Paris is a city that pretty much every person with travel in their heart hopes to visit one day. The City of Light leaves many who visit absolutely dazzled by its sights, attractions, and general atmosphere, with one of its most adored attractions rightly being the magnificent Louvre Museum. This sensational museum deserves to be on every Paris itinerary thanks to its astounding collection of artwork that extends well beyond its most famous piece, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
But visiting the Louvre takes a little planning and forethought, as there are different ways you can explore the museum and even different Louvre Museum tickets available. To help you get yourself organized, we’ve put together this guide on how to buy tickets to the Louvre Museum, and all the other information you need before you go.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Louvre Museum: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you either book your skip-the-line Louvre Museum tickets in advance here or book a guided tour of the Louvre Museum. Out of these two, the guided tour is the better option as you get to see the Louvre’s most famous artworks and ancient artifacts on a carefully planned itinerary led by an expert guide.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the Louvre Museum
The Louvre isn’t just one of the best things to do in Paris; it’s easily one of the best museums anywhere in the world. With that kind of popularity comes plenty of different ways you can get your tickets to the Louvre Museum. Below we’ll take you through where to buy tickets for the Louvre depending on how you’d prefer to visit and how far in advance you’re able to plan your visit.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
For any attraction as popular as Louvre, the worst way to get tickets is by lining up when you arrive. That approach usually means long lines, but in the case of the Louvre it means something worse. There are only a very limited number of Louvre Museum tickets that are made available at the ticket office and only during off-peak times. That’s an awfully big gamble that could see you entirely missing out on a visit, especially when there are much safer and easier options for buying tickets to the Louvre Museum.
2. Book Online (Recommended)
The far more sensible approach for ensuring you get to visit this incredible museum is booking tickets to Louvre in advance online. You’ll then be able to choose exactly when you want to visit the museum and be able to plan the rest of your sightseeing in Paris.
These tickets are skip-the-line tickets for the Louvre Museum, in the sense that they allow you to bypass the slow line for visitors without tickets, but you’ll still be only able to visit during your selected time slot.
Tickets can be booked through the official website for the Louvre. However, these tickets are non-refundable, so if you have to cancel your visit, you’ll be left out of pocket.
That is why we recommend booking your tickets through this link, as you still get the same ticket but can instantly cancel up to 24 hours in advance of your visit and receive a full refund. There’s even an option to book your ticket with an audio guide if you book through this link.
3. Book a Guided Tour
Another way to see the museum if you’re looking to get more from the experience is to consider taking a tour. Many say that the guided tour of the Louvre is one of the best tours in Paris, as it allows you to fully appreciate the exhibits and the history of this grand institution beyond anything an audio guide can possibly cover.
Tours can be booked through the official website, but again we recommend booking through this link so that you have the option of free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance of your visit.
4. Purchase a Bundle or Tourist Pass
If you’re planning to do lots of sightseeing in Paris, you might want to consider purchasing a sightseeing bundle or a tourist pass. These options work in a similar way, providing access to multiple attractions around Paris and helping you save money on your ticket purchases. The difference is in how many attractions each includes.
While there are various Paris bundles available to tourists, the most popular bundle involving the Louvre combines a ticket to the museum with a Seine river cruise. Book these two great activities together through this link.
The other option is to make the most of one of the tourist passes available for Paris. These passes include free or discounted entry to a huge range of attractions, including the Louvre, the Orsay Museum, and Versailles. If you’re just interested in a pass for museums, then you’ll want the Paris Museum Pass. Otherwise, turn your attention to the Paris Pass, which not only includes everything in the Paris Museum Pass but also visits to the Eiffel Tower, a Seine river cruise, and city walking tours.
Useful Information for Visiting the Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum Hours of Operation
Regular opening hours for the Louvre are daily from 9:00 to 18:00, except for Tuesday. Normally, there are special late-night opening hours on Thursdays until 21:00 and on Saturday and Sunday until 20:00; however, these have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last entry is one hour before closing time, with visitors asked to vacate the exhibition rooms 30 minutes before closing. The museum is closed on December 25, January 1, and May 1, and closes at 17:00 on December 24 and December 31. It remains open on other public holidays, unless they fall on a Tuesday.
What’s the Best Time to Visit the Louvre Museum?
Much like with any famous tourist attraction, there are better times to tour the Louvre Museum than others if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds.
It’s widely agreed that the best time to visit is when the museum holds its evening/late-night sessions as it is far less busy and noisy, making for a more relaxed atmosphere. When that’s not possible, it’s best to actually leave your visit until the mid-afternoon when the tour groups have cleared out and the eager morning crowds have gone.
While free entry on Bastille Day and the first Sunday of every month is tempting, those days are understandably the busiest of the year, so you need to decide for yourself whether the savings are worth it.
How to Get to the Louvre Museum
Getting to the Louvre is easily done thanks to Paris’ extensive public transport network. The ideal route to reach the museum will depend on where you’re coming from, but your best options are either taking the metro or a bus.
The Palais-Royal/Musée du Louvre station is the closest metro stop on the 1 and 7 lines, while you can also take the 14 line to Pyramides and walk from there. There are lots of different buses that go to the Louvre, but the 27, 39, 68, 69, and 95 all stop at the Musée du Louvre bus stop directly outside the Louvre Pyramid.
How Do Louvre Museum Tickets Work?
Unlike tickets for many popular tourist attractions around the world, tickets to the Louvre Museum work in a pretty simple way. There are only really two types of ticket available, a general admission ticket and a special combined ticket that also provides access to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs for 72 hours after your Louvre visit. Tickets provide access to both permanent collections and any temporary exhibitions held at the Louvre.
