Louvre Museum in Paris, France is the world’s best art museum.
More than 9 million tourists visit the Louvre Museum every year.
This means more than 25,000 visitors line up to enter Musee du Louvre daily.
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. Ticket price
6. Ticket discounts
7. Why online tickets are better?
8. Buy tickets
9. Guided tours
10. Louvre entrances
11. What to see?
12. Louvre Departments
How to get to the Louvre Museum
Address: Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris – France
Telephone: +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17
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 station Palais-Royal / Louvre Museum.
If you are taking Line 14, get down at station ‘Pyramids.’
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 Museum hours
Louvre Museum opening times vary throughout the week.
The Museum opens at 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’s hours end at 9.45 pm.
Monday: 9 am – 6 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 9.45 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 6 pm
Friday: 9 am – 9.45 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 6 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 6 pm
The Louvre Museum employees start closing the rooms at 5.30 pm and 9.30 pm onwards. Schedule of 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.
Just that the Louvre’s timing on such holidays varies from 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
Want to save money and time during your holiday in Paris? Buy one discount Pass and visit 60+ attractions for free. Buy Paris Museum Pass
Best time to visit Louvre Museum
Because of the massive crowd, the Louvre attracts, ‘What is the best time to visit Louvre Museum?’ is a question asked often.
Our short answer:
The best time to visit the Louvre Museum is after 3 pm because the crowds are all gone and only the die-hard art fans are left.
After 3 pm, the large tourist groups such as school kids, coach tour groups etc. have all gone.
For a more detailed answer, continue reading.
Best time to visit Louvre to avoid crowd
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 lines trickle away.
Therefore you should wait until 3 pm or even later and visit the Louvre Museum.
However, be aware that this gives you only a 3-hour window to enjoy the artefacts on display.
If you want more hours to roam around, the best time to visit the Louvre Museum is around 3 pm on Wednesday or Friday.
On Wednesdays and Fridays, you get six-plus hours because the Museum closes at 9.45 pm.
Note: 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 in half because you don’t need to wait in the ticketing lines.
Best season to visit Louvre Museum
The best season to visit Louvre Museum (and Paris) is during the early months of spring.
The months of February, March, and April make up early spring in Paris.
During this period the city is beautiful and so is the weather.
In early spring, everybody is busy accumulating leaves for the summer months so you can have the Louvre to yourself.
Once the spring ends and the summer begins, the crowd starts coming into Paris and to Louvre.
June, August and September are peak Months for Louvre.
When NOT to go to Louvre Museum
Orsay Museum is just 1.5 Kms (.9 Miles) from Louvre Museum and displays French art dating from 1848 to 1914. It gets more than 8000 tourists every day.
This Museum is closed on Mondays thus diverting all the traffic towards the Louvre Museum.
The additional tourists mean, longer 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 per cent 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 do you want to photograph the glass pyramid and the Louvre Museum building?
Photography inside Louvre Museum
You can carry cameras inside Louvre Museum and take as many photographs as you want if you don’t use flash.
However, this rule applies only to the 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 Louvre Museum – since all the artefacts 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 Tuesday.
The Museum is closed on Tuesdays, but the Pyramids are open.
However, tourists prefer to visit both the museum and the 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 is the Louvre Museum tour?
There are 380,000 artifacts available in the Louvre Museum but only 35,000 works of art are on display. More such Louvre Museum facts.
Want to see all the 35,000 items on display?
If you spend only 30 seconds in front of each item and are in the Museum for eight hours daily, you will still need 36 days to see the whole of Louvre.
Now let’s talk what’s possible.
Your Louvre Museum ticket allows you to stay inside the Louvre Museum for the whole day.
Tourists who have been to Louvre multiple times say that after approximately 2 to 3 hours of roaming around, art fatigue sets in.
An average visitor spends around 2.5 hours at Louvre Museum.
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 ticket lines
– Take regular breaks in between browsing through the art on display
If you follow these tips, you can extend your Louvre Museum tour to 4-5 hours.
Louvre Museum ticket price
While buying your tickets for the Louvre Museum, you have two options.
The Louvre Museum tickets price varies depending on the option you choose.
Option 1: Reach the Louvre, and get in the queue to buy the Musee du Louvre tickets for the price of 15 Euros per person.
Option 2: Buy Louvre tickets in advance for the cost of just 17 Euros and skip the line altogether.
Online tickets for the Louvre Museum cost 2 Euros more than the offline tickets being sold at the venue.
However, you can avoid long waiting time by booking your tickets in advance.
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 discounts 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 is free for all tourists.
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 fulfil 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
*IDs will be requested at the entrance to check the age
Why buying Louvre Museum tickets online is better
Let us explain what happens when you decide to buy the tickets at the Museum and when you buy ‘Skip the Line’ tickets online.
After you are done reading this section, you will realise that buying Louvre Museum tickets is a better and wiser option.
