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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
The Louvre Museum
• Guide to the Louvre…
• Louvre Museum Tours…
• Masterpieces of the Louvre…
• The Louvre Pyramid…
• History of the Louvre…
• Guide to Paris Museums…
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