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Paris Louvre Museum Tickets and Tours: how to buy, prices and discounts

Thinking of visiting the Louvre? No matter how much time you have, here are the essential works and how to get tickets or join a guided tour.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

Paris Louvre Museum Tickets and Tours: how to buy, prices and discounts

Louvre Pyramid | ©Patrick Langwallner

The Louvre can be presented in many ways: you can talk about its impressive building, the Tuileries gardens, its glass pyramid, its collection of Egyptian art 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:

The most economical

Louvre Museum Skip-the-line Tickets

Access the Louvre without queues at the best price

Perfect if you are eager 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.

If you want to visit the Louvre on your own I strongly recommend you to buy your 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 as you want and stop to contemplate the works that interest you.

Don't forget to pick up the free museum map at the 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, because of the size of the museum and the number of mythical works found inside, it is highly recommended. 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 door.

Recommended if... you want to enjoy the museum at your leisure, without fixed schedules or guided groups.

Savings option

Paris Pass

The best attractions in Paris at a reduced price with the Paris 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 by accessing the main points of interest.

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 that 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 the Paris Pass. Paris Passbut from now on I warn you that if you want to make the most of everything the city has to offer, this 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 time or budget to go buying each of them separately.

Recommended if... you have in mind to visit several attractions. Do the math of the price of the tickets separately to see if it is worth buying the Paris Pass.

In summary, we compare the three options

Buying tickets for the Louvre at the box office

Outside the Louvre| ©Unsplash
Outside the Louvre| ©Unsplash

If you buy your tickets for the Louvre 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 get to 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 do not choose a public holiday to visit the museum. With this option, the audio guide goes separately for about five euros.

Book your tickets for the Louvre without queues

Practical tips for visiting the Louvre

Louvre Museum and the Tuileries Gardens| ©Groume
Louvre Museum and the Tuileries Gardens| ©Groume

When to go

The museum is open practically every day of the year except for Tuesdays, which is the day when many of the museums in Paris are closed. 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 hour are usually less crowded.

How to get to the Louvre

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 subway stop "Palais Royal Musée du Louvre" (the Louvre Rivoli stop is not to access 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 the visit

Many visitors who go to Paris see the Louvre in several days because the size of the museum and the amount of artwork it houses inside 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 surely take you a day. Also keep in mind that the visiting hours are unlimited; the entrance slots are only for access.

Free admission

Certain groups can enter the Louvre free of charge. This is the case for children under 18, European Union citizens under 25, art teachers and handicapped persons with an accompanying person (the museum is also adapted for them).

There are some days and times when admission 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 will be the most advisable if you visit the museum mid-morning to have a snack, enjoy the view of the Tuileries gardens from one of the balconies of the museum and resume your visit. In the surrounding area, however, it will be a bit more difficult to find food, so keep this in mind if you are hungry.

How to behave

The Louvre has the usual rules for large museums. You are allowed to take photographs, you must not touch the works of art, you must maintain a certain silence and you cannot enter with food. At the door there are security controls 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.

Around the Louvre

The Louvre is an emblematic building of Paris that you should also observe and enjoy from the outside. In addition to the glass pyramid, it also has next to the Tuileries gardens which are an ideal place to sit and read and enjoy the views.

Book your tickets for the Louvre and cruise on the Seine River

The Louvre with children

Hall of the Louvre Museum| ©SpirosK photography
Hall of the Louvre Museum| ©SpirosK photography

If you visit the museum with children, make sure they will not get tired and will not run through the corridors and rooms. A very good option is to take a tour of the Louvre adapted for children; this way you will encourage their interest in art and they will enjoy the museum much more.

I recommend this audio-guided tour option so that all members of the family can explore the museum at their own pace, focusing on the topics of most interest.

The most important works to see at the Louvre

The Mona Lisa, protected
The Mona Lisa, protected

Personally, I have never been to any museum where I got to see as many works of art as I did at 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 it "disappoints" you, I will tell you that you will not 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 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 represents the popular uprising against the crown in Paris in 1830 that ended with the destitution of the last Bourbon who would reign in France: Charles X. In this work liberty is allegorically represented 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.

4. The Wedding at Cana by Veronese

One of the most famous paintings of the Italian painter known as Veronese. It is difficult that you have not seen in some occasion 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.

5. 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.

6. The Lacemaker by Vermeer

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 his daily 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.

7. 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 find to learn more about the culture of this historical period.

8. 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.

9. Portrait of Louis XIV

Icon of the absolutist French monarchy. The portrait represents all the power that the French monarchy held in Europe at its peak. 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.

10. 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 painting was painted by Jacques-Louis David and depicts the consecration of Napoleon and his wife Josephine in Notre-Dame Cathedral.

If you are interested in visiting the Louvre, you will also be interested in

The magnitude and fame of the Louvre is such that it is easy to outshine other museums in the city of Paris. After contemplating all the works in 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 longer. If you want to know more you can read this article on Museums Paris.

Frequently asked questions

  • How can I buy the cheapest tickets for the Louvre ?

    You can buy them at the ticket office or in advance on the Internet, to avoid the long lines at the museum door.

  • How much time do I need to visit the Louvre?

    The Louvre has 35,000 works on display, so seeing them all is practically impossible. With an express visit of about three hours, you could see the most important ones: La Gioconda, Liberty Leading the People, the Venus de Milo or The Victory of Samothrace.

  • Is it worth visiting the Louvre with children?

    Visiting the Louvre is always worthwhile and there is a guided tour adapted for children that will make them enjoy it much more and they will not have time to get bored.

  • Is it possible to visit the Louvre with the Paris Pass?

    Yes, the Louvre is one of the attractions included in the Paris Pass, which makes it cheaper to access.