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Tips for a first visit to the Louvre Museum

Visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris can be overwhelming and cause a kind of sensory and intellectual overload if you try to take in too much.

Especially on a first visit, tourists end up making some very common mistakes and end up feeling exhausted or claustrophobic. This is why, in my book, it is so important to learn how not to take a field trip to the world famous museum. Follow these basic tips on how to deal with this gigantic museum, and we can guarantee that you will get a much more enriching and satisfying experience.

Don’t try to see everything in one day

It is very easy to suffer a sudden bout of exhaustion when visiting the Louvre. This may seem inevitable given the museum’s collection of 35,000 works of art and eight massive curatorial departments.

Even though it’s tempting to try to conquer the collections in a single day and thus get bragging rights by the time you get home, this is probably the worst strategy one can take. Instead, start by exploring the collections online before your visit (or check out the brochures you can pick up near the collections entrance) and settle into a wing or two within these to focus. You can also choose a thematic route if you want to focus on certain periods of history or art schools. You will probably find the experience much more enjoyable and enriching by taking this approach.

Avoid the crowds by choosing off-peak hours

The Louvre currently has an average of more than eight million visitors per year, which makes it quite clear why it is absolutely necessary to avoid peak hours if you want to experience the collections in a more than superficial way. Avoid weekdays and the first Sunday of the month, when admission is free for all visitors. The free admission option may sound like a tempting proposition, but if you’re more interested in painting and sculpture than shoulders, elbows, and heads, we suggest avoiding.

Take a tour

The Louvre collections are rich and complex. Rather than stand up for yourself, booking a guided tour can be a good option, especially on a first visit. The Louvre offers a range of guided tours that are likely to be tailored to the needs and interests of the majority of visitors, including tours for disabled children and families, individuals or groups, and themed talks in galleries that focus on specific artistic movements. or highlights from collections, such as the Dutch painting by masters like Vermeer.

Don’t just see the Mona Lisa

On a first visit to the Louvre, many if not most people head straight for the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. This is perfectly understandable, but be sure not to overlook some of the less publicized treasures found in the museum.

Some of these include exploring the medieval foundations of the Louvre, masterpieces of Islamic art, the recently renovated Apollo Gallery, and the Babylonian tablet known as the Code Hammurabi.

Don’t forget to read before visiting

As mentioned above, touring the Louvre for a full morning or afternoon can easily induce a feeling of sensory and mental overload. One way to avoid feeling exhausted during your visit is to take a virtual tour of the collections and read the history and highlights of the museum ahead of time. You are more likely to be able to put things in meaningful context and enjoy concentrating on the works themselves.

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