The world's most famous art museum, the origins of Musée du Louvre can be traced back to its original incarnation as a fortress in the late 12th century before becoming the palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV, in the 17th century. Today, the grand museum displays over 35,000 works from the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century.
The sheer size of the largest and greatest art museum in the world is overwhelming. The Louvre comprises three wings: the Richelieu, the Sully and the Denon with the glass pyramids, Grand Pyramide, by I.M. Pei outside. The Louvre's most famous resident is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci who resides behind bulletproof glass and is a lot smaller than you'd think. The other two most popular works are the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
The best way to tackle the Louvre is by guided tour or a self-guided audio guide. The 90-minute guided tour of The Louvre's Masterpieces offers an overview of the museum's most popular artworks at 11.15am and 2pm daily. For €5 or €3 for under-18s, you can rent the Audioguide Louvre on nifty Nintendo 3DS multimedia devices through and select from four self-guided tours with details about over 700 of the galleries and artworks. If you want to DIY, there's also 27 themed trails so you can tailor your Louvre experience to your liking.
Within the museum, you'll discover artworks from Italian masters such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael and Titian, as well as 19th-century French masterpieces from Ingres, Géricault, Corot, Delacroix and Fragonard and antiquities from Egypt, Greece and beyond. A combined ticket to the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions in the Louvre and Musée Eugene Delacroix is €15 for adults and free for under-18s. There is also free admission on the first Sunday of every month excluding entry to the temporary exhibitions in the Napoleon Hall. Purchase online to avoid the queues. To visit, the nearest metro station is Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre then a three-minute walk down Rue Saint-Honore, right into Place du Palais Royal and left into Rue de Rivoli.