Louvre Museum Tickets
The largest museum in the world, and one of the most visited; The Louvre, or Musée du Louvre; is a historic monument and one of the most important landmarks of Paris. An exemplary work of French Baroque architecture, the museum is situated on the right bank of the Seine and is home to the most impressive art collection in the world.
If you are in Paris, then visiting The Louvre Museum is a must-do. But its popularity also leads to the most frustrating aspect of visiting most famous attractions in Paris - the ticket lines that can have you wait in the queue for over 4 hours. Getting Louvre Museum tickets is easy. However, getting in is the hard part. To make visiting The Louvre an easier and more patient affair, our Louvre Museum 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.
Here's an attempt at helping you get the most out of your Louvre experience by giving you keys to plan your time both inside and outside the museum.
Why You Should Visit The Louvre Museum
The Louvre traces it’s history to the 12th century when it was built as a fortress to protect Paris from falling to Viking attacks from the east. Today, since it’s transition from a palace to a museum during the French Revolution, The Louvre has grown to become the holy shrine of art in the world. The museum is not only dedicated to housing works of art from across the globe, but is an institution that promotes education and preservation of art for the future generations.
Our concept of beauty has taken a myriad forms. Highly subjective and prisoner to the times and culture of a period; the question of what makes something beautiful, what makes someone stop and look at something intently, and what makes that something enrapture us beyond our boundaries of race, sex and nationalism is yet to be understood completely. However, what we do know is that the subtle smile on Mona Lisa’s face, painted on a poplar canvas measuring 30 in x 21 in, still attracts a crowd unlike any other painted face, more than half a millennium after it was painted by the great Leonardo da Vinci.
As far as one can look back in time, popular works of art have helped us understand aesthetics, form, the magic of light and beauty. Today, The Louvre leads humanity in this direction, preserving some of the most important works of our artistic heritage. Over 380,000 objects from our history call The Louvre their home. However, of these, only 35,000 objets d’ art make up the permanent exhibition while the remaining are exhibited from time to time. These 35,000 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. Gazing at them, you won’t just be looking at paint brushed on canvas or contoured marble, but gazing at our history and culture.
Beat The Louvre Crowd
It is well known that the number of people visiting The Louvre Museum have made it one of the most sought after destinations in Paris. At the height of the tourist season in summers, Louvre can see as many as 45,000-60,000 people soaking in the exhibits. Getting inside the Louvre Museum can sometimes see you wait in the ticket line from anywhere between 2-4 hours. However, if you are prepared, then you can easily beat this ocean of people, making your Louvre Museum experience a much more fulfilling one. Let us take an in-depth look at these factors so that we can help you beat the Louvre crowd and give you more time to enjoy the museum’s exhibits.
1. Purchase Tickets in Advance Online
It is highly recommended that you purchase your ticket to the Louvre Museum in advance online. If you do not, don’t be surprised to see the 1-3 hours long ticket line stretching all around the entrance. You will surely not want to spend your time in Paris standing in line for hours just to purchase the ticket.
2. Choose the right entrance to the Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum has 4 entrances that are open to its patrons. The nature of the crowd that you will face on your visit will depend highly on the entrance you choose to enter the Louvre Museum. Choosing the right entrance could help you save anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours.
I.M. Pei Pyramid Entrance
The Pyramid entrance is the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. It is also the most commonly used entrance to the Louvre Museum. When you approach the Pyramid entrance, you will notice that there are 2 lines that are entering the Pyramid, one considerably longer than the other.
The longer line is for those waiting to purchase their tickets. The shorter line is for those that have purchased their ticket and are heading straight to the security. The difference between these lines can easily affect your entrance by a couple of hours. If you have purchased your tickets in advance, look for the sign “avec billet” that means “with tickets”. This line is considerably smaller than the other line. If you have bought your tickets in advance, head straight to this line and into the museum (after your security check).
If you don’t purchase your tickets in advance, you will have to stand in the ticket line for a couple hours, get past the security and then inside the Pyramid where you will have to purchase the tickets. However, if you purchase your tickets in advance, you will take the smaller “avec billet” line, get past the security and then head to the museum’s galleries.
The Carrousel du Louvre Entrance
The Carrousel du Louvre is an underground shopping complex situated next to The Louvre that also serves as an entrance to the museum. Despite the fact that this entrance is now widely known majority of tourists still go to the Louvre without the preliminary research to beat the lines. If the lines to the museum at The Pyramid are long, you can take this entrance to access the museum.
