Visit The Louvre Museum: Essential Tips for an Unforgettable Visit

Planning to visit the Louvre Museum? Here are my best tips, tried and tested, which will help you plan your perfect visit to the Louvre Museum.

Planning to visit the Louvre Museum? The best time to go to the Louvre Museum is off-season (November to March), during weekdays (Tuesday is closed) at 9 AM. Book your tickets online to get to the queue for ticket holders. Arrive at the museum at 8:40 AM, and you should get in by 9:15 AM. 

Best time to go to the Louvre

When planning a visit to the Louvre Museum, timing can significantly impact your experience. The best time to go is during the museum’s off-peak hours to avoid the largest crowds. 

Typically, the best time to go to the Louvre is on weekday mornings or late afternoons. However, you may never know how busy you will get on a certain day, and it might take forever to get in in the afternoon since the queue can run for hundreds of people, even at 2 PM. 

Visit The Louvre Museum: Essential Tips for an Unforgettable Visit

I would recommend booking your ticket for the Louvre Museum online. Select the first timeslot of the day, at 9 AM. 

The Louvre Museum is closed on Tuesdays. So don’t plan a visit to the Louvre Museum on Tuesday. 

Also, the Louvre tends to be less crowded on Wednesday and Friday evenings when it stays open until 9:45 p.m.

The museum is busiest on weekends, especially during the afternoon. 

If you prefer a quieter visit, that’s something that doesn’t really happen at the Louvre. 

Visit The Louvre Museum: Essential Tips for an Unforgettable Visit

What’s the best season to visit the Louvre Museum?

The Louvre’s peak tourist seasons in Paris are during spring (April to June) and fall (September to October). 

Visiting outside these months, particularly in the winter, can mean fewer tourists and shorter lines, albeit with potentially chillier weather.

But let’s not be too hopeful about visiting outside tourist peak season either. I visited the Louvre Museum in mid-February when the weather wasn’t pretty. And there were still huge queues by mid-day. However, it helped a lot to visit during the week, as soon as the museum opened. 

Louvre Museum opening times

  • Wednesday to Monday from 9 AM to 6 PM. 
  • Tuesday is closed
  • Friday is open until 9.45 PM. 
  • Closed on January 1st, May 1st, December 25th.
  • Visitors must head to the exit 30 minutes before closing time. 

Louvre Museum tickets

The price of a ticket for the Louvre Museum is 22 EUR. 

If you are purchasing your tickets from a third-party website, a small booking fee might be added. But that might be worth paying for if the official website is sold out for your chosen day. That’s why I recommend booking your tickets ASAP. 

However, there are ways to visit the Louvre Museum for free. 

Vising Louvre Museum for free

The Louvre Museum offers free entrance (0 EUR) for the following people:

Under 18 years old (need ID)

Adults 18-25 years old, residents of the European Economic Area (EU, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) – need ID and residency proof

Journalists (national or international press card)

ICOM and ICOMOS members (valid membership card)

Art teachers (plastic arts, archeology, applied arts, architecture and art history only) – need proof of subject taught.

Artists affiliated to the Maison des Artistes (in France) or the AIAP (Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques) – valid membership card or certificate.

Job seekers (proof of entitlement dated within the last year or indicating a period of validity).

People on income support (proof of entitlement dated within the last year or indicating a period of validity).

If you don’t fit in any of these categories, there’s still a change to get in for free. 

If you aim to visit the Louvre Museum for free, go on the first Friday of the month after 6 p.m. (except in July and August). That’s when they let everyone in for free, but do mind that there will still be queues and chaos. 

NOTE: You still need to book a timeslot for your visit, on the Musem’s official website, even if you are eligible to visit the museum for free. Then don’t forget to bring your reservation and proof for eligibility with you when you visit the museum. 

Visit The Louvre Museum: Essential Tips for an Unforgettable Visit

When to buy your Louvre Museum tickets? 

Buy your tickets for the Louvre Museum as soon as you start planning your trip to Paris. 

This is especially true if you’re going on a budget trip to Paris, as you want to make sure you will make the most out of your trip and visit as much as possible. 

I both my tickets for the Louvre Museum just two weeks in advance, but I visited in February, which is the low season. 

