Louvre Museum in Paris, France, is the world’s best art museum.
More than 25,000 tourists line up to enter The Louvre daily, adding up to around 9 million visitors annually.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know before you visit the Louvre Museum.
1. How to reach
2. Opening hours
3. Best time to visit
4. Tour duration
5. Avoid waiting lines
6. Ticket price
7. Ticket discounts
8. Louvre tickets
9. Guided tours
10. Audio guide
11. What to see?
12. Louvre entrances
13. Louvre map
How to reach Louvre Museum
Address: Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris – France
Grand Louvre is located next to the Seine River in central Paris.
If you are travelling to the Louvre Museum by Metro, you can take Lines 1, 7 or 14.
If you are taking Lines 1 or 7 get down at the Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre station.
If you are taking Line 14, get down at the Pyramids Metro station.
If you intend to visit Louvre by bus, depending on where you starting from look for bus numbers: 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, or 95.
If you are taking the famous Batobus, ask for the “Louvre” stop.
Louvre opening hours vary throughout the week.
The Museum’s opening time is 9 am every day, except when it is closed.
On Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays it closes early at 6 pm.
On Wednesdays, and Fridays Louvre Museum hours end at 9.45 pm.
Monday: 9 am to 6 pm
Wednesday: 9 am to 9.45 pm
Thursday: 9 am to 6 pm
Friday: 9 am to 9.45 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm
Sunday: 9 am to 6 pm
The Louvre Museum employees start closing the rooms at 5.30 pm and 9.30 pm onwards. Room closures
Important: Louvre’s ticketing office also opens at 9 am, but to avoid the long lines we suggest you buy Louvre tickets online.
When is the Louvre Museum closed?
Louvre Museum is closed on Tuesday.
That’s why you will find Wednesdays a little more crowded than usual.
The Louvre Museum is also closed on these public holidays:
– January 1 (New Year’s Day)
– May 1 (Labor Day)
– May 8 (end of the Second World War)
– December 25 (Christmas)
Louvre Museum on French public holidays
Louvre Museum is open on most French public holidays, with timings different than on regular days.
On such holidays, irrespective of the day, Louvre Museum opens at 9 am and closes at 6 pm.
This adjusted timing is applicable on Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Pentecost Monday, Bastille Day, Assumption Day, All Saints’ Day, and 1918 Armistice.
Tuileries Garden opening hours
Most visitors to the Louvre Museum also visit the Tuileries Garden located between the Museum and the Place de la Concorde.
It is on the 1st arrondissement of Paris.
Some tourists come in early and spend time at the Tuileries Garden before the Louvre Museum opens.
This garden’s opening hours are –
From September 24 to March 31
All days, 7:30 am–7:30 pm
From April 1 to May 31
All days, 7 am–9 pm
From June 1 to August 31
All days, 7 am–11 pm
From September 1 to 22
All days, 7 am–9 pm
Best time to visit Louvre Museum
The best time to visit the Louvre Museum is 3 pm on a weekday because large tourist groups such as school kids, coach tour groups, etc. have left by then.
For a more detailed answer, continue reading.
How to avoid the crowd at Louvre
Most guidebooks and websites recommend users to land up as early as possible to avoid the crowd at Louvre Museum.
Thus, everybody lands up for their tour of Louvre in the morning itself.
As the day progresses, the long lines trickle fade away.
That is why we think 3 pm is the perfect time to visit the Louvre Museum.
However, be aware that this gives you only a 3-hour window to enjoy the artifacts on display (the Museum closes at 6 pm).
If you want more hours to explore, the best time to visit The Louvre is around 3 pm on Wednesday or Friday.
On Wednesdays and Fridays, you get up to six hours because the Museum closes at 9.45 pm.
Whatever tricks you apply, there are two lines visitors to Louvre must wait in – the line for security check and the line for buying tickets.
When you buy your Louvre tickets online, your waiting time reduces drastically.
June, August, and September are peak Months for Louvre Paris.