The Carrousel du Louvre can be accessed via the Rue de Rivoli accessway or by taking the stairs that go down on either side of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Once inside the Carrousel, you have to move past all the shops until you reach the inverted pyramid. Here, you will find the entrance to the Louvre Museum. Again, the line here is considerably smaller than the Pyramid line.
This entrance is open from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. On Wednesdays and Fridays, it is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Richelieu Passage
The Richelieu Passage is a discreet entrance to the Louvre Museum situated just off the Rue de Rivoli, across the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre metro station. Lines here are much smaller than the Pyramid entrance. While the Louvre website mentions that this entrance is only reserved for visitors with guided tour tickets we have had several of our users coming back saying that they were able to enter via this entrance with Headout's priority access tickets. The entrance will lead straight to the main lobby under the glass pyramid on the -2 level of the Louvre Museum. From here, you are free to explore the museum at your will. This entrance is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. On Wednesdays and Fridays, it is open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The Porte des Lions Entrance
This entrance is open only for group visits to The Louvre Museum. To access the Porte des Lions, look for the 2 lions that mark the entrance to the museum. However, you are better off taking the other 3 entrances as the Porte des Lions entrance is not open for individuals.
Choose the Right Time for Your Visit
The best time to visit the Louvre Museum is on a weekday since it is very crowded on weekends. Local Parisians love to visit 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 till longer and you can linger about the museum in peace as the crowds lessen considerably during the closing hours (9:45 p.m).
Since the Louvre Museum is one of the most visited places in Paris, during the summer months when the days are long and the temperature is just perfect, the Louvre faces the largest crowds. Approximately 7.4 million people visited the Musée du Louvre in 2016. To avoid the densest crowds, visiting during fall and early winter is recommended.
Planning your time at the Louvre Museum
Inside The Louvre Museum
The Louvre is the largest museum in the world. With eight expansive departments and over 35,000 exhibitions, experiencing it all in one go can be a task. Walking the galleries of the museum for hours does cause a desire to stop and catch a break. Hence, pacing out your experience will make it a more relaxed affair than racing through the departments. To get the best out of your Louvre experience, purchase the museum map at the Louvre’s entrance and plan your trip accordingly.
The museum is spread over 5 levels, with 2 levels underground. 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. Let us take a look at each level and the exhibitions they host.
Richelieu and the Carrousel du Louvre entrances, bookshop, museum shops and entrances to the three wings that make up the Louvre - Richelieu, Denon and Sully.
French Sculptures in the Richelieu Wing; The Pavillon de l’Horloge in the Sully Wing; Greek Antiquities, European Sculptures, Islamic Art, Near Eastern and Egyptian Art and a Touch Gallery in the Denon Wing.
French Sculptures and Near Eastern Antiquities in the Richelieu Wing; Near Eastern Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities and Greek Antiquities in the Sully Wing; Greek Antiquities, Italian and Etruscan Antiquities, Roman Antiquities, European Sculptures and Arts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and Americas in the Denon Wing.
European Decorative Arts in the Richelieu Wing; Egyptian Antiquities and Greek and Roman Antiquities in the Sully Wing; French, Italian, Spanish, British and American Paintings in the Denon Wing.
Northern European Paintings in the Richelieu Wing; French Paintings in the Sully Wing. The Denon wing has no exhibitions.
To get a more detailed look at every floor and the exhibitions that you will find, refer to this interactive floor plan of the Louvre Museum.
It is important to note that the halls and galleries of The Louvre are so expansive that it is not possible to take it all in one day. With over 35,000 exhibits in over 300 rooms, even if you walk past each display without stopping at any, you may not be able to cover them all in one day. Hence, prioritizing your visit, choosing your preferred exhibitions, floors and galleries and focusing on these are the best ways to make your Louvre visit fulfilling.
In the sections below, we will look at some of the highly rated exhibits and galleries of the Louvre Museum. Be forewarned though that what makes something beautiful is subjective and varies from person to person. Some may like Monet and his Impressionist work, while others may be huge fans of Flemish paintings and the Golden Generation. Some of you may like carefully sculpted Hellenistic marble sculptures while others may like ancient works from Egypt. Since the exhibits are neatly arranged in sections, you can visit the galleries that appeal to you and skip the others, hence making the most of your time in Louvre.
