The main attraction of the Louvre?  No, not the Mona Lisa, it is the fact that the audio guide comes in the form of a Nintendo 3DS.  Well it is when you are visiting the Louvre with children.  Not only that, you can programme it, well sort of.  Put in the works of art that you want to see and the device will work out a route for you.  We all chose one object and wandered around seeing what our route showed us.  Our first stop was, of course, the Mona Lisa where a selfie had to be taken.

Louvre with kids

Our route then took us back across the main staircase with great views of the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

Louvre with children

Onwards to more Greek sculpture and the famous most famous of the lot; Aphrodite, better known as Venus de Milo.

Louvre with Children

Unsurprisingly we were not the only ones with these two on our list and the galleries were quite crowded.  Now the Junior CW’s fascination with all things Napoleon took hold and suddenly we were alone. In one of the furthest corners of the Louvre are the set of rooms that Napoleon III lived in.  Not the man himself, but his extravagant nephew.  Gold leaf and sparkling chandeliers were the dominant themes of the décor.

Louvre with Children

We did get to see many pictures of Napoleon Bonaparte and his Empress Josephine but most special of all (and most importantly the final stop of our tour) was his actual throne.  Or rather one of his thrones.  This one looks rather cosy with its fine upholstery.

Louvre with Children

We saw far more than the four items that we put into the Nintendo as our route took us to far flung parts of the museum.  The Louvre is so large that you could spend weeks wandering around and still not see it all.  We found that the money spent on the guide was well worth it, we were able to stop as we went around and click on descriptions of what we saw or equally to walk on by the stuff that didn’t grab our imagination.  Mind you visiting the Louvre with Children was probably made easier by having help with programming the Nintendo 3DS!

Admission: €15 adults, under 18’s free (free for all on the first Sunday of the month)
Nintendo 3DS Audio Guide: €5

Open: Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 9am – 6pm
Wednesday, Friday: from 9am – 9.45pm
Closed on Tuesday

Whilst we were in Paris we stayed at the Novotel Les Halles which had the advantage of being a short direct Metro trip away from Gare du Nord where the Eurostar comes in and being walking distance from many of the things we wanted to see.  We also visited the Musée d’Orsay and discovered a plethora of places to eat.  



  1. December 6, 2016 / 9:21 am

    I remember being so disappointed to finally see the Mona Lisa and seeing how small it was and how big the crowd was trying to snap a picture! But, it’s worth to visit at least once! #CityTripping

    • December 6, 2016 / 9:34 am

      We had warned the boys that she was small, so much so that they were shocked she was so big!

  2. December 6, 2016 / 10:55 am

    GreAt pics and tips – will bear in mind for the future #citytripping

  3. aandj8804
    December 6, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    When I last went to the Louvre, we didn’t use the audio guides. They definitely sound like a great way to explore the museum. If I ever return, I’ll be sure to check them out. 🙂

  4. December 6, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    We have to plan for the next year to visit the Louvre with children. Your tips will be useful. Thank you!

  5. December 6, 2016 / 11:52 pm

    The guide is such a great idea. That definitely didn’t exist when I last went. Such a vast museum makes sense to use technology to help visitors out. #citytripping

    • December 6, 2016 / 11:54 pm

      And that it was a 3DS as well!

  6. December 7, 2016 / 1:38 am

    How old are your children? I wouldn’t have thought Louvre would be suitable for my 2 and 4 year old though haha I think they will be hurrying me out of the door as soon as we enter! You wrote about Bonaparte! I know a Bonaparte in Singapore! She must be a descendent of Napoleon and what do you know? After so many generations, she’s a Singaporean now! #citytripping

    • December 7, 2016 / 9:33 am

      My boys are 13 now, we did take to galleries from when they were babies but when they were tiny we always looked out for activity packs!

  7. December 7, 2016 / 8:18 am

    The guide sounds a great way to see the Louvre- there is so much to see it can be overwhelming. Having seen Mona Lisa years ago (it was rammed even then) I usually head to the Egyptology section as whoever I’m with inevitably wants to see her. I don’t think I ever realised you could see the Napoleon rooms though. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  8. December 8, 2016 / 10:51 pm

    Our youngest is desperate to visit the Louvre and the Mona Lisa so maybe this is something we need to do next year x

  9. December 9, 2016 / 11:44 am

    I’ve been looking forward to this post! Gadgets really help when you’re taking kids round museums and galleries, don’t they? #citytripping

    • December 9, 2016 / 11:46 am

      Hey do especially when the boys know more about using them than their mother does!

  10. December 9, 2016 / 9:48 pm

    Napoleon’s throne looks wonderful – comfortable, stately and ornate. I’d love to do this tour and I think when technology is well deployed it can definitely engage children (and adults) and help them appreciate art and history. I’ll be looking out for the Louvre guides next time we are in Paris. Another great find on #FarawayFiles. Thank you Catherine

  11. Clare Thomson
    December 10, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    What a fantastic idea, Catherine. I love how museums do so many things to make culture more accessible for children and these audio guides sound so much fun. My two would love to do this. Thanks for sharing this on #FarawayFiles

  12. December 15, 2016 / 9:33 am

    I had no idea! FANTASTIC incentive to get modern kids engaged in art history! Definitely doing this next time in Paris! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

  13. December 21, 2016 / 6:10 pm

    Awesome idea on the Louvre’s part to make the audio guides in the form of a Nintendo 3DS! I can’t wait until I get the chance to visit!

  14. February 10, 2017 / 10:15 pm

    I love the idea of the 3DS audio guide! I think I might have had as much fun with it as the kids! I went to see the Louvre as a teen, but look forward to seeing it again as an adult.

  15. February 10, 2017 / 11:08 pm

    what a great idea having a 3DS, I guess the kids get more interested 😀
    In Madrid, the museums are also free on the Sunday evening, so a good excuse to go there for just one hour or two.

  16. February 16, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    Renting the Louvre Nintendo 3DS was the best decision that we made when visiting the Louvre. It really helped the kids to get interested, and it made navigating so much easier. We didn’t get to see the Napoleon throne, though. As you pointed out, that museum is quite big.

  17. May 1, 2017 / 8:02 pm

    I’m impressed the Louvre has such a modern kid friendly device as a Nintendo, that’s just brilliant. In general I’m afraid French museums are years behind the UK in inventiveness so this really cheers me to read. I’d definitely pay for it if taking the kids. Thanks for linking up to #AllAboutFrance

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