Louvre Museum Tickets and Tours
The Louvre can be presented in many ways: you can talk about its impressive building, the Tuileries gardens, its glass pyramid, its Egyptian art collection or Da Vinci's Giocconda and the Venus de Milo. My recommendation is to buy tickets in advance so you don't have to wait in line for hours at the door. These are the best options you can find online:
Access the Louvre without queues at the best price
Perfect if you want to lose yourself in the endless corridors and galleries of the Louvre at your own pace, without having to join any organized group but without wasting time in the queues at the ticket office.From $ 30 at Hellotickets
If you want to visit the Louvre on your own I highly recommend you to buy this ticket in advance online. The queues at the entrance to the museum are usually endless and when you are finally inside the tiredness starts to take its toll.
With this ticket you can access the museum whenever you want, spend as much time inside as you want and stop to contemplate the works that interest you most. (Later in this article I leave you a list of the works that you can not miss to make your self-guided visit more fruitful.
Don't forget to pick up the free museum map at the museum entrance. Some of the museum's visitors are looking for a quick visit and to locate the major works in each room: the map is designed for this purpose and will be very useful to help you find your way around the museum.
As for the audio guide, for the size of the museum and the amount of mythical works that are inside, it is highly recommendable. It has a price of five euros at the entrance, is in several languages and if in many ticket packages booked in advance is usually included.
Why I like this option**: this option allows you to visit the museum for as long as you want and decide yourself which works you want to stop at. In addition, by purchasing your ticket in advance you will avoid endless queues at the gate.
Recommended if...** you want to enjoy the museum at your own pace, without fixed schedules or guided groups.
Any art lover, expert or not, should take a guided tour of this impressive museum, as the collection is doubly enjoyable when you are guided through the major works and explained what is behind each of them. The guided tour is also highly recommended for those who do not want to leave Paris without visiting the museum, but do not have time to dedicate to it: on a guided tour the time is twice as long and the learning is twice as much.
You will comfortably visit the most emblematic works of the museum and they will also tell you details of the building itself by giving you a tour around the outside. It is also available in private option for small groups, which is highly recommended to take advantage and personalize the explanations of the guide. You can choose the guided tour in Spanish at 10:00 am or at 2:00 pm.
Why I like this option**: I find this guided tour a great opportunity to get to know the essentials of the museum without having to join a guided tour of many hours that can become too long for non-experts. With this tour you make sure you understand the most important of the essential works in two hours.
Recommended if...** you don't have much time but you don't want to renounce to know more about the museum and its works of art.
The best attractions in Paris at a reduced price with the tourist card
Paris is full of places to see and if you have in mind to explore beyond the Louvre, with this tourist card you will save time (you will skip the queues at the ticket office) and money when accessing the main points of interest.From $ 159 at Hellotickets
If you have the Paris Pass card, access to the Louvre museum is free and you will not have to queue to book your ticket. The free visit to the Louvre is one of the main attractions of this tourist card which also includes free admission to many other museums and tourist attractions in the city of Paris.
You can check all the information available about the Paris Pass in this guide I have written about Paris Pass:, but I warn you now that, if you want to make the most of everything the city has to offer, it is an option you should consider to save time and money.
Why I like this option** this card is designed by and for visitors who come to Paris eager to see several of its main attractions but do not have the time or budget to buy each of them separately.
Recommended if...** you plan to visit several attractions. Calculate the price of the tickets separately to see if it is worth buying the Paris Pass.
To summarize, we compare the three options
Access the Louvre without queues at the best price
Perfect if you want to lose yourself in the endless corridors and galleries of the Louvre at your own pace, without having to join any organized group but without wasting time in the queues at the ticket officeFrom $ 30 at Hellotickets
The essential works, explained by an expert
If you want to get an overview of the Museum and its most important works without wasting too much time, this guided tour is perfect for you. With this option you also skip the queues at the ticket officeFrom $ 56 at Hellotickets
The best attractions in Paris, at a reduced price
Paris is full of places to see and if you have in mind to explore beyond the Louvre, with this tourist card you will save time (you will skip the queues at the ticket office) and money when accessing the main points of interestFrom $ 159 at Hellotickets
Buy Louvre tickets at the Louvre box office
If you buy your Louvre tickets at the box office you can save two or three euros (the extra handling fee when you buy them online), but in return you will have to wait in long lines and you risk that when you arrive at the box office they are already sold out for the day and time you want to see the museum.
To avoid that, if in the end you decide to buy your tickets at the box office, try to go first thing in the morning (it opens at 9:00) and not choose a holiday to visit the museum. With this option, the audio guide goes separately for about five euros.
Practical tips for visiting the Louvre
When to go
The museum is open virtually every day of the year except for Tuesdays, which is the day when many of the museums in Paris close. Any time is a good time to visit this impressive collection, but the late afternoon hours (which on Wednesdays and Fridays are extended until almost ten o'clock at night) and the lunch break are usually less crowded.
How to get there
The Louvre is in the center of Paris. In any tourist map you will find outlined the building that houses the museum. Of course, although the building is huge, the entrance is through the glass pyramid that is in the main courtyard (at night this pyramid is illuminated and is one of the wonders of the so-called city of light).
The Louvre can also be accessed directly from the metro stop "Palais Royal Musée du Louvre" (the Louvre Rivoli stop is not for accessing the museum) on line 1 in Paris. If you choose the latter option you will find that some of the Paris metro stops are tourist attractions in themselves, but don't forget to go up after your visit to see the pyramid.
Duration of visit
Many visitors who go to Paris see the Louvre in several days because the size of the museum and the number of works of art it houses well allow visits of this magnitude. For me, seeing the Louvre in less than three hours does not make sense unless you take a guided tour focused only on certain works or you only want to see part of the museum.
