How to visit Louvre Museum, Paris: All you need to know

The Louvre Museum in Paris is the most visited museum in the world. Nearly 10 million people visited in 2019. In this guide, you’ll find out where to enter the Louvre, where to book tickets, opening times and, above all, what to see and not to miss at the Louvre.

Louvre in Paris. The most famous and most visited museum in the world. If you have not been to the Louvre, it is as if you have not been to Paris.

The Louvre is a museum that will reach even those who are almost strangers to art. And even if it doesn’t lure you to its exhibitions, at least go and see it from the outside. It’s worth it.

Louvre Museum – attractions

The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum. In 2019, 9.6 million people visited the Louvre. Just to give you an idea of how big a number that is, the second most visited museum was the National Museum of China with 7.4 million visitors and the third was the Vatican Museums with 6.9 million visitors.

Louvre was built in the 12th century as a fortress. It was extensively renovated in the 16th-17th centuries, when it became a stunning palace. It has been operating as a museum since 1793.

It is famous for its glass pyramid, designed by Chinese architect IM Pei. It is beautifully lit in the evening. Next to the main pyramid there are two smaller pyramids that perfectly illustrate the site.

Louvre Museum Paris at night

Where is the Louvre in Paris?

Louvre Museum is located in the first arrondissement of Paris on the right bank of the Seine River. It stretches along several blocks of Rue de Rivoli. The Île de la Cité, home to Notre Dame Cathedral and the Chapel Saint, is within walking distance. It’s even closer to the Palais Royal.

Book tickets to popular sights in Paris and skip the long lines on the spot:


How to get to the Louvre?

The Louvre is centrally located and within easy walking distance of the most beautiful sites in Paris – the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Orsay Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and more. How to get to the Louvre by metro?

  • Line 1 – Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre or Louvre-Rivoli station (I recommend getting off at Louvre-Rivoli station, where the first shards of Louvre art are scattered)
  • line 7 – Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre station
  • line 14 – Pyramides station (a little further than the previous two stations)
Louvre Museum Paris
Louvre entrance hall

Entrance to the Louvre Museum

There are 4 entrances to the Louvre. Which entrance you choose depends on whether you buy your ticket on the spot, have a ticket bought in advance or, for example, visit the museum as part of a guided tour.

The main entrance is through the largest pyramid in the middle of the museum courtyard. It is the most visible, so the longest queues are usually here. Normally up to several hours (if you buy tickets on the spot). Everyone can enter through the main entrance.

Several colour-coded lines lead into the glass pyramid:

  • yellow for tourist cards (e.g. Paris Pass)
  • orange for visitors without a ticket
  • green for visitors with a reservation for a specific time
  • blue for people with disabilities, pregnant women, strollers and people with mobility problems (lift)
Louvre Museum in Paris pyramid entrance

Other entrances for individual visitors are:

  • Carrousel du Louvre underground shopping centre (accessible from Rue de Rivoli, 99 or Palais Royal-Museé du Louvre metro station)
  • Porte des Lions (south of the museum from Quai François-Mitterrand) on the Seine

How to skip the line for the Louvre: We bought our tickets in advance, because even in February, there were long lines at many places in Paris. We went through the pyramid, where there is a reserved entrance for those who have a reservation in advance. Next to it is the entrance for those who do not have a reservation and have to wait in line.

Even if you have a reservation, there will be a security check. Please have your ticket ready before entering. They won’t let you in with big backpacks or suitcases. Inside the museum there are lockers for storing smaller items.

Wear comfortable shoes. It’ll come in handy with the miles you’ll be putting on here. Especially in colder weather, it’s a good idea to dress in thin layers so you can adapt to different and changing temperatures.

If you are visiting the museum as part of a guided tour, the entrance is via the Carrousel shopping centre or the Richelieu wing of Rue de Rivoli – see the specific tour for information.

Louvre in Paris entrance

Opening hours of the Louvre Museum

The Louvre is open every day except Tuesday. Opening hours vary according to the season:

  • high season – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and weekend 9:00-18:00, Friday 9:00-21:45
  • low season – 9:00-18:00, closed on Tuesday

The last entry is one hour before the end of opening hours. Rooms close half an hour before.

Louvre admission and tickets

Admission to the Louvre Museum is €17 (€15 on site). Currently, there are only a very limited number of tickets available on site and even the museum itself recommends buying tickets in advance online.

In high season, on weekends and holidays, I recommend booking a few days in advance so that tickets don’t sell out.