Most Popular Exhibits in The Louvre
The Louvre Museum is home to some of the most iconic paintings, sketches and sculptures in the world. Let us take a look at some of these works that call the Louvre home.
Venus de Milo
Aphrodite, also known as the "Venus de Milo", is a timeless statue of the goddess Aphrodite that was discovered on the island of Melos in 1820. Ever since it became a part of Louvre’s collections, it has drawn an unmatchable intrigue and fascination from around the world. Sculpted during the 3rd-1st centuries BC, this Hellenistic statue has been described by The Louvre as “classical in essence, with innovative features such as the spiral composition, the positioning in space, and the fall of the drapery over the hips”. Today, the statue can be found in the Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities.
July 28: Liberty Leading the People
Symbolising the strong foundations of a Republic born out of the French Revolution and commemorating the July Revolution of 1830, Liberty Leading the People is one of the most important works of art in French culture and history. The painting, a work of Eugène Delacroix, shows a personification of Liberty leading the common people over bodies of their fallen brethren, holding the flag of the French Tricolore in one hand and a musket in the other. The painting is present in the Department of French Paintings.
What can be said about the Mona Lisa that hasn’t already been said? An iconic painting by Leonardo da Vinci; the Mona Lisa is a masterpiece and the most famous painting in the world. The painting is thought to be that of Lisa Gherardini, wife of a cloth merchant from Florence. Leonardo himself brought the painting over to France after having painted it during the first decade of the 16th century. Today, this 30 in x 21 in painting decorates a wall in the Department of Italian Paintings. Given the hordes of visitors stalking Mona Lisa for selfies with the painting reduced to the size of a postage stamp you might be better off not going with high expectations to the Mona Lisa.
Law Code of Hammurabi
The Mesopotamian civilisation has been one of the most prominent civilisations in the ancient world. A symbol of the Mesopotamian Civilisation, the Law Code of Hammurabi dates back to 1800 BC and etched on the basalt stele is one of the most historic works of art, literature, social commentary and history. The Law Code of Hammurabi is an exceptional find that helps us learn more about the society, religion and history of this period. The Law Code of Hammurabi is exhibited in the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities.
The Rebellious Slave
The Rebellious Statue and The Dying Slave are two marble statues that were sculpted by Michelangelo with the intention of them decorating the tomb of Pope Julius II in 1505. However, with a change in project demands, the Slaves were donated by Michelangelo to Roberto Strozzi, who brought them to France. The two slaves express entirely different emotions. The Dying Slave is represented by a young and handsome figure in deep sleep. The Rebellious Slave on the other hand, shows a man whose body seems to be struggling. The coarse texture of the Rebellious Statue leaves no doubt that the work was left unfinished by Michelangelo, something that he is known for. The statue stands today in the Department of Sculptures.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace
The Winged Victory of Samothrace is a marble statue in typical Hellenistic style that was unearthed in 1863 on the small island of Samothrace in the northwest Aegean. The statue of a winged woman symbolises the goddess of victory (Nike in Greek) who can be seen standing on the prow of a ship, braced against the wind flowing through her garments. H.W.Janson described the statue as "the greatest masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture" and today, she remains as one amongst the few Hellenistic statues that exist in the world. The statue can be seen displayed proudly in the Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities, at the head of the Daru staircase.
Amazing Spaces in The Louvre
Some of the galleries and spaces in The Louvre Museum are worthy of their own praise. With a history that saw the Louvre serve as the residence of the French royal family in the 17th century, the halls of the Louvre are amongst some of the most intricately built, highlighting heavy Renaissance and French Baroque influences. As you admire the paintings and exhibits, don’t forget to look at the Louvre itself.
Situated on the first floor of the Denon Wing, the Apollo Gallery is a work of art in itself. Everything about it, including the high arches, the intricate frescoes, the golden aura of the room and the glass tables that display the French royal jewels highlight the heights of French ornate artistry. The room started off as the Galerie des rois (Gallery of Kings) in 1661 and was painted by Charles Le Brun. He moved on to the Palace of Versailles before he could complete finishing the room. It was finally completed by the French Romantic artist Eugène Delacroix in 1851.
Napoleon III Apartments
Napoleon III Apartments, the erstwhile chambers of Napoleon III cover several rooms of the Richelieu Wing on the first floor. The rooms were built by Louis Visconti and Hector LeFeul in the 1850s. The rooms are still in a pristine state, reflecting their extraordinary work. Room 87 of Napoleon III Apartments is the spectacular Grand Salon, one of the most ornate rooms in the Louvre. Red velvet chairs, high painted ceilings and the rococo dining room that can easily seats nearly 100 people are the highlights of this space.
Situated on the ground floor and lower level of the Richelieu Wing, this extraordinary court is filled with marble sculptures and stone works. Marly Court used to be an outdoor courtyard but was covered with a glass roof in 1989 during the time the glass Pyramid was being constructed. Today, Marly court is a place where you an sit and relax, rest and catch a break as you let the filtering light from the glass roof falling on the statues surround you.
Guided Tour vs Audioguide Tour
Taking a guided tour of The Louvre is one of the best ways to explore the museum. Licensed guides will take you around the museum, showing you the highlights and the highly acclaimed works of art in the museum. With their vast breadth of knowledge, you will not only learn how to understand the paintings, but also get insightful context into the history of the time that lead to these beautiful works. Guides also help you choose your Louvre trail. Since the museum is humongous, it is wise to only see the exhibits that you most desire or are the most famous ones. Hence, choosing a guided tour is a wise way to go about experiencing the Louvre Museum.
However, if you’re visiting the Louvre on your own, you can opt for the audio tour. Audio Guides are available on Nintendo 3DS™ XLs which can be rented from the museum’s ticket desks for €5. They are available under the Pyramid, and at the Denon, Sully, and Richelieu entrances. Louvre’s audio guide has over 35 hours of audio content. Taking the form of informal interviews, the audio guide consists of museum curators and lecturers offering their insights into the artworks of Louvre.
If you are not going with a guided tour the next best thing to do is follow the number of carefully curated thematic trails that you can follow in the Louvre. According to the official website, these Louvre Museum visitor trails have been “designed to give you an overview of the scope and richness of the museum's collections”. Keeping your choices and taste in mind, you can follow any of these Louvre Museum trails to discover some of the most fascinating Louvre Museum exhibits. Key here is to choose and read up on some of the trails that you want to follow beforehand. Some of the most popular trails that you can follow are:
Masterpieces, In Search of Ideal Beauty
This museum trail is perfect for first time visitors looking to see the museum’s three great ladies — the Venus de Milo, the Victory of Samothrace, and La Gioconda. On this guided tour, you will discover these famous works as well as other masterpieces. Other famous works of art that you will see are the Great Sphinx of Tanis, The Oath of the Horatii, The Coronation of the Emperor Napoleon I, The Wedding Feast at Cana amongst others. Get more information on the Masterpieces trail.
Italian Renaissance, Painting
Check out some of the most popular paintings and works of art from the great Italian grandmasters during the Renaissance. Including paintings and sculptures from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and the likes, this is one of the most classic trails in the Louvre. Some of the famous works of art that you will see are the St. Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata, The Battle of San Romano, The Coronation of the Virgin, Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo and the Coronation of the Virgin. Get more information on the Italian Renaissance trail here.
Daily Life in Egypt, In the Time of the Pharaohs
Take a look into the life of Egyptians from the times of Pharaohs, when the great pyramids and the sphinx were being constructed by the flourishing Egyptian civilisations on the banks of the great Nile. Some of the famous exhibits that are part of this trail are the Model of a boat, Nile fishing scene, Chapel of the tomb of Akhethotep, Fragment of the Book of the Dead on papyrus, Bead net for a mummy and the The Menu of Tepemânkh amongst others. Get more information on this Egyptian trail.
Greek Sculpture, The Human Body
Undoubtedly, one of the most popular exhibits in the Louvre Museum are the Venus de Milo and The Winged Victory of Samothrace. Their depiction of the human form are timeless and have had a lasting impact. On this trail, you will discover some of the most iconic sculptures that have influenced Western Art such as Kore from the Cheramyes group, Torso of a kouros, Head of Iris, known as the "Laborde head", Female torso, of the Aphrodite of Knidos type, Winged Victory of Samothrace and Venus de Milo amongst others. Get more information on this Greek Sculpture trail.
Louvre Museum Hours
Louvre Museum's opening hours are as follows:
Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday: from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
The Louvre Museum is closed on Tuesdays and the following holidays: January 1, May 1, December 25.
Getting to The Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is situated in Paris’ 1st Arrondissement, on the right bank of the Seine. 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.
If you’re travelling to the museum by bus, buses 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95 stop at the Pyramid.
