Access to the Musee du Louvre in Paris
The Musee du Louvre is the most visited of all museums in Paris and is also the most well known museum throughout the world, and has such impressive collections from drawings through to sculptures and paintings through to ancient artefacts, that the Louvre gets millions of visitors each year.
There is such a rich history of the Louvre from fortress to Palace, and therefore a visit to the Louvre museum is not just about the impressive collections inside, as you will get to experience the rich architecture before you even enter, which has been embellished with hundreds of statues on the facades.
Going inside you can enjoy the impressive decoration with its grand staircases, the colonnades and painted ceilings through to ornamental pillars, the original apartments of Anne of Austria and much more, which means that anyone interested in French castles and chateaux will be in their element.
What you can discover and experience when visiting the Musee du Louvre in Paris
Within the Louvre museum there are the permanent collections on display that are categorised in different departments of the Louvre located throughout the Louvre Palace, yet you will find that not all of the rooms will always be open. This can be due to renovations or certain sections may be closed on specific days, but there are always notices up detailing the closures and you can also find out in advance by looking at their website online.
There are also temporary exhibitions held within the Napoleon Hall and there are several themed exhibitions at any one time, which normally run for around three months, such as highlighting specific artists, celebrating the birth of a certain painter, exhibitions on certain drawings, manuscripts and much more.
Within the Louvre there is an auditorium that has different events scheduled throughout the year from lectures through to shows, films, etc. In addition to this, there are several cafes and restaurants in Paris that are located within the Louvre Museum such as the Cafe Richelieu Angelina, the Cafe Mollien, the Cafe Grand Louvre Restaurant and the Cafes de la Pyramide.
The different tickets and accessing the Louvre Museum
The Musee du Louvre is open every day of the year except for on a Tuesday and major National French holidays such as the 25th December or the 1st January.
This museum in Paris is open from 9am in the morning and usually closes at 6pm, however on a Wednesday and a Friday, there is usually late opening until 9:45pm. Yet the last entry to the Louvre is 1 hour before closing and the rooms themselves start to close about half hour before the end of the day.
As of 2020, the cost for a ticket to enter the Louvre museum and see the permanent collections plus any temporary exhibitions is €17 if booked online, and this provides you with a full day of access to this museum along with another museum in Paris called the Musee Eugene Delacroix, which you can visit within 48 hours.
In addition, purchasing your ticket online in advance, means less queuing and guaranteed entry within 30 minutes, although by purchasing your ticket at the time of your visit to the Musee du Louvre, this is only a cost of €15 as of 2020, but you could be waiting in a queue for at least an hour or two, sometimes longer at busy periods.
For both the Musee du Louvre and Musee Eugene Delacroix French museums, there is free entry to those under the age of 18 provided they are accompanied by an adult and it is also free for those up to the age of 25 who are resident within the EU.
It is also free entry to the Musee du Louvre and the Musee Delacroix for the disabled and their carer, along with those that are unemployed and on benefits or for artists linked with the AIAP. But we would like to point out that all of the above do require up to date proof in order to obtain free entry.
For the permanent collections at the Musee du Louvre, the first Sunday of each month between the hours of 6pm and 9:45pm is completely free to all visitors, as is 14th July, being a major celebration day in France called Bastille Day. In addition to this, on a Friday evening from 6pm until closing time at 9:45pm there is free entry to any person aged 25 or under, whether they are an EU resident or not.
Yet if you are thinking about visiting lots of different museums and monuments in Paris, then a very convenient and cheaper way is to obtain the Paris Pass, which also entitles you to free entry to the Louvre for the permanent collections, but not the Hall Napoleon for the temporary exhibitions.
If you have purchased your tickets in advance or are utilising the Paris Museum Pass, then you do not have to queue and can gain immediate entry via the Pyramid entrance, with a guaranteed wait time of no more than 30 minutes.
You will also find that there is a dedicated entrance for the disabled and their carer at the Pyramid and again these people do not have to queue.
