After living in France for over 1.5 years, we finally decided to take our girls to Musee de Louvre.
We had already taken them to both Orsay and l’Orangerie along with plenty of chateaux with mostly successful results, so we hoped that if we could plan out our day well enough at the Louvre, we could also have a successful trip there as well.
We ended up having a great day and stayed at the museum for about 8 hours total (with our oldest asking if we could stay longer. Seriously.). While I don’t recommend that everyone take their almost 4 and almost 2 year old to a huge museum for that long, I do think that there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Louvre. Below are some of our favorites from the day, along with a few tips and tricks.
Hands down, this was definitely Adeline’s favorite part of the museum. She loved all the statues that had different animal heads and would stand next to one and ask me to take her picture. She loved it.
It was also beautifully put together and had tons and tons to look at and wander through. Egypt is on multiple floors, so there was no shortage of colorful sarcophagi, ancient egyptian jewelry and objects, and statues. All things that both the kids and us adults enjoyed looking at.
Venus de Milo
While maybe, not as popular as Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo is definitely on most people’s “must see”list. And for good reason too. This statue of Aphrodite was found on the island of Milo and is an actual ancient Greek statue, not a Roman copy. A tour group was also admiring the statue as we walked up, so it was a little busy but overall, not too bad. The statue itself was beautiful and was definitely worth seeing.
Mona Lisa really was one of my favorite things we saw at the Louvre. I went into it expecting it to be tiny and overrated and super crowded, but since we went during a weekday, the crowds weren’t bad at all and because of my low expectations, I was actually surprised at how much bigger the painting was.
Leonardo Da Vinci was amazing. We’ve enjoyed learning more about him since living here. Our first summer here, we visited his chateau so it was neat to now see the Mona Lisa in person as well. He also had a few other paintings in the museum that were also great to see.
London was also excited to see the Mona Lisa, although she was napping in the stroller at first. Since it wasn’t too busy, we hung out in the room while she slept and then woke her up after she had rested for awhile. She went and looked at the painting to see if Mona Lisa had eyebrows or not (one of the things I told her to look for beforehand that got her excited). It was decided that no, Mona Lisa does not have eyebrows. 😉
Winged Victory of Samothrace
This is another original Greek statue. It’s located at the top of a staircase and is beautiful to see as you walk up. I’m not sure that either of our girls got too excited, but it is definitely worth seeing and if it’s not too crowded, can be a nice place to rest for a moment as you admire the statue.
Near the Venus de Milo, there are a bunch of Roman statues that were neat to walk around. We had to remind our girls not to touch anything, but they did a good job overall and liked looking at all of the statues
Bonus: Moai Head
In the Africa/Oceania/Americas/Asia section, you can find a Moai head. Both of our girls loved it and it was our second one we’ve seen (we saw one at the British Museum as well). It’s also a pretty quiet, empty part of the museum. The collections are small (hence why half of the world is lumped all in one section), but it was far from crowded and gave us a break from there being people constantly around us.
Tips & Tricks
- Bring a stroller if your kids will use it. Yes, it will be slightly annoying at times to find an elevator, but it was totally worth it for us. Not only did it give our girls a place to nap during the day, it also got us inside the museum ahead of all the lines (saving us at least 45 minutes of waiting on a not-so-busy day).
- Unless you really want to save money, don’t go the first Sunday of any given month. Every first Sunday of the month, most museums and chateaux are free in the Paris area. If you’re interested in something less popular, that’s great, but the Louvre is already busy enough on a normal day and can get very crowded on a free day. Add in young children to the mix, and it’s a bit much for me to be fighting the crowds all day.
- If possible, go on a weekday (and even better if it’s the off season). It’s far less crowded during the week (although in the summer it honestly might not matter that much with all the tourists) and on Wednesdays and Fridays, the museum is open late (until 9:45pm).
- Don’t plan to see everything. The Louvre is the world’s largest museum. We stayed the entire day and did not see everything. And we knew that going into it and was okay with it. Pick a few things you really want to see. Make sure you see those few things and then just enjoy wandering around a bit.
- Enjoy the outside gardens during a break. I’m a little sad we missed them (the weather wasn’t the greatest the day we visited), but I’ve heard wonderful things about the Tuileries and Carrousel Gardens. They would be a great place for children to run around for a little snack break or picnic lunch or even after a visit through the museum.
We really had a great time visiting the museum. London has already asked if we can go back! While it can be a bit intimidating, there are so many interesting things to see and it’s definitely worth a visit.