An in-depth visit will probably take you a day. Also note that the visiting hours are unlimited; the entrance slots are for access only.
Certain groups are admitted free of charge to the Louvre. This is the case for minors under 18 years of age, European Union citizens under 25 years of age, art teachers and handicapped persons with an accompanying person (the museum is also adapted for them).
There are some days and times when the entrance to the Louvre is free for everyone: this is the case of the first Sunday of the month and July 14 (Bastille Day) from 18:00. Something you should know is that if you have free admission to the museum you must also book your ticket to choose a time slot and ensure access; you can do it on the official website of the museum.
Where to eat
Inside the Louvre museum there is a cafeteria and restaurant. It would be best if you visit the museum mid-morning to have a snack, enjoy the view of the Tuileries Gardens from one of the museum's balconies and resume your visit. In the surrounding area however it will be a bit more difficult to locate food places, so keep this in mind if you are hungry.
How to behave
At the Louvre, the usual rules for large museums apply. You are allowed to take pictures, you must not touch the works of art, you must maintain a certain silence and you can not enter with food. At the door there are security checks and also lockers to leave your backpacks, something I recommend so that the weight does not become unbearable after several hours touring the halls of the museum.
The surroundings of the Louvre
The Louvre is an emblematic building in Paris that you should also observe and enjoy from the outside. In addition to the glass pyramid, it is also next to the Tuileries gardens which are an ideal place to sit and read and enjoy the view.
The Louvre with children
If you visit the museum with children, make sure that they will not get tired and run through the corridors and rooms. A very good option is to take a Louvre tour adapted for children; this way you will encourage their interest in art and they will enjoy the museum much more.
I recommend this audio tour option adapted so that all family members can explore the museum at their own pace, focusing on the topics of most interest.
The most relevant works to see at the Louvre
Personally, I have never been in any museum where I have seen as many works of art as in the Louvre. If this is the most visited museum in Europe it is also because it is not only a delight for art lovers, but also because the general visitor will recognize a significant number of the works housed in the museum.
Making a selection of what to see is more difficult in the Louvre than in any other museum (there are 35,000 works of art in its interior from almost all artistic periods and of diverse origins). However (and let's not forget important omissions) if we had to make a top 10 with the best known it would be similar to this one:
1. The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci
It is the star work of the museum. Of course, before you are "disappointed" I will tell you that you are not going to see it up close; the painting is protected by a security barrier of several meters because on several occasions there have been attacks against the painting. Even from a distance, you have to see it because it is the star work of the Renaissance and one of the most mythical paintings in existence.
In the museum you will also find other works by Da Vinci such as the famous 'Virgin of the Rocks' that you can enjoy with a smaller influx of people; do not miss it.
2. Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix
This is one of my favorites. The painting depicts the popular uprising against the crown in Paris in 1830 that ended with the removal of the last Bourbon to reign in France: Charles X. In this work freedom is represented allegorically as a woman in the center of the painting wielding a flag. Take your time to enjoy the details of one of the best preserved works in the museum.
3. The Venus de Milo
One of the most representative statues of the Hellenistic period of Greek sculpture. This female figure has not always been a torso without arms, but it is unknown how she "lost" them and there are even several theories about how they were represented. The fact is that the perfection of the forms is well worth a few minutes of recreation in front of the work.
- The Wedding at Cana by Veronese
One of the most famous paintings by the Italian painter known as Veronese. It is difficult that you have not seen at some time a drawing of this work that represents the first miracle of Jesus Christ; during a wedding the Gospel of St. John says that he turned water into wine. The illumination of the painting and the detail of its characters is worth several minutes of your time.
The Victory of Samothrace
One of the largest statues you will find in the museum. The Winged Victory of Samothrace represents the Greek goddess Nike, Goddess of Victory. Although its aesthetics (the sculpture lacks a head) has been criticized by many, it is considered a key work of sculpture and you only have to look at the detail of its folds to verify this statement.
Vermeer's Lace Maker
One of the best known works of this author and another of the jewels of the museum. Like many of Vermeer's paintings, this one shows an anonymous figure in the intimacy of her everyday life, in this case dedicated to the work of sewing. With a minimal setting, the painter knows how to convey that moment of peace that surrounds the protagonist.
- Code of Hammurabi
The most emblematic piece of Mesopotamian art. The Louvre's Ancient Art collection is one of its most valuable attractions and this particular work reflects the civil laws in force during the reign of Hammurabi, making it an essential finding to learn more about the culture of this historical period.
Statue of Ramses II
A colossal statue of the pharaoh seated on his throne. Few collections of Egyptian art surpass those of this museum. Although you have to look closely to see it, it is considered that this sculpture shows naturalistic features in a pharaoh who was considered a god.
Portrait of Louis XIV
Icon of the absolutist French monarchy. The portrait represents all the power that the French monarchy held in Europe at the height of its power. Don't hesitate to use the audio guide in front of this painting to learn more about this important historical period and discover why the painting is another of the Louvre's masterpieces.
- The consecration of Napoleon
One of the key works portraying an epic episode in the history of France. More than six meters high and ten meters wide, the picture was painted by Jacques-Louis David and represents the consecration of Napoleon and his wife Josephine in the cathedral of Notre-Dame.
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The magnitude and fame of the Louvre is such that it is easy to overshadow other museums in the city of Paris. After contemplating all the works of the Louvre it is easy to ask yourself: but can there be more? There is. Paris is full of museums and each one is worth a visit.
My favorites are the Musée d'Orsay (a real marvel) and the Pompidou Museum of contemporary art, but the list of options is much bigger. If you want to know more you can read this article about Museums Tickets:.