To be able to choose the 9 AM timeslot (or any other timeslot of YOUR choice), book at least 3 weeks in advance and one month in advance for the summer season. The general rule is “the sooner, the better”. 

However, if you forget to book your Louvre tickets in advance, then you may check third-party online vendors that offer tickets for a small extra fee. It might be worth it if you’re only in Paris for a few days and can’t be flexible with your schedule. 

I recommend checking out these websites for finding last-minute tickets for the Louvre Museum:

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Should I visit the Louvre Museum when there’s free admission? 

The first Saturday of each month offers free admission in the evening, which can be more crowded but is a cost-effective option. 

Personally, I wouldn’t risk planning my first visit to the Louvre when there’s a free entrance. 

Even if you manage to get it, after spending hours in the queue at the entrance, you’ll feel pretty tired and the thousands of people around you will only annoy you more, and you won’t be able to actually enjoy your visit. 

Considering how big the museum is, and that it will probably take you hours to figure out the museum’s map and how to get to the halls you want to get, having a massive crowds around you won’t help. 

But if you’ve visited the Louvre museum before, and you only want to visit a specific part of hall, and you just happen to be in Paris on the first Saturday of the month, then go for it. Reserve the entire day for this activity, and go there well-rested and bring some snacks. 

Tips for visiting the Louvre Museum

These are my best tips for planning a visit to the Louvre Museum (also known as the Louvre Palace). 

Book your tickets online

You need to pre-book your tickets online, as they are often sold out for the day if you intend to buy a ticket on the spot. However, during off-season many people still attempt to get a ticket when they arrive at the museum. 

I personally don’t recommend it because you will waste many hours waiting in a queue to buy the ticket, and then at another to get inside the museum. The later you arrive at the museum, the lower chances you have at getting in. So don’t risk it; just buy it online here

There are special queues for those who have pre-purchased tickets. 

Bring only the necessary stuff with you

I’ve seen people carry their huge trollers around the museum. I can only imagine that some people get so excited about seeing the Mona Lisa, and that’s the first thing they want to do right after they land. 

However, I am a more practical and comfortable traveller. 

To enjoy your visit to the Louvre Museum, I recommend only bringing a small backpack to carry the essentials, such as a refillable water bottle, a camera, a snack, and other crucial personal items. If you have a small jacket, you can put it in your backpack. 

As a woman, I would only bring a small shoulder bag. There are a few cafes inside the museum if you need to buy water or snacks. 

Don’t bring anything useless, as you will have to carry it around for hours, which will hurt your back. 

If you bring a bigger backpack, you will have to leave it in the cloakroom, which is always busy. You will waste valuable time in that queue because so many people bring a ton of luggage that needs to be left there. 

However, in general, it is not a good idea to bring your huge trollers to the museums, and many European museums will deny entry to such visitors. 

Visit The Louvre Museum: Essential Tips for an Unforgettable Visit

Louvre Musem tickets 

Tickets are timestamped and nominal. That’s why you should bring an ID with you, to be able to prove that’s your ticket. However, the staff at the entrance didn’t ask for my passport. 

You should show up at the museum a bit before your allocated timeslot, to get in the queue, because there are hundreds of tickets allocated for the same timeslot. 

In case you miss your timeslot, you will be redirected to the other queue for non-ticket holders, which is longer and might take forever to get in. If you’re confused, just ask the staff attending the queues and they will direct you, 

Choose the 9 AM timeslot for your entrance

When buying your tickets, choose to enter at 9 AM, which is the first time slot of the day. Show up a bit early (aim for 8:40 AM), to be at the front of the queue. At 9 AM, there will be hundreds of people already. 

Go directly to the Carousel entrance

To get inside the museum faster, go to the Carousel entrance (approximate Google Maps location here), you can find it on the map. It’s on the left side of the Pyramid, as you look at it from the park, inside the gang. 

There is a security check at the entrance, so get all your bags and wallet ready to be checked. Don’t bring a big backpack that needs to be stored in the cloakroom (you’ll waste a lot of time there). 

Visit the most important places first

If this is your first time visiting the Louvre Museum, I recommend aiming for two halls first – the Mona Lisa Hall and the Galerie d’Apollon. 

I think these are worth seeing for any type of traveller, and these places get a lot of attention and visitors later in the day, which will make it impossible to enjoy. 

However, if this isn’t your first visit to the louvre Museum, or if you simply want a picture somewhere else without many people, this is your chance. 

Most visitors will rush like crazy to see Mona Lisa, which means that the other halls will have only a few people around. Which is perfect and allows you to actually enjoy this visit to the Louvre Museum. 

Study the map of the museum

If you aren’t sure what you should visit first or how to get there, I strongly suggest that you study the map of the museum the day before you get there. This will save so much time and energy. 

When I visited the Louvre, some parts were closed due to an ongoing restoration project. However, they had a complex schedule for closing certain halls on certain days only. Don’t worry; they’re not closing the halls with the most popular works of art, but some collections may be affected. 

To make sure that you’ll get to see exactly what you’re expecting, check the latest news on a temporary closed section of the museum on the official website – https://www.louvre.fr/en/visit/map-entrances-directions#museum-map#museum-map

Visit The Louvre Museum: Essential Tips for an Unforgettable Visit
Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda), by Leonardo da Vinci

Get to the Mona Lisa first

Since the Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda), by Leonardo da Vinci, is the single most popular painting on the entire Earth, let’s go there first. Luckily, the museum made it easy for visitors to find it. 

After entering the museum’s building and going through security (they scan your bag), locate the actual underground entrance (the place where they scan your ticket). 

If you entered through the Carousel entrance, so just go down the stairs, walk straight and then go up the stairs again. The place where you actually enter the museum and scan your ticket is just on the opposite side from where you will enter from the Carousel entrance. Don’t worry, you’ll not miss it.  

If in doubt, just follow the crowd, because everyone else is going the same way too. That’s why there’s a rush to get there first. 

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You’ll also see indications for getting to the Mona Lisa. Trust me, the crowd will take you to the right place, and you want to get there as soon as possible to have a chance to see it. 

In front of the Mona Lisa is a space of 10 meters, which you cannot pass, and it will make it hard to observe it, as the painting is rather small for the setup.

You’ll need some patience to get to the front and see the paintings, as everyone around will be taking pictures and selfies like crazy. 

Visit the Galerie d’Apollon

After the Mona Lisa quest, the next room you want to check out is the Galerie d’Apollon, where the French regalia is displayed. 

This is by far the most beautiful room in the Louvre Palace and it will be harder to get a picture later on. 

Leonardo da Vinci

If your goal is to take a picture here (it resembles Versailles), then you might go here first and then go to Mona Lisa, since this room is more impressive (my humble opinion). 

Then continue to visit the museum, according to your preference. 

I strongly suggest that you pick up a map of the museum at the entrance because you can easily get lost inside. I also recommend that you study the map online before you get there so that you will not be wasting precious time figuring out how things work once you are in the museum and surrounded by crowds. 

Locate the less crowded bathrooms in the museum

There are plenty of bathrooms in the museum, but those small bathrooms near popular paintings are often the most visited and crowded, while others are cleaner and empty. 

Allocate at least 2 hours for your visit

A visit at the Louvre museum can take anythere from 2 hours (minimum) to 6 hours. 

We stayed for about 6 hours, with a half an hour break at one of the cafes inside the museum. 

Have your breakfast inside the museum

If you don’t have time for breakfast, just go to the museum, and after you enter and get some pictures, you can stop at one of the cafes inside the museum. 

Prices are not that ridiculous, and it’s worth it for the convenience. 

I had a coffee and pastry at Café Mollien inside the Louvre Palace, which is close to the Mona Lisa Hall. 

After checking out the most important parts, I recommend taking a coffee break. It wasn’t too crowded at 10:30 AM (remember, this was February still), and it was easy and fast to order and sit down. 

Also, it is recommended that you take short breaks throughout your visit to the Louvre Museum. The museum is huge, and it will soon feel like a burden if you walk and stand for hours. 

Must-see things in the Louvre Museum

We are all different and interested in different things. 

But if you are short on time or simply don’t know where to start your visit, then these ten pieces of art in the Louvre Museum: 

  1. Mona Lisa (Leonardo da Vinci) – The renowned portrait famous for its enigmatic expression. Located in Room 711, Denon Wing, 1st floor.
  2. Venus de Milo (Unknown Artist) – Iconic ancient Greek sculpture representing beauty and grace. Located in Room 346, Sully Wing, Ground floor.
  3. Winged Victory of Samothrace (Unknown Artist) – A stunning Hellenistic sculpture symbolizing victory. Located at Daru Staircase, Denon Wing, Ground floor.
  4. The Raft of the Medusa (Théodore Géricault) – A dramatic and moving painting depicting a tragic sea disaster. Located in Room 700, Denon Wing, 1st floor.
  5. Liberty Leading the People (Eugène Delacroix) – A powerful symbol of the French Revolution and the quest for freedom. Located in Room 700, Denon Wing, 1st floor.
  6. The Coronation of Napoleon (Jacques-Louis David) – A grand and detailed depiction of Napoleon’s coronation. Located in Room 702, Denon Wing, 1st floor.
  7. The Wedding Feast at Cana (Paolo Veronese) – One of the largest paintings in the museum, showcasing a biblical banquet. Located opposite the Mona Lisa, Room 711, Denon Wing, 1st floor.
  8. The Lacemaker (Johannes Vermeer) – A beautiful, intimate portrayal of concentration and delicacy. Located in Room 837, Richelieu Wing, 2nd floor.
  9. Sleeping Hermaphroditus (Unknown Artist) – A fascinating sculpture that combines male and female forms. Located in Room 339, Denon Wing, Ground floor.
  10. Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss (Antonio Canova) – A romantic and beautifully detailed marble sculpture. Located in Room 403, Denon Wing, 1st floor.
  11. The Dying Slave and The Rebellious Slave (Michelangelo) – Two emotive sculptures exploring themes of bondage and resistance. Located in Room 403, Denon Wing, 1st floor.
  12. The Seated Scribe (Unknown Artist) – A realistic and intriguing Egyptian sculpture, over 4,000 years old. Located in Room 635, Sully Wing, 1st floor.
  13. Saint John the Baptist (Leonardo da Vinci) – A striking, enigmatic portrait by da Vinci. Located in Room 712, Denon Wing, 1st floor.
  14. Bath of the Nymphs (Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres) – A serene, classical painting of mythological figures. Located in Room 852, Denon Wing, 1st floor.
  15. The Code of Hammurabi – An ancient Babylonian law code, one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length. Located in Room 227, Richelieu Wing, Ground floor.
  16. Great Sphinx of Tanis – An impressive and mysterious granite sphinx from ancient Egypt. Located in Room 338, Sully Wing, Ground floor.
  17. Frieze of the Archers – A detailed Persian relief showing the might of ancient archers. Located in Room 12, Richelieu Wing, Ground floor.
  18. Sarcophagus of Ramses III – A vividly decorated and historical Egyptian coffin. Located in Room 14, Sully Wing, Ground floor.
  19. Diana with a Stag – A captivating sculpture depicting the Roman goddess of the hunt. Located in Room 346, Sully Wing, Ground floor.
  20. The Regalia in the Gallery of Apollo – A collection of crown jewels and regalia showcasing the French monarchy’s opulence. Located in the Apollo Gallery, Denon Wing, 1st floor.
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Enjoy your visit to the Louvre Museum!

After all this planning, what’s left is to actually enjoy your visit. If you’re planning to spend 2 days in Paris, then I recommend mixing up some activities, so that you don’t get tired and bored in the museums.

If you follow my tips for visiting the Louvre Museum, I’m sure you will have a great time, and you’ll have time to see most of the museum. 

They say it is impossible to see it all during your first visit, and I agree. 

However, my advice is to try to enjoy it and not turn this visit into a hunt for art pieces. There are no checkboxes to check, and it’s okay if you need to book another trip to Paris to visit the Louvre again. 

In fact, many do just that. 

Because, in the end, what’s the point of visiting this gorgeous Louvre Palace, filled with world-famous pieces of art, if you can’t take your time to enjoy it, stare at some of these sculptures and paintings, and relax when you feel the need? 

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog, Juliasomething.com.

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