On advice from friends who had been to the Louvre in the past we hired a local guide to show us around. This place is so huge it is overwhelming, and with the number of people there it was the right thing to do. Our guide took us directly to areas that we wanted to see, and then explained a lot of the history about the exhibits and paintings. We also went in the evening, which got us easily to the Mona Lisa, which is usually wall-to-wall people. Imagine a roomful of people taking "selfies" with their cell phones. It was worth having a guide!
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