Explore the World's Largest Museum With the Help of These Louvre Visitor Trails
The Louvre Museum in Paris houses about 480,000 artworks within its many rooms. If you’re visiting the museum on your own, navigating your way through the many sections of the museum can be a daunting task. Here are a set of different visitor trails that you can follow based on your interests.
Louvre Visitor Trails
I. The Masterpieces
The Louvre is famous for being home to some of the greatest artworks ever created. Take a look at all these masterpieces on your visit. This trail is accessible on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
1. Make your way through the Sully Wing entrance and head up to Level 1. Once you reach the top of the stairs, take a right and go through the wooden doors. This will lead you to the Salle des Cariatides. Turn back to glance at the musicians’ gallery above the doors. Walk through the room until you reach the monumental fireplace and then take a right. Keep walking until you reach the red marble pillars, after which you will spot Venus de Milo.
2. After this, go back to the red pillars and take the first left after them. Walk straight past the rotunda towards the stairs. This is the iconic Daru staircase. Climb up the stairs until you reach the winged statue. This sculpture is known as the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
3. Opposite the sculpture is a set of columns where you need to make a right. As you walk in between the columns, look left to admire the frescoes by Botticelli. Keep walking straight through the glass door until you reach Salon Carré or Room 708. Exit this section through the wooden doors and enter the Grande Galerie. Keep walking straight until you get to the white columns. Take a moment to admire the paintings on your left, just after the columns.
4. Walk past the Grand Galerie and take the first right into the room where the Mona Lisa is kept. Once you’ve admired the world’s most famous painting, go behind it and into the next room. Turn left here and you’ll see a gallery painted with red walls. A little further on the left wall is the renowned work of Géricault, The Raft of Medusa.
5. Walk straight and exit the room. If you want a break at this point you can step into Café Mollien for a quick bite and stunning views of the Pyramid. After this, walk down the staircase until you notice two large male sculptures in the center of the room. These sculptures are known as The Rebellious Slave and The Dying Slave and are the works of Michelangelo. Walk through this room and take a right just before the end and notice the sculpture near the window. Here lies the sculpture, ‘Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss’ by Canova.
6. Exit this room and take the stairs to go down. You will notice the beautiful transparent Pyramid through the left window. This is the last stop on the masterpieces trail. You can exit the museum from the room opposite the Pyramid. Go down the spiral stairs on your left and take a right once you reach the end.
II. Beyoncé and Jay-Z at the Louvre
Take a look at the famous artworks featured in the iconic music video Apes**t by Beyoncé and Jay-Z. The video shot in the year 2018 highlights the different paintings, sculptures, and rooms that inspired the couple in shooting their video at the Louvre. This trail is accessible on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
1. Enter through the Denon Wing and continue up the staircase. Take the spiral staircase on the right and then take a few steps towards your left until you reach the pyramid. Turn right here and walk through the gallery until you reach a large staircase. Continue up to the sculpture of The Winged Victory of Samothrace.
2. Face the opposite direction from the sculpture and turn right to go between the columns. You’ll see a glass door here. Go past it towards the Salon Carré, walk straight and then take a right to the Grande Galerie. After the first window, you’ll see The Virgin of the Green Cushion on the left.
3. Walk through the Galerie past the red marble columns. You’ll see Jacopo’s Pieta on the left just before the painting at the center. Walk back the way you got here and take the first door on the left to the Mona Lisa room. After marveling at this masterpiece, turn around to look at The Wedding Feast at Cana in the same room.
4. Find the entrance to the next room behind the Mona Lisa. From here, turn left to go into the red room, where you will find The Raft of Medusa on the left wall. On your right, towards the top of the wall is The Shades of Francesca Da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta. In the same room on the opposite side is a painting called The Charging Chasseur. If you’d like to take a break here, you can head to the nearby Café Mollein for a relaxing meal with the view of the Pyramid.
5. Head back to the red room and find the exit. You’ll reach another room after which you’ll pass the gift shop. Keep walking straight into the next room where you will see The Coronation of Napoleon on your left. Opposite this painting is another masterpiece called The Portrait of Juliette Récamier. On the same wall is the Oath of Horatii towards the left. Opposite this is The Intervention of the Sabine Woman.
6. Exit this room and go back towards The Winged Victory of Samothrace and take a left at the statue. Go inside the rotunda on the right and then take another right to find the Galerie d’Apollon. Keep walking until you reach the center and look up at the ceiling.
7. Now go back to The Winged Victory of Samothrace statue and walk down the stairs. Turn right once you reach the bottom and take the next set of stairs. Pass through Room 408 and into Room 347. Turn right as soon as you enter the room and walk up to the statue of Venus de Milo. Keep walking straight until you reach the center where you will see the statue of Hermes.
8. Keep walking towards the end of the room and turn left once you reach the statue of Athena. Here you’ll notice a set of stairs leading to the Crypt of the Sphinx on the right. Go up the stairs on the left towards the Department of Egyptian Antiquities. After you see the Allée de Sphinx in Room 327, take the stairs to the left and the door at the end of the staircase, also on the left.
