Whether beneath the glass pyramid or in the Renaissance palace, one can spend weeks in the world's most extensive museum.
The building complex of the Louvre was originally a royal palace, today it stands for the museum that resides there -- the most visited and probably the most famous in the world. Anyone who enters at the main entrance under the glass pyramid (which was added to the courtyard in 1989) must choose between two strategies: Either you use the express method of cherry-picking out most famous items in the Louvre collection, above all da Vinci's lovely Mona Lisa, smiling behind thick bulletproof glass in the Denon wing (don't be disappointed: the most famous lady in art history is small and inaccessible, mostly because of the throng of camera-toting tourists). Or you take a half-day, or even better a full day, to explore the many treasures of the collection. In three wings and four levels, the collection includes art from all eras, from ancient Egypt through the Middle Ages up to the magnificent painting and sculpture collections. For a plan of the museum, consult the information desk.