One of the greatest 'must do' things in Paris, is the incredible Louvre Museum. The history and talent incased in this one building will leave you absