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14 Things to Know Before Visiting the Louvre Museum

Planning to visit the Louvre museum? Then this article will show you all the important things you need to know to get the most out of your visit!

If you’re visiting Paris, chances are high that you’ll go to the Louvre Museum since it’s one of the most popular attractions, and it houses the most famous painting in the world — the Mona Lisa.

But as someone who has visited it more than 3 times, I can tell you that it can be quite overwhelming! After all, it houses over 35, 000 works of art and it covers 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet) across 400 rooms.

louvre museum on a sunny day

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So basically, it could take you over 200 days to see every little object if you spent 30 seconds in front of each of them. Sounds overwhelming right?

But it doesn’t have to be! To make sure you have an amazing time visiting the largest art museum in the world, here are some of the most important Louvre tips to know before your visit.

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Louvre Museum Tips: Things to Know Before Visiting The Louvre Museum

1. Opening Hours

Have you ever gone to a place you’ve always had on your bucket list only to find it closed?

That’s what will happen if you visit the Louvre Museum on a Tuesday, so plan your trip keeping this in mind.

As for when to visit, it’s open from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm on Wednesday and Friday!

Louvre museum on a Tuesday
Louvre Museum on a Tuesday

2. Buy Tickets in Advance

Since it’s the most visited art museum in the world, it’s not surprising that the queues are always long! I am talking 2 hours + kind of long. And who has all that time to waste when you can use it for other attractions?

So buy tickets in advance to avoid the long queue for buying tickets on-site, because when you buy online, you get a specific time slot.

>>> Buy your Louvre museum ticket here in advance!

3. Entry Fee

The entrance fee to the Louvre is now €22 for adults, not €17 as before. It’s free for EU residents below 25 and free for under 18s!

Art teachers, people with disabilities and those accompanying them, unemployed people, and more can also visit the Louvre for free. You can see the entire list of people who can visit for free here.

Just make sure you have an ID to prove your age or that you belong to a certain group of people who are exempted from paying.

You should also note that even if you can visit for free, you’ll still need to book a time slot on the Louvre website.

Louvre museum Carrousel entrance
Louvre Museum Carrousel entrance

4. Use the Right Entrance

If you reach the Louvre museum, you’ll instantly see long queues in front of the glass pyramid! But did you know that the Louvre actually has 4 entrances (although one is strictly for groups)?

Besides the main glass pyramid, there is the Carrousel (at 99 rue de Rivoli) and Porte des Lions entrances (at Quai François Mitterrand) which are often less crowded.

You should, however, note that you can only use the Carrousel entrance if you have a ticket, so buy one in advance as I suggested earlier.

Also, there are no lockers at the Porte des Lions entrance so don’t carry big luggage, and it’s always closed on Friday.

5. Decide on what you want to see beforehand

The Louvre is massive, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed! So decide which artworks and sections are must-sees for you like the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the coronation of Napoleon, etc because you won’t be able to see everything.

I have articles on the best paintings in the Louvre museum, famous Louvre sculptures, and the most famous artwork. You can check them out to get inspiration on what to see.

Liberty leading the people - Louvre museum

6. Check For Closed Rooms

Following up on the previous point, you should know that some rooms in the Louvre close or partially close sometimes so it would be a shame to have your heart set on one specific artwork only to find that the room it’s located in is closed for that day.

This page on the Louvre website will show you which rooms will be closed and when, to avoid surprises and to plan your visit well.

7. Consider Booking a Louvre Tour

If you don’t want to deal with figuring out where the famous artworks are located, then I highly recommend booking this guided visit.

This tour is perfect as it lasts 3 hours, so enough to see the highlights and you’ll be able to learn about them in detail from a knowledgable tour guide.

Winged Victory of Samothrace - Louvre museum

8. Allocate enough time

When creating your Paris itinerary, make sure that you plan at least 3 hours to visit the Louvre, or a full morning or an afternoon.

This will give you time to see most of the famous pieces without rushing through everything.

Every time I go to the Louvre, I spend an entire afternoon and I always leave wishing I could see more. But that’s because I love art.

If you don’t like art that much or if you just want to see the famous pieces or even have less than 3 hours, I recommend starting with the Denon wing as it has most of the famous artworks like the Mona Lisa, The Raft of the Medusa, Liberty Leading the People, the Coronation of Napoleon, and more.

9. Get the Louvre Museum Map

The official Louvre map has detailed information on all the rooms which will help you navigate the museum easily!

You can download one on your phone or pick up a hard copy at the entrance that is available in various major languages.

Vénus de Milo-Louvre museum

10. Take advantage of free admissions

Did you know that you can visit the Louvre for free? Unlike most museums in Paris that are free to visit every first Sunday of the month, the Louvre has free admission every first Friday of the month after 6:00 pm (except in July and August).

I’ve visited several times on this day and even though I thought it would be super crowded since it’s free, I was actually pleasantly surprised.

It’s still crowded (duh, it’s the Louvre) but very much manageable, and if you go away from the Mona Lisa area and the nearby rooms, you’ll barely see any crowds.

But I gotta warn you, I found the Louvre website a bit “sneaky” when it comes to booking this free visit, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Michelangelo's Slaves Louvre museum

They leave the option to pay the €22 entry fee open for that day so if you see it, you might think that the free visit is not available that day — if you go to the usual ticket platform.

But I think it’s just a sneaky way of getting some people to pay, so make sure you find the correct option.

And for some reason, the correct link is so hard to find and it changes often. I also found that the French version is more easy to find than the English one.

Here is the link to book the free night visit (in French). You can just Google translate it to English automatically.

11. Wear Comfortable shoes

If you’re a return reader of my blog, you know I always emphasize comfortable walking shoes while in Paris since it’s best explored on foot.

But that doesn’t end on the streets! You’ll walk a lot while in the Louvre so make sure that the shoes you wear can handle hours of walking.

Louvre museum pyramid view

12. Don’t just see Mona Lisa

I am always surprised and honestly a bit concerned when some people say that there are only visiting the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa.

I know to each their own, but you’ll be missing out on so many beautiful pieces, which are more impressive than Mona Lisa in my opinion.

So instead of just looking at Mona Lisa and leaving, give other pieces a chance because I believe you’ll love them too.

13. The Mona Lisa is quite small

While it’s the most famous artwork in the museum and the most valued painting in the world, the Mona Lisa is very small which can be underwhelming for some people, so keep your expectations in check!

To give you an idea, it is 77 cm × 53 cm (30 in × 21 in).

Crowded Mona Lisa - Louvre museum

14. Beware of Scammers

Lastly, don’t get scammed! There are so many scams around the Louvre so don’t fall for them.

A few of them that stand out include signing a petition where people (mostly young girls) will come to you asking you to sign a petition of some sort.

If you do, they’ll ask you for money afterward and sometimes someone else might be pickpocketing you as you sign the petition.

And like many crowded places in Paris, there are also pickpockets at the Louvre so be mindful of your stuff.

Final Thoughts on Things to Know Before Visiting the Louvre Museum

And that’s it, guys! I hope this article was helpful. I know it can be overwhelming to visit, and without proper preparations, you might end up walking in circles. I know I did on my first visit!

If the post was useful, let me know in the comments below and what you experience was if you’ve already been to the Louvre.

Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris

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