The Louvre Museum is one of the world’s largest and most famous museums in Paris, France.
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, a historic fortress and royal residence dating back to the 12th century.
The Louvre Museum in Paris was established in 1793 and has since grown to house a vast collection of art and artifacts spanning various periods and cultures.
More than 30,000 tourists line up to enter The Louvre daily, adding up to around 10 million visitors annually from around the world.
Some famous works displayed at the Louvre Museum include the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo, and the Code of Hammurabi.
The museum’s collection includes ancient Egyptian artifacts, Greek and Roman sculptures, European paintings, and Islamic art.
This article explains everything you need to know before buying Louvre Museum tickets.
Table of contents
- What to expect at Louvre Museum
- Louvre Museum tickets
- Louvre Museum’s audio guide
- Best time to visit Louvre Museum
- How long does Louvre Museum take
- Must see at The Louvre
- How to reach Louvre Museum
- Louvre Entrances
- Louvre Museum hours
- Louvre Museum map
- Food and drinks
What to expect at Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum is the world’s best art museum. Tourists can choose from many types of Louvre Museum tickets.
Louvre Museum tickets
Your experience at the world’s best art museum depends on the type of tickets you purchase.
Where you buy your tickets also has an impact on your visit.
Visitors can buy their Louvre tickets at the venue, or they can purchase them online in advance.
Check out this video by France 24, a French public broadcast service, to understand why buying Louvre Museum tickets in advance is much recommended.
Buying Louvre tickets at the venue
On an average day, more than 30,000 tourists visit The Louvre Museum in Paris.
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 (June, July, and August), 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!)
During non-peak months this waiting time is around 30 minutes.
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 Museum.
Buying Louvre tickets online
Louvre’s online tickets get emailed to you immediately after purchase.
You don’t need to take printouts.
When you have already purchased tickets online, you need not stand in the long lines in front of the Louvre Pyramid.
Walk right past the queue, straight to the guard at the front of the Louvre Glass Pyramid entrance.
Look for the sign ‘visitors with tickets’, which in French, this sign should read ‘Avec Billet.’
The guard will check your Louvre Paris ticket on your mobile and ask you to present a valid photo ID, without which you won’t be allowed inside the museum.
Once you get the all-clear, the guard will 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.
Cost of Louvre Museum tickets
Louvre Museum ticket costs €20 for all visitors above 18 years.
Buying the tickets online will help you avoid long hours of waiting.
Free entrance for EU residents under 26, Non-EU residents under 18, disabled visitors and the person accompanying them, and jobseekers with a valid ID.
You must show your ID at the entrance to get free entry.
Free entry to Louvre
On 14 July, the French National holiday celebrating the storming of the Bastille, the Louvre Museum allows free entry to everybody.
During the lean period of October to March, every first Sunday of the month is a free entry day at Louvre Museum.
Skip The Line Louvre tickets
The Louvre Skip The Line tickets are the cheapest and the most popular way to get into the art museum.
They get you to access both the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions.
These tickets also get you access to Musée Delacroix on the day of your Louvre visit.
Adult ticket (18+ years): €20
Louvre Museum guided tour
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
If you can afford it, this is by far the best way to explore Louvre Museum.
If you book this guided tour of Louvre, 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 The Louvre.
You can book the Louvre Museum Skip-the-Ticket-Line 10 am or the 2 pm guided tour.
Adult ticket (18+ years): €75
Child ticket (10 to 17 years): €55
If you want a more extended tour, check out this similar guided tour of the Louvre.
Louvre tour for families with kids
This two-hour Louvre Museum tour is customized for both kids and adults, and 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.
Since this is a skip-the-line ticket, you only wait at the security checks for approximately 10 to 20 minutes.
Tour price: €450 per group up to 5 family members
Visual Story: 16 must-know tips before visiting Louvre Museum
If you want an exclusive art expert to guide you and prefer complete control over your art museum tour, you must opt for a private tour of the Louvre Museum.
Some art lovers prefer to book the guided tour of the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay. And some tourists are confused between the two. If you aren’t sure which Parisian art gallery you want to visit, check out our analysis – Louvre Museum or Musee d’Orsay.
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 below.
Using the audio guide on the New Nintendo 3DS, visitors can learn about the palace, artworks, and their history.
Louvre’s audio guide also uses geo-location to direct you to the most relevant information about the artworks.
It is available in 9 languages – English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.
The audio guides are available for rent for €5 per person at the museum.
Best time to visit Louvre Museum
The best time to visit Louvre Museum is Friday evening when the museum stays open until 9:45 pm.
If you reach the museum by 6 pm, large coach tour groups and school children would have already left, and you can enjoy art in peace.
The next best time to visit the Parisian art museum is 3 pm on a weekday.
Most guidebooks and websites recommend users land up as early as possible to avoid the crowd at Louvre Museum.
Thus, everybody lands up for their tour of the Louvre in the morning itself.