When NOT to go to Louvre Museum
Musee d’ Orsay is just 1.5 Kms (.9 Miles) from Louvre Museum and displays French art from 1848 to 1914.
It gets more than 8,000 tourists every day.
Musee d’Orsay is closed on Mondays thus diverting all the traffic towards the Louvre Museum.
The additional tourists mean, long waiting lines and bigger crowds.
That’s why it makes better sense to stay away from Musee Du Louvre on Mondays.
We also don’t recommend visiting the Louvre Museum on weekends.
Thirty percent of all tourists visiting the Louvre Museum are residents of Paris.
Since they are working on weekdays, they line up at the Museum on weekends.
Best time to visit Louvre for photography
The best time for Louvre Museum photography depends on what you want to do.
Do you want to photograph artworks inside the museum or the Louvre glass pyramid?
Photography inside Louvre Museum
You can carry cameras inside The Louvre Museum and take as many photographs as you want if you don’t use flash.
However, this rule applies only to permanent exhibits.
At regular intervals, there are temporary exhibitions conducted in Louvre, where you can’t take photographs.
As for the best time for photography inside The Louvre Museum – since all the artifacts are well lit, any time is good if it isn’t crowded.
Photography outside Louvre Museum
The best time to visit the Louvre Museum for photography is on Tuesday.
On Tuesdays, the Museum doesn’t welcome visitors, but the Louvre Pyramid is open.
However, tourists prefer to visit both the Museum and the Glass Pyramid on the same day and hence get busy with other Paris attractions on Tuesdays.
That’s why Tuesday is the perfect day to take photos outside the Louvre Museum without any tourists.
How long does Louvre Museum take
On average, visitors to The Louvre spend around 2.5 hours exploring the exhibits.
Tourists who have been to Louvre multiple times say that after approximately 2 to 3 hours of roaming around, art fatigue sets in.
Staying longer at Louvre Museum
However, here are a few simple tips to stretch the duration of your Louvre Museum tour.
– Be well rested and well fed before you head out to see Louvre Museum
– Buy the Louvre Museum ticket online so that you don’t waste your time and energy waiting in the long lines
– Take regular breaks in between to keep the art fatigue away
If you follow these tips, you can extend your Louvre Museum tour to 4-5 hours.
There are 380,000 artifacts in the Louvre Museum out of which 35,000 pieces are on display. More such Louvre Museum facts.
If you want to see all the 35,000 items on display for at least 30 seconds, you will need 36 days.
Avoid the queue at Louvre Museum
Let us explain what happens when you buy Louvre Paris tickets at the venue and when you purchase ‘Skip the Line’ Louvre tickets online.
After you are done reading this section, you will realize that buying Louvre Museum tickets in advance is the best way to avoid Louvre’s queue.
Buying Louvre tickets at the venue
On an average day, more than 25,000 tourists visit The Louvre.
This crowd results in long lines (see pic below) outside the Louvre Glass Pyramid.
These lines are NOT for buying the ticket but for security screening.
When you haven’t already bought Skip the Line Louvre tickets, you join this line at the end and wait your turn for the security check.
During peak season, these lines wind all along the Louvre courtyard and the waiting time can even go up to 3 hours.
What makes it worse is that this waiting is out in the sun (and lines are longest during summer!)
Once you clear the security, you are inside the air-conditioned Louvre Glass Pyramid.
Now you must stand in line at the ticketing counter to buy your Louvre Museum ticket. Thankfully, this second line moves fast.
Once you have paid the entrance fee and bought your tickets, you can enter The Louvre.
Buying Louvre tickets online
When you have already purchased tickets online, this is how it works –
When you reach the Museum, you will see long lines in front of the Louvre Pyramid. Don’t worry.
Walk right past the long line, straight to the guard at the front of the Louvre glass Pyramid entrance.
Look for the sign ‘visitors with tickets.’ In French, this sign should read ‘Avec Billet.’
The guard will check your Louvre Paris ticket and merge you into the security check line inside the glass pyramid.
Thus, you avoid the long line waiting outside of the Louvre pyramid.
