19 Tips for visiting the Louvre Museum

The Louvre ranks among the world’s largest and most visited museums, boasting around 35,000 artworks. 

Navigating its vastness can be daunting, but worry not. 

Check out this article for practical tips for visiting the Louvre Museum.

From studying maps to fueling up to wearing comfy shoes, these strategies will help you make the most of your time. 

By preparing wisely and avoiding rookie mistakes like waiting until the afternoon to see star attractions, these tips will help you get an unforgettable experience.

1. Skip the Lines Smartly

1 Skip the lines smartly
Image: Worldinparis.com

The lines can get incredibly long, especially in the summer months when the waiting times reach two to three hours. 

Buying Louvre tickets ahead online allows you to skip the ticket line when you arrive. 

You can print them or show the barcode on your phone. 

Also, consider purchasing a Paris Museum Pass if you plan to visit multiple museums.

You don’t need to book months ahead, but reserving tickets at least two to three weeks before your travel date is advisable. 

Typically, tickets are released six to eight weeks in advance. 

If you have a specific time slot in mind, it’s best not to wait too long, especially during peak seasons.

2. Choose your entrance wisely

2 Choose your entrance wisely
Image: La-serrurerie.com

The Louvre Museum has four entrances with varying waiting times.

You can avoid the lengthy queue at the renowned Pyramid entrance by opting for the Carrousel du Louvre entrance. 

This underground shopping center in front of the Louvre offers direct access. 

Simply hop on metro line 1 at the Palais Royale Musée du Louvre stop or use the steps on either side of the Arc du Triomphe du Carrousel.

3. Opt for Evening Visits

3 Opt for Evening Visits
Image: Louvre.fr

Enjoy a quieter Louvre experience by visiting on Friday evenings when it stays open until 9.45 pm. 

Afterward, grab an early dinner and head to the Louvre to stroll through less crowded halls. 

Remember that the last entry is an hour before closing, and room clearing begins around 9.15 pm.

You can also try booking a private night tour on Thursday night. 

This tour lets you explore the museum after it is closed to the general public. 

4. Explore the Richelieu Wing

4 Explore the Richelieu Wing
Image: Louvre.fr

While the Louvre has three wings—Sully, Denon, and Richelieu—consider giving the Richelieu wing a chance. 

If you’re keen on discovering the quieter corners of the Louvre, treasures await in the Richelieu wing. 

Here, you’ll find stunning French sculptures, Mesopotamian antiquities, and the apartment where Napoleon III lived as emperor of France.

5. Get a Map for Your Louvre Visit

5 Get a Map for Your Louvre Visit
Image: Pinterest.com

Once you clear security, the instinct is to head straight to the paintings. Take a few extra minutes to prepare – it pays off!

Start by grabbing a map. 

The staff is fluent in English and French, and the signs are helpful, but a map is essential for solo Louvre exploration. 

Paper maps are conveniently available in the lobby as you enter the Louvre, proving extremely useful in navigating the vast museum.

Be sure to grab a map to orient yourself, as the Louvre contains three large wings – Denon, Richelieu and Sully. 

Have an idea of what you want to see, including the most famous works like the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. 

Understanding the overall layout will help you navigate efficiently.

6. Fuel Up Before and During Your Visit

6 Fuel Up Before and During Your Visit
Image: Louvre.fr

Make sure to have a good meal before arriving, as the visit is time-consuming and might leave you with art fatigue if you do not take breaks.

There are cafeterias inside the Louvre and restaurants nearby for small bites and drinks, but energy is key for tackling this vast museum. 

Pack snacks like protein bars or nuts to keep your strength up as well. 

Stay hydrated by looking for the water fountains within the galleries.

7. Wear Comfortable Shoes

7 Wear Comfortable Shoes
Image: Louvre.fr

You’ll walk a lot, so wear supportive and cushioned shoes to avoid sore feet. 

The museum has minimal seating, so comfy footwear lets you be on your feet for extended periods while admiring the endless artwork.

8. Take Advantage of Guided Visits and Audio Guides

8 Take Advantage of Guided Visits and Audio Guides
Image: Louvre.fr

If available, take a guided tour to gain insight from an expert.

