The Louvre Museum in Paris is the world's largest museum and also one of the most visited. Located on the right bank of the river Seine in the heart of Paris, it is the perfect example of French Baroque architecture. Best known as the home to the Mona Lisa, the museum has the most impressive art collection in the world.
When in Paris, it is impossible to not visit The Louvre. However, due to its popularity, the lines to enter it are frustratingly long. To make visiting the Louvre a hassle-free experience, our Louvre Skip the line tickets will provide you fast-track access which will allow you to bypass the long lines and head straight to the exhibitions, giving you more time inside the museum than outside it.
Louvre Museum in a Nutshell
The Louvre was first built as a fortress to protect Paris from Viking attacks in the 12th century. In 1546, it became home to the French monarchs. In 1789, during the French Revolution, it was decided that The Louvre would be home to the country’s art. Since then, the museum has become world-famous as the holy shrine of art.
The Louvre is home to over 3,80,000 artworks, of which only 35,000 make up the permanent exhibition. These exhibits are spread across eight departments - Egyptian Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Islamic Art; Decorative Arts; Sculpture; Paintings; Drawings and Prints.
- Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa
- Venus de Milo
- Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People
- The Victory of Samothrace
- Law Code of Hammurabi
Priority Access Tickets to the Louvre Museum ✪
Quick Jumplinks to Navigate the Guide
- Long Queues and How to Skip Them
- Planning Your Time at the Louvre
- Famous Exhibits at the Louvre Museum
- Visitor Trails
- Practical Information
- Tips on Visiting the Museum
- Facts about the Louvre Museum
Long Queues and How to Skip Them
Because The Louvre Museum is one of the most popular museums in the world, it is natural that a large number of people visit it every year. At peak tourist season during the summer, the Louvre can see as many as 60,000 people exploring the museum. It’s because of this very popularity of the landmark that the wait at the ticket line can range from 2 to 4 hours.
However, if you plan ahead, you can avoid the crowd, making your experience to the Louvre unforgettable. Here’s how:
1. Purchase Tickets Online
Ticket lines stretch all around the entrance, and it can take up to three hours for you to enter the museum if you decide to buy your ticket on site. This can be avoided if you purchase your Louvre tickets in advance. By doing so, you can avoid the line of ticket buyers, and head straight to security check, cutting down your queuing time by up to 20-60 mins, depening on when you arrive. Online tickets are time-stamped and is valid only for the chosen date and time.
2. Choose the Right Time for Your Visit
The best time to visit the Louvre Museum is on a weekday. Parisians love visiting museums and they do so on weekends, mostly Sunday afternoons. If you’re visiting the museum during the weekdays, then Wednesday and Friday are perfect, as the museum stays open longer, and you can look around the museum in peace, as the crowds lessen considerably during the closing hours (9:45 PM).
During the summer, when the days are long and the weather is pleasant, the Louvre sees a large number of visitors. Approximately 7.4 million people visited the Musée du Louvre in 2016. To avoid the densest crowds, it is recommended you visit during fall and early winter.
3. Choose the Right Entrance Queue
The Louvre has 4 entrances - the Pyramid entrance, Carrousel du Louvre, Richelieu Passage and Porte des Lions Entrance. Of these gates, the Pyramid is the entrance online ticket holders use to access the museum. The other entrances are dedicated to guided tours, school groups, members, etc.
For many years, the Louvre Pyramid was notorious for the queue of people outside waiting to get in. Today, timed ticket entry, along with better management of queues has relieved most of the wait and queueing time for online ticket holders has improved drastically.
At the Pyramid entrance, you will see 4 different queues marked with different colour markers. If you're buying ticket on-site, then you have to stand in the green line. After getting the ticket in the green queue, you have to wait again in the orange line in order to enter the museum. Online ticket holders on the other hand go directly to the yellow line and its the only time they have to queue up.
Planning Your Time at the Louvre
With a gallery space of 72,735 sq. m., the Louvre is the largest museum in the world. Given that 35,000 permanent exhibits are spread across eight departments, it is best to plan ahead, so you can see as much of the artwork as possible.
You can find the detailed floor plan here. Given the sheer size of the museum, it is not possible to see all of it in one day. However, if you decide in advance with galleries and exhibits you want to visit, your experience will be much more fulfilling.
The museum is spread over 5 levels, with 2 underground levels. The museum exhibitions are present on levels -1, 0, 1, and 2. Level -2 is dedicated to the museum shops, bookstores and the Richelieu and the Carrousel du Louvre entrances.
• Richelieu and the Carrousel du Louvre entrances
• Museum shops
• Entrances to the three wings that make up the Louvre - Richelieu, Denon and Sully.