Since you already have a ticket, you don’t need to stand in the second queue at the ticketing counter.
Once your security check is over, you can walk right into the Museum.
Louvre wait times
Waiting time at The Louvre is longest in June, July, and August.
Depending on the time of the day and season (June, July, and August are the tourist months in France), Louvre wait times are anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
However, when you buy Louvre tickets in advance, you can avoid wasting your time, waiting in lines.
Louvre Museum ticket price
Louvre entrance fee depends on the place from where you buy your tickets.
Option 1: You can reach the Museum and get in the queue to buy the Musee du Louvre tickets for the price of 15 Euros per person.
Option 2: Or you can buy Louvre tickets online for the cost of just 17 Euros per head.
Online tickets for the Louvre Museum cost 2 Euros more than the tickets you can buy from the venue.
But we still recommend that you buy Louvre tickets online and in advance because it helps you save hours of waiting time in the sun.
Depending on the season and the day, these wait times can range from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Louvre Museum ticket discounts
Louvre Museum offers no consessions on its tickets.
However, if you can match specific criteria, you qualify for free entry into the Louvre.
Free entry to Louvre
On 14 July, the Louvre Museum allows free entry to everybody.
It is a French National holiday celebrating the storming of the Bastille.
Every first Sunday of the month from October to March is also a free entry day at Louvre Museum.
Visitors who fulfill any one of the below conditions gain free entry to Louvre all through the year.
1. All visitors below the age of 18
2. All tourists from the European Union, till the age of 25
3. All disabled people irrespective of their age
4. All visitors who are accompanying a disabled person, irrespective of their age
*You must show your ID at the entrance
Louvre Museum tickets
These are skip the line tickets, meaning you don’t need to stand in the ticketing queue.
As soon as you buy the Louvre tickets, they get emailed to you.
One the day of your visit, show the ticket on your phone and walk into the Museum. Yes, no need to take print outs!
These Louvre Museum tickets get you to access both the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions.
These Louvre tickets also get you access to Musée Delacroix as well as Tuileries Garden, on the same or following day.
Louvre ticket price
Adult ticket (18+ years): 17 Euros
*For an additional 4 Euros per person you can also book an audio guide.
Louvre guided tours
There are quite a few benefits to hiring an art expert guide to take you around The Louvre.
– You don’t waste your time trying to find the exhibits
– You don’t miss out on any of the masterpieces at The Louvre Museum
– Expert guides share in-depth knowledge, exciting stories, anecdotes, etc. about the artwork
Our thoughts: If you can afford it, this is by far the best way to explore Louvre Museum.
Here are our favorite guided Louvre tours –
Best Louvre tour for adults
If you book this Louvre tour, you skip the lines and avoid all the crowd.
In two hours, the guide takes you on a smart route and shows you the masterpieces and the underrated gems of Louvre.
Louvre tour price
Adult ticket (18+ years): 65 Euros
Child ticket (4 to 17 years): 55 Euros
Infant ticket (0 to 3 years): 25 Euros
Louvre tour for families with kids
Since this tour of the Louvre is customized for both kids and adults, a special children’s guide hosts your family.
This highly-rated tour starts from the Mona Lisa at Louvre and then goes on to other exhibits which keep the kids excited.
This family and kid-friendly tour of The Louvre lasts for two hours, after which you are free to hang around and explore more.
Louvre tour price: 299 Euros for a family of four
Louvre at night
Visiting after dark is a fantastic opportunity to explore the world famous Musee d’ Louvre in a unique nocturnal setting.
This night tour of Louvre can only be booked on Wednesdays and Fridays because on these days The Louvre is open till 9.45 pm.
Louvre tour price
Adult ticket (18+ years): 69 Euros
Child ticket (4 to 17 years): 29 Euros
Louvre Museum’s audio guide
If you don’t want to spend the extra money on a Louvre guided tour, the next best thing is to book an audio guide.
To get a sense of how this Louvre-Nintendo audio guide works, check out this video.