 You’ll learn details and stories that audio guides or signs can’t provide. 

The museum also offers affordable audio guides to enrich your experience. 

They’re available in several languages and are extremely helpful for providing context.

9. Have a List of Must-See Pieces

9 Have a List of Must-See Pieces
Image: Presse.louvre.fr

It’s simply impossible to see the Louvre’s 35,000 artworks in one outing. 

Accept this fact and make your list, including Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and IM Pei’s Glass Pyramid. 

Ensure you see your personal highlights but still leave room for some spontaneous wandering and exploration.

10. Head to Popular Works Early or Late

10 Head to Popular Works Early or Late
Image: Louvre.fr

The Mona Lisa attracts enormous crowds all day long.

 To beat the masses, hurry there as soon as the museum opens or swing by right before closing. 

You’ll have ample space to admire her enigmatic smile with fewer selfie sticks in your face.

11. Spend Time in Each Gallery

11 Spend Time in Each Gallery
Image: Louvre.fr

Rather than rushing through overwhelmed, pick a couple of sections you’re most excited about, like 19th-century French paintings or Roman sculptures. 

Then, dive deeper, relishing these rooms bursting with masterpieces. 

Select quality over checking off quantity.

12. Don’t Forget About Temporary Exhibitions

12 Don’t Forget About Temporary Exhibitions
Image: Nytimes.com

Louvre hosts temporary exhibitions focusing on fashion, history, lost civilizations and more. 

These rotating shows are absolutely worthwhile. 

Tickets sometimes cost extra but provide a fascinating specialized slice you’d otherwise miss.

13. Take Breaks When Needed

13 Take Breaks When Needed
Image: Wikipedia.org

Given its grand size and endless offerings, museum fatigue often sets in. 

If you grow tired or overstimulated, sit and people-watch or stop at a Louvre cafe. 

Recharge before continuing so you can truly appreciate the artwork rather than zombie walk-through gorgeous rooms.

14. Photograph Responsibly

14 Photograph Responsibly
Image: Rfi.fr

While snapping photos makes sense for remembering favorites, don’t become so absorbed in taking pictures that you don’t look closely yourself. 

Avoid blocking other visitors’ views or damaging fragile works when clicking pictures.

15. Visit the Gardens

15 Visit the Gardens
Image: Louvre.fr

After being inside looking at art for hours, get fresh air in the gorgeous Tuileries Gardens right outside. 

Have a picnic on the grass or rent a chair by the central fountain. 

People watch while giving their feet a break before tackling more galleries.

16. Shop the Bookstore and Souvenir Shops

16 Shop the Bookstore and Souvenir Shops
Image: Louvre.fr

Before exiting through the pyramid, don’t miss browsing the wonderful bookstore filled with art volumes and scholarly texts to continue your Louvre education. 

The gift shops also offer unique, artistic souvenirs, from scarves to jewelry to stationery.

17. Stay Until Closing

17 Stay Until Closing
Image: Artlawandmore.com

You’ve come all this way, so make the most of your day.

Stay until closing time to keep admiring masterpieces. 

In addition to the lack of crowds, the late afternoon sunlight streaming into galleries casts a magical glow. 

What an incredible way to end your Louvre visit.

18. Make Use of Luggage Areas

18 Make Use of Luggage Areas
Image: Louvre.fr

If you are in Paris but visiting the Louvre on your last day before catching a train, take advantage of luggage storage spaces. 

While the Louvre does not allow visitors to carry heavy bags inside, you can use the museum facilities and the luggage services they provide. 

Travel light through magnificent museum halls, then retrieve them after.

19. Return Again Someday

19 Return Again Someday
Image: Britannica.com

With such an abundance of priceless, spellbinding artworks spanning numerous eras and styles, no one can fully experience the Louvre in just one go. 

By returning on future trips, you’ll view beloved favorites and discover stunning new additions you previously missed. 

The Louvre is a dazzling, endless treasure trove that warrants repeat visits.

Featured Image : Stock photos by Vecteezy

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