The Louvre houses thousands of works of art and museum objects so it’s a bit overwhelming. Over 15,000 people a day visit the Louvre so it’s very crowded. In order to enjoy a visit to this extraordinary museum, a tourist with limited time needs to develop some strategies for beating the long lines and visiting its highlights. Here are some ideas.
• Get a map of the Louvre so you can determine the location of exhibits you want to see. Buy a ticket that only covers those exhibits. Don’t pay for an all-inclusive ticket you won’t have time to use.
• Don’t waste time standing in a ticket line. Purchase your ticket in advance on the internet (www.louvre.fr). There’s usually a small fee of a couple of euros per ticket for this service. The savings in time is worth the small extra cost.
• Skip the long lines at the Pyramid entrance in the main courtyard by entering through one of the other museum entrances. The least crowded is the Porte des Lions at the far south-eastern wing of the Museum near the Seine River.
• Stave off exhaustion and saturation by breaking your visit into several petite visits in one day, breaking for tea or lunch. Café Mollien is a reasonably priced café located on the first floor of the Louvre. Since tickets are valid all day and re-entry is allowed, you can also leave the museum for snacks in Jardins des Tuileries.
• See the highlights of the Louvre first then visit less celebrated pieces if time allows. Here are a few celebrated pieces from which to choose:
Venus de Milo
da Vinci’s The Mona Lisa
The Wedding at Cana by Veronese
La Belle Jardinière by Raphael
Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix
The Raft of the Medusa by Géricault
The Coronation of Napoleon by David
Ingres’ Turkish Bath
Victory of Samothrace
the Pesian Mantes Carpet
Chapel of the Tomb of Akhethetep
the ancient Crouching Lion
Nymphe et Satyre by Watteau
The Lacemaker by Vermeer
Rembrandt’s self portraits
Ancient Egyptian Household Furniture
The series of Four Seasons by Poussin