There are two ways to book the Louvre’s audio guide – book it online or rent it out once you reach the tourist attraction.
Renting audio guide at the Museum
Once you are in the Museum, you can rent out the Louvre Museum audio guides from four locations.
The first spot is in front of the Group Reception Area, also known as Accueil des Groupes.
Entrances of the three wings – Denon, Sully, and Richelieu are the other three places where you can buy Louvre’s multimedia audio guide.
At the Louvre Museum, the price of the audio guide is 5 Euros per person.
Book an audio guide online
For just 4 Euros (yes, it is cheaper if you book online!) you can reserve your audio guide in advance.
While booking your Louvre tickets online, opt for the ‘Entrance ticket + Audio Guide’ option.
If you don’t want to invest in a guided tour or rent out the audio guide, but still need some help navigating the massive Museum check out Louvre’s mobile apps.
Within this app, 60,000 square meters of The Louvre museum is modeled in 3D.
Tip: Louvre’s app on Android has a poor rating.
Must see at The Louvre
There are lots of exhibits to see at The Louvre – 35,000 items in total.
To spend at least 30 seconds in front of each of these exhibits, you will need to spend at least 36 days in The Louvre.
Before we list out the Louvre must-see items, lets us explain how the exhibits are classified and how they are laid out in The Louvre.
Classification of items
The exhibits in The Louvre Museum, Paris are divided into eight different departments depending on the type of artwork/exhibit.
They are –
2. Egyptian Antiquities
3. Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities
4. Near Eastern Antiquities
6. Decorative Arts
7. Islamic Art
8. Prints and Drawings
Every exhibit at The Louvre belongs to one of the above departments.
What to see in The Louvre Museum
The exhibits belonging to these eight categories are displayed across Louvre Museum’s three wings – Sully, Richelieu, and Denon.
Each of these wings has more than 70 rooms.
1. Sully Wing
The Sully Wing is the oldest part of the Musée du Louvre.
In Sully Wing, you can see remnants of the medieval castle of the Louvre and learn about the history of the Louvre.
In the ground floor of this Wing, you will find one of the most beautiful sculptures in Louvre – Venus of Milo.
Another must visit artwork in this wing is the erotic Turkish Bath, painted in the late eighteenth century by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
One of the sculptures in the Sully Wing proves that artists can also pull a cruel joke. To know what we mean, go and see ‘Sleeping Hermaphrodite’ in Room 17 of Sully Wing.
Don’t miss out on the 12-ton Great Sphinx of Tanis.
This Sphinx was sculpted sometime between 2,600 and 1,900 B.C. and has a lion’s body and a human head.
2. Richelieu Wing
In the Richelieu Wing, you get a chance to see Louvre in all its glory.
In the first floor of this wing, you get to see the highly decorated Napoleon III apartments – as it was when he lived there.
Master painters such as Rubens, Vermeer, and Rembrandt decorate the second-floor walls of Richelieu Wing.
Don’t miss out on Vermeer’s ‘The Astronomer’ and ‘The Lacemaker.’ And the four Rembrandt self-portraits which are also on display in this wing.
If you are into decorative arts, we suggest you visit the first floor for a treat of clocks, furniture, chinaware, tapestries, showpieces, etc.
3. Denon Wing
Denon Wing attracts the most number of tourists at the Louvre Paris.
After all, it houses the most famous works of Louvre Museum – Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace, etc.
Some of the most exquisite French paintings are available in the Denon Wing.
Don’t miss out on Jacques-Louis David’s ‘The Coronation of Napoleon’ and Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading the People.’
The two sculptures in this wing, which we highly recommend are ‘Psyche Revived by the Kiss of Love’ by Antonio Canova and ‘Dying Slave’ by Michelangelo,
The Louvre has four entrances – the Pyramid entrance, the Porte des Lions entrance, the Carrousel entrance, and the Porte de Richelieu entrance.
Each of them serves a different purpose.
1. Louvre Pyramid entrance
The entrance through the glass Pyramid is the main entrance to Louvre Paris. It is also known as Le Pyramide entrance.
