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Must see. Must see. Must see!
The Louvre (Paris, France)
Member Name: SugarSpun
The Louvre (Paris, France)
Advantages: Every advantage.
Disadvantages: Ow, my feet hurt.
The Louvre is probably the biggest must-see gallery and museum in Europe, and definitely in France. Spending a full day here is hard on the feet but great for developing your culture muscles - you could spend a week wandering the various galleries and still not see everything.
It's easy to find - in the middle of Paris and served by two Metro stations: Louvre Rivoli and Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre, also the hop-on-hop-off buses and local buses 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95 and the Batobus at quai François Mitterrand.
Admission's very reasonable, and when you consider just how much you're seeing it's absurdly good value. Adult admission is Euro9 or Euro6 for admission after 6pm. For tickets on the day you have to enter through the appallingly out of place glass pyramid in the middle of the main square. You can however buy advance tickets online for 1.50 extra, which gives you the option to avoid the queues and enter through side doors. Recommended for the summer, when the pyramid is painfully hot and the lines atrociously long.
There are restaurants inside, so you don't have to leave for lunch, and you can borrow walking sticks, strollers, and wheelchairs if you deposit your ID with them. ATMs can be found in the post office (yes, they have one).
These are the things I think you must see:
The Italian Renaissance (where you can also find Mona Lisa)
The Winged Victory
The Venus de Milo
The Coronation of Napoleon by David
Napoleon III's Apartments
The Egyptian Sculptures
Cupid and Psyche
Prepare to be disappointed by Mona Lisa - it's not well presented, much smaller than you expect, and surrounded by a big scrum of tourists yelling Hello? Can you hear me? I'm at the Mona Lisa! into their phones.
Wear comfortable shoes and layered clothes - it can get really hot but some areas are climate-controlled and a little chilly.
Summary: The most stunning museum I've ever seen.
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