Paris: Musée du Louvre (Louvre Museum)

Louvre Museum

No trip to Paris would be complete without a trip to the Louvre Museum.  Even if you aren’t an art lover or don’t know the Venus de Milo from the Mona Lisa, your life will forever be changed within the first few seconds of walking in the door.  I was lucky enough to be part of a group. So, our tickets were pre-purchased, and we had a tour guide.  

I understand that the lines can get very long during peak travel season so advanced tickets are strongly recommended. I would also recommend the guided tour.  I cannot adequately describe how HUGE this museum is.  It is the former home of the King of France for goodness’s sake.  The museum itself is over 650,000 square feet. That is more than 120 miles of museum! It would be impossible for you to see everything is one day.

Mona Lisa

The guided tour allows you the opportunity to see all the highlights.  These are the art pieces that you’ve read about or seen on TV (yes, I’m talking about the Da Vinci Code).  My cousin told me she was surprised when she went and saw that the Mona Lisa was the size of a postage stamp. Well, she’s not quite that small maybe closer to a portrait you’d have on your living room wall.  

But still just as breathtaking.

My only regret is that we arrived late in the day and so I wasn’t able to spend enough time to see things that weren’t part of the tour. Even if you don’t have time to tour the museum the grounds alone are a must see. In the main courtyard is the IM Pei glass and metal pyramid. I tried really hard to look down, through the glass to see if I could spot Mary Magdalene’s tomb…. but no luck.