Tips For Exploring The Louvre
- Trust us when we say that a map will save you a lot of time and trouble. Keep this Louvre floor plan handy as it's easy to gets lost in Louvre's galleries.
- The following people get free admission to the Louvre: 1)Under the age of 18. 2)18-25 year-old resident of the European Economic Area. 3)Visitors with disabilities and the person accompanying them. 4)Teachers of art, art history, and the applied arts. Further information on this can be found here.
- Try going either early in the morning or around 3pm in the afternoon. You’ll never have the Louvre Museum all to yourself, but mornings and evenings will be the least crowded hours of the day.
- Always buy tickets in advance. Tickets can be bought online and these skip the line Louvre tickets will easily save you hours that would otherwise be spent standing in line, waiting to buy a ticket.
- The Pyramid entrance sees the most footfall, with the queue snaking and winding for hours. On the other hand, the Passage Richelieu and Galerie du Carrousel entrances are relatively less crowded and are your best bet to enter the museum without wasting precious hours.
- Wear comfortable shoes and carry water as there is going to be a lot of walking. You can also borrow walking sticks and foldable fabric chairs from the museum center free of cost.
- Apart from the standard fast-track admission tickets, there are Louvre experiences with guides as well. If you can shell the extra money it is advisable to go for guided Louvre tours for a more enriching experience. Audio guides on the other hand are helpful as well.
Why Book With Headout
- Priority Access
Headout’s Louvre Museum priority access tickets to the Louvre Museum allow you to bypass tremendously long queues, saving you anywhere from 1-3 hours.
- Save Time
Save anywhere between 1 to 3 hours using Priority Access and Guided tours.
- Save Money
All our Louvre Museum tickets come with best price guarantee.
- 24-7 Help Line
Have any questions about your experience? Customer service representatives are available around the clock.
Know Your Attraction: Interesting Louvre Museum Facts
- The Louvre wasn’t always a museum. The monument began as a fortress in the year 1190 AD to protect Paris from the marauding Vikings.
- In the 16th century, Louvre was converted into a palace and it was renovated in French Renaissance style, reflecting French Baroque influences.
- The French royal family shifted their residence to the Palace of Versailles by the end of the 17th century and the Louvre Museum was established in the year 1793.
- During Napoleon's reign, the Louvre was renamed as The Musée Napoléon after Napoleon grew its collection to 5,000 pieces acquiring works of art from Spain, Austria, Netherlands, Italy and Egypt. Most of his acquisitions were returned after the French were defeated in Waterloo.
- The Mona Lisa, one of the most popular paintings in the world was stolen from the Louvre in the year 1911. The masterpiece was finally recovered two years later in December 1913.
- Today, The Louvre has grown to become the largest museum in the world. t is spread over 782,910 square feet.
- The grounds of the Louvre Palace extend to the Tuileries Gardens, the oldest park in Paris.
- The Louvre is the second most visited museum in the world. Over 7.5 million visited The Louvre in 2016.
- The Louvre exhibits sculptures, paintings, drawings, objets d’art and archaeological finds that are viewed by over 15,000 people each day. Over 70% of visitors to the Louvre are tourists from around the world.
- The Louvre Museum houses over 380,000 works of art (35000). If you spent 30 seconds on one piece of art, it would take you over 100 days of continuous art-watching to cover all its exhibitions.
What People Are Saying About The Louvre
Skip-the-line Louvre Museum Tickets
Getting our Louvre Museum tickets from Headout was a godsend. We went on a Thursday but the lines to enter the museum were easily 4 hours long. We bought our priority access tickets while standing in line and got our tickets right away. We went to the priority access line and were in within 10 minutes. This ticket saves you hours that would otherwise be spent waiting in line. We stayed in the Louvre for about three hours and saw most of the famous works from grandmasters, my favourite being The Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese. I will surely recommend this skip the line tickets to the Louvre to everyone visiting the Louvre Museum.
Highlight of my Paris trip
We went prepared to Paris but still weren’t prepared for the long ticket line that Louvre’s Pyramid sees every day. We luckily bought our tickets from Headout which we discovered on Tripadvisor and were able to bypass the horrendous line and were inside the museum in under 10 minutes. I can assure you that this ticket is a saviour. We bought our tickets before we reached Paris and our tickets were waiting to be picked up near the museum. They also have guided tours but we took the one with flexible entry and spent almost the entire day in the museum.