The Louvre museum is a national monument of Paris. It is the largest art museum in the world. It is located in the very heart of Paris on the right bank of the Seine. The Louvre has around 38,000 exhibition pieces starting from the prehistoric period. No wonder, nowadays everyone to visit the Louvre museum.
The Louvre palace has a long history before it was turned into the museum that we have now. The palace was built by the French King Philip II sometime between the 12th and the 13th centuries. It was meant to be a fortress but because of the city expansion the fortress lost its function and was turned into the official residence of the French kings. You can actually see the remains of the fortress in the basement of the Louvre museum.
The palace was rebuilt and expanded many times until King Louis XIV decided to move the royal residence to the Palace of Versailles and leave the Louvre as a place to display the royal collection of art and sculptures.
At some point, the Louvre palace housed two academies. And then the revolution happened. When Napoleon became emperor he expanded the collection of the Louvre greatly. The museum even was renamed after Napoleon, although it didn’t last long. When Napoleon was cast out some of the art pieces were taken back by the owners.
The best and the richest period for the Louvre museum was during the Second French Empire when the museum obtained around 20,000 pieces of art.
Nowadays the Louvre museum is one of the most visited museums in the world. There were almost 10 million visitors in 2019. And I wouldn’t be mistaken if I assume that every tourist who comes to Paris the first time has the Louvre museum on his/her bucket list. So let’s see how to visit the Louvre museum and what not to miss.
The best thing to do is to buy tickets online. It will save you a great deal of time. You can choose the date and the time of your visit to the Louvre. I recommend arriving half an hour earlier then your ticket time. Better safe than sorry, since if you are late by more than half an hour, you will need to get in the line where all the tourists without online tickets are waiting to get in.
Once you get into the museum, at the entrance, you will see the desk where you can get an audio guide and start your excursion. Remember that along with online tickets you will need to bring your ID.
Hours: Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 6 PM; Wednesday and Friday from 9 AM to 9:45 PM; Tuesday is the day off; The museum is closed every year on January 1, May 1 and December 25.
Good To Know: on the first Saturday of each month the museum is open until 9:45 PM and you can get in free from 6 PM to 9:45 PM on that day; and on every Friday from 6 PM to 9:45 PM free admission for all visitors under the age of 26 (your ID is needed).
There are four official entrance to the Louvre museum.
Well, the easiest and the most popular entrance is by the glass Pyramid in the Louvre’s courtyard. Although, lots of bloggers say that this entrance is always overcrowded and you will need to wait for a long time, Cody and I decided to try it out and enter from the pyramid. I must say that if you have an online ticket, you will get to the museum within 10-20 minutes of your time. We actually only waited about 5 minutes.
Another entrance that you can use if the line is super long at the main entrance is the Carrousel shopping center. You can easily access it if you exit from the Metro line 1 at the station “Palais Royal – Musee du Louvre”. This entrance usually is less crowded than the one next to the glass Pyramid.
The third and fourth options and some say they are the best options (although I did not try it) is to enter the Louvre museum from the Porte des Lions or from the Porte de Richelieu.
Yes, you can. But in this case, you will have to wait in a long line and be very patient. The waiting time to get into the lobby can be between 30 minutes (if you are supper lucky) to a few hours. And then wait in another line to buy the actual ticket for another 30 minutes.
The best thing to do is to buy ticket in advance online and come at the chosen time. Click here to buy the ticket online.
The best time to visit the Louvre museum will be first thing in the morning or on the evenings of Wednesdays or Fridays. Why? Well, first, there won’t be that many school groups and second, tourists usually try to see the important stuff in the first part of the day and then just relax at night and enjoy their dinner. So here is your opportunity to have a quite relaxing visit to not overcrowded Louvre.
Yes, photos are allowed in the Louvre museum.
The Louvre is the biggest museum in the world with more than 38,000 objects and an area of 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet). You can spend there a month and not see everything.
But an average tourist’s visit takes around 4 to 5 hours (depends on how quickly you get tired).
Yes, you can. And I do suggest you bring water and a small snack, since you probably will spend more than 3 hours in the museum (of course, if you want to see a good amount of stuff).
Yes, if it is a small backpack. Unfortunately, a big backpack will have to be checked at the storage office, under the glass pyramid.
Tickets to the Louvre museum do sell out, so it will be hard to get a last-minute ticket. The best way is to plan your visit to the museum a week in advance and purchase your tickets then.
Unfortunately, no. Once you leave the museum you cannot return using the same ticket.
The ticket to the Louvre museum costs 17 € online and 15 € at the door;
On the first Saturday of each month between 6 PM and 9:45PM, and all day on Bastille Day (14 July) you can get in free. Every Friday from 6 PM to 9:45 PM has free admission for all visitors under the age of 26. Entrance is also free for everyone aged under 18 all year.
Don’t forget to bring your ID.
1. Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci (The biggest treasure of the museum).
2. Venus the Milo
3. Great Sphinx of Tanis
4. Victoire de Samothrace
5. I.M. Pei’s Pyramid
6. Saint Jean Baptiste by Leonardo da Vinci
7. Vierge à l’Enfant avec saint Jean Baptiste et un ange by Leonardo da Vinci
8. Cabinet of Marie Antoinette
9. French crown jewel room
10. Louvre foundation in the basement of the museum.