So, it is better to avoid a morning visit to The Louvre.
Seasoned art enthusiasts prefer to visit the Louvre Museum at night.
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, you skip the line for the tickets, and your waiting time reduces drastically.
When NOT to visit 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 and thus diverts all the traffic towards the Louvre Museum.
The additional tourists mean longer waiting lines and bigger crowds.
That’s why it makes sense to stay away from Musee Du Louvre on Mondays.
Also, we 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.
The best time to photograph Louvre Museum Pyramid is Tuesday when the museum is closed. If you visit after dark, you will only find locals and some tourists hanging around the beautifully lit-up glass pyramid.
How long does Louvre Museum take
At the Louvre Museum, visitors need at least three hours to explore masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, etc.
Tourists who have been to Louvre multiple times say that art fatigue sets in after approximately 2 to 3 hours of roaming around.
If you plan to stay longer, take a break at one of the many restaurants in the art museum.
When you buy your Louvre Museum ticket online, you can finish your tour of The Louvre sooner because you don’t waste time in the ticket counter lines.
There are 380,000 artifacts in the Louvre Museum, out of which 35,000 pieces are on display. If you want to see all the 35,000 items on display for at least 30 seconds, you will need 36 days. More such Louvre Museum facts.
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 exhibit, you will need to spend at least 36 days in The Louvre.
Before we list out the Louvre must-see items, explain how the exhibits are classified and laid out in The Louvre.
Classification of items
The exhibits in The Louvre Museum, Paris, are divided into eight different departments depending on the artwork/exhibit.
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.
On the ground floor of this Wing, you will find one of the most beautiful sculptures in the 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.
Go and see ‘Sleeping Hermaphrodite’ in Room 17 of Sully Wing to know what we mean.
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.
On 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 the Louvre Museum – Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace, etc. Find out everything about Mona Lisa at Louvre Museum
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.
How to reach Louvre Museum
Address: Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris – France. Get Directions
Grand Louvre is located next to the Seine River in central Paris.
Once you get off at the stations, follow the crowd, and you can reach the Museum in less than two minutes.
Depending on where you are starting, you can also board bus routes 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, or 95.
If you are taking the famous Batobus, ask for the “Louvre” stop.
Some tourists visit Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum on the same day. If you also plan to do the same, follow the links for directions:
– From Eiffel Tower to the Louvre Museum
– From Louvre Museum to Eiffel Tower
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. Directions to Pyramid Entrance
2. Louvre Carrousel entrance
If you reach the Museum by Metro, it is best to get into the museum from the Louvre Carrousel entrance.
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 Louvre.
This Louvre Museum entrance is also known as ‘the mall entrance to the Louvre’ and ‘inverted Pyramid entrance.’
Interestingly, this doorway also leads to the same part of The Louvre Museum as the Pyramid entrance. Directions to Louvre Carrousel entrance
Tip: On Line 1 and 7, the Metro stop for Louvre Museum is ‘Palais Royale-Musee du Louvre’
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. Directions to Porte de Richelieu entrance
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. Directions to Portes Des Lions
Louvre Museum hours
From Wednesday to Monday, the Louvre Museum opens at 9 am.
On Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, the Parisian art museum closes at 6 pm, and on Friday, it closes at 9.45 pm.
On Tuesday, the Louvre Museum remains closed.
|Day of the week||Timings|
|Monday||9 am to 6 pm|
|Wednesday||9 am to 6 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|
Depending on the day, Louvre Museum employees start closing the rooms.
Last entry is one hour before closing and clearing on rooms begin 30 minutes before closing.
The Louvre Museum is closed on 1 January, 1 May, and 25 December.
Tip: Louvre’s ticketing office also opens at 9 am, but we suggest you buy Louvre tickets online to avoid the long lines.
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 (except Friday).
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’s hours
Most visitors to the Louvre Museum also visit the Tuileries Garden located between the Museum and the Place de la Concorde.
Some tourists come in early and spend time at the Tuileries Garden before taking a short walk to the Louvre Museum.
Tuileries Garden opens for the public at 7 am, all through the year.
From the last Sunday in September to the last Saturday in March the garden closes at 7.30 pm.
From the last Sunday in March to the last Saturday in September the garden closes at 9 pm.
In June, July, and August the garden opens from 7 am to 11 pm every day.
The evacuation of the public begins 30 minutes before closing time.
Louvre Museum map
The Louvre Museum is colossal, and there is a lot to see.
The trick is not to get lost and not miss out on the masterpieces.
If you have booked a guided tour of The Louvre, you don’t need Louvre’s map.
But if you will be on your own, we suggest you carry Louvre’s floor plan.
Besides helping you with the location of the exhibits, Louvre Museum map will also help you spot visitor services such as restrooms, cafes, souvenir shops, visitor assistance booths, etc.
Food and drinks
Visits to The Louvre Museum can be tiring – there is so much to see and so little time.
So 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 for 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 on 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
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