Best museums in Paris

Musee de Louvre, Paris

I first came across information on this museum at an architecture class. It made it to the list of worldwide architectural masterpieces we studied in depth. It also happens to be home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (one of the most famous paintings in the world) and is considered the world’s greatest art museum, with a collection of pieces covering the full spectrum of art through the ages.

I was overwhelmed by the museum of African art in Arusha because of the size of it’s collection, perhaps because I’m particularly interested in African art. The Louvre, however was on a whole other level, with about 380,000 pieces that sit on roughly 15 acres. It is impossible to complete even within a week. The trick therefore is to get a map at the entrance and map out your main galleries of interest for the day.

Best museums in Paris
The glass and metal pyramid (and 3 other smaller ones that surround it) has become symbolic of the Louvre Museum. It was an addition completed in 1989. It’s erection caused a fair bit of controversy, as the architect, I.M. Pei, was the first non-French architect to work on it.
Best museums in Paris
Inside the louvre.
Louvre Museum
The closest I could get to the Mona Lisa. There was more queuing in this gallery, and I had already walked in the museum for about 5 hours. I decided I’d pass on the chance for a close-up. The painting was also much smaller than I had anticipated, measuring only 53 x 77cms

 

Best museums in Paris
David and Goliath by Daniele da Volterra

Art lovers' paradise in EuropeBlack travel movement in EuropeThe Louvre MuseumThe Louvre MuseumBlack tourist activities in FranceAlexander the great

Must see places in Paris
I really loved the sections with sculptural ceilings. Such detail!

The Louvre was constructed in 1190 as a fortress and became a museum in 1793. It welcomes a whooping 15,000 visitors per day, and 70% are foreign tourists.

A few tips for the museum

1. You can purchase entry tickets online to help you skip the queue. The queues move really quickly though so don’t be discouraged by the length, even if you see nobody that looks like you.

2. Leave out a full day for the museum as it’s pretty massive. If you can afford a couple of days, the better.

3. Wear comfortable shoes….there’s bound to be lots of walking.

4. Get a map at the entrance to guide you through the museum. You can also purchase an audio guide. I got one but ended up not using it as there are friendly guides every few metres that can direct you.

5. The museum has some restaurants where you can eat and relax if you wish to take a food break. There’s also many benches within the galleries where you can rest, between galleries.

POSTSCRIPT: Some times life happens and you’re thrown off your schedules. But then you go out one night and meet a silent blog follower…the type that reads every post quietly, never commenting or sharing but is just as ardent. They ask you why you have disappeared, why the Paris series was left hanging. And then they share their visa problems and you exchange some tips under the stars, drinks in hand. Jesaina Tembu, this post is for you.

Until next time, happy travels!

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