no alt text

Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Anna Brooke

The world’s most visited museum, the Louvre dates back to the 13th century, and was the primary residence of the French Royal family until Louis XVI moved the household to the Palais of Versailles in 1682. It opened as a museum in 1793 with 537 paintings – mainly from the Royal collection; today it houses 35,000 works of art and 380,000 objects.

The building is almost as much of an attraction as the exhibits; explore the grand galleries with ornately painted ceilings, opulent stairways and remnants of a medieval Parisian palace. Let yourself wander – and wonder – your way through the museum’s beautifully laid out, labyrinthine halls and discover world-class Italian Renaissance and French Neoclassical and Romantic painting, antique sculpture, treasures from Ancient Egypt and Assyria, or medieval gold and silverwares.

The sheer wealth of exhibits in the Louvre can be intimidating on the one hand; on the other, it means there’s always something fascinating to discover.

Logistics

Price from: £15
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 16+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The nearest Metro station is Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre. Queues at the main Pyramid entrance can be vast; try one of the other entrances – at the Porte des Lions, just east of the Pont Royal; at 99 rue du Rivoli; or at the Arc du Carousel.

There are audio guides for iPhone, Android and Nintendo 3DS available at the entrance for a small extra fee – you can book them ahead of time to avoid queueing for them once inside. They also offer several online ‘visitor trails’ focusing on different themes or parts of the collection. There’s a particularly useful one on ‘masterpieces’ to ensure you see all the greatest works in one visit. There are guided tours on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am that will also take you to see the masterpieces, and explain the museum’s history – great for first-timers.

Allow around four hours to really take in the scale of the museum. There are more than 15 cafés, restaurants and stalls inside the Louvre and neighbouring Tuileries when you need a pit stop. Tickets for the Louvre are valid all day, so you can take a break in the Tuileries gardens in the middle of your arts fix.

When to do it

The museum is open year-round, seven days a week.

Although always popular, it’s slightly quieter on weekdays, especially mornings. Avoid visiting on the first Sunday of the month, when entrance is free and queues are fierce. Look out for evening opening hours on Wednesdays and Fridays, which have more of a civilised feel.

Who to go with: organised tours

5

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Skip-the-Line: Louvre Museum Masterpieces Fully Guided Tour

Paris

Skip-the-Line: Louvre Museum Masterpieces Fully Guided Tour
Take a small group or a private (depending on the option you choose) walking tour of the Louvre Museum in Paris and jump the queue by booking ahead. This skip the line tour helps you explore the collection of paintings, sculpture, and architecture with an expert local guide. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 24 people on this small group walking tour, ensuring you'll receive personalized attention from your guide. Upgrade your ticket for a private tour exclusive to just your group. This tour was specifically designed to highlight the most famous works of the Louvre Museum. Entering the Louvre through the original Medieval structure from the 12th century, join your guide on a journey from one breathtaking gallery to the next as you travel through time visiting works from 450 BCE through to the 1800s.

Price: €63

Min age: 0

Rating 4.41 / 5 [7611 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo

Louvre Museum Paris Exclusive Guided Tour With Reserved Entry

Paris

Louvre Museum Paris Exclusive Guided Tour With Reserved Entry
Beat the entrance lines to one of France’s top attractions and explore with ease on this 2.5 hour exclusive guided Louvre Museum tour in Paris With Reserved Entry Included! The Louvre Museum is very popular among Paris’ locals and visitors alike, and queues can be long. Follow a private guide through the hallowed hallways and gain insight into thousands of years of art history. Discover famous works such as the ‘Mona Lisa’ or the ‘Venus de Milo’, and enjoy free time to explore further at the end of this guided tour.

Price: €126

Min age: 0

Rating 4.94 / 5 [2523 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo

Louvre Museum Guided Tour (Reserved Entry Included!) - Semi-Private 8ppl Max

Paris

Louvre Museum Guided Tour (Reserved Entry Included!) - Semi-Private 8ppl Max
This 2.5 hour semi-private (8 Guest Maximum) guided tour of the Louvre museum with Reserved Entry Included gets you into the galleries with our expert guide. This tour includes a visit to some of the most iconic pieces while also exploring the history behind the building that, today, is larger than the palace at Versailles.

Price: €126

Min age: 0

Rating 4.97 / 5 [1493 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo

Paris Louvre Museum Must See Skip the Line Tour

Paris

Paris Louvre Museum Must See Skip the Line Tour
Due to its immense size and the thousands of pieces in its collection, the Louvre is best explored and appreciated in a short amount of time on a privately guided tour. We offer a 1-hour 30 minute private tour for your group which allows you to experience this famed destination under the supervision of an expert guide. They will tailor the tour to your desires and speed, or get you right to the museum's most famous highlights - including the Mona Lisa. The tour is offered at a set price for up to 6 people. It is a private tour with skip the line access for you and your group - NO others will be added to your group. *Please note that the museum entrance tickets are NOT included in the tour price. You can buy them directly on the museum website or we will send you the link once you have booked the tour. Museum entrance tickets are free for -18 years old, however a free ticket still needs to be obtained.

Price: €85

Min age: 0

Rating 4.23 / 5 [746 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo

Louvre Highlights Tour: Mona Lisa Venus de Milo & Crown Jewels

Paris

Louvre Highlights Tour: Mona Lisa Venus de Milo & Crown Jewels
Get straight to the heart of France's most famous art destination on this express tour of the Louvre. Join a small group of no more than 20 and head straight for the museum's most famous and captivating works, including the 'Mona Lisa,' 'The Raft of the Medusa,' and other masterpieces. On select days, join a tour with max six people for an intimate experience. Learn the stories and secrets behind the art and artists from an expert licensed guide.

Price: €64

Min age: 0

Rating 4.70 / 5 [484 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo

Destination guides

1

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Paris

Ile-de-France, France

Aerial view of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in frame against a beautiful golden sunset

Crammed with iconic buildings, world-class art and a culinary scene steeped in history, Paris is one of the world’s great capitals, overflowing with style, romance, and art de vivre. 

Round-ups

1

Round-ups that include this experience