The Louvre, Paris is a Magnificent Museum Palace surrounded by the picturesque settings of a plethora of beautifully serene, crisp gardens and gorgeous architecture. Located near the Siene River and walking distance to many other ‘Can’t miss’ sites such as the Jardin des Tuileries. The largest museum in the world opened in 1793 with just over 500 treasured masterpieces and now holds over 35 000 uniquely spectacular pieces of art. It is a maze of 3 wings and several levels, 8 cultural departments and numerous exhibition rooms. It can be utterly confusing but there are many systems in place to guide you along the way
For two girls travelling alone in an unknown Mega city can be quite daunting. I would recommend purchasing the Paris Pass. It gives you access to many of the sightseeing attractions. You can choose a 2 day, 4 day or 6 day pass. It gives you free use of public transport and gives you maps and offers specials at shops and restaurants. Best of all it allows you to skip the endless queues of people standing waiting for entry outside the Louvre and walks straight through like a VIP. If you don’t want to get the Paris Pass then you can walk through the Carousel (The Louvre Mall) across the street and purchase a ticket at the ticket desk. The Museum is open at night till 9:45pm on Wednesdays and Fridays so if you are going to stand in line, I would recommend going after 4pm on those days.
To get to the Louvre you can take the metro or you could walk along the Seine River until you find it. Inside are restaurants and a food court but finding them rather expensive, especially when you are on a budget. I might be tempted to buy a glass of wine or two but I rather like the idea of taking along a small back pack and taking along your own picnic lunch and sitting in the lush gardens.
I looked through the The Louvre website which helped me quite a lot. It can be translated into English and there is a lot of information about the Louvre and how it is set up making the maze much easier to navigate. When walking through the museum the audio guide is a hit as many of the art descriptions are in French. There is also the option of a guided tour if you are scared of getting lost. The Da vinci code tour is interesting. A guided tour separating fact from the fictional book by Dan Brown.I have to say it is a mammoth of a museum and you can spend a week visiting and still not see everything.
The 8 different sections are at least colour coded to help you along the way. For example Paintings is red, Roman and Greek antiques are blue and Egyptian antiques are green.On display are some art pieces that you just have to see. The famous Mona Lisa by da Vinci, situated on the first floor in the Italian paintings section. There are large crowds surrounding it all trying to get a picture so it can be difficult to view up close. The Venus de Milo statue which I found out ironically was the symbol for the seal for the American Society of Plastic surgeons. The Madonna on the Rocks by da Vinci, depicting the virgin Mary, John the Baptist and Jesus. Antonio Canova’s statue Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, a masterpiece creation.