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Here are the secrets of the most-loved art museum in the world! From Leonardo da Vinci to the Venus de Milo, the Louvre 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.
But, 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.
The Museum Pass is included as part of the Paris City Passes, and that's our recommended way of buying it, because the city passes also give you unlimited rides on the Metro.
Before you just show up at the Louvre we recommend that you have a plan. For example, if French 18th-century painting is your passion, go directly to the Richelieu wing or you might be exhausted before you ever get there. The Louvre is that big!
Over 600 years of French painting history can be found here. France is famous for honoring its artists, and the museum exhibits the best works of French artists over the centuries. (The exceptions are the French Impressionists and other 19th-century painters, who have their own museum across the river — Musée d'Orsay.)
7 million people a year visit the Louvre, which means you can spend a loooong time waiting in lines.
But as we mentioned, by planning ahead, you can skip the lines and go directly to the Mona Lisa on a Louvre art museum tour. Check out our list of recommended tours of the most visited museum in the world.
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.
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.
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.
We'll tell you 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. It's hard to believe that until relatively recently, the courtyard was used as a parking lot for the bureaucrats housed in the Louvre!
Looking for a shorter line-up? Instead of the Louvre Pyramid entrance, use the Galerie du Carrousel entrance to the Louvre. Take the stairs found in the Tuileries, near the Arc du Carrousel.
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 all-inclusive Paris Museum Pass get you free entrance to 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!