The Louvre – In Paris, The World's Most Popular Museum Is Open Again

From Leonardo da Vinci to the Venus de Milo to Greek and Egyptian sculpture, the Louvre Museum in Paris has the most extensive art collection in the world. The Louvre covers more than 2,000 years of art history going back to the ancient civilizations and the birth of art as we know it. You'll see the French masters as well as masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance. You'll even get to view the royal crowns of French emperors and kings.

COVID-19 Update — The Louvre Museum has reopened A.D. (aprés deconfinement). To visit you must pre-book online and obtain a time-stamped ticket. (More information.) If you book a guided tour (more information) a ticket will be obtained for you. Visitors are required to wear a face mask, which you must provide yourself.

line

The Best Louvre Museum Tours

Skip-the-line Guided Tour of the Louvre Museum
Skip the Louvre lines with an expert guide to get past the crowds and into the museum to visit the masterpieces.
More information…

Evening Louvre Tour & Wine Tasting
Skip the line on an evening tour of the Louvre. Afterwards, attend a guided tasting of French wine at a classicParisian bar.
More information…

Louvre Museum Guided Tours

Avoid the Lines at the Louvre

As you know by now, we hate standing in lines. However, we love guided tours, especially in museums, and especially ones that get us past the lineups. Since we started signing up for guided tours we've learned so much more, we've saved time, and we've had more fun. So, yes, we're converts. Our favorite Louvre tour will be available again starting September 1, 2020.

Masterpieces of the Louvre You Don't Want to Miss

Mona Lisa

Among the thousands of works at the Musée de Louvre you're going to recognize quite a few. That's because 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 the best works of art in the Louvre.

The 8 Departments of the Louvre Museum

How It's Organized

Like so many French museums, the Louvre's website is as rambling and as hard to navigate as the museum itself. But, don't worry. We're going to give you a few short lessons on how the museum is organized. We'll also include some helpful highlights, history, and tips for each of the departments of the museum.

In short, the Louvre museum collections are grouped into eight curatorial departments. Take a peek into each department to help you map out your day at the museum —

  1. Egyptian Antiquities…
  2. Greek & Roman Art…
  3. Near Eastern Antiquities…
  4. Paintings…
  5. Islamic Art…
  6. Sculptures…
  7. Decorative Arts…
  8. Prints & Drawings…

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 museum started life as a fortress, in the 12th century, and was later 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.

  1. History of the Louvre – From the Beginning
  2. A Palace Fit for a King
  3. From Napoleon to the 20th Century

line

The Most Popular Paris Activities

Loire Valley Chateaux & Wine Tasting, Day Trip from Paris
Visit the magical castles of the Loire Valley in a day that also features a guided tasting of the best regional wines. Includes pick-up at your Paris hotel.
More information…

Best of Versailles. Skip the Line, with Hotel Pick-up & Lunch
This day trip from Paris gets you inside the royal estate without waiting in the long lines. Included is a 3-course traditional lunch by the Grand Canal.
More information…

The Louvre Pyramid

Louvre Pyramid

Yes, the Louvre has certainly seen plenty of changes over the centuries. But some of the most striking and most 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.

Where to Eat at the Louvre

Where to Eat at the Louvre

Viewing forty centuries of magnificent art makes us… hungry. So, when we're going to spend a long day at a museum as important and as large as the Louvre, we want to make sure we know what to do when we get hungry. Because it's in Paris, you can be sure that there will be at least a couple of good dining choices at the Louvre. In fact, we review seven restaurants and cafes found in and near the museum, and we reveal our faves.

The New, Improved Louvre

Nike of Samothrace

The good news is that the Louvre is infusing €60 million to revamp its entrance and ticket areas. Jean-Luc Martinez, the new director of the Louvre, wants to ensure that the Louvre remains accessible and up to date. Can believe that in 1989 a mere 3 million visitors made their way to the Louvre? By 2015 that number more than tripled to 9.8 million.

Monsieur-Director Martinez is also creating a rotating educational center and has an ambitious plan to translate almost 40,000 art display descriptions into English. There will also be WIFI-downloadable explanations in other languages. Another bold move is his fundraising plan, which includes crowd-sourced funding. The Louvre is hoping to raise €1 million from the public to restore the Nike of Samothrace and its connecting Daru staircase, shown in the photo.

In an effort to save money Martinez will reduce the number of temporary exhibitions from 20 to 10 annually, focusing on shows that reinforce the museum's amazing permanent collection.

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 while overlooking the courtyard of this most famous of museums. We don't recommend Marly as a lunch or dinner place, but it's great for a glass of bubbly.

It's hard to believe that until relatively recently, the courtyard was used as a parking lot for the bureaucrats who worked at to government offices that used to be houses in the Louvre!

line

The Most Popular Ways to Visit Versailles

Best of Versailles. Skip the Line, with Hotel Pick-up & Lunch
This day trip from Paris gets you inside the royal estate without waiting in the long lines. Included is a 3-course traditional lunch by the Grand Canal.
More information…

VIP Versailles Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters
Skip-the-Line entrance to the chateau through a VIP entrance, plus a private tour of the royal chambers and opera house not open to tourists.
More information…

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 nearly 10 million visitors every year.

  • The Louvre collection includes more than 380,000 pieces.
  • 35,000 works are displayed at the museum at any given time.
  • There are 4,000 paintings by French artists.
  • The museum's oldest collections are from the ancient civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia.
  • 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. (The rest of us had to settle for images in books!)

Practical Information

Six Free Paris Planning Guides

A Gift from Us to You.
Bon Voyage !