The Louvre Museum In Paris – What To See & How To See It

From Leonardo da Vinci to the Venus de Milo, the Louvre Museum in Paris has the most extensive art collection in the world. With so much to see, a visit to the the Louvre art museum can be overwhelming, so it's good to plan your visit beforehand. Especially since the line-ups are always very long.

To avoid those lines, here's our best tip — like 60 other Paris museums and monuments, you can avoid the long line-ups for tickets at the Louvre by making sure you have a Paris Museum Pass before you leave home. Or, you can join a guided walking tour that gets you ahead of the line and inside to see the best of the world's most popular museum. You might also want to take a peek at the special Louvre exhibitions happening in 2016.

Louvre Museum Tours – Skip the Lines

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Louvre Art Museum Tours

More than 9 million people a year visit the Louvre, which means you can spend a loooong time waiting in lines.

But, by planning ahead, you can skip the lines and go directly to the Mona Lisa on a Louvre art museum tour. Readers have loved this 3-hour skip-the-line walking tour for 20 people. It's offered many days of the week in the morning, afternoon and evening .

You and your expert guide cover more than 2,000 years of art history going back to the ancient Greeks. Visit masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance and view the royal crowns of French emperors and kings. And, of course, you'll also spend time with the Big Three — Venus, Nike and Mona!

See Paris & Visit the Louvre in Style

City Tour and Louvre Visit

This is a good idea for first-time visitors (or those in a hurry) — a private tour of Paris by car followed by a skip-the-line tour of the Louvre Museum in Paris.

We like this idea because there's nothing for you to figure out or worry about. Our Paris Concierge has it all arranged for you, so you know it's going to be good. A private, bilingual driver picks you up at your accommodations for a tour of the City of Lights. Full day or half day, you choose.

After that your driver drops you off at the Louvre where you meet your licensed guide. He takes you past the line-ups through the special guide's entrance and right to the highlights of the museum.

What is The Paris Museum Pass?

Free entry to 60 museums + skip the lines…

Paris City Pass

The all-inclusive Paris Museum Pass get you free entrance to all the major museums plus scores of hidden and small museums that you probably haven't heard of.

But the greatest benefit, in our opinion, is that you get to bypass the ticket lines and walk directly into the museums. Saving time in Paris is even better that saving money! Read our guide to learn how it works.

Louvre Museum Paris – Exhibitions in 2016

Rembrandt's Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit

Rembrandt's Portraits

Exhibited for the first time to the public, these two masterpieces by Rembrandt represent the greatest works of the Dutch Golden Age

In the Denon Wing, 1st floor, room 13. Ends June 13, 2016



  • HUBERT ROBERT (1733–1808) — Visionary Painter
    French 18th-century painter of ruins, landscapes and poetic imageries. Napoleon Hall, under the Pyramid. Ends May 30, 2016
  • IN ARCUEIL'S LEAFY GROVES – Drawings of an 18th-Century Garden
    Landscape drawings of the Arcueil estate made by various artists in the 1740's. Denon wing, 1st floor, Mollien rooms. March 24 to June 20, 2016.
  • FOUNDING MYTHS – From Hercules to Darth Vader
    From Jean Cocteau to Star Wars, Japanese manga to Fantomas, this exhibition explores the mythologies of popular culture. The Petite Galerie, Richelieu Wing. Ends July 4, 2016.
  • CONTEMPORARY ART – JR at the Louvre
    French artist JR has chosen the biggest gallery in the world to showcase his art — ublic spaces. For ten years the artist's monumental photographic collages have been appearing on the walls of world cities. Napoleon Hall. May 25 to June 28, 2016
  • A REVOLUTIONARY MUSEUM – Alexandre Lenoir's Museum of French Monuments
    Explores the achievement of Alexandre Lenoir, (museum curator, exhibition designer), and protector of French heritage. Rotonde Sully April 7 to July 4, 2016.
  • CONTEMPORARY ART – Eva Jospin's Panorama
    Displayed in the central fountain of the Louvre's Cour Carré, Eva Jospin's Panorama, an architectural artwork, reflects the façades of the Louvre palace. Cour Carrée April 12 to August 28, 2016.
  • Charles Le Brun
    French painter, Charles Le Brun (1619 to 1690), son of a sculptor of tombstones was King Louis' XIV's most important painter for thirty years. May 18 to August 29, 2016.
  • EDME BOUCHARDON (1698 - 1762) – French Sculptor
    Admitted to the Royal Academy in 1735, Bouchardon became King Louis XV's royal sculptor. You can see his work in the Rue de Grenelle fountain, atSaint-Sulpice, and the equestrian monument in the center of Place de la Concorde. Hall Napoleon September 15 to December 5, 2016.
    Swedish ambassador, Count Carl Gustaf Tessin was a passionate collector of paintings and drawings during his time in Paris. Heavily in debt on his return to Sweden, he sold his collection to King Frederick I. Rotonde Sully. October 17 to January 16, 2017.
    This exhibition brings together one hundred 18th century drawings, paintings and sculptures from museums in Salzburg. Mollien Rooms. October 17 to January 16, 2017.
    See the historical importance of Mesopotamia, a heritage now under threat from the situation in Iraq and the Middle East. November 2016 to January 2017

Masterpieces of the Louvre Museum, Paris

Venus di Milo

Among the thousands of works at the Musée de Louvre you're sure to recognize quite a few.

Some of the most famous paintings and sculptures ever produced have found their way into the permanent collection of this museum.

To help with your planning we've put together a guide of some of the best works of art in the Louvre.

History of the Louvre – Fortress, Palace & Museum

History of the Louvre Art Museum

The history of the Louvre is as fascinating as the story of the works of art it contains.

The Louvre started life as a fortress, in the 12th Century, and then later was used as the royal residence for centuries of French kings. It lasted through revolutions, wars, occupations and long periods of housing government bureaucrats to become the famous art museum it is today.

The Louvre Pyramid

Louvre Pyramid

Yes, the Louvre has certainly seen plenty of changes over the centuries.

But some of the most striking and extensive changes to the museum occurred in the late 20th century, with the complete renovation of the building and the addition of the Louvre Pyramids to the courtyard. Learn more about the story behind this latest Paris icon.

Go Local at Café Marly

Café Marly

After a visit to the museum we like to take in the view of the Louvre pyramid from a table in the colonnade at Café Marly. It's great to enjoy a glass of champagne with Parisians while overlooking the courtyard of this most famous of museums. (Though we don't recommend Marly as a lunch or dinner place.)

It's hard to believe that until relatively recently, the courtyard was used as a parking lot for the bureaucrats housed in the Louvre!

Louvre Facts

The Louvre started rather modestly back in the twelfth century. In the 900 years since then it has seen a lot, and now it's the most popular museum in the world with 9.3 millions visitors every year!

  • The Louvre collection includes more that 380,000 pieces.
  • 35,000 works are displayed at the museum at any given time.
  • There are 4000 paintings by French artists.
  • The museum's oldest collections are the Greek and Roman antiquities.
  • The exhibition area is over 650,000 square feet.
  • In addition to the art, you'll also find classes of French school children learning about art in the Louvre. (Most of the rest of us had to settle for images in books!)

Practical Information

Looking for a shorter line-up? Use the Galerie du Carrousel entrance to the Louvre. Take the stairs found in the Tuileries, near the Arc du Carrousel.

  • Open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Late Nights: Wednesdays and Fridays until 9:45 pm
  • Closed Tuesdays, December 25, January 1 and May 1
  • Metro: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre
  • Museum Website
  • Free admission is included with the Paris Museum Pass

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