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The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Louvre Museum [2021]: Map of the Louvre, Entrances, Artwork, and Best Tips by Locals

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02/23/21

The Ultimate Louvre Guide [2021]

Best of the Louvre

If you ever find yourself in Paris, don’t miss the Louvre Museum, one of the top things to do in Paris.

The Louvre is one of the world’s largest museums, home to incredible artworks. From Ancient Egypt statues to baroque portraits, there’s something for everyone in the Louvre!

Located on the Seine River’s right bank, in Paris 1, the Louvre is also a landmark in itself, and it is consistently rated one of the top views of Paris.

After visiting the Louvre Museum many times (at least once a year), we have put together this quick Louvre Guide to help visitors with the latest information, best Louvre entrances, and most precious Louvre tips and tricks. Use this Louvre Museum Guide to plan how to visit the Louvre and decide what to see.

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

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Why Visit the Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum Paris

Haters will tell you to skip the Louvre Museum because it’s expensive, and the lines are long. But the 10 million people who pay for visiting the Louvre Museum annually are no fools carried along by clichés.

The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum and also the most visited. The museum houses a collection of more than 35,000 works of art spread over 60,000 square meters that spans from ancient civilizations from the 6th century BC to the 19th century. If you have a minimum of interest in arts, you should find something that you like when you visit the Louvre!

Thanks to the Louvre’s glass pyramid, designed by the Chinese architect M. Pei, the Louvre Museum is also one of Paris and France’s most iconic monuments and one of Paris’s top photo spots for photographers. When it gets dark, the illuminated Louvre pyramid is a must-see of Paris at night!

Some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures can be found in the Louvre. The Mona Lisa, the Venus of Milo, the Code of Hammurabi, or Napoleon I’s Coronation are just a few examples.

The Louvre is also part of the history of France. The Louvre was built in the 12th century by King Philippe Auguste II as his royal palace. Over the years, the Louvre Palace was a symbol of the French monarchy’s wealth, power, and decadence.

Louvre Museum Guide, Louvre tips, Louvre Artworks, Skip the Line Louvre, Visit the Louvre, First Trip to Paris, Paris Travel Tips #louvre #louvremuseum #paris

Best Time for Visiting the Louvre Museum

The table below shows the estimated visitors flow inside the Louvre, and it is divided into days and time slots for low season and high season. The green color means fewer visitors while the red color means more crowds.

Best Time to Visit the Louvre – High and Low Season

» The best day for visiting the Louvre Museum depends on the season (low season or high season). Generally speaking, it is a good idea to visit the Louvre during the week rather than during the weekend.

» Since the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays see a higher flow of visitors. Therefore, the best days to visit the Louvre are Mondays and Thursdays.

» What is the best time for visiting the Louvre Museum? Arrive early in the morning, before the museum’s opening.

How to Visit the Louvre After Lockdown

LOUVRE OPENING HOURS

The Louvre is open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 am to 6 pm.

BOOK YOUR TIME SLOT ONLINE

Sold out tickets at Louvre Museum
Sold out today’ panel at the Louvre

We strongly advise buying your Louvre tickets online in advance. When you buy the tickets online, you choose a specific date and time slot, which ensures a quick entry to the museum in less than 30 minutes.

Visitors entitled to free admission also need to do this process, like if they wanted to purchase a ticket. At the end of the process, the cost will be 0€.

During the low season, there may be a limited number of time slots available to purchase on-site the same day. But only booking online can guarantee your entrance to the museum on a specific day.

Click here to book your Louvre tickets

NEW WAY TO VISIT THE LOUVRE

Signs placed around the museum will guide visitors to avoid overcrowding. The Mona Lisa is always on display, but visitors will enter the room through one door and exit through another door.

The following rooms will be closed until further notice: Egyptian antiquities (chronological display); decorative arts of the 19th century; Greek terracotta, bronze, and ceramic works; part of the French painting collection.

Small guided groups (up to 25 people) are accepted in the Louvre. They will be required to use headsets and a microphone to respect social distancing measures.

Visitors over the age of 11 will be required to wear a mask inside the museum. Visitors must bring their own masks. Hydroalcoholic gel at both entrances must be used to disinfect hands before entering the building.

Keep at least 1 meter away from others. Avoid shaking hands.