Yet even if you are not sure when you would be able to make a trip to the Louvre whilst on holiday in Paris, then you can still obtain tickets at the time even though you will have to queue, and for individuals you can enter via the Pyramid, Passage Richelieu or the Galerie du Carrousel entrances.
You will find that the Pyramid and Galerie du Carrousel entrances are open every day that the museum is open from 9am and these close when the museum closes, although the Pyramid entrance is the main entrance.
The Passage Richelieu entrance is open every day except a Tuesday when the museum is completely closed, from 9am through to 5:30pm and 6:30pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.
However, if you are travelling with a group and you have your own guide, then you need to enter via the Porte des Lions entrance, but for groups that have pre-arranged tickets who will have an authorised tour guide sticker and those that have this can enter the Louvre museum directly. Yet if you have arranged a lecture visit or a study workshop, then entry is vial the Passage Richelieu.
Just make sure to watch out for the colour coded entrance lines, with yellow being for visitors who need to purchase a ticket, orange for those with tickets, green for the priority queue if you have purchased a time sensitive ticket stating a specific time of entry and blue for those with disabilities and young children in pushchairs.
Getting to the Musee du Louvre Museum in Paris
There are several ways of being able to get to the Louvre museum and when it comes to public transport you can discover our map of how to get to the Louvre Museum, yet you will find that the nearest Metro stations are the Palais Royal - Musee du Louvre stop via lines 1 and 7 or the Louvre - Rivoli stop serving line 1.
In addition to this, you also have the Tuileries stop via line 1, or at the end of the Jardin des Tuileries by the Place de la Concorde you have the Concorde stop serving lines 1, 8 and 12 that links to the Avenue des Champs Elysees with the Horses of Marly statues.
Via these two Metro stations, it also means you can enjoy the Tuileries Gardens with its statues, fountains, restaurants and cafes in Paris like the Cafe Renard or the Cafe Reale Italian Restaurant, the children's play areas and more, which is all managed by The Louvre, before venturing on to this fabulous museum.
Whereas if you are arriving in Paris from the opposite direction, you have the Chatelet Metro station serving Metro lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14 along with the Chatelet - Les Halles train station serving serving the RER A, B and D.
You will find that the public transport in Paris is excellent for visitors and there are numerous different bus lines that stop very close to the Musee du Louvre including lines 21, 27, 39, 68, 69, 74, 87 and 95 along with the Noctilien Night Bus Service via lines N11 and N24, yet the bus tours in Paris such as Open Tour also stops outside the Pyramid of the Louvre at the Place du Carrousel as well.
However, there are also the bus lines 42, 45, 58, 67, 72, 73, 76, 84, 85, 94 and 96 plus the Noctilien, which are the buses that run when other forms of public transport have stopped for the night, via lines N01, N12, N13, N14, N15 and N16, N21 and N122, that will also get you within walking distance of this famous museum and other tourist attractions in the area.
But if you prefer the idea of water, or would like to see some of the famous tourist attractions in Paris from a completely different perspective, then you will like the idea that there is a service called the Batobus, which is basically a bus on water but as a hop on and hop off sightseeing water bus service that travels to specific points along the River Seine. So if you travel by the batobus, you would need to hop off at the Louvre stop by the Quai Francois Mitterrand in between the Pont Royal and the Pont du Carrousel bridges.
Even though finding places to park in Paris can be a nightmare if you have arrived on your holiday in Paris with your own transport, you will be pleased to know that the Musee du Louvre has its own underground car park. It is open from 7am right through to 11pm at night and can be accessed via the entrance located on Avenue du General Lemonnier, with the cost varying depending upon your duration.
Practical information on the Louvre Museum
The Louvre museum has a wide range of facilities that will make your visit even more comfortable and enjoyable, such a complete program and floor plans that you can obtain, which detail all the different areas of the museum and you can discover the access maps and room maps with collections that you can download prior to your visit.