Louvre Museum in Paris

Free admission to the Louvre Museum

Children, young people under 26 years of age and people with disabilities are admitted free of charge (with ID or ID card).

It used to be possible to enter for free on Sunday or Saturday evening, but that is no longer the case. Free admission for all valid only on Bastille Day 14. 7.

Your ticket to the Louvre also includes entry to the National Eugène-Delacroix Museum. The museum is located across the river from the Louvre Museum. It’s small, but if you’re more interested in the French painter Eugène Delacroix, you’ll like it here, because you’ll get to see the places where he lived and worked. You must visit the museum within 2 days of visiting the Louvre. Open every day except Tuesday 9:30-17:30.

How to skip the line at the Louvre?

The queues for the Louvre are really long, especially in the high season. The queue extends from the main pyramid and winds through the main courtyard.

There are 2 queues at the entrance to the Louvre – the ticket queue and the security check. The easiest way to avoid the queue for the Louvre is to book your tickets in advance. Tickets will then arrive in your email and you can just show them to a member of staff on your mobile phone or print them out when you enter. You go through security and you’re in the museum.

The best times to visit are early in the morning or in the evening, when the groups and the biggest crowds have left.

Louvre Museum front entrance Paris

What parts does the Louvre consist of?

Richelieu Wing

The Richelieu Wing is the part of the museum that sees the fewest visitors. The apartments of Napoleon III are especially worth seeing here. Although the name is a little confusing, the apartments were renovated for the Foreign Office in the style of Louis XIV, creator of the opulent Palace of Versailles.

Richelieu Wing of the Louvre Museum Paris
Louvre Museum Paris

In addition, you can admire French sculptures from the 5th-19th centuries and a complete collection of Near Eastern antiquities. The entrance to the Richelieu Wing is located between the museum café and the toilets at the north end of the entrance hall.

Sully wing

The Sully Wing is the oldest part of the Louvre, where you can learn about the history of the museum and see art from Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquity, including the Great Sphinx of Tanis and the Venus de Milo statue. You enter the Sully Wing from the west end of the entrance hatch. Directly opposite the museum’s information desk.

Denon wing

The Denon Wing, on the south side of the museum, is the most popular part of the Louvre. It is named after the first director of the museum. It houses such works as the Mona Lisa and Nike Samothrace.

Louvre Museum Paris Denon Wing

Don’t have enough time to visit the Louvre? Then head to the Denon Wing to explore the Grand Gallery, one of the Louvre’s most beautiful corridors lined with Italian paintings, including the Mona Lisa.

The Louvre’s extensive collection is divided into several departments:

  • Egyptian antiquities
  • Etruscan, Greek and Roman antiquities
  • Middle Eastern Antiquities
  • Islamic art, paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Decorative art
  • Prints and drawings

How to skip the queues for the Louvre: We bought our tickets in advance, because even in February, there were long lines at many places in Paris. We went through the pyramid, where there is a reserved entrance for those who have a reservation in advance. Next to it is the entrance for those who do not have a reservation and have to wait in line.

Things to do at Louvre

There is so much that you will not be able to see it all in one visit. If this is your first time at the museum and you want to see the best works, don’t miss out:

Venus de Milo (Venus de Milo)

An ancient Greek statue famous for its missing arms, which is the epitome of feminine beauty. The work is decorated with a Sully wing.

Venus de MIlo Louvre in Paris

Mona Lisa

The world’s most famous and most parodied work of art by artist Leonardo da Vinci, measuring 77×53 cm. It is now estimated to be worth more than $850 million. 30,000 people a day want to see the Mona Lisa, so everyone can admire the painting for only 30 seconds and then move on. The Mona Lisa can be found in the Denon Wing. You can find it by the large queue of visitors.

Nike Samothrace

A sculptural work from the Hellenistic period, which will attract you especially with its wings. It consists of 118 parts. The statue literally dominates the monumental staircase of the Dar in the Denon Wing.

Nike Samothrace in Paris Louvre
Nike Samothrace

Other unique works include Bernini’s The Sleeping Hermaphrodite or The Great Sphinx of Tanis.

Louvre Paris Amor a Psyche
Amor a Psyche (Canova)
Grand Sphinx of the Louvre Paris
The Great Sphinx of Tanis

If you have some time, go to the medieval part. Here you will see the former walls of the Louvre and how the museum was formed when it was in its 12th century of forts.

Tour of the Louvre Museum

The Louvre covers an area of 72,735m2, the corridors are 14.5 km long and there are 403 rooms. You can pick up a map at the beginning of the tour. It will help you to find your way around the different floors and wings (more on those in a moment).