When ordering your skip-the-line Louvre Museum tickets online, you’ll need to choose a date and a half-hour window for the start of your visit. After purchasing your tickets, you’ll receive an email with the tickets as a PDF. The tickets, not the confirmation email, can be presented either as a physical or digital copy when you enter the museum.
Changing the name or date on a ticket is possible by logging in through the official website. Just ensure that the name on the ticket matches that of the person using it at the museum on the day.
How Much Do Tickets for the Louvre Museum Cost?
One question that’s sure to be on the minds of most visitors to Paris is how much Louvre tickets are going to cost.
Standard tickets for adults purchased through the official website of the Louvre cost €17, while combined tickets for the Louvre and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs cost €27. The limited number of tickets available for purchase in person at the museum for off-peak times cost €15. Audio guides cost an additional €5 per person, while in-house tours can cost an additional €9 to €12.
Visitors aged under 18 years old and residents of the EU and EEA under the age of 26 are entitled to free entry to the museum upon presentation of valid ID. Free tickets must still be organized online to skip the line, though. Visitors with disabilities and carers assisting them are also entitled to enter for free. Entry is also free for all visitors on July 14, Bastille Day, and the first Sunday of each month.
Hotels Near the Louvre Museum
Even though you can access the Louvre from anywhere in Paris, you may decide that you’d like to stay close to the museum. After all, it’s located in a central part of the city that is extremely convenient for sightseeing. There’s no shortage of accommodation to choose from, it being Paris after all, but if you don’t have time to do your own research, allow us to recommend a few of the best options nearby. You can also find other hotel recommendations for your stay in our Paris hotel guide.
Stay at La Clef Louvre Paris and you can expect a very special Paris experience. This beautiful five-star boutique hotel is just 500 meters (1,600 feet) from the Louvre and offers sophisticated suites with superb amenities like a fitness room and grand lounge.
If you’re in search of somewhere to stay that provides comfort and location without the hefty price tag, consider Hotel Des Deux Continents for your visit. Found just across the Seine from the Louvre, this traditionally styled, three-star hotel puts you a 10-minute walk from the museum.
Unfortunately, backpackers will be hard-pressed to find cheap accommodation in this part of the city. The nearest affordable option is Le Village Montmartre hostel in the Montmartre district, 2.7 kilometers (1.7 miles) from the museum, but it has excellent public transport options for getting to the museum. It’s also a gorgeous hostel, with excellent staff, an outdoor terrace, and a communal kitchen. For other hostel recommendations, be sure to check out our Paris hostel guide.
Ongoing Exhibitions at the Louvre Museum
One of the great things about Louvre Museum tickets is that they also cover admission to any temporary exhibitions being held at the museum. Exhibitions currently running at the Louvre are:
- Paris–Athens: The Birth of Modern Greece, 1675–1919 (September 30, 2021, to February 7, 2022)
- From Afar: Travelling Materials and Objects (September 22, 2021, to July 4, 2022)
- On Stage! Costume Designs from the Edmond de Rothschild Collection (October 28, 2021, to January 31, 2022)
Security Process at the Louvre Museum
To ensure your visit goes as smoothly as possible, it helps to know the security process that all visitors to the Louvre must go through.
On entry, visitors will go through an airport-style security check to ensure no prohibited items are brought into the museum. Bags or items larger than 55 x 35 x 20 cm are not allowed, but there are self-service lockers available for storing items during your visit.
Due to the pandemic, visitors aged over 12 must go through a COVID-19 check. To be permitted entry, visitors must provide proof of full vaccination with an authorized vaccine, a negative PCR or antigen test from the last 24 hours, or proof of recovery no more than six months old.
Visiting Louvre With a Disability
The Louvre has put measures in place to realize their goal that the museum be a place that is “accessible for all.” Most importantly, the museum ensures priority access for visitors with disabilities and their party, as well as free entry for persons with disability and their assistants. Guide dogs or assistance dogs accompanying persons with impairments are permitted.
Should it be required, the Louvre can loan out equipment to visitors, including walking sticks, folding stools, and wheelchairs. Lift access to the Louvre is provided for visitors with physical impairments.
For visitors with hearing impairments, hearing loops compatible with audio guides are available upon request. An escort service from the nearest metro station and around the museum is available for those with visual impairments upon request. A braille booklet of the museum and audio guided tours are also available.
FAQ – Facts About the Louvre Museum
What Is the Louvre?
The Louvre is a museum and palace in Paris, home to some of the most famous works of art in the world. It is recognized as the most visited museum in the world.
When Was the Louvre Built?
The Louvre Palace was originally built in the late 12th–early 13th century as a fortress.
How Old Is the Louvre Museum?
The Louvre Museum first opened on August 10, 1793, which currently makes it 228 years old.
Who Built the Louvre?
King Philip II of France ordered the Louvre Palace, then a fortress, to be built. The Louvre Museum was created by the National Constituent Assembly during the French Revolution.
Why Was the Louvre Built?
When King Louis XVI was imprisoned during the French Revolution, it was decided that the royal collection in the Louvre Palace would be made into a public gallery.
Where Is the Louvre Located?
The Louvre Museum is located within the Louvre Palace on the right bank of the Seine river in the first arrondissement of Paris.
With all this information, there’s no question that you’re prepared for your visit to the Louvre. Planning and making the right decisions in terms of obtaining tickets to the Louvre will help ensure you have a great time at this world-class museum.