Planning your visit to the Louvre: times, prices and how to get there
Considered to be one of the largest museums in the world, the Louvre Museum is also one of the busiest. It's fair to say that if you went to Paris without seeing the glass Pyramid, walking across the Khorsabad courtyard, admiring the Venus da Milo, and looking at the Mona Lisa, it would be scandalous! But a visit to the Louvre requires some planning. It would be a shame to have planned to go there on a Tuesday only to find out that it’s the only day it is shut.
The Louvre Museum is open almost every day of the year from 9 am to 6 pm, with the exception of January 1, May 1 and December 25. It is closed on Tuesdays. You can’t visit the Louvre on that day, but it’s only to ensure that your visit is as enjoyable as possible, as it is on that day that all of the maintenance and restoration work is done and new works are installed. The museum does not close at lunchtime. And if you are too busy during the day, evening visits are organized on Wednesdays and Fridays. You can check out the temporary and permanent exhibitions until 9:45 pm. The evenings are known for being very pleasant as the museum is less busy, giving you a chance to get up close with the exhibits.
Getting to the Louvre
The Louvre is situated in the first arrondissement of Paris. It enjoys a central location that is easy to get to from several metro and bus lines. The nearest metro stations are: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7), Louvre-Rivoli (line 1), Tuileries (line 1), and Pont-Neuf (line 7). If you are traveling by bus, you have the choice of the following services: 95, 21, 27, 69, 72, and 76.
You can also get there by car, but there is a charge for parking in the 670-space, 2-floor underground parking lot just under Carrousel du Louvre. It is accessible from Avenue du Général Lemonnier 75001 Paris.
Getting around the Louvre
First of all, let's get you into the museum! The best-known entrance is the Pyramid entrance. Escalators and stairs lead directly to the Louvre's grand lobby from where you can easily choose where to begin your tour. Regular visitors prefer the less well-known entrances at Porte des Lions (currently closed for technical reasons) and Passage Richelieu, for which you need a queue-jump ticket or a reservation. The second (again very busy) entrance is the “inverted pyramid”, i.e. from Carrousel du Louvre, the adjacent underground shopping mall. You can get there by metro, and from Rue de Rivoli and the Jardin des Tuileries.
Please be aware that the Louvre Museum has facilities to accommodate disabled visitors. There are elevators to all floors. In addition, the Tactile Gallery offers blind visitors molded works that can be touched.
The Louvre has several wings and floors. The departments are organized by era and by type of work. The Napoleon Hall is dedicated to museum services. It has ticket offices, a bookshop, cloakrooms, bathrooms, and a cafeteria. On the mezzanine of the Richelieu Wing (level -1) is the Petite Galerie, which is entirely dedicated to visitors with reduced mobility.
There are various pricing options for the museum's collections. A ticket to the Louvre grants access to both the permanent collections and the temporary exhibitions. Skip-the-line tickets bought in advance ensure a more comfortable visit. They mean you don’t need to queue at the ticket offices or even before you enter the museum. To take advantage of this, go to the less busy Passage Richelieu entrance. You arrive in the grand lobby, next to the wing of the same name.
Booking a guided tour
Thanks to PARISCityVISION guided tours, there’s no chance of getting lost in the 251,000 square yards of rooms and galleries. You can book your ticket to the Louvre Museum with an audio guide, or a guided tour led by a professional guide. For a day of culture in the City of the Iron Lady, why not check out the special offers that combine a visit to the Louvre with a cruise on the Seine, or perhaps a priority access visit to Notre-Dame de Paris?
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