• Richelieu Wing: French Sculptures
• Sully Wing: The Pavillon de l’Horloge
• Denon Wing: Greek Antiquities, European Sculptures, Islamic Art, Near Eastern and Egyptian Art and a Touch Gallery
• Richelieu Wing: French Sculptures and Near Eastern Antiquities
• Sully Wing: Near Eastern Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities and Greek Antiquities
• Denon Wing: Greek Antiquities, Italian and Etruscan Antiquities, Roman Antiquities, European Sculptures and Arts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and Americas
• Richelieu Wing: European Decorative Arts
• Sully Wing: Egyptian Antiquities and Greek and Roman Antiquities
• Denon Wing: French, Italian, Spanish, British and American Paintings
• Richelieu Wing: Northern European Paintings
• Sully Wing: French Paintings
Famous Exhibits at the Louvre Museum
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa
The most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa resides in the Louvre in the Department of Italian Paintings. The subject of the painting is thought to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a cloth merchant from Florence. Keeping this in mind, be warned that there is always a crowd to see the Mona Lisa, so keep your expectations low.
Venus de Milo
This 6’8” marble sculpture depicts Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. The statue is named after the Greek island of Milos, where it was discovered. The statue is most famous for the missing arms - under the right breast is a filled hole, which would originally have the metal tendon used to attach the arms. The statue can be found in the Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities.
Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People
Commemorating the July Revolution of 1830, the painting shows a woman personifying Liberty leading people over barricades and the bodies of the fallen. In her hand is the flag of the French revolution, which is now the national flag of France, and her other arm holds a bayoneted musket.
Winged Victory of Samothrace
This marble sculpture of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, was made in 2nd c. BC. Nearly 8 feet high, the statue is thought to have been created not just to honor the goddess, but also to celebrate a naval victory, as the base is like the prow of a ship.
Law Code of Hammurabi
Dating back to 1800 BC, the Law Code of Hammurabi is a Babylonian code of law from the Mesopotamian period. Exhibited in the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities, the Law Code has aover 200 laws inscribed on it. The Law Code of Hammurabi is very important as it helps us learn about the history and religion of this period.
Given the size of the Louvre, it is impossible to see the entire museum in a day. If you are interested in a specific theme or time period, the Louvre also offers visitor trails that take you to artwork based on specific themes and time periods.
Some of the trails are:
- The Da Vinci Code, Between Fiction and Fact: This trail is based on the popular novel (and film), The Da Vinci Code. Visitors can tour and see the art based on symbologist Robert Langdon’s time in the museum. On this tour, you will see The Wedding Feast at Cana, the Mona Lisa, and Virgin and Child with Saint Anne.
- From Palace to Museum, 800 Years of History: This trail takes visitors through the Louvre’s eight-centuries long journey. Constructed as one of the main residences for the French monarchy, the Louvre became a museum in 1793, after the French Revolution. Some exhibits include The Salon Denon, The Galerie Campana, and The Napoleon III Apartments’ Large Drawing Room.
- The Art of Eating, Rituals and Symbolism: This visitor trail takes you around the Louvre to see the depiction of meals and food in paintings from Antiquity to the 18th century. Some popular art seen in the trail include The Feast of the Gods, The Peasant Meal, and The Hunt Luncheon.
Find the complete list of trails here.
Louvre Museum Practical Information
Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 9 AM - 6 PM
Wednesday, Friday: 9 AM - 9:45 PM
The Louvre Museum is closed on Tuesdays and the following holidays: January 1, May 1, December 25.
The Louvre Museum is situated in Paris’ 1st Arrondissement, on the right bank of the Seine. You have the following public transport options available to get to the museum:
Metro - The closest metro station to the museum, and the one where our ticket redemption center is located is the Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station on Line 1.
Bus - 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95
There are three entrances individual ticket holders can use to enter the museum:
1. Pyramid Entrance: This is the main entrance to the Louvre. Look for the sign “avec billet” (with ticket), and get into the line. You will be allowed to enter after a brief security check.
2. Richelieu Passage entrance: This is the closest entrance to the Headout ticket redemption center.
3. Carrousel du Louvre entrance: This entrance is past the underground shopping center, near the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.
Tips on Visiting the Louvre Museum
- The following people get free admission to the Louvre: Those under the age of 18, 18-25 year old residents of the EU, Visitors with disabilities and the person accompanying them, and teachers of art & art history. Find more information on this here.
- You’ll never have the Louvre Museum all to yourself, but mornings and evenings will be the least crowded hours of the day - try going early in the morning or around 3 PM.
- Always buy tickets in advance. This way, you can skip the line to purchase tickets, making your wait to enter the museum a short one.
- Use the Passage Richelieu and Galerie du Carrousel entrances to enter the museum, as these are less crowded than the main Pyramid entrance.
- Be sure to carry water and wear comfortable shoes. The Louvre is massive, and that involves a lot of walking. You can also borrow walking sticks and foldable chairs from the Museum Centre for free.
Facts About the Louvre Museum
- The Louvre was originally built as a fortress to keep the Vikings out in 1190 AD. In the 16th century, it was converted into a palace..
- Following the French Revolution, the Louvre was made a museum in 1793.
- Napoleon expanded the collection of the museum by 5000, and even renamed it the Musée Napoleon. However, after the defeat at Waterloo, the pieces were returned to the original owners.
- In 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. The masterpiece was finally recovered two years later in December 1913.
- During World War II, the Louvre was used by the Nazis as a storeroom to keep stolen art.
- The glass pyramid was built in the 1980s based on the design of Chinese architect I. M. Pei. He was the first non-French architect to work on the Louvre, which created controversy at the time. However, today, the Louvre pyramid is one of the most iconic landmarks in Paris.