I Louvre You.

Yesterday I had to go to the Louvre for eight hours.

I know, it's a tough life.

While it was an exhausting day,
it was also a sweet day thinking back on past visits.

I had memories flood back 
from special days spent there 
with so many special people...

Whether is was posing by statues as kids...
napping in the seats of the Italian Renaissance wing when backpacking in college...
posing by the winged victory with cousins...
or having photo shoots with pyramids outside with friends...

the Louvre is a place that I cherish for a lot of reasons.

Beyond jogging my nostalgia & inspiring me with gorgeous works of art,
this visit was great because it reminded me of a few tricks
 that make it easier to visit the Louvre.

Here are a few tips to make your trip to the Louvre perfect...
and worthy of many good memories of your own!


Take the Metro stop one stop past the instinctive Louvre-Rivoli stop
and, instead, alight at the Palais Du Louvre- Musee Louvre.

This will bring you to Rue Rivoli.

When you arrive at street level,
look down the street about 50 meters
until you see a red awning.

It will say Carrousel Du Louvre.

Take this entrance, go down the escalators,
pass the Apple Store & Starbucks
and opt for the shorter line into the foyer of the Louvre.

This will save you about 30 minutes from the typical security line 
that wraps around the fountains for the main entrance at the Pyramids...

You can always take your Pyramid pictures later.


If you are going all the way to France,
all the way through the lines,
the least you can do
is make your time at the Louvre informative.

First,  the audio guide is €6, but can offer some great tours and information...
though, if it's not working- swap it out at any booth. I have had to do that multiple times.

You can buy your audio guide ticket at the kiosks, or at the desks. Then you take the ticket to the audio guide desk... be prepared to leave an ID/credit card as a deposit until the guide is returned.

Second, download a Louvre app on your iPad before you head overseas.

 There are some great apps available
that can give you some amazing info on the art you are seeing.

Finally, if you have 3G or wifi,
you MUST try Google Googles

Take a picture with you phone/iPad,
use the Google Goggles app to scan it... and voila!
You have a google search result based off the picture (instead of a keyword).



There is a food court in the Carousel du Louvre 
(and, yes, you can leave the main area and return with your ticket),
and there are some crowded cafes in the main foyer...
but if you go early enough
(like at around 11:45)
you can snag a table at Cafe Mollien.

Find it at the far end of the Denon Wing.

After the Delacroix hall...
right past the Mona Lisa,
and at the edge of the ornate stairwell.

It's pleasantly decent food
(well, except for the sandwiches, which are pre-wrapped!!)...

The soups & quiches are quite nice,
while the teas & coffee are great.

But beyond the acceptable food,
is the place to recharge & rest
in a non-hectic setting
with a view of the Pyramids & Tuileries 
that is totally incredible.

Also, be on the lookout for the cleverly placed seating in the Louvre.

Most of these nooks are sun-light, cozy 
& perfect for letting your eyes & brain rest.

While you're resting & wandering, 
don't forget to look up.

The artwork hung along these walls might be amazing, 
but this former palace is a true masterpiece.


You know what?

I've seen the Mona Lisa a bunch, 
and, yeah, it's nice...

But I always laugh when I enter the room 
that this famous painting is displayed in.

At one end, the Mona Lisa end,
 you will see this....

and, mainly overlooked, on the other end of the room, is this.

The largest painting in the Louvre...

The Feast of Cana.

It's amazing...
and while hoards of people shove and push to take their picture by Mona
 they are miss an amazing moment by something really grand.

Don't just hit the highlights to check them off your list...
find something that you connect with.

Even if it's not on a postcard
or in history books.

Find a piece that makes you stop,
stare, and feel wistful....
that's when you know you've found an artist you connect with.


Are you planning on visiting the Louvre again this year?
If you are under the age of 26, you can go down towards the Carousel Du Louvre
and stop by the members office.

There you can, rather quickly, fill our a form
pay €15 for "la carte Louvre jeunes", and become a member for a year.

You'll get free entrance & 30% off gift stores & cafes...
and with ticket prices being €10 a visit,
this is a heck of a deal.