Walking sticks, strollers, manual wheelchairs and even folding chairs are available free of charge to make getting around this incredible museum even easier, although these cannot be taken outside of the Louvre museum and you must provide ID in order to obtain one.
For those of you that have purchased a ticket, you can utilise the coat and luggage check point free of charge, and we would like to point out at this stage, no large bags, suitcases, etc are permitted into the museum. So if you do have a large bag with you, then you must either place it in the secure checked luggage section even if you have to pay for this, or you will be refused entry to the Musee du Louvre.
This does make it easier to get around along with being a more comfortable and safe environment for everyone, especially when the museum can be rather crowded at certain times, or around specific exhibits like the Mona Lisa painting.
Facilities at The Louvre include disabled access, telephones, of course toilets including baby changing facilities, which are dotted all around the museum in different areas with dedicated disabled toilets as well, along with a post office for stamps and sending letters or parcels, plus there is a first aid point, yet hopefully you will not need this!
You can also have a wander around one of the largest art bookstores in Europe, plus The Louvre Bookstore has a great range of cast reproductions, prints etc, along with many other gifts and souvenirs that you can take back home as a constant reminder of your holiday in France in the famous capital city of lights.
However, there are also other areas inside the Louvre that also sell different merchandise and even educational toys that relate to the collections at the Louvre museum, with one being dedicated more to children and another between the I M Pei Pyramid and the inverted pyramid.
There are also many different cafes and restaurants to choose from providing a wide range of snacks, sweets, hot and cold beverages through to entire meals, so that you can make the most of your time in the Musee du Louvre.
Tours and Guides at the Musee du Louvre
There are audio guides available in seven different languages, which are French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese and Korean and these can be purchased where you get your tickets, and as of 2020 these are a cost of €5.
However, you can also download audio guides onto a Nintendo 3DS so that you can listen to curators and lecturers and visit the Louvre in high definition interaction. But for those of you that do not own anything like this, then there are other options.
You can also download official Louvre audio guides to an iPhone or an Android phone that contains over three hours of audio commentary and you can choose between the so-called guided tour that takes you on a journey through the galleries so you can get to experience the most prestigious artefacts, sculptures, paintings, etc.
The other option provides an insight into around 40 different must-sees with commentary that you can discover by utilising maps, along with an interactive map for your location. Plus there are also more intense guides available on specific subjects such as ancient Egypt at the Louvre.
In addition to these, there are visitor trails that you can either download or print from the Louvre museum website and there are over 15 different trails all on specific themes that guide you around the museum, which means that you can make the most of your time and only visit sections of the Musee du Louvre that you want to.
There are also guided tours available, which are run by the National Museum Network, called the Reunion des Musees Nationaux in French, and available at set times, there is one called the Welcome to the Louvre Tour for €12 as of 2020.
This particular Welcome to the Louvre Tour can only be booked at the Musee du Louvre on the day of your visit with a tour in French being held at 11am and a tour in English being conducted at 2pm. The meeting point is under the Pyramid, yet these are not available on days that are public holidays or when people can obtain free entry to the museum, although during July and August there are additional tour times.
Guided tours on specific themes are also available but normally they are only conducted in French and usually have to be booked in advance through the Reunion des Musees Nationaux.
So, as you can tell, this is one incredible museum in Paris that has so much to offer from the history of the Musee du Louvre and the history of the Louvre fortress through to palace, along with hundreds of thousands of different artefacts, paintings, objects, statues and so much more, that we feel you will never have the time to fully appreciate this museum in just one visit.
But even if you only have time for a short visit, it is well worth it, and you will not be disappointed, but do not forget to check on what is available at their website, just in case certain sections are closed for renovations, or you wish to visit certain rooms within the different departments, as there are some that are always closed on set days.
In addition, we would like to point out, that once within the Louvre museum, you cannot leave then re-enter, as the tickets are only valid from the time you do go through the checkpoint to the time you leave, otherwise you would have to purchase another ticket to go back in!