On our second day in Paris it was rainy and cold so we thought it would be a good idea to do an indoor activity and go to the Louvre. We arrived about 45 minutes before they opened to wait in line to purchase our tickets. Once inside the museum, we rushed straight to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Such a small painting but still remarkable. Then we were off to see the Venus de Milo and some more of the highlights from our travel book. After we accomplished our mission, we just took it easy and wandered all over the museum. Killian was even able to run around and enjoy himself in the less crowded portions. After the Louvre, we took a stroll in the Jardin des Tuileries. This is a beautiful garden right outside the Louvres exits. Even though it was raining that didn’t stop us from having a great time! We had lunch at a cafe in the garden and it was delicious. I had my first French crepe filled with ham, cheese, egg and mushroom and for dessert a Nutella crepe that was out of this world! I learned my lesson from the other day and went with a glass of wine instead of the water. Below are some travel tips for anyone that might be planning their vacation in Paris! Hope they help!
1. If you already have your tickets to the Louvre do not use the main pyramid entrance. I know that’s its flashy and touristy but take the entrance to the right of the mini looking Arc de Triumph this is with your back to the Louvre. There is a side underground entrance with far less traffic! If we have any Da Vinci Code fans you will get to see the two pyramids opposing each other (see picture below).
2. If you do not have your ticket go to the pyramid and stand in the line that say sans tickets. I would recommend getting there 1 hour to 45 minutes before they open because if you are there 30 minutes before they open the line is already outrageous.
3. Since you are one of the first in line go straight to the Grand Gallery in the Denon wing and go straight to room 6 to see the Mona Lisa. Because you are the first the museum you will actually be able to stop and appreciate the famous painting without hundreds of people trying to push you out of the way to get a quick pic. This also provides you with ample time to enjoy the Grand Gallery, it’s grand for a reason! The paintings in this room are amazing and you get to see the works from some of the most famous ninja turtles…. I mean painters of our childhood… I mean time.
4. After the Mona Lisa go directly downstairs to the Sully wing of the museum to see the Venus de Milo. Again there isn’t hardly anyone in the museum yet because they are all still in line and you can actually get a close up shot without people throwing elbows.
5. Despite what you may think, prices in Paris are really not so outrageous when it comes to food except when you want to eat in the Louvre. Expect to pay around $8 USD for a soggy premade sandwich. Instead walk outside to the Jardin des Tuileries and have a nice lunch in one of the two cafes available, which will still cost around $45 USD but at least it will taste better and it’s more of a fun experience then sitting in a crowded cafeteria.