If you are 26-30 or a professional,
you can get a year membership for €35.

All it takes is 15 minutes & a valid proof of identification.

Enjoy your visit to the Louvre...
please add your thoughts below!


I'm off to Versailles tomorrow...
and of course, I'll be blogging & tweeting my way through the day.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy


  1. I will never forget my first trip to the Louvre. I was wandering somewhat aimlessly, admiring the art, the people, the experience when suddenly I was stopped dead in my tracks: standing before me was the Nike of Samothrace - my favorite sculpture. I'm pretty sure I started crying. I had no idea she would be there waiting for me. It was pure magic.

    Loving your posts from France, looks like you're having a spectacular time!

  2. I was in the same room (Mona Lisa, et cetera) a few weeks ago and thought the same thing. Did you hear about the new, probably/maybe da Vinci painting? She's much prettier, in my view.

  3. I literally had the exact same thought about the Mona Lisa room when I went to the Louvre in January. I actually found the other painting so much more impressive!

  4. I must remember to visit this post when I make it someday. Cuz I will! Bound and determined! :)

  5. When I was backpacking I took a nap in the Louve too! It was toasty inside and I was sleepy. Perfect little break. I had the exact same thought too about the Mona Lisa room. How gageebus there is a huge and beautiful painting behind us!

  6. the Louvre just became a "definite" on the trip, and your hints will be used accordingly. ;) It's pretty amazing how blind we can become to beauty when our attention is "supposed" to be on something else.

  7. I love the feast of Cana. It's one of my favourite pieces there and always overlooked. That and winged victory. The sculpture pieces are so amazing.

  8. Great tips! Hope I can make it back to the Louvre soon.

    FEST (a new blog about food, style & travel)

  9. phew, i'm so glad that i did most of these things my last visit to the louvre! we went twice (i know, die hards!) and the second time through got the audio guide, entered through rue rivoli, had a picnic, and discovered art that we never thought we liked before! love this guide! great job lauren! (can you get a job at lonely planet?! )

  10. Fun fun, fun...am a little jealous that you are at the Louvre in Paris and I am here, in the cold dreary NY rain......but do wish you the best time. So agree about sometimes the real stars of the art world are not the "name brands" that draw the hordes of people but often some of the other magnificent works of art that for whatever reason haven't become a household name.....more for you to enjoy without being elbowed by some photo hungry tourist..lol. Great tips too!

  11. Lauren I am enjoying your posts so much. I have traveled a lot; however dream *(plan) to visit France in the Autumn! Thank you for such great info and wonderful images!

    Art by Karena

  12. Great advice- definitely found the Louvre overwhelming and the Mona Lisa underwhelming! I think if I go back I'll be following these tips!

    And so jealous you're at Versailles- can't wait to see photos!

  13. book marking this page for my summer paris trip! SOO excited to see your versailles post! when i visited versailles during my month stay in paris it was my favorite day of the trip! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  14. OK, I am officially jealous of your life. All day at the Lourve?! Yes, please! I'll be bookmarking this post for sure. I've been not-so-subtly hinting to the hubs that a Paris trip is imminent.

  15. Oh I need to return to Paris. Thanks for the tips!

  16. Wow this was such a great post - I knew about the little back door route but not about the fabulous Louvre app they have available now. Your photos made me nostalgic, just found your blog and am enjoying it!

  17. Great tips! This summer we entered from a metro entrance. I honestly don't remember how we got there, but there was an entrance into the Louvre from the metro stop! Shorter line & it was inside near some cool shops, so we could shop & wait. Love the post- I'm definitely getting an audio guide next time. Also, one Sunday a month or so there is a free entry day! A definite plus.

  18. Oh, and if you try to sign up for the Carte Jeunes, go and do it in real life. If you do it online, you have to wait about two weeks before you can pick it up. And no, you can't just fill out everything again, because you've already paid. Yeah, the Louvre had a displeased Amie that day.

  19. We always take pictures at the Louvre but never made time to go in... next time!

    M x


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