Musée du Louvre in Paris is housed in the Louvre Palace that was originally built as a fortress and later used as a royal residence. Home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the museum holds enormous number of decorative arts, paintings and sculptures that are centuries old. It also has on exhibition, Roman, Greek, Egyptian antiquities spread across respective dedicated areas.
The museum is open on all days except Tuesday and is free for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month. This is a big tourist attraction, hence you’re most likely to find yourself standing in a long queue to enter on any given day. It’s best to buy your tickets online in advance.
Enjoy your time inside, walking through the museum admiring all the magnificence on display. There are audio tapes available along with a map of the museum, so you’re not lost. There are guided tours available as well.
The Louvre has many entrances including one from the underground shopping mall named the Carrousel du Louvre. There’s an inverted glass pyramid in this underground lobby that featured in the Da Vinci Code.
However, you will find the most popularly photographed glass Pyramid at the main entrance courtyard of the museum alongside small modern water fountains.
You can exit the museum and rest at the Tuileries Garden. This is situated between the museum and the Place de la Concorde.
There are several cafés around the museum and the adjoining garden where you can grab some refreshments. Walk through the Tuileries, take a seat on one of the green metal chairs – you can choose to sit in the shade, bask in the sun or around one of the water fountains.
For kids, there are these small sail boats available to steer around one of the ponds. Also in the summer months, June to August, there’s a fun fair adjoining the garden with carrousels, food stalls and other amusement park rides. Entrance to the fair is free, you have to pay for the attractions. This can be fun for kids especially after the long museum visit.
Stroll through the garden towards the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel built in 1808 as an entrance of honour at the Tuileries. This triumphal arch was built to commemorate Napoleon’s military victories. A cool detail to bear in mind is that the arch is in line on the historical axis in the city with the Arc de Triomphe at Champs Elysées and the Grand arche at La Défense.
Here’s a view of the Eiffel and the Obelisk at the square Place de la Concorde; you can enjoy the sunset from here after exiting the Tuileries garden on this side.