This 21-meters high glass Louvre pyramid makes for great photographs, so most tourists prefer to enter from here.
Architect IM Pei built this Louvre glass pyramid.
Pei chose glass because he wanted it to be least intrusive and wanted the light to enter the foyer below.
2. Louvre Carrousel entrance
If you are reaching the Museum by Metro, this entrance is your best choice.
Tip: On Line 1 and 7, the Metro stop for Louvre Museum is ‘Palais Royale-Musee du Louvre’
The Carrousel du Louvre is an underground shopping complex situated next to The Louvre.
The -2 floor of this shopping complex, has an entrance to the Louvre.
Once you have taken two sets of escalators to go down to the -2 floor, walk past the line of underground shops, and you will spot the inverted pyramid.
Look around, and you can’t miss the Carrousel entrance to Lovre.
Interestingly, this doorway also leads to the same part of The Louvre Museum as the Pyramid entrance.
3. Porte De Richelieu entrance
If you are on a group tour or hold an annual membership pass to the Louvre Museum, you can use the Porte De Richelieu entrance.
As an individual ticket holder or a group of family members or friends, you can’t use this entry.
This entrance is between the Louvre courtyard (area with the glass pyramid) and Rue de Rivoli street.
4. Porte des Lions entrance
During your research on Louvre entrances, you may have come across many visitors suggesting Porte des Lions.
Till about mid-2016, this access to Louvre was a great way to beat the crowd. However, now, it is closed.
Paris being Paris, this may open again.
If you want to check this entryway, it shouldn’t take you long because it is very near the Pyramid entrance.
Look for the first set of Lions (closest to the glass Pyramid) that mark the entrance to the Museum.
The Louvre Museum is colossal, and there is a lot to see. The trick is in not getting lost and not miss out the masterpieces.
If you have booked a guided tour of The Louvre, you don’t need Louvre’s map.
But if you are going to be on your own, we suggest you carry Louvre’s floor plan with you.
Besides helping you with the location of the exhibits, Louvre’s map will also help you spot visitor services such as restrooms, cafes, souvenir shops, visitor assistance booths, etc.
Restaurants at Louvre Museum
Visits to The Louvre Museum can be tiring – there is so much to see and so little time.
We recommend regular snack breaks in between to keep your energies high.
There are 15 restaurants and cafes in Louvre Paris.
If you are looking for a sit, relax and eat experience opt one of the three restaurants given below –
1. The Bistrot Benoit
Location: Under the Pyramid, Hall Napoléon
Opening Hours: Breakfast is available from 9 am to 11:30 am and lunch from 11:30 am to 5 pm. On Wednesdays and Fridays, it is open till 9:45 pm
2. The Café Marly
Location: Cour Napoléon
Opening Hours: Open daily from 8 am to 2 am
3. The Café Richelieu-Angelina
Location: Richelieu wing, 1st floor Between the Napoleon III Apartments and Decorative Arts galleries.
Opening Hours: 10 am to 4:45 pm and until 6:30 pm on Wednesday and Friday. In July and August, it is open till 8:30 pm
If you want to grab a quick bite and move on, we recommend the following cafes as well –
1. Café Mollien in the first floor of Denon Wing
2. The Comptoir du Louvre located below the Pyramid
3. Denon and Richelieu takeaway counters located in the mezzanine entrances to the Denon and Richelieu wings
Shopping at Louvre Museum
When it comes to shopping at Musee Du Louvre, you have two options –
This bookstore is the perfect destination for books and gift shopping at Louvre.
It is in Hall Napoleon under the Pyramid.
It is open from 9:30 am to 7 pm on regular days.
On Wednesdays and Fridays, the closing time gets extended to 9.45 pm.
The Carrousel du Louvre
This famous shopping center within the Louvre Palace is open the whole week.
It is accessible via the Rue de Rivoli entrance.
The Carrousel du Louvre has numerous shops that sell clothes, accessories, home design, gifts, etc.
The upper floor has an upmarket food court.
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