Visiting one of the world's greatest museums may seem overwhelming. The good news is that preparing for a visit to the Louvre is easy. Given the museum's vastness, the only challenge might be deciding which collections to explore. It would take several months to see its 38,000 works spread over 434 rooms, three wings (Sully, Denon and Richelieu) and 80,000 m² of exhibition space, included in a total of 210,000 m²! Depending on your schedule, some halls and corridors may be crowded, potentially diminishing the overall experience. This practical guide aims to assist you in crafting your Louvre ticket experience beyond the turnstile.
Admission and Louvre Ticket Types
Admission to the Louvre Museum grants access to both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions.
There are two ticket types: online and on-site.
- The online rate (€17 in 2023) is slightly more expensive, but it guarantees your visit.
- The on-site ticket (€15 in 2023) is available during low-traffic periods and is subject to availability.
Payment can be made at the museum ticket office using credit cards, cash, or "chèque vacances."
Tickets are valid only for the specified date and time, and careful preparation is essential, as all exits are final.
Who is entitled to free admission?
Some visitors are entitled to free admission, including :
- those under 18 (residing in France, the European Economic Area, or elsewhere)
- and those under 26 living in France or the European Economic Area.
Valid proof of identity is required for free admission.
The European Economic Area includes the member states of the EU, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. Unfortunately, free admission has no longer been open to the UK since Brexit.
The Louvre is free for everyone on the first Friday of the month after 6 pm (except July and August) and on the 14th of July. Booking is compulsory on the museum's website.
Become part of the Amis du Louvre
If you plan an extended stay in Paris, consider becoming a Friend of the Louvre (Amis du Louvre).
Various annual membership options, ranging from €15 to €140, are available for all ages.
The basic "member" package (€80) allows you to freely visit the permanent collections and exhibitions of the Musée du Louvre, with the added privilege of bringing a guest on Friday evenings and during the first fortnight of the Hall Napoléon exhibition.
Ticket Refunds and General Terms
The sale of admission tickets or services is considered a sale of services and leisure activities and does not permit any right of withdrawal.
Tickets cannot be refunded or resold. Situations entitling you to a refund are outlined in the museum's general terms and conditions of sale.
Opening Times and Entrances to the Louvre
With your ticket in hand, you may wonder where to enter the museum.
The main entrance is beneath the iconic glass pyramid, featuring four lanes for different visitor categories:
- Visitors without a reservation (orange queue)
- Visitors with a Louvre ticket or a Paris Museum Pass (green priority queue)
- Members (including Amis du Louvre)
- Disabled visitors with priority access and no waiting time.
Use of the tube (the Pyramid lift) is reserved for individuals with reduced mobility, wheelchair users, and those with pushchairs.
Other entrances for individual visitors are located in the Carrousel underground gallery and the Lions' Gate (Porte des Lions), which are reserved exclusively for online Louvre tickets and members.
The Louvre is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm (9.45 pm on Fridays), except Tuesdays.
The last admission is 1 hour before closing time. The staff of the Louvre start clearing the galleries 30 minutes before closing time.
The best time to visit the Louvre
For peace of mind, avoid weekends, Wednesday afternoons, and the 11 am-4 pm slot, which is very popular with tourists.
Go in the morning, when the Louvre opens at 9 am (a particularly low time on Mondays and Thursdays)
You can also come at night: usually open until 6 pm, the Louvre closes at 9.45 pm on Fridays.
And remember that there are 434 rooms in the museum that you can explore on your own, even at peak times.
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If you want to learn more about the Louvre as a starting point of Paris' Historical Axis, check out our blog post here!