep throat. :( We saw the outside, and that’s IT. And my kid is a museum goer, for sure. All these shots do make me happy that our own art museum is finally open again (not quite the same, i know, but more manageable perhaps!).

    And Rooth has it right… it all starts with The Mixed Up Files… :)

    • :( At least you had an excuse! And you were on a short schedule, too. Next time! Promise? I’m so happy your museum is opening back up again! I remember when it closed for renovations, you were heartbroken. That actually went kind of quickly! Not for you, I’m sure. xo

  • What is about museums? I could spend every waking moment in one. I seriously dreamed about becoming a musuem curator, just so that a portion of my life could be lived in a museum everyday.

    Taking a picture of a McDonald’s sign? I suppose if you’ve never seen or been to one then it might constitute a photo, but where in the world is there not a McDonald’s?! I’ve tried to lessen the amount of photographs I take on vacation and attempt to live more in the moment. Although, I’ve only gone from taking 1,000 to 999 — ha-ha!

    • Oh, girrrl, you and me both. I would even be something less official than a curator just to hang out in a museum all day. They’re so romantic and magical, I’m glad someone else agrees and shares that sentiment! :)

      The McDonald’s thing made no sense. It was a poster for the McCafe latte things, on the side of the glass-covered outdoor seating section. It wasn’t even a point-and-shoot, the guy had a real-deal, huge DSLR and giant lens. And he was bending his knees to get the perfect angle. Of the McCafe sign. So much WTF in that moment. xo

  • Haha, maybe she only went to the gift shop, but still was trying to make it look like she actually SAW Mona Lisa ;)

    • I think that was seriously her intention! How bonkers! xo

  • Erin, that second to last picture?! That is everything.

    • Oh, thank you Santa!! That’s so sweet! xo