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A More Meaningful Way to Enjoy the Louvre

The first-time visitor to the Louvre has the pressure of a must-see list that usually includes, but is not limited to: the Venus de Milo, Victory of Samothrace, Leonardo's Mona Lisa, David's Coronation of Napoleon....

And the 30 minutes wasted in line now cuts out half of the Ancient world.

We know, we've done it. It's an exhausting rite of passage for many visitors to Paris. Your back hurts, your bleary eyes are just slipping off the paintings, and that restorative cup of coffee in the packed café is about 10 minutes too long of wait.

We at Paris Muse believe that the Louvre should be the relaxing, contemplative, civilized (and civilizing) experience that art was originally intended to provide. If you are interested in making your second, or twenty-second, visit a more meaningful experience—with more looking, learning, and less hustling—then consider reserving our "Hidden Masterpieces of the Louvre."

Bathsheba at Her Bath (1654), Rembrandt

You'll find yourself quickly whisked into the calmer second floor galleries of Richelieu, exploring Bosch, van Eyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vermeer, and other lesser-known works that many visitors miss. By some quirk of fate stunning paintings like these have not ended up on refrigerator magnets or souvenir coasters, but art historians and Louvre curators consider them to be the most important in their collections. Hidden gems to discover indeed.

Read a more complete description of this tour, and other Closer Look tours of the Louvre .

Read about Jan van Eyck, a painter you will discover on this tour, from our Eye for Detail section.

Rates. 2.0-hour tour: €105 for individuals, or €90 per person for parties of two or more. €20 surcharge to guarantee that your party has a one-on-one tour with your guide without other parties. (No tour, however, will ever be larger than four people). [ Book this tour ]

All the spots, away from the crowds

We wanted to let you know what a terrific time we had with Inge last Thursday. She had just the right tone and approach with our 8 year old son and made our visit to the Louvre enjoyable and achievable. We all feel it was a highlight of our trip, which is funny since we weren't originally going to even go to the Louvre because of the crowds. But Inge just took us right on through and placed us in all the right spots.

Indra Bowers

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