2 Days in the Louvre: What Not to Miss!

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Phelipe Cardoso Sekai

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Curator’s statement

The Louvre's collection is staggering in both size and diversity, encompassing over 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century, spread across an area of 72,735 square meters. So, we believe dedicating two or more days to the Louvre is essential to truly appreciate its vast and diverse collection, allowing visitors to immerse themselves fully in the rich artistic achievements that this unparalleled museum offers. Planning an itinerary for two days at the museum can be an exciting yet daunting task due to the vast number of exhibits and artworks. Here's a suggested itinerary to help you make the most of your visit.

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Where to stay

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Hôtel Du Louvre - The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

Upscale and beautifully restored 19th-century hotel located in the heart of the city with luxe rooms and suites.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Welcome amenity.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out, whenever possible.

Grand Hotel du Palais Royal

Where Parisian elegance and luxurious sophistication reign supreme, creating an enchanting haven in the heart of the city.

Fora Perks
  • Food & beverage credit

  • Breakfast daily

  • Extended check-in/out whenever possible

Hotel Regina Louvre

An elegant, chic retreat in Paris' 1st arrondissement, with unbeatable Eiffel Tower views, a garden-lined courtyard and a prime location near the city's best attractions.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel credit.

  • Welcome amenities.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Unlock perks by contacting Phelipe to book your trip.

Day 1: A Journey Through Timeless Masterpieces and Ancient Civilizations

a group of people walking up and down some stairs

Visiting the Louvre, a monumental repository of art and history, is undoubtedly a highlight of any trip to Paris. While a single day in the Louvre can be a whirlwind of artistic discovery, dedicating two days to this iconic museum is far more advantageous.

With its vast array of masterpieces and historical artifacts, spanning from ancient civilizations to Renaissance art, the Louvre demands more than just a cursory glance.

Additionally, a two-day visit affords the luxury of breaks for reflection, relaxation, and dining, enhancing your overall experience and connection with the art.

Morning Exploration:

  • 9 a.m. - Arrival: Begin your day at the Louvre, entering through the Pyramid to avoid longer lines at other entrances.

  • 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Denon Wing: Your first stop is the iconic Denon Wing. Here, witness the splendor of the Mona Lisa, marvel at the intricate details of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and be captivated by the grace of the Venus de Milo.

  • 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - European Paintings: Transition to the realms of European art. Take your time with the Italian Renaissance section, including masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.

Midday Break for Lunch: Choose from one of the Louvre's many cafes for a convenient meal, or step outside to a nearby Parisian bistro. (Louvre Restaurants)

Afternoon Immersion:

  • 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Near Eastern Antiquities: Discover the ancient world of Mesopotamia, Persia and the Levant. This section boasts a collection of artifacts that are both historically significant and artistically magnificent.

  • 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Egyptian Antiquities: Dive into the extensive Egyptian collection. From mummies to monumental statues, these artifacts offer a comprehensive insight into ancient Egyptian civilization.

Evening Exploration:

  • 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities: Conclude your first day with classical sculptures and artifacts from ancient Greece, Etruria and Rome, showcasing the evolution of art and society in these cultures.

Day 1 Tips:

  • Arrive early: The Louvre gets crowded, especially near famous artworks like the Mona Lisa. Arriving early helps you enjoy these masterpieces with fewer people around.

  • Prioritize must-see artworks: Make a list of must-see pieces in the Denon Wing and plan your route accordingly. This ensures you don't miss key artworks in the vast museum.

  • Wear comfortable shoes: You'll be walking a lot, so comfortable footwear is crucial. The Louvre's floors can be hard on your feet.

  • Stay hydrated: Carry a water bottle. You can refill it at water fountains throughout the museum.

  • Take breaks: Regular breaks are important. Find a bench in a quiet gallery or sit in the Louvre's indoor seating areas to rest and reflect on what you've seen.

  • Download the Louvre app: This app can provide you with maps and information about the exhibits, helping you navigate and learn more about the art.

  • Photography tips: Remember, flash photography is prohibited. Use natural light for the best photos, especially in the sculpture sections.

  • Consider an audio guide: Renting an audio guide can provide fascinating insights into the history and significance of the artworks.

Day 2: Unveiling Decorative Arts and Hidden Gems

gold and white floral ceiling

Morning Discovery:

  • 9 a.m. - Arrival at the Richelieu Wing: Start your second day in the opulent Richelieu Wing.

  • 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Decorative Arts: Witness the grandeur of the Napoleon III Apartments and explore the Decorative Arts section, which houses an array of ornate furniture, tapestries and objets d'art.

  • 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Middle Ages and Renaissance Art: Delve into the medieval and Renaissance periods. This section is a treasure trove of tapestries, sculptures and the French crown jewels, representing the pinnacle of artistic expression in these eras.

Lunch in the Gardens: Enjoy a leisurely lunch in the serene Tuileries Garden adjacent to the Louvre.

Afternoon Adventure:

  • 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Islamic Art: Explore the rich and diverse collection of Islamic Art. This wing displays exquisite examples of Islamic calligraphy, ceramics and textiles.

  • 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - World Arts: Spend your afternoon in the less frequented yet equally fascinating sections of African, Asian, Oceanian and American arts, offering a glimpse into diverse cultures and histories.

Evening Reflections:

  • 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Personal Exploration: Use the final hours to revisit your favorite pieces, explore any missed sections, or simply wander and let serendipity guide you to unexpected artistic discoveries.

Day 2 Tips:

  • Start fresh: Day two covers less crowded, but equally fascinating sections. A fresh start helps you enjoy these with renewed energy.

  • Explore lesser-known sections: The second day is about discovering hidden gems. Be open to exploring artworks or sections you may not be familiar with.

  • Lunch plans: Consider having lunch in the Tuileries Garden for a scenic break. Packing a picnic lunch can be a delightful option.

  • Battery check: Ensure your phone or camera is fully charged for the day, as you'll encounter many photo-worthy moments in the Decorative Arts section and beyond.

  • Use the Louvre map: Even on your second day, the Louvre can be confusing. Keep a map handy to find specific sections quickly.

  • Look for special exhibitions: The Louvre often hosts special exhibitions which are included in your ticket. Check these out for unique experiences.

  • Journal or sketch: If you enjoy sketching or journaling, take time to sit in front of an artwork that inspires you. It's a wonderful way to engage with art.

  • End with favorites: End your day by revisiting any favorites or exploring sections you missed on the first day.

Need to Know

Additional Tips:

  • Plan Your Route: The Louvre's size can be overwhelming.

  • Prioritize galleries and artworks you don't want to miss.

  • Stay Energized: Regular breaks and snacks are essential to maintain your energy throughout the day.

  • Be Photo-Ready: While photography is allowed in most areas, flash is not, so prepare accordingly.

  • Check for Temporary Exhibitions: The Louvre often hosts special exhibitions which might be of interest.

Remember, the Louvre is a vast museum with an incredible array of art and artifacts. This itinerary is designed to offer a balanced experience, but feel free to tailor it to your interests and pace. Enjoy your journey through this unparalleled temple of art and history!

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Rive Gauche in Paris: Our Favorite Hotels.

Phelipe wearing glasses, a suit and a hat while smiling and standing outside in front of a city street.

Travel Advisor

Phelipe Cardoso Sekai

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