How to Skip the Line at the Louvre

A visit to the Louvre Museum is one of the best things to do in Paris. With an incredible collection of more than 35,000 works of art that spans from ancient civilizations to the 19th century, there is never a bad time to visit the Louvre!

Are you planning to visit the Louvre Museum during your next trip to Paris? Go on reading to learn how to skip the line at the Louvre – from the best day to visit the Louvre, the Louvre’s least crowded times, which ticket to buy, and other Louvre skip-the-line tips.

Best of the Louvre

The Louvre Museum is one of the top sights to visit in Paris. We recommend visiting the Louvre Museum in the following Paris itineraries:

When is the Louvre Museum Open?

Louvre Museum Crowds

The Louvre Museum is open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Fridays, the Louvre Museum is open until 9:45 p.m.

The Louvre Museum is closed on 1st January, 1st May, and 25 December.

Louvre Skip-the-Line Tickets

1. Book a Louvre Guided Tour to Skip the Line

If you want to skip the line, Louvre Guided Tours with an expert guide are the way to go. Guided groups enter the Louvre through Passage Richelieu, with zero waiting time. This entrance is reserved for guided groups or people with special membership cards (e.g. Société des Amis du Louvre).

Don’t waste your time waiting in line! Book one of the Louvre guided tours available online and see the major Louvre highlights with the explanations of a certified and passionate English-speaking guide. The truth is that a Louvre guided tour with a knowledgeable guide is a temptation difficult to resist in one of the best museums in the world!

Buy a Paris Tourist Pass to Shorten the Louvre Waiting Time

A Paris tourist pass or city card allows visitors to save time and money thanks to their skip-the-line tickets and many other discounts. 

Visitors with a tourist pass can access the Louvre via a special line in the Glass Pyramid (yellow line), which is much shorter than the other Louvre lines.

The Paris Museum Pass is the most popular tourist pass in Paris, but there are other options. Check out our Paris Pass Comparison to get the full picture.

Tourist pass holders also need to book a date and time slot for visiting the Louvre. At the end of the process, the cost will be 0€.

Book Louvre Tickets with Timed Entrance

If you prefer to visit the Louvre on a self-guided tour without any Paris pass, then book Louvre tickets with timed entrance. We strongly advise buying your Louvre tickets online in advance, as only online booking can guarantee your entrance to the Museum on a specific day. When you purchase the tickets online, you choose a specific date and time slot, ensuring a quick entry to the Museum in less than 30 minutes. You can buy a Louvre ticket with an audio guide (to pick up on-site) or alone.

These are not Louvre skip-the-line tickets, but they guarantee you to enter within a specific time slot, at least for the first time slots of the day. Over the day, however, lines tend to get longer.

To avoid overcrowding, visitors entitled to free admission also need to use the online booking system. At the end of the process, the cost will be 0€.

Visitors without tickets need to head to the orange line, which is the longest. This is the crazy line that you see sometimes in the pictures.

Best Time to Visit the Louvre and Least Crowded Times

Best way to see the Louvre

In general, the best time to visit the Louvre to avoid the biggest crowds is during the low season. The low season in Paris is from 1st November to 31 March, except for Christmas in Paris and the days around New Year’s Eve in Paris.

Then, according to statistics, there are also better days and times to visit the Louvre, with fewer crowds.

The table below shows the estimated visitor flow in the Louvre Museum, and it is divided into days and time slots for low season and high season. The green colour means the Louvre’s least crowded times (= the Louvre lines to enter are shorter), while the red colour shows the most crowded time slots. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.

In general, the Louvre is more crowded on the weekends and holidays. Since the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays see a higher number of visitors. Friday night sessions in the Louvre are also busy, as it is usually the beginning of many getaways to Paris.

The Louvre is free for all visitors on the First Friday of the Month (after 6 p.m.). Therefore, the last time slot on the first Friday of the month is especially busy.

Louvre Best Time to Visit: in our opinion, the best time to go to the Louvre is on Mondays and Thursdays, when it opens.

Once you are inside the Louvre, the crowds usually concentrate on the most famous artworks like the Mona Lisa, the Venus of Milos, or the Regent Diamond, while other areas in the Louvre are quiet most of the time.

How to Avoid Lines at the Louvre (the Longest Louvre Lines!) for Self-Guided Visits

Skip the Line Louvre

A- Choose the Best Time to Visit the Louvre

If you’ve made it this far, you should know by now the most crowded days and time slots to visit the Louvre, when the lines at the Louvre are longer.

One of the best skip-the-line Louvre tips is to visit the Museum when there are fewer visitors. Choose the Louvre’s least crowded times (best day to visit the Louvre and time slot) during your days in Paris, and you will see short or no lines. Well begun is half done!

B- Leave your Luggage and Large Bags at Home

There have always been lines at the Louvre, but the wait has become especially long because of security measures that were brought in recent years.

The Louvre entrances have a scanner and a metal detector. It is recommended not to come to visit the Louvre with luggage, suitcases, or bulky bags. First of all, the security check will take longer, and once you are inside, you will have to leave it in the Museum’s free lockers under the Pyramid.

C- Book a Louvre Treasure Hunt

If a Paris tourist pass is not convenient for you and you don’t like the idea of a Louvre guided tour, then consider a Louvre Treasure Hunt!

A Louvre Treasure Hunt is a fun way to visit the Louvre for families, friends, and people less interested in arts who still don’t want to miss one of Paris’ most iconic sites.

This Louvre Treasure Hunt also allows you to skip the line, and your guide will take care of all your needs at all times and make it a unique experience! The treasure hunt usually lasts 1.5 – 2 hours, and then you are free to stay to visit other parts of the Museum.

Norbert and I took a Louvre Treasure hunt in competition with a family from the US, and it was a great experience (despite they beat us..). We had to locate certain Louvre artworks thanks to some hints and take a selfie to prove we had found them – Click here to book a fun Louvre Treasure Hunt

So there you have it, how to skip the line at the Louvre or at least the longest lines at the Louvre! Use our Louvre tips for visiting the Louvre smoothly and with smaller crowds.

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Quirky Parisian explorer with a preference for lesser-known sights, I am continuously looking for new ideas and tips to bring you the best of the City of Light! Read more about me.