The Louvre is one of the world’s greatest museums and is located in the heart of Paris. Most notably, it is one of the largest museums in the world, occupying 1,300 square meters and has 35,000 square meters of exhibition space. The Louvre was originally built as a fortress in 1190. It later became a royal palace and now it is an art museum and attracts 16 million visitors each year! You will find works by Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt van Rijn (Rembrandt), Edgar Degas (Degas), Claude Monet (Monet) and more The Louvre has 950 employees and over 500 guards While the museum is beautiful and an attraction itself, if you are planning to visit, here are some things that you must know:
When to go?
It is open every day BUT Tuesdays from 9am – 6:00pm (Please don’t be like me my first time to Paris and turn up on a Tuesday!!!). When working with a budget, remember that the Louvre has four free days a year including French national holidays and two Sundays during summer months – but it is packed! Admission times and fees vary depending on the season. Tickets can be purchased for the museum alone or combination tickets that include admission into the Hall Napoleon are available.
TIP: While I recommend you arrive early (see below), there are late evening tickets available for purchase and offered at a cheaper rate than day passes.
How much time do you need?
It will take time to see everything and I would recommend at least 4 hours. While this may be disappointing if you only have a day in Paris, it makes sense once you consider what Louvre means; Louvres means “hiding place” or “hidden treasure” in French
Arrive early. Louvre Museum opens its doors at 9:30 am daily for those who plan on visiting, if you are short on time or planning to visit during spring break or summer, consider skipping Louvre Paris because to be honest – the crowds are shoulder to shoulder and it is not very enjoyable in my opinion.
Cost: If you’re going to the Louvre purchasing your tickets online in advance is a smart idea. Louvre tickets range from 17-27 Euros, depending on what you want access to, although they are less expensive than purchasing individual tickets in person. This is because pre-purchasing your Louvre tickets (or months ahead of time) reduces queueing when you get there. Under 18’s are free. This is because Louvre tickets are best purchased in advance (or months in advance) to avoid long ticket lines when you get there.
What to see at the Louvre?
The Louvre is one of the world’s most well-known museums for good reason; it has over 38,000 works inside its walls. Louvre museum lovers will be able to find pieces from almost every civilization dating back thousands of years. The Louvre Museum spans 6 stories and over 40 rooms with paintings, sculptures, carriages, and other pieces that are worth viewing. Before you get there though check out the Louvre website so you can see what items are currently on display so you don’t miss anything while you’re at Louvre Paris.
These paintings, sculptures, and other works date back as far as 10,000 BC! Out of this large number of artefacts only about 3% are actually on display at any given time due to conservation efforts (and also because some items are simply too big).
The Louvre is divided into seven departments. These are the Department of Egyptian Antiquities, Oriental Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Sculpture, Paintings throughout history, Decorative Arts, and the Louvre Coin Cabinet. For that reason, you should decide on a preferred course of travel. Which exhibits, collections and themes interest you the most? Due to its large size, it can be difficult to see all. So, plan your trip wisely. In fact, that is why guided tours of the Louvre come recommended. These are some must-see exhibits that you should check out if you visit the Louvre:
- Venus de Milo: This ancient Greek statue dates back as far as 100 BC. She was found in the Aegean Sea in 1820 and immediately became famous throughout Europe. To this day she remains one of Louvre’s most popular pieces of artwork.
- Winged Victory of Samothrace: This is a Louvre statue that isn’t actually housed in the Louvre. It was taken from its home and kept in London during World War II, but returned to Paris after the war ended.
- Mona Lisa: The most famous Louvre attraction is without a doubt Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece work, Mona Lisa. In addition to being one of the Louvres most popular exhibits, it is also one of the largest attractions at the Louvre museum itself with over 6 million visitors per year! I am going to be honest here and say I always skip the Monda Lisa – she just doesn’t interest me (sorry)
If you have extra time to spend inside the Louvre, a visit to the Auditorium is recommended. Constructed and opened to the public in 1889, this large establishment is located in the centre of the Louvre. Its design and 450 seats make anything that appears on-screen easy to see and hear. Each year, over three hundred different events are hosted for individuals of all ages. Films and storytelling shows are designed for children, concerts are common, as well as lectures, silent films, and much more.
Lastly, there are some things that only local guides know so don’t miss out if you wish to visit Louvre Paris. Louvre museum has a café on Louvre Museum’s second floor that locals often visit for coffee and to people watch.
The Louvre museum is also near many popular tourist attractions such as:
– Jardin des Tuileries
– Palais Royal – Musee d’Orsay.