Map of Louvre Entrances & Best Entrance to the Louvre [2021]

We are tired of reading Skip the Line Louvre articles that claim to be updated and propose Porte des Lions as the best Louvre entrance to skip the line. Porte des Lions is NOT the best entrance to the Louvre Museum to skip the line. Porte des Lions is the Louvre entrance used by guided groups, and individual visitors are not allowed to use this Louvre Museum entrance. 

There are 5 official entrances to the Louvre, shown on the Map of the Louvre Entrances here below: Porte des Lions, the Glass Pyramid, through the Louvre Carrousel, and Passage Richelieu.

Entrances to the Louvre Map [2021]

Louvre Map - Best Louvre Entrances 2019
Louvre Entrances Map [2021]

The Glass Pyramid and Passage Richelieu are Louvre entrances always open, while the other entrances to the Louvre may be closed depending on the health situation.

» The Glass Pyramid is the main Louvre entrance, and anybody can use it. In the Glass Pyramid, there are four different lines with different colors:

  • Yellow line for visitors with a special card
  • Orange line for visitors without a ticket
  • Green line for visitors with tickets with a time slot
  • Blue Line for disabled visitors, pregnant women, visitors with prawns, or visitors with mobility issues. These visitors have access to the lift down to the main hall.

» Passage Richelieu entrance is for guided groups or visitors with a special card.

» Porte des Lions entrance is only for guided groups.

» Galerie du Carrousel (99 rue de Rivoli) is another entrance to the Louvre Museum that anybody can use. The advantage of this Louvre Museum entrance is the direct access from the Parisian metro (station Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre, line 1). Also, this is the best Louvre entrance to wait in line during rainy days in Paris. 

How to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

In the Louvre Museum (and in all the museums in Paris), there are two waiting lines: a line to enter the museum and a line for the security control check.

The Louvre entrances have a scanner and a metal detector, and it is not possible to skip the line for the security control check.

If you want to skip the line to enter the Louvre, check out our article about the best Louvre skip the line tips.

A Peek Inside the Louvre (Take a Map of the Louvre!)

Louvre Map
Louvre Map with the 3 Louvre Wings

Louvre Sections

The Art Treasures of the Louvre are grouped into eight curatorial departments or Louvre sections: 

  • Egyptian Antiquities
  • Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities
  • Near Eastern Antiquities
  • Islamic Art, Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Decorative Arts
  • Prints and Drawings

Louvre Layout

The Louver’s treasures are exhibited in the museum’s three interconnected wings: Richelieu Wing, Denon Wing, and Sully Wing, clearly marked on the Louvre layout.

In addition, the Museum’s inner courtyards are used to display the biggest sculptures.

DENON WING

On the Louvre map, you will find the Denon Wing is the wing facing the Seine River. Denon Wing is named after M. Denon (1747-1825), the first director of Musée du Louvre. In Denon Wing, visitors find important artworks such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci or The Winged Victory of Samothrace.

If you want to concentrate on one Louvre Wing only, we suggest visiting the Denon Wing.

SULLY WING

As you can see on the map of Louvre, the Sully Wing is located between the Denon Wing and the Richelieu Wing.

The Sully Wing is named after M. Sully (1559-1641), Chief Minister of King Henri IV. In the Sully Wing, visitors can find the Medieval Louvre and the Egyptian Antiquities or the Venus of Milo.

RICHELIEU WING

On the Louvre map, you will find the Richelieu Wing facing rue de Rivoli. The Richelieu Wing is named after Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642), Chief Minister of King Louis XIII. In Richelieu Wing, visitors can find, amongst other Louvre artwork, the French paintings and sculptures, Napoleon III apartments, and the Near Eastern Antiquities.

Take a Louvre Map

Taking a map of the Louvre is paramount for visiting the Louvre. The map comes with the four Louvre floor plans, and you can find all the Louvre sections by floor and wings. The map of Louvre also has marked the rooms that remain closed.

Best Way to See the Louvre

Louvre pyramid

With 403 rooms, 14.5 km of rooms and corridors, and 72.735 m2 of exhibition spaces, it is impossible to visit the entire Louvre in one day. Actually, if you spent one minute seeing each Louvre artwork, it would take you 64 days to see everything in the entire museum!

If you want to get the most out of your day at the Louvre, YOU NEED A PLAN.

