Touring the Louvre

10/20/2016 07:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Europe's greatest museum is the Louvre in Paris. It was a thrill to take our Best of Europe in 21 Days tour group there to enjoy its unforgettable collection of paintings.

Paris is relaxed in October. And -- even on the once-each-month free day, with heightened security and a sizable line -- we got the group inside with just a 20-minute wait.

 

Just gathering our group under the iconic pyramid entrance was exciting.

 

Experiencing the Mona Lisa is more than just seeing a famous painting. It's a spectacle, with seething crowds and a commotion of cameras. It's the only painting anywhere where you actually hear its crowds before you see it.

 

Along with seeing the iconic paintings of the Louvre, I enjoy just wandering and findingᅡᅠworksᅡᅠthat are overlooked and underappreciatedᅡᅠ--ᅡᅠlike thisᅡᅠone,ᅡᅠentitled Death of Mondale.

 

After we led our group through the highlights of the Louvre's collection, our tour members were free to explore. We like our travelers to be capable and independent -- and they are. Here, Larry and Fran recharge with a coffee and review the many options within an easy walk of the Louvre.

(Follow along on my travel blog and on Facebook as I guide the Rick Steves Europe Tours Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour.)

(This post originally appeared at blog.ricksteves.com/blog/louvre-on-tour.)