The Louvre is the world’s most popular museum to visit and is also one of the main cultural attractions in Paris. Of course, it’s most famous for the Mona Lisa but there are many other masterpieces that find their home there. Very rich collections of Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities also attract many people to the Louvre. These are located within the magnificent Palais du Louvre, a former royal residence.
Below, you’ll find all the information you need for a successful visit to the Louvre, including opening times, prices and details of the various collections, the current exhibitions and how to avoid the long queues when you buy a fast track ticket.
OPENING HOURS FOR THE LOUVRE
The Louvre Museum is open to the public every day of the week except Tuesdays.
On Wednesday and Friday evenings. The Louvre has extended opening hours.
- Mondays: 9.00am – 6.00pm
- Tuesdays: Closed
- Wednesdays: 9.00am – 9.45pm (evening opening)
- Thursdays: 9.00am – 6.00pm
- Fridays: 9.00am – 9.45pm (evening opening)
- Saturdays: 9.00am – 6.00pm
- Sundays: 9.00am – 6.00pm
Visitors are asked to leave either at 5.30pm or 9.30 pm for evening opening.
LOUVRE MUSEUM PRICES & TICKETS
You can either buy your ticket when you turn up at the door (waiting times are potentially very long) or purchase a fast track ticket. Admission is free for young people under 18 and under 26 for EU citizens.
- Admission ticket on the door: €15
- Online entry ticket (fast track): €18
Admission is free on the first Sunday of the month between November and March, as well as on 14th July. However, you need to be aware that these days attract very large crowds.
PEAK TIMES AT THE LOUVRE MUSEUM
Every day, many people flock to the Louvre. The afternoons are very busy (with around 2-3 hours of queuing) and even more so at the weekends. Long queues build up in the mornings from 11.00am on Saturdays and Sundays.
If you’re an early riser, you can beat the long queues on Mondays and Thursdays by arriving between 9.00am to 10.30am.
Buy a fast track ticket for the Louvre from tigets and beat the queues, with easy access. You can buy this ticket online. All you then need to do is turn up at the Louvre (on the Royal Palace side) with your voucher. The voucher is valid for a year.
Also, if you’re with people who benefit from free access (children, young people under 26 or teachers), they can go in with you and avoid the queues.
This is the best way to avoid long queues! We tried it out and were completely happy!
YOUR VISIT TO THE LOUVRE MUSEUM: COLLECTIONS, WORKS
The Louvre Museum was founded in 1793 at the time of the Revolution and is located in the Royal Palace of the Louvre, bearing the name The Central Arts Museum of the Republic. It’s the largest museum in the world, with over 72,000 m2 of exhibition space.
The Louvre is famous for hosting many ancient masterpieces, as well as classical and modern paintings. You’ll be able to see many artworks like the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci, Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix, the Raft of the Medusa by Géricault, the Wedding of Cana by Veronese, the Venus de Milo (from Greek antiquity), The Seated Scribe (from Egyptian times) …
In the Denon wing on the 1st floor, you’ll find a collection of Italian paintings, with masterpieces by Caravaggio, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci.
You’ll also find famous French paintings like the Raft of the Medusa by Géricault, Liberty Guiding the People and The Death of Sardanapalus by Eugène Delacroix.
Paintings of particular interest in the Denon wing include very large French artworks, while on level 2 in the Richelieu and Sully wings, you’ll find paintings by Poussin, Watteau, Corot and Fragonard, among others.
The Richelieu wing on level 2 is also home to a collection of Northern European Paintings (Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Rubens …)
Going back to the Denon Wing on level 1, you can admire paintings by Spanish masters like Goya or El Greco and works by British and American artists like Lawrence or West.
Do you love paintings? Take a look at our Orsay Museum guide.
You’ll find French sculpture exhibitions on levels -1 and 0 in the Richelieu wing. The collection covers a period from the Middle Ages to Romanticism and features works by Goujon, Pigalle and Houdon.
Also, in the Denon wing on levels -1 and 0, you’ll find sculptures by European artists like Donatello, Bernini or Michelangelo.
GREEK, ETRUSCAN AND ROMAN ANTIQUITIES
A large part of the Denon and Sully wings is home to Southern European Antiquities, with objects from daily life, as well as works of art from Greek and Roman civilisations right through the Italic and Etruscan civilisations.
Some works enjoy worldwide renown such as the Venus de Milo.
Venus de Milo at the Louvre
There are also many sculptures of Roman emperors, which are very well preserved.
Roman sculpture at the Louvre Museum
Anyone interested in Egyptology will find the Louvre particularly fascinating. A large part of the Sully wing is devoted to Egyptian antiquities (4000 to 30 BC) and you’ll find ceramics, sarcophagi and mummies.
On level 1, there are many antiquities displayed in chronological order, while level 0 has a more general exhibition of civilization.
Are you interested in visiting several museums? Find out about the Paris Museum Pass.
The Sully and Richelieu wings on Level 0 at the Louvre host a large collection of Oriental antiquities, with objects from the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia (7500 BC) and Anatolia. You can also admire objects from the Arabian Peninsula (Nabataean vestiges), Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
Go on a chronological journey at the Louvre, starting from the beginning of Islam in the 18th century and including ceramics, carpets, weapons and woodwork …
The Department of Islamic Art opened in 2012 and is now on levels -2 and -1 in the Denon Wing, enjoying considerable success.
EXHIBITIONS AT THE LOUVRE MUSEUM
- The exhibition of works by Delacroix (1798 – 1863) is hosted in association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is on until 23rd July 2018
- Exhibition – France Viewed from the Grand Siècle – Drawings by Israël Sylvestre, on until 25th June 2018
- Power Plays – The Exhibition – on until 2nd July 2018
We hope this clarifies things for you!
Please feel free to come back here and leave a comment after you’ve visited the Louvre.
Are already familiar with the museum? We always appreciate your advice and opinions!
You may also be interested in reading: The Top Museums in Paris.