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
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
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
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
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
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?