There are 35,000 objects on display in the Louvre. And that’s only a tenth of the total. If you spent one minute on each work, it would take you 64 days to see the entire Louvre. You may not spend your youth here, but it’s impossible to walk through the entire Louvre in one visit.

You have two options:

  • Enjoy one part of the museum. What are you most interested in? Roman and Greek antiquities? Or Napoleonic flats? At the beginning of the tour you can pick up a map and plan your route.
  • Visit the Louvre with a guide to show you the best of the museum. Guided tours are available in English, German, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

How much time to set aside to visit the Louvre?

I recommend 2-4 hours depending on how much you like art. It is not possible to walk through the Louvre in one day, but after 4 hours you will probably be tired and tired. You can visit the Louvre several times and still have plenty to discover.

Louvre Museum Paris

When to visit the Louvre

Palace of Versailles is closed on Monday, so some visitors will plan a visit to the Louvre. Weekends are always fuller. The best time of day to visit is early in the morning when there are the fewest people.

From June to September, the Louvre sees the most people and the queues are the longest.

In winter there are the least tourists. You will feel this especially inside the museum. Airfares and accommodation are lower than in high season.

The compromise is then autumn from October to November and April to May.

Where to eat near the Louvre?

There are several refreshment options right in the Louvre.

There is also a wide selection of refreshments in the underground shopping centre Caroussel du Louvre (you can get here from Rue de Rivoli, 99 right next to the Louvre or from Palais Royal-Museé du Louvre metro station).

Would you like to try French cuisine? There are several good restaurants just outside the Louvre:

  • Le Fumoir
  • Le Petit Samaritain
  • Le Louvre Ripaille

For delicious pancakes go to Happy Caffe and for hot chocolate, macaroons or cakes go to the beautiful Angelina Paris patisserie next door.

Or picnic in the Tuileries Gardens, adjacent to the Louvre. The gardens are full of flowers, trees, statues and lakes, around which are scattered chairs where you can relax like a local.

Tuileries Gardens Paris

What to see around the Louvre?

The Louvre is literally full of interesting places. If you want to soak up more art, head to the Impressionist museums Musée d’Orsay or Musée de l’Orangerie. Modern art awaits you at the former Le Centre Pompidou factory.

The Sainte Chapelle Cathedral and the Conciergerie Fortress, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral a few steps away, offer beautiful Gothic architecture.

Book your tickets for popular sights in Paris and skip the long queues on the spot:


Louvre Museum map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of the Louvre Museum in Paris. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in my guide to the Louvre. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

This was our guide and practical tips for visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris. Do you have a question? Leave a comment or share. Have a safe journey!

Learn more about Paris and France

PARIS ITINERARY: Check out our tips on what to see in Paris. To help you plan, we’ve created an itinerary for 3 days in Paris. For a complete overview of admission fees to monuments, see the article Overview of admission fees and opening times to monuments in Paris.

THINGS TO DO IN PARIS: In the following article you will find out everything you need to know before visiting Versailles.

Are you planning to visit Disneyland? Read our detailed guide to Disneyland.

PARIS GUIDE: In a separate article you can find out everything about transport in Paris (airport, public transport, metro, bicycle). Read about accommodation, prices, food and safety in our guide to Paris.

HOW TO SAVE IN PARIS: Read our tips on how to visit Paris cheaply. The Paris Pass is a popular way to save money in Paris – find out more about the Paris Pass.

PROVENCE: How about discovering more beautiful places in France? Provence is one of them. The Provence guide tells you everything you need to know before your trip.

Summary: Louvre Museum in Paris

Where is the Louvre?

The Louvre Museum is located in the first arrondissement of Paris on the right bank of the Seine River. It’s so vast you can’t miss it.

How do I get to the Louvre?

The Louvre is easily accessible from central Paris or by metro lines 1, 7 and 14.

How much does it cost to enter the Louvre?

Full admission is 17 € (15 € on site). Children and young people up to 26 years of age are admitted free of charge.

What are the opening hours of the Louvre?

The museum is open every day except Tuesday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and weekend 9:00-18:00, Friday 9:00-21:45. Off-season opening hours are shorter 9:00-18:00. The last entry is no more than one hour before the end of opening hours.

What to see at the Louvre?

If it’s your first time at the museum and you want to see the best works, don’t miss the Venus de Milo, Nike Samothrace, Sleeping Hermaphrodite, Mona Lisa or the Great Sphinx of Tanis.

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