The Louvre, Paris, France

a rainy day at the Louvre

Monday, July 23, 2018

when we finally left it was raining, and every single cab was full. But that only seemed to add to the perfection... what could be more perfect than racing through Paris in the rain?

The Louvre was high on our list - specifically mine, because I'd dreamed of seeing it ever since I was old enough to watch The Adventures of Madeline. It was a dream of mine.

We bought our tickets far in advance, though after visiting we quickly realized that this was not necessary for the time of year that we were visiting (August). There were lots of people just walking in and purchasing tickets at the info desks, which, if you're working with a tight schedule, would be a much easier option rather than trying to pin down what day you'll spend at the Louvre months in advance.

Thankfully, the day we had picked ended up being overcast, and later rainy, which facilitated the five hour visit perfectly. And if you're into art and architecture at all, I would definitely recommend giving yourself at least four hours to explore the Louvre (and this would still have you moving through the exhibits at a pretty steady clip, skipping some altogether.) I'm a huge fan of the French Impressionistic artists, so we did focus more on those exhibits, and breezed through others in order to make more time for Renoir and Monet.

If you're planning a visit, I would highly recommend exploring the map of the museum's layout online before you go. There's loads of information on the map, but I personally found it to be just a tad confusing. But the museum staff was super friendly and helpful when it came to finding certain exhibits. (And Tyler happens to be a genius with remembering a ridiculous amount of directions, so there's that too.)

If you're someone who enjoys spending lots of time in front of one painting reading the plaque and understanding the history behind each piece of artwork, it may be worth it to download the My Visit to the Louvre app, which is free and will give you all the information you'll need about the exhibits, galleries, artwork, and events. You can also rent audio guides that have similar features at the info desks. I found that not all of the plaques featured English versions, so unless you're rocking your French (I'm still just a dabbler) the app may come in handy for a quick translation.

Looking back, I wish I'd snagged the app, because it would have been helpful for information and navigation, but there's a simplistic beauty to wandering aimlessly through a museum, absorbing the art for what it is, and allowing it to speak to you without preconceptions or someone else's narrative. That day was pretty relaxed for us, so we enjoyed not having our eyes constantly on our phones; discussing the art with each other instead.

On a super practical note, if you're planning on visiting, wear sneakers. You don't even really feel the impact of how big the Louvre is until you get there. And you don't want to get there and find yourself in some kind of dumb and uncomfortable footwear. I wore my Nikes. But then... when am I not wearing my Nikes?

And, of course, we saw the Mona Lisa, though I will have to chorus a few others in saying that it wasn't exactly what I expected. It was close, but I still found it to be a little smaller than my voracious imagination painted it to be (it's considered a 'half-length' portrait at 2′ 6″ x 1′ 9″).

The funniest part of the experience was that this was probably the most crowded location we visited in the entire city of Paris. Visiting in the off season, we were pretty stoked to find a tranquilly chill and quiet version of the city, but this was not the case with the Mona exhibit, where you will literally be shoulder to shoulder with at least six people pressing in on you trying to snap a picture or a selfie with this rather petite portrait that peers out from behind a wall of bullet proof glass and boasts a few "body guards."

I had to laugh because I actually witnessed the barrier separating the crowd from the painting topple over from how many eager tourists were pressing on it, trying to get closer.

All in all though, my favorite exhibit at the Louvre was by far the statues in the Richelieu wing. It was mostly empty, save a few students, some of who were hunched on the marble benches sketching the statues on their knees. I loved wandering around in the white light filtering in through the glass ceiling, studying the intensely life-like figures. There was something so peaceful and... Lizzy Bennet about the whole thing.

The Louvre is, in my book, a must-visit. I'm a bit biased, but if you have an extra day in Paris, I don't think you'll regret fitting it in. And if you happen to find yourself in Paris during August (which I've heard from many places is "off season") definitely visit. I was blown away by how many exhibits were virtually empty, making it a super relaxing experience, especially if you're not into crowds.

Okay, now it's your turn. Where was the last museum you visited?? Tell us all about it in the comments below, we would love to hear about it! And let us know if you've been to the Louvre, and if so, what your experience was like!

stay stoked,


  1. This looks so beautiful. I'd love to visit the Louvre, goodness.

  2. I think you would love it, GA! I hope you get the chance to go!! <3 you would love Paris in general tbh

  3. I actually googled yesterday and the Louvre is the most frequently visited museum in the world XD I really want to go someday, when I go to Europe ;)

    As for the last museum I visited, I actually volunteer at a pretty large one (on the list of top 10 most frequently visited XD) and I was there yesterday!! (I might have told you before?? I don't remember??)

    1. DUDE!!! That is so cool, I don't think you've told me that before but that sounds awesome! I love museums sooo much, especially art museums. The Louvre would be right up your alley, Hanne

  4. The Louvre looks so much more stylish and modern than I thought it would. It looks like the best place for a photoshoot.

    The last museum I went to was the British museum which was amazing (I saw the Rosetta Stone!!! So unreal).