5 Ways to Visit the Louvre

In our opinion there are five ways to visit the Louvre:

1- Enter the museum and start walking through galleries and galleries randomly. This is not definitely what we recommend doing in a huge museum like the Louvre.

2- Follow the experts at your own pace with a Louvre Museum audio guide or a phone app. You can buy your skip-the-line Louvre ticket + audio guide online in advance, and you pick up the audio guide when you arrive at the museum. Remember to grab a map of the Louvre at the main hall.

3- Join a small group Skip the Line Louvre guided tour and get the most out of Louvre with a professional guide.

4- Write down a Louvre bucket list, study it at home with the help of the Louvre’s interactive Map, and try to make an itinerary that makes sense from a logistics point of view to avoid walking unnecessary kilometers.

TIP: Click here to see how to visit the Louvre in 2 hours or less

5- Pick a specific department (e.g., Italian Paintings) and focus your attention on this department only to get the most out of it. This is our favorite way to see the Louvre because we are locals in Paris and we can visit the Louvre whenever we want. This way of visiting the Louvre is also perfect for Paris frequent travelers or people interested in a specific subject.

Whatever you decide, grab a paper Louvre map at your arrival, take a break from time to time and use the toilets when you see them (I never find the toilets when I really need them, lol).

Top Things to See at the Louvre

Best way to see the Louvre

If you visit Paris for a few days, you probably don’t want to block a full day of your Paris itinerary for a single museum, especially when the weather is good outside. Or maybe you are not interested in Arts but still want to get a glimpse of the best museum in the world during your first trip to Paris.

In both cases, two hours is a decent amount of time to see some of the main art treasures of the Louvre without finishing exhausted.

Everybody has a different list of what to see in the Louvre, but some Louvre artworks appear on everybody’s Louvre bucket list.

Best of Louvre Artwork (Louvre Museum’s List)

Visit the Louvre

The Louvre has its own selection of masterpieces that you can check on their website. There are 24 artworks in total :

LOCATED AT SULLY WING

  • Venus de Milo
  • Frieze of Archers
  • The Marly Horses
  • Louis XIV Portrait
  • The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds
  • The Seated Scribe

LOCATED AT DENON WING

  • Diamond, known as “the Regent”
  • July 28: Liberty Leading the People
  • Mona Lisa
  • Portrait of a Woman Known as “The European”
  • The Consecration of Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Joséphine on December 2, 1804
  • The Coronation of the Virgin
  • The Lacemaker
  • The Raft of the Medusa
  • The Rebellious Slave
  • The Wedding Feast at Cana
  • The Winged Victory of Samothrace
  • Une Odalisque Woman with a Mirror

LOCATED AT RICHELIEU WING

  • Law Code of Hammurabi King of Babylon
  • Leaf of a Diptych: the Emperor Triumphant
  • Dürer’s Self-Portrait Holding a Thirster
  • The Rape of the Sabine Women
  • Winged Human-Headed Bull

Top Things to See at the Louvre (CNN’s List) 

Best Louvre Artwork

To honor Louvre’s 220th anniversary, CNN asked its users through its Instagram account about the top Louvre Attractions. Here is the list of CNN’s top ten things to see at the Louvre:

  • The Winged Victory of Samothrace
  • Mona Lisa
  • Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss
  • The Louvre Building
  • The Raft of the Medusa
  • The Consecration of Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Joséphine on December 2, 1804
  • Venus de Milo
  • The Young Martyr
  • The Virgin of the Rocks
  • The Lacemaker

World in Paris’ List

French sculpture at Louvre

Our Louvre bucket list is a mix of the two lists above plus some other Primitive Italian artworks (Duccio, Cimabue) and something by Caravaggio.

On this bucket list, there’s also the oldest exposed item: the statue of Aïn Ghazal, dated around 7000 BC (Sully Wing, Ground Floor, Levant Hall D).

We complete the list with the most bizarre item exposed, the Hermaphrodite (Sully Wing, Ground Floor Salle des Caryatides Hall 17).

Top Louvre Artwork

Other Louvre Tips and Tricks

Louvre Dress Code: Dress Like an Onion

What to wear to the Louvre? There is no Louvre dress code; you can wear what you want to the Louvre. Just have in mind that you are going to walk A LOT. Bring comfortable shoes. And dress in layers, like an onion!