For it saves you both time and energy.
Buying tickets at Louvre Museum
You must have seen long lines in front of the Glass Pyramid in Louvre.
Queues such as this:
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.
This waiting period is out in the sun.
Once you clear the security, you are inside the air-conditioned 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 Museum.
Buying tickets online
When you have already bought tickets online, the best Louvre Museum entrance for you is the access through the glass Pyramid.
This is how it works –
When you reach the Grand Louvre, you will see long lines in front of the Pyramid entrance. Don’t worry.
Walk right past the long line, straight to the guard at the front of the Pyramid entrance.
Look for the sign ‘visitors with tickets.’ In French, this sign should read ‘Avec Billet.’
The guard will check your Louvre ticket and merge you into the security check line inside the glass pyramid.
Thus, you avoid the long line waiting outside of the glass pyramid.
Once your security check is done, you can walk right into the Museum.
Since you already have a ticket, you don’t need to wait at the ticketing counter.
Depending on the time of the day and season (June, July, and August are the tourist months in France), buying an online ticket will save you anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Being smartphone tickets, you don’t have to print these ‘Skip The Line’ tickets.
Show them on your mobile and walk right in.
Buy Louvre tickets
There is no difference between a ticket bought at the Louvre Museum or the one purchased online.
We have listed below the Louvre ticket inclusions –
1. Fast-track access to the Louvre Museum, without waiting in the queue
2. Access to the Grand Louvre’s permanent collection and all temporary exhibitions
3. Unlimited stay inside the Museum, all through the day.
4. Unlimited photographs. No need to take special permission for photographs
5. Access to Musée Delacroix* on the same or following day
6. Access to Tuileries Garden
Louvre Museum guided tours
If you need help navigating the massive Louvre Museum, you have three options.
You can download Louvre’s mobile app, or use their audio guide or you can hire a local art expert as your guide.
The third option is our favourite because the human guide can make your trip memorable by narrating stories and anecdotes about every piece of art.
1. Use Louvre Museum’s app
Download Louvre Museum’s app on your mobile and navigate your own path.
Within this app, 60,000 square meters of Louvre museum is modelled in 3D.
And it is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Korean and Japanese.
2. Use Louvre Museum’s audio guide
If you don’t mind spending 5 Euros per person, we recommend you buy the multimedia guide to complement your Louvre Museum ticket.
You can buy these Louvre Museum audio guides at four spots.
The first spot is in front of Group Reception Area, also known as Accueil des Groupes.
The other three places where you can buy the multimedia audio guide is the Museum’s three main entrances at Denon, Sully, and Richelieu.
To get a sense of how this Louvre-Nintendo audio guide works, check out this video.
Book a guided tour of Louvre Museum
If you can afford it, this is by far the best way to explore Louvre Museum.
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 highlights of the Louvre
– Art expert guides share in-depth knowledge, exciting stories etc. about the artwork
The beauty of these guided tours of Louvre is that, after the tour is over you can continue to stay and explore at your own pace.
When it comes to guided tours, you have a few interesting options:
Entrances of Louvre Museum
Grand Louvre has four entrances which serve different purposes.
They are the Pyramid entrance, the Porte des Lions entrance, the Carrousel entrance, and the Porte de Richelieu entrance.
1. Louvre Pyramid Entrance
This is the main entrance to Louvre. It is also known as Le Pyramide entrance.
This 21-meters high glass pyramid makes for great photographs, so most tourists prefer to enter from here.
This pyramid was built by architect IM Pei.
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.
Note: 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 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 Museum 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.
Paris City Pass can get you free access to 60+ tourist attractions and unlimited free rides in Metro, buses and trains. Buy Paris City Pass
What to see in Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum has three wings: Sully, Richelieu and Denon.
Each of these wings has more than 70 rooms.
Each of these has their must-see exhibits.
If you book a guided tour, the art expert takes you only to the main attractions.
What to see in 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 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.
What to see in 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.
What to see in Denon Wing
Denon Wing attracts the most number of tourists at the Louvre Museum.
After all, it houses the most famous works such as Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
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,
Departments in Louvre Museum
The artwork in Louvre Museum, Paris is divided into eight different departments.
Each of the department is shaped and defined by the activities of its curators, collectors and donors.
The eight departments at Louvre are:
2. Egyptian Antiquities
3. Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities
4. Near Eastern Antiquities
6. Decorative Arts
7. Islamic Art
8. Prints and Drawings
Restaurants at Louvre Museum
Did you know that if you spent eight hours in the museum every day and spent 30 seconds in front of every artwork, you will still need eight days to see them all?
That’s why visits to 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.
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 just want to grab a quick bite and move on, we recommend the following cafes –
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 is the perfect destination for books and gift shopping at Louvre.
It is in the 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 is a famous shopping centre within the Louvre Palace and 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.