Is The Mona Lisa Overrated? Here’s What I Think.

Is The Mona Lisa Overrated? Here’s What I Think.

You can’t go to Paris without visiting the Louvre. (You know, the massive, famous, museum of art you learned about in elementary school?) While I’m not the biggest art fan and my jet lag had kicked in by this point in my vacation, this place just had to be seen. I felt it was important to expose my daughter to this kind of culture, and we had to see the Mona Lisa for ourselves. Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

For starters, this place is massive. You always hear that it’s a destination that cannot be seen in one day, but that’s a serious understatement. You know the MET in New York City? That would fit inside one wing of the Louvre…and the Louvre has five wings! (…And six levels, but who’s counting? We definitely got a workout today!) Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

Since we didn’t know where to begin, we mapped out our visit using the interactive floor plans. Reese really likes furniture and interiors, so that exhibit was our first stop. From there, we checked out the Egyptian area, complete with mummies! Next stop was the Roman section before we began our quest to find the Mona Lisa. Be warned: It’s about a mile-long walk from the front entrance. Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

We walked up four flights of stairs (each with about 25 stairs) and down many long corridors. There is an elevator, but it is strictly for disabled guests to use. The signage on the way to the Mona Lisa is really poor, so you could get lost. When we finally got there, it was kept inside a gigantic room with very few other paintings. After our long journey, there she was: an itty bitty picture hanging on the wall! (The Mona Lisa is approximately 2’ by 1’.) Needless to say, Reese was very disappointed. It was an adventure just to get to see the painting. I compare the trek to walking through Ikea…You’ll see every exhibit before you get to her! Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

The Louvre is surprisingly interactive for kids. (I probably would have been bored there had I visited at Reese’s age.) You can rent a Nintendo 3DS XL with a map on it. Virtual curators guide you through the museum through the device. It has menus, videos, and live commentary in multiple languages. The museum also has a new app called “My Visit to the Louvre” that you can download in advance. I was told there are lots of Pokémon at the Louvre, too, for those playing along. Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

You know how you can’t touch anything in these museums? The Louvre actually has something called the Tactile Gallery, where visitors are encouraged to touch. The gallery features plaster or resin casts of the original sculptures on display at the Louvre. So keep this in mind if you’re bringing kids. Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

Here’s a little advice before you go: There’s very little air conditioning throughout the Louvre. When we went, it was in the low 70’s outside, so the buildings weren’t hot, but many of the rooms were sticky and humid. Also, buy tickets in advance. We got really lucky on the day we went because there happened to be no line, but you can’t count on that, and you don’t want to waste precious time in line. There’s a lot to see inside, after all! Finally, utilize the docents for information on when specific areas are the busiest. That’s what they’re there for. I actually set an alarm on my phone for the best time to see Mona Lisa, and we simply headed that way when I was reminded. Is The Mona Lisa Overrated

What’s the first thing you want to see on your trip to Louvre?



  1. August 11, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    Hey Courtney,

    Fantastic blog post and interesting take on Paris and of course the Mona Lisa. I hear the Mona Lisa is really small.
    Although I live in London and I have been to Paris so many times, I must confess that I have never visited the Louvre. Maybe because Paris is just a train ride away!

    But having read your blog post, I think I must visit the Louvre on my next visit to Paris.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. August 11, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    I got to see the Mona Lisa was really nice to see in my opinion. But the LOurve is so nice and powerful that it make the painting not seem that great.

  3. August 12, 2017 / 12:35 am

    a very interesting and detailed post. The pictures you took all also look really good. Great post!

  4. August 12, 2017 / 1:27 am

    I was itching to read this since I laid eyes on your blog. You see I have a strong love affair with Louvre and Paris, I visited there in July last year and found it to be a real delight (as I am very much an art fan). I totally agree with your comments and details about the museum. As far as the Mona Lisa is concerned I must admit I was thrilled to see it because it was the embodiment of all that I had read about it over the years, so the mysticism had so much to do with my own feelings than the painting itself. I hope it makes sense.
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  5. August 12, 2017 / 6:44 am

    I’ve seen the Mona Lisa already 4 times and the first time I was also disappointed that it was so small! But it’s still an amazing piece of art!

  6. August 12, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    WOW! I didn’t realize she was so small! Your photos are great!

  7. August 13, 2017 / 5:29 am

    I went to the Louvre and didn’t find the Mona Lisa that impressive…I think it’s because your expectations are elevated so much by mainstream media! But the museum itself was amazing:) I didn’t know there was so much to do for kids:) thanks for sharing!

  8. August 13, 2017 / 11:05 am

    And yet another reason to visit France. I’ve heard about Mona Lisa but in books. Who knows, I might have the chance to visit soon. Thanks to your detailed description.

  9. August 13, 2017 / 11:38 am

    What timing! My next week blog is literally on the same subject – the Louvre and how overrated the Mona Lisa is. The Feast of Cana is the ultimately more impressive painting in that room, and every time I’m there, I’m always impressed how everyone crowds around the Mona Lisa and no one even notices the Cana one.

  10. August 13, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    interesting tips about the mona lisa painting, I totally think the painting is overrated, esp since I grew up already seeing the painting in photo form so many times lol I think the museum itself is still worth a visit, but the mona lisa…not so much xD

  11. August 14, 2017 / 2:19 am

    Sounds like you had a fun day. I’ve been to Paris a number of times, but never actually been inside the Louvre! Last time I was there I went to Rodins’ Garden, which was beautiful, and much less crowded than a lot of Paris attractions. I will definitely visit the Louvre next time I’m in Paris though

  12. August 14, 2017 / 4:09 am

    Must have been wonderful to spend time here!

  13. August 14, 2017 / 11:37 pm

    Wow! I always wanted to see this place. It looks so awesome and you can see many beautiful things in here.

    • admin
      August 16, 2017 / 9:09 am

      I loved it!

  14. August 15, 2017 / 2:17 am

    It is great that you and your daughter got to have such a wonderful experience. Years later she will remember it, trust me on that one.

    • admin
      August 16, 2017 / 9:06 am

      I totally agree.

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