Inside the Louvre Museum is very warm plus some areas of the Louvre are crowded. The layers thing is perfect in wintertime, when it is cold outside and warm inside.

Accessibility of the Louvre

The Louvre is accessible to disabled visitors, with various elevators and wheelchair lifts, and even a Tactile Gallery.

At the Glass Pyramid, there’s a line (blue line) for disabled visitors or visitors with mobility issues. These visitors have access to the lift down to the main hall.

Walking sticks, folding bags, strollers, baby carriers, and wheelchairs are offered free of charge to visitors.

Bring your Own Snacks and Water

Inside the Louvre, there are a couple of restaurants, but they are overpriced. If you are traveling on a budget, the best idea is to bring your own snacks, sandwich, and water.

Eating inside the Louvre exhibition rooms is forbidden, but there are a couple of benches in the central hall, just before the tickets control, and nobody will bother you if you are eating a sandwich or a snack there.

Once you are done and with some energy back, show your tickets again to go back to the exhibition areas. You can drink water wherever you want.

TIP: fans of Angelina Paris tearoom will be happy to know that there is an Angelina inside the Louvre with no line! Angelina Louvre is located at Richelieu wing, 1st floor, between the Napoleon III Apartments and Decorative Arts galleries.

Beware of Pickpockets

We never had any problem visiting the Louvre, but it seems that pickpockets are an issue in this museum. Never leave your bag unattended, and if somebody comes to you asking for your email or a donation, ignore him and walk away. It is a scam.

TIP: travel safe; use an anti-theft shoulder bag or an anti-theft backpack

Visit the Louvre Museum More than Once (If You Can)

If you are really interested in Arts, you will have to revisit the Louvre Museum to enjoy some other paintings and sculptures that you missed during the previous visit. Paris is always a good idea, and another visit to the Louvre may be the perfect excuse to come back to Paris 😉

Louvre Paris

We hope that you found this Louvre Museum Guide useful. Remember to plan your Louvre visit well for the shortest lines and the best experience inside!

Click here for more Paris attractions

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Some interesting articles in the blog

  • Plan your first trip to Paris here
  • Our Districts of Paris Quick Guide is here

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Louvre Museum Guide, Louvre tips, Louvre Artworks, Skip the Line Louvre, Visit the Louvre, First Trip to Paris, Paris Travel Tips #louvre #louvremuseum #paris

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  • NTripping
    10/20/2017 at 8:47 am

    These are great tips! I’ve found some of them on my own but you have some many useful ones 🙂

    My favourite collection in the Louvre was the Egyptian collection. And the hallways were so empty, we got lost and searched for an employee for several minutes to tell us which way to continue our tour 😉

    • WorldInParis
      10/20/2017 at 9:15 am

      I also love the Egyptian collection. And I love to get lost at Louvre, I always find some new cool things 🙂

  • Punita Malhotra
    03/13/2017 at 8:19 am

    Louvre is more than a museum, its a cultural experience in itself. Humanly impossible to complete in one trip, so I agree, multiple visits are a great idea.

    • WorldInParis
      03/13/2017 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks for your comment Punita. A second visit to Louvre to see the missing things is always a good excuse to come back to Paris 😉

  • Tatiana
    02/28/2017 at 2:40 am

    Such a huge museum ! I heard that you would actually need 3 months, day and night, if you were to visit every exhibited artwork and if you spent only 3 seconds in front of every artwork… And that’s not even taking into account all the stuff kept in the archives ! Crazy 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      03/01/2017 at 8:36 pm

      Yes, what you read is true. And the depôts are as big as the public exhibition itself. I would be curious to see what secrets the archives are hiding . . .

  • Cez of eTramping
    02/16/2017 at 7:37 am

    Invaluable information here! And stunning photos, great post.

    • WorldInParis
      02/21/2017 at 2:23 pm

      Thanks a lot! 🙂

  • Johna
    02/14/2017 at 10:14 am

    I love the Louvre!! My family and I went there around April and luckily we didn’t wait to long to get inside. I loved seeing the Mona Lisa. There were a tooooooon of people but very beautiful! Bringing back beautiful memories 😀

    • WorldInParis
      02/14/2017 at 11:16 pm

      No, actually I never had to wait long time to get in (and I always visit on free Sundays). Good that you liked Mona Lisa 🙂

  • Revathi
    02/13/2017 at 1:35 pm

    I have fallen in love with your photographs. They are truly amazing. Louvre Museum is on my bucket list and your post is so fabulous with some much useful information. Love that you have even suggested an appropriate entrance. Bookmarking this page right away 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      02/13/2017 at 10:35 pm

      Thank YOU! 🙂

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    02/12/2017 at 6:46 am

    The Louvre is a real treasure trove of art. Had a great time when we were there. there is really so much to see apart from the Mona Lisa. Your guide is really invaluable for making the best of ones’ time in the Louvre.

