Hello everyone! Finally I’ve decided to write about Paris – the city of love. When I first arrived in Europe, the cities I always wanted to go are London and Paris, but I waited for more than two and a half years. I don’t know why I waited so long but fortunately I went there in May this year, finally. I have to admit, compared to other cities I’ve been to in Europe, Paris is huge. I wouldn’t suggest you explore the whole city by foot. Thanks to Paris public transportation, it is very convenient to go to most of the attractions by metro or bus, and to Versailles, by train.
I spent 5 days in Paris and I believed I made my travel plan pretty intense. However, I would’t say I’ve seen everything I wanted to see. Also, some of the places such as Louvre and Pantheon, I would definitely go and visit again. Well, I guess that’s because Paris is just not the city to be seen enough in one visit. The good thing is I’ve taken a glimpse of many places this time and when I come again I’ll know where to go. If you wanna take a close look at whole Paris, I would say your stay should be at least a week, or, just come back whenever you want to as Paris says, you’re always welcome. 🙂
Now I’ll give you some practical tips for getting around in Paris.
Public transportation tickets
First the tickets for public transportation. You can buy single trip ticket for 1-3 zones for 1.9 Euros (buy in ticket machine or online) and for 2 Euros (on board). You can also buy a bundle of 10, which costs 14.5 Euros in total. I believe this is enough for you to get around most of the popular attractions in Paris (Versailles is not included in these zones. However, you can choose zones 1-5 and it’s included then). You can also buy day tickets for 1,2,3 or 5 consecutive days in zones 1-3 or 1-5. However, which is a better deal for you depends on how many people you have and how you plan your trip routes.
If you are under 26, buy “day ticket for young people” for zones 1-3 or zones 1-5 on weekends (maybe and holidays), as I remember it is very cheap and good deal (I think you can read about this info on the website in french, but in English it somehow doesn’t show it). As for the dat ticket, don’t forget to write down your name and date.
For more info about Paris day tickets please click here.
For more info about Paris single tickets please click here. (You can also read here which kind of transfer is allowed and which is not.)
Paris Museum Pass
I strongly recommend this pass for people who are not EU residents under 26 years old (EU residents under 26 can normally go to most of the museums and monuments in Paris for free). Be careful as this not the Paris Pass, but I feel the Museum Pass is a better deal as it covers basically all the places i wanted to visit and is much cheaper.
- You have three options to choose from: 2 (48 Euros), 4 (62 Euros) or 6 (74 Euros) consecutive days.
- Free, direct access to monuments and the museums’ permanent collections without standing in the line.
- Unlimited number of visits. (most of the museums and monuments are the case but some such as Versailles are not)
Except Eiffel Tower, the museums and monuments include Arc de Triomphe, Musée de l’aimée – Tombeau de Napoléon 1er, Conciergerie,Musée du Louvre, Musée national de la Marine, Crypte archéologique du Parvis Notre-Dame, Tours de Notre-Dame, Musée national de l’Orangerie, Musée d’Orsay, Panthéon, Musée national Picasso-Paris, Musée Rodin, Sainte-Chapelle, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Château de Vincennes and many more.
You can either buy the tickets online (please click here) or at the airports or simply in Paris (Please click here to view the sales points).
OK, now back to the point, I’ll introduce to you what Louvre is like so you can decide how long you wanna spend there and how you are gonna visiting it.
People who know or do not know, love or do not care about art know Louvre for the pyramid, the reputation, the size, the artworks, the amount of visitors each year or the movie. Among the four biggest museums in the world, Louvre is at the top.
It contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments with more than 60,600 square meters dedicated to the permanent collection. The Louvre exhibits sculptures, objets d’art, paintings, drawings, and archaeological finds. It is the world’s second most visited museum, averaging 15,000 visitors per day.
Usually for most museums, I always specify what to see and where you can find them. However, Louvre is just too big for me to do this. I have to say I didn’t see all the artworks I wanted to see and the next time I go there I’ll spend a whole day in it. Spending a whole day in Louvre is not exaggeration or joke, for people who like paintings, sculptures, drawings, it is necessary.
- For more info about opening time of Louvre please click here.
- For more info about entry tickets or free tickets please click here.
- For interactive floor plan please click here, you can also see where the 42 selected artworks are.
- If you don’t have enough time to spend in Louvre I suggest you click here (to check the selected works by Louvre) and read my post below, so you can choose to look at the ones you prefer.
The suggested entering time is in the morning and if you have museum pass you only need to wait for around 5 mins or so to enter. If you don’t have a whole day for Louvre, check before you go where the artworks you wanna see are and take a note. When you enter, just go to the exhibition rooms according to the floor plan and your note, otherwise you’ll get lost easily. (Sometimes to go to certain rooms, it’s even faster to exit and enter from another entrance if you have museum pass.)
In Louvre, what you need to see are the collection and the palace. However, when you are searching for you favorite artworks, look around, and look at Louvre itself.
“The grand palace that houses the museum, which dates back to the late twelfth century, is a true lesson in architecture: from 1200 to 2011, the most innovative architects have in turn built and developed the Louvre. Long the seat of power, this royal residence was also home to French heads of state until 1870 and is one of the major backdrops to the history of Paris and of France.” If you wanna know more about the history of Louvre such as “Before the Louvre, The Louvre in the Middle Ages, Residence of the Kings of France, A backdrop to power, The Modern Louvre”, please click here to go to the official website to continue reading.
- The Winged Victory of Samothrace
- Aphrodite, known as the “Venus de Milo”
- Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
The two sculptures and one painting above are known as the three most famous women in Louvre and they are definitely a must-see. Don’t worry, there are signs everywhere showing you where to find them, so you can’t miss them. Also, when you see huge crowds, you’ll know that they are there.
- Captive (The Rebellious Slave) by Michelangelo
- Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova
- Le “scribe accroupi”
- Four Captives also known as Four Defeated Nations: Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, Brandenburg, and Holland by Martin Desjardins
- Horses restrained by grooms, known as The Marly Horses (the upper sculpture in the pic) by Guillaume I Coustou
- Bacchus by Leonardo da Vinci
- The Virgin and Child with St. Anne by Leonardo da Vinci
- The Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci
- La belle ferronnière by Leonardo da Vinci
- The Wedding Feast at Cana
- La Belle Jardinière by Raphael
- Portrait of Baldassarre Castiglione by Raphael
- Portrait of a woman, known as “L’Européenne”
- Self-Portrait or Portrait of the Artist Holding a Thistle by Albrecht Dürer
- July 28: Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix
There are many other famous paintings or sculptures which I can’t remember the names.
I have to say this is only a small small small part of Louvre, and there are many many many more artworks to see. It is also the museum that I can never show you enough as you need to walk, see and feel it by yourself.
The Louvre Palace
Another wonderful part of the museum you should not miss is the Napoleon III Apartments. It is so fabulous that reminds you of the time when the kings and emperors were living here.
In my opinion, if you’ve seen in Louvre the three parts I mentioned above and the artworks either mentioned in the official website as the masterpieces or as I listed in the second section “The Collection”, you can say you visited Louvre. For me, half a day is definitely too less for Louvre and I believe next time I go and visit it again, I would notice many more new stuff.
Some people must be wondering why I never mentioned Van Gogh or Monet in Louvre. Well, thats because their artworks belong to another great museum in Paris – Musée d’Orsay. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world! I’ll talk about this museum together with Musée de l’Orangerie and Musée Rodin in my next post.
Enjoy and have great time in Louvre.
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