9. Go through the glass doors and up the spiral stairs. Once you reach the top, turn left where you will find a set of rooms. Walk through rooms 931 to 935. Inside Room 935 you’ll find The Portrait of a Black Woman. You can walk towards the exit once you’re done and head towards the Pyramid.
III. Journey Along the Nile
Discover how the people of ancient Egypt lived during the time of the Pharaohs. The Louvre Museum has the largest collection of Egyptian art and antiquities that gives us a keen insight into their ancient and rich civilization. This trail is accessible on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
1. Enter the Sully Wing and head up between the two staircases. Turn left once you reach the end towards the Medieval Louvre. Keep walking straight until you reach the Great Sphinx, which is the entrance to the Egyptian collection.
2. Take the stairs on the left to Room 336, where you will see a long display of small boats in the center of the room. Head towards Room 317 after this where you will see a collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Notice an ancient carving of the god Bes.
3. Walk up the stairs, past the columns, and through the door on the left. In Room 336 you’ll find artifacts dating back to 2000 BC. From here, make your way to the door on the right of the displays, right opposite the windows. This will take you to Room 333. Here you’ll spot ancient paintings like the Paintings from the Tomb of Wensu.
4. Keep walking towards the room on your left, where you will see a display case with the seated cross-legged scribe. Move forward to the next room and then take a right into the room with furniture. Inside this section, you’ll see an array of ancient furniture dating from 1550 to 1186 BC.
5. From here, move on to the next room on your left where you will notice a display case filled with jewelry and other accessories. Discover the items worn by ancient Egyptian women. Keep walking into the next room on your left, where you will pass by a set of musical instruments. On the right side, close to the window is a display case housing ancient board games.
6. Keep walking towards the next room as you pass by the sphinx. You’ll pass a line of smaller sphinxes on the left, after which you can turn right into a large room. The statue of Yuyu is right at the beginning on the left.
7. Get across this room and take the stairs that will lead you to the Crypt of Osiris. Keep walking straight as you pass the sarcophagus at the center. Walk up the stairs until you reach another sarcophagus made of white stone. This is an ancient sarcophagus from Abu Roash.
8. Turn back and continue walking straight until you see the mummy on your left inside Room 322. Next to the mummy are jars with the heads of animals on top of their lids.
9. Head back towards the white stone sarcophagus and cross over to the next room. Before you climb the staircase, stop and look at the display cases on the right. Tread ahead up the staircase and into Room 635. Here you will spot the ‘Seated Scribe.’ Your journey ends here after which you can head towards the exit.
IV. Secret Treasures of the Richelieu Wing
On this trail, you will find a series of lesser-known masterpieces. Take a trip back in time to the gardens of royalty and get a glimpse of their lavish lifestyle and the art that flourished during this era. This trail is accessible on Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
1. Start this trail by entering through the Richelieu Wing entrance and go through the vaulted hall. Turn right here between the pillars to enter Room 105, also known as Cour Puget. Take a look at an array of royal sculptures in an outdoor setting. The stairs on your left will take you to the middle level of the courtyard where you’ll see the sculpture of a man being attacked by a lion at the center.
2. Climb up the stairs on the left again to get to the upper level of the courtyard. Here you’ll see the sculpture of a massive bronze lion called The Lion and the Serpent by Antoine-Louis Barye. Go towards the left of the lion and take the stairs to go into Room 336. From here, turn left again and go into Room 334. Here are items that date back to over 3000 years before our era. These are some of the oldest works in the whole museum!
3. From here, make your way to the room on the left by taking the stairs - Room 228. Walk straight through this room to find another set of stairs that will take you down to Room 227. Take a look at an ancient stele artifact called the Code of Hammurabi, dating between 1792 - 1750 BC.
4. If you’re facing the stele, walk towards your left to enter Room 229. This will take you to Cour Khorsabad. These are the remains of an ancient city built in the 8th century. From here, walk towards the passage facing the winged bulls and exit through the left door. Turn right and go down the stairs to enter Room 234. Walk across the Ebih-II room and into Room 236.
5. You’ll be back near the stele. Go around it towards the escalator to Level 1 and into Room 500. You’ll see a cafe here. Walk past it and into a room with green panels, from where you will keep walking towards the next room - Room 536. You’ll see a door on your left, exit from here, and go into the next room - Room 537. Exit this room through the door on your right to enter the Private Apartments of the Minister.
6. Walk through Rooms 540 to 543 and explore the corners of the apartments. Your next stop is at the Grand Salon in Room 544. This also includes the Theater Salon. Take a look at all the royal furniture and fittings in this area. This is the last stop on this trail. You can exit by walking back to Room 500 and taking the escalator down to Level -1.
- If you’re visiting the museum on your own, it can be handy to follow any of these trails to make your journey less confusing.
- By following one trail, you get to dig deep into that area of interest and discover all the related artworks and artifacts.
- Be your own guide and do some research before you set out on your trail. This will give you a more wholesome experience.
- Avoid visiting the museum during peak hours. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to avoid crowds.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Louvre Visitor Trails
A. There are about 4 different visitor trails that you can take.
A. You can take the Beyoncé and Jay-Z visitor trail, the Masterpieces trail, the Egyptian Collection trail, or the Secrets of the Richelieu Wing trail.