The Louvre

The Louvre is the most visited museum and arguably the most renowned museum in the world

Famous Glass Pyramid entrance to the Louvre
Famous Glass Pyramid entrance to the Louvre cc licensed photo by zoetnet

There are few museums anywhere in the world that have attracted more attention than the Louvre. The world's most visited museum, the Louvre is home to in excess of 35000 pieces of art dating from the earliest times to the 19th century and displayed in an exhibition space covering an amazing 650,000 square feet. Some famous pieces of art include The Madonna and Leonardo da Vinci’s Saint Anne, however there are literally thousands more works of art and historical pieces for visitors to view.

The Louvre has a lengthy and interesting history. During the 12th century, Paris was Europe's largest city. To protect the capital from the Anglo Norman threat king, Philippe Auguste, who was reigning at that time, decided to build a garrison to reinforce its western defences on the shores of the River Seine. The large fortress comprised of a moat, a huge tower at the centre of the structure plus other towers encompassed narrow gates at the wall on south and east sides. The solid building had two inner buildings butt against the exterior walls on the south and west sides. This magnificant structure lost its ability to be Paris' defence fortress as the city grew far beyond the original wall by the mid 14th century. Other defences were developed under King Charles V which enclosed the Louvre within the expanding city. In 1364 he commissioned his architect, Raymon du Temple, to transform the ancient garrison into a splendid royal mansion.

Each section of the Louvre has its story to tell and bears the mark of a different influential personality. The Louvre was turned into a museum in 1791 and first opened its doors as such in 1793. The first pieces on display were works of art that were donated or loaned by families that could afford to do so. Since then, the Louvre has simply grown in splendour and has had many galleries added and renovations done to turn it into the amazing museum that it is today.

The Louvre, as with most famous museums, offers floor plans, audio guides and guide books to visitors. It also features a number of cafes, media centres and even a bookstore for those that wish to bring a little of the Louvre home with them. The Tuileries Gardens offer a number of activities for the restless little ones who may not enjoy taking in the art of the Louvre as much as their parents. Instead, they can be amused with boat rides and trampolines and other play area activities in the gardens.

Nearby attractions: Jardin des Tuileries and Museum of Decorative Arts

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Save time and skip the queue Free entry with the Paris Pass and on the first Sunday of each month.

Open Now: Yes! Some attractions may restrict entry prior to their closing time.

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Address: 75001 Paris, France

Phone: 01 40 20 50 50

Official Website: The Louvre

Directions

Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M1 or M7Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre‎3 minutes

How to get to The Louvre by Metro / RER

By Metro: From Metro Line 1 or 7 exit at Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre‎‎ Station and proceed to your right (west) along Rue de Rivoli and then cross the road to your left and proceed through the arches at Place du Corrousel. The entrance to the the Louvre is in the Glass Pyramid ahead and to your left.

The Louvre is also easily accessed from the Batobus.

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Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5

5 Star Rating This museum is huge and has stunning architecture inside and out. It has a great selection of statues and paintings. The only place where you can see the original Mona Lisa painting. By far the best museum I have visited !

Cylla M - 9 days ago

5 Star Rating It is impossible to describe the vastness of this museum and the richness it contains. The Napoleon Apartments & Kings rooms were exquisite, not many people in that part too tho because of that maybe it needs a thorough clean. Objects were dusty which is a shame but tapestries were still lush with colour. The Africa etc galleries were stunning in their contemporary simplicity. I was very impressed with the accessibility of the place. Many lifts throughout & accessible toilets. Wheelchairs are available if you have someone with you but such a shame they don't have scooters for more independent visitors. I would have seen more if I had a scooter.

Sonia Serrao - 10 days ago

5 Star Rating Simply my favourite place in Paris. The museum is fantastic itself, so take a moment to look at the ceilings and the floors, they're amazing. Of course the collections are superb, and you can never visit the whole museum at once. If you come in winter, visit the museum on Wednesday or Friday night, the atmosphere is absolutely unique !

Nicolas Y LB - 12 days ago

5 Star Rating Fantastic place. Amazing experience and we'll organised. Also free the first Sunday of the month except during peak seasons. Mona Lisa is hard to see well as its surrounded by throngs of people. Also incredible views of the outside of the building, plus the rooms fitted with original as it was when it was a palace.

Ju Do - 16 days ago

5 Star Rating This museum is spectacularly great on many levels. Let's start with the the basic means to get a ticket. There is a room at the large atrium with enclaves for different purposes - coat check, information, bathrooms, and tickets. There are several dozen digital stations equipped with multiple languages for easy and quick purchase. We appreciated this. The bathroom lines may seem long but they go quickly. The museum itself doesn't require much more explanation or reviewing if you go there. It has amazing art, but what we appreciated was how the paintings were sectioned into paintings from France; and paintings in another section from Italy, Spain, etc. The sculptures need not require explanation either. It's a beautiful place. Our recommendation is that you pay a few more dollars to borrow the audio guide. The audio guide is a bit complex as it is set up through a Nintendo 3SD XL, but once you figure out how to use it, it's incredibly helpful and almost essential in getting all the necessary context for the majority of the art work there. Otherwise, you'll be strolling along skimming through the paintings and may feel emptied rather than happily educated by the art experience. (Note: you just press the home button and you will see the numbers icon - that's what you press to access the dials to enter each art work's number. The volume is on the left side of the device.) Overall - yes, people come to see the Mona Lisa. But we were less impressed by her, and more impressed by all the details of the gigantic sculptures - each muscle chiseled with amazing accuracy. Don't forget to look at all the ceilings as well. Our number one recommendation is: bring good walking shoes. We spent 2.5 hours in there; and it wasn't enough. But our legs said it was. Be prepared, and get an audio guide.

R. W. - 17 days ago

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Guide to visiting the Louvre in Paris

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