On this three-hour tour, we will join an art historian to explore the Louvre’s special exhibition of the work of perhaps the most celebrated artist in the world: Leonardo Da Vinci. Alongside Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael, Leonardo defined the style of the Italian Renaissance, one of the most influential artistic movements in history. Organized on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, the exhibition presents an unprecedented collection of the artist’s works, bringing together almost all of the nearly twenty paintings now attributed to him, as well as many of his drawings and sketchbooks.
An Unprecedented Retrospective Of Leonardo da Vinci’s works
Though Leonardo was an Italian master, he spent the final years of his life in France. In 1516, he moved to Amboise in the Loire Valley, where he became the “First Painter, Engineer, and Architect” of the French king, Francis I. (Interested in learning more about the royal residences of the Loire Valley? Check out our Loire Valley Castles
tour.) This helps to explain how nearly a third of the paintings attributed to Leonardo -- including the Mona Lisa and the Madonna of the Rocks -- ended up at the Louvre. When Leonardo died in May 1519 at the Château du Clos Lucé, these works passed directly into the French royal collections. The Louvre is thus a fitting setting for this blockbuster retrospective exhibition, which provides a comprehensive vision of Leonardo’s life and works.
Mona Lisa and the Renaissance Ideals
Our tour wouldn't be complete without one of the most recognizable pieces of Leonardo da Vinci - the Mona Lisa. We will end our journey with a trip to the Salle des Etats, where La Gioconda has her permanent home. A quintessential example of the Renaissance ideals: realism, secularism and individualism, the Mona Lisa remains an unresolved mystery of all times.
Throughout the whole tour, we will delve together into Leonardo da Vinci's genius and discuss his art techniques, innovations, and his lasting legacy.
Please note that we will not visit the rest of the Louvre’s permanent collections during this tour, though you are welcome to stay in the galleries after the tour ends. If you would like to experience the rest of the museum with an expert, you may enjoy our Louvre Museum Crash Course
FAQ About the Leonardo da Vinci at the Louvre Exhibit
What will we visit on this tour?
Our Leonardo da Vinci Tour will focus on the temporary exhibition dedicated to the work of the artist. We will end the tour with the room where the Mona Lisa is presented. Please note that on this tour we will not include the rest of the permanent collection. If you'd like to extend and customize your tour to include an introduction to the permanent collection of the Louvre please contact us to discuss the details.
What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.
What is a small group tour?
Our small group tours cover many of the same itineraries as our private tours, but they place you with other travelers in groups of 6 or less. They operate on a pre-scheduled calendar, and are designed to provide an opportunity to engage with and learn from other travelers. Most of our small group tours require at least three (3) participants to run, although there is some variation from walk to walk. As you sign up for a tentative walk, we display the minimum number required in order to confirm. Please note that the Da Vinci tour can only be booked as a private tour.
Where do we meet? Where does the tour end?
Generally speaking, the walk begins at a café near the Louvre. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map and 24-hour phone number for any last-minute issues. The walk ends inside the Louvre near the Salle des Etats where the Mona Lisa is displayed. You are free to stay on after the tour is over and continue exploring the museum's collection.
There are 7 in my family but your website won't allow me to include more than 6 participants. Can't you make an exception?
The Louvre requires special reservations for groups larger than 6 persons. Please contact us for information on pricing and availability. Note that availability is limited for large groups due to the high-demand. Please book long in advance and we will do our best to secure a group reservation.
When is the best time to visit the Louvre?
The ideal time to visit the Louvre is on Wednesday and Friday evenings when the museum is open until 9:45 pm, as there are fewer visitors. Note that not all rooms are open every day of the week, so if you are looking to book one of our more specialized tours and it's not available on Wednesday or Friday evenings, it's because those rooms are closed. Our introductory Louvre Crash Course Tour
, Louvre for Kids Tour
and Leonardo da Vinci at the Louvre are available to be booked at these times.
Will you pre-purchase tickets?
We pre-purchase dated and timed Louvre tickets for all visitors, which give access to the museum within half an hour of the time shown on the ticket. These tickets will only allow you to enter the museum once. Any exit is final. Your guide will have the tickets with him/her on the day of the tour. Unfortunately, we will not be able to refund your Louvre tickets if you have Museum Passes. The tickets are mandatory.
Louvre tickets description:
- Fast-track access to the Louvre
- Tickets are dated, timed and named
- Enter via a special entrance, using the line for ticket holders with a timeslot
- Admission within 30 minutes before and after the timeslot received
- If you leave the museum, you won't be allowed back in with the same ticket
- Ticket holders may be asked to present a valid photo ID. Without it, access to the museum could be refused
Is there a long line to enter the museum? Can I "skip the line"?
If you have one of our pre-purchased tickets, you will not be required to wait in any ticket line. There is a security check through which all visitors to the museum are required to pass, and there is sometimes a line for this. Because we have advance tickets, we have access to a special ticket holder security line, which is very short. Please note that on this tour the tickets are mandatory for all participants no matter the age.
Can I reenter the museum after exiting?
No! The tickets that we pre-purchase aretimed and cannot be used to reenter. You can, however, reenter with a Museum Pass.
Will I see the Mona Lisa?
Your tour will end with Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Note that due to its display location and the waiting time to see the painting, you may have to wait to get a close look at it.
Can I customize the tour to include other rooms inside the museum?
Yes. We can arrange private visits with a precise focus:
- Louvre Antiquities Tour
- Louvre Dutch and Flemish Tour
- Louvre French Masters Tour
- Louvre Architecture Tour
- Louvre Italian Masters Tour
Please contact us to discuss options and pricing.
Where can I get a snack or have lunch?
While eating inside the collections is not advisable, bags are not searched for food, so you could bring along a snack, sandwich or bottle of water in your bag and have a break in the main foyer. There are numerous cafes throughout the museum and in the Carrousel du Louvre, the shopping centre attached to the museum, you can find a fairly good food court with world cuisine. For a more leisurely lunch or break, try the Café Marly which is on the North Side of the Cour Napoleon (part of the Richelieu wing), great for people watching.
Is the Louvre wheelchair accessible?
The Louvre is wheelchair accessible and you can request a temporary wheelchair loan from the information desk. There are elevators throughout the museum as well and you can print a wheelchair accessibility guide from the site. We are happy to custom design visits to the Louvre for visitors with mobility concerns.
Is this tour appropriate for children?
Yes. We can adapt the content of our Leonardo da Vinci Tour to the needs of your family and assign scholars specially trained in working with children.