    • WorldInParis
      02/13/2017 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Sandy 🙂

  • Carol Colborn
    02/08/2017 at 5:48 pm

    Haven’t been to the Louvre although I’ve been to Paris. This will be so useful when I go back!

  • Colby
    02/07/2017 at 2:04 pm

    I visited the Louvre 10 years ago, but didn´t actually go in. I still regret that til this day. I was young and didn´t fully appreciate it at the time. But, now I´m living in Europe again it´s it´s definitely on my to do list. These are some great tips for when I do visit.

    • WorldInParis
      02/08/2017 at 8:01 pm

      Hope you will make it to Paris soon the 🙂

  • Aldrick Agpaoa
    02/07/2017 at 5:05 am

    It is not Paris if The Louvre is not there. Gosh, how I would love to go to the City of Lights, Love, and Art and see these collections / artifacts myself! This guide is very informative and the tips are surely to be remembered! 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      02/08/2017 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Aldrick 🙂

  • melody pittman
    02/07/2017 at 4:58 am

    I haven’t been to Paris but I realize how daunting seeing the Louvre could be. Your practical guide has so much information that I will file this away for when I do have a chance to go to it. Great job. So much information. Definitely worth the extra money to skip the queues. I would never have thought about alternative entrances.

  • Marge
    02/07/2017 at 12:23 am

    I read this post with great interest like I am already planning to go to Louvre hahaha… I’m not sure when will it happen but I am definitely going to get myself to France one way or another and most definitely, I am going to check out this museum. It’s so nice that you provided useful tips especially on what is the best time to go there. I am used to the crowd when visiting tourist spots but I’d still prefer seeing a place without the crowd.

    • WorldInParis
      02/08/2017 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks for the comment Marge! Hope you will make it to Paris soon 🙂

  • Samantha
    02/06/2017 at 12:57 pm

    What an informative post! When I visit Paris I am definitely visiting The Louvre because… why not! I know it’s super popular but I would love to see some famous paintings and sculptures!

    • WorldInParis
      02/10/2017 at 10:27 pm

      Of course! I am sure you will enjoy the Louvre a lot. Thanks for your comment Samantha! 🙂

  • Tom
    02/06/2017 at 2:37 am

    So strange to me how the most popular attractions don’t get special treatment about how to visit them, as you are doing. Anything visiting a massive musee such as this needs a plan, and thank you for laying it out. One tip I like quite much is the idea of visiting twice, making a return visit. It’s a lot to take in at once.

    • WorldInParis
      02/25/2017 at 8:01 pm

      Tom, glad that you enjoyed the post. I enjoyed doing it so if it can be useful to others I am double happy 🙂

  • WorldInParis
    02/05/2017 at 10:22 pm

    Maybe it was a matter of visiting lesser-known rooms in the Louvre . . .

  • Angela @ Dang Travelers
    02/05/2017 at 3:17 pm

    I had to laugh out loud when I saw your first picture! I think everyone has this exact memory when thinking about the Mona Lisa. Great tips on how to make the day at the Louvre a spectacular one. Thanks for sharing!

    • WorldInParis
      02/05/2017 at 10:17 pm

      I am happy my post made you laugh, he hee 🙂

  • Danik
    02/05/2017 at 12:40 am

    The museum is defo to hit up, but avoid the crowds if you can. Otherwise its pointless going 😀 Great post.

  • Jenn
    02/04/2017 at 8:48 pm

    Great tips! I haven’t been to Paris in over 10 years, but I’m itching to get back and spend a few days at the Louvre. I’ll bookmark this for my return!

  • Laura @ Sometime Traveller
    02/04/2017 at 3:41 pm

    Great post for any first-time visitors to the Louvre! Definitely agree with you about avoiding the main entrance, the queues there are insane!