The Louvre… the most famous and the biggest museum in the world! Its collections cover thousands of works of art and ancient artifacts from all corners of the planet and from all possible eras.
The place has hundreds of square meters, infinite rooms, corridors, stairs, even with a map it´s impossible not to get lost… and all this without taking into consideration the multitude of people that arrive every day, which makes it more difficult to find the place we are looking for! Imagine that on a “normal” day about 35.000 people visit it, sometimes reaching more than 40.000!
To be honest, it´s humanly impossible to go around the museum in “just” one day, besides, in my opinion after spending more than 3 or 4 hours there it starts to become tedious and even a little exasperating? Seriously there´s a time when I just wanted to find the exit and get away! …which incidentally is also an odyssey.
That said and to make your experience a LOT easier than mine I´m leaving some tips to visit the Louvre and as the title says … not go crazy in the attempt.
Get your tickets in advance!
If there is a city that really takes advantage of the City Pass is Paris as it has many museums to visit, monuments and attractions… Super recommendable! Buy it at least the day before to avoid the long queues to the ticket office. Remember that a plus of the Paris City Pass is its “Fast pass”: no regular queues as there´s another entrance for Holders.
However if you only want your ticket to the museum just go to its website and buy it online! Under 18? Free. EU member and under 26? Yay! Free.
Choosing the correct Entrance!
Choosing where to enter seems silly, right? If you really want to maximize your time and avoid long queues it´s important to GET AWAY from the pyramid access! RUN!!! Seriously, avoid this entrance and most turists choose this one and go straight to it thinking that´s the only one!
Thank god it´s not!
It´s best to choose one of the other TWO alternative entrances: “Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre” the metro station flows (always underground) under the pyramid and inside the museum. The second choice is in 99, Rivoli Street!
Best time to go
The best timing would be super early, as soon as the doors open, in a way to avoid the massive crowd of people that will be there during the rest of the day and most importantly, avoid the guided tours, which usually arrive a little bit later.
Another recommendation is to avoid going on weekends! Add the amount of tourists that will be there plus the locals… Parisians love to go to museums whenever they can and take advantage of the weekend to step in!
Note: Remember, the museum is open every day except Thursdays.
Locate the works we want to see
We all know that the star of the place is the Mona Lisa… nobody leaves the Louvre without visiting it! The best you can do (if you paid attention to my paragraph above) as the early bird you are is to locate it on the map before entering and go directly there! In this way they will be among the first to arrive and enjoy this famous work of art quieter and with fewer people. Believe me that later you get, practically you will have queue to enter its room and hopefully you will reach a considerable distance to get it out a picture… With an amount of people worthy of a Real Madrid – Barcelona match.
As you did with The Mona Lisa, let’s make a list of the works of art that you are interested in and place them on our map… so not time wasted spinning senselessly. Alternatively locate what kind of art we want to see, for example, start on the Ground Floor with the Roman, Egyptian and Greek sculptures and antiquities or the First Floor where masterpieces of great Italian and French painters are exposed.
In conclusion, the key to optimize our time is not wander around, always have marked where to go and what to see.
And the final advice … once outside the Louvre take advantage of the surroundings of the museum to walk and relax, go through the “Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel” until you reach the Jardin des Tuileries where you will find chairs and benches to rest, buy a creppe or an ice cream from the food trucks and enjoy the view and the fresh air: The best way to end our visit!