Photo by Jan Novak
Photo by Jan Novak

The Louvre: Know before you go

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

What can I say about The Louvre Museum to convince you to go? Perhaps the fact that it’s world’s largest art museum will tickle your fancy. Or maybe you’re interested in the structure itself, which is a medieval palace, originally built in the late 12th to 13th centuries. Remnants of the original fortress are still visible in the basement of the museum. On top of those fun tidbits of information, did you know that the museum houses around 38,000 objects dating from prehistoric times to the 21st century in a massive 782,910 square feet? If that hasn’t convinced you to visit, I’d like to present you with one final, critical piece of information: it’s in Paris! Here are a few things to know before you go to this historical monument:

  • The museum is open Mondays from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. - 9:45 p.m.; Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Rooms close starting at 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. respectively. The museum is closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
  • Not all rooms are always open due to renovations. Check ahead for the current closure schedule.
  • The best time to visit is early in the morning or later at night.
  • Tickets can be purchased online and are booked by date and time. General admission is 17 euros for tickets purchased online, which includes quick entry into the museum in less than 30 minutes. Tickets at the museum are 15 euros. Admission includes same-day access to temporary collections and the Museum Eugene-Delacroix. Visitors under the age of 18 and 18-25-year-old residents of the European Economic Area can get in for free.
  • From October - March entry into the museum is free on the first Sunday of the month, however; be prepared for crowds.
  • Guided tours are available for an additional 12 euros per person and meet at the Group Reception Area under the Pyramid.
  • Special exhibitions are changed seasonally. Be sure to look out for the current exhibitions.
  • Getting to the Louvre is easy with several options. On the metro take the Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre lines 1 and 7 or the Pyramides line 14. Buses 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81 and 95 go to the museum. If you arrive by car, there is underground parking on Avenue du Général Lemonier that is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. As mentioned before, the museum is housed in a palace and holds thousands of pieces. It will take some time to see everything.

There are so many things to see in Paris. Be sure to schedule some time to see the stunning Louvre. You can marvel at famous artwork like the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace statue, the Great Sphinx of Tanis sculpture and so many more truly unique pieces. With just a little forward planning on your part, you can make the most of one of the world’s best art museums.

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