I quickly decided that since it rains so much in Paris in the spring, that I would reserve a rainy day for visiting the Louvre. Apparently it seems like everyone else felt the same way because it was a crazy gong show with all the crowds at the Louvre today – and this isn’t even the busy season! I wonder if it had to do with the rain or if the Louvre is, in fact, always that busy.
However, on Wednesday and Friday nights the Louvre is open until 10pm and since almost all tours take place in the afternoon, the best time to go to the Louvre is after 6pm until closing on these days. This is also when the artists come out and sit in the French sculpture pavilion to sketch/draw for a couple hours. It is absolute tranquility. That is my absolute favourite part of the Louvre along with Napoleon’s apartments.
Surprisingly, another highlight of the Louvre for me was the Nintendo DS audio guide (which just got released this month). It is seriously the best 5 euro ever spent for a day at the museum. It’s like the Da Vinci code meets the Legend of Zelda! The interactive audio guide detects where you are in the Louvre and updates the screen with the artwork of interest based on your location. You can hover over a certain art piece, select it and it will play the audio commentary. Or if there is a certain piece you are looking for in the museum, you can select it and it will map the shortest route to it.
The Louvre is a huge labyrinth of hallways, pavilions and corridors so it makes perfect sense to have some sort of interactive map. I loved it! For someone who isn’t generally a museum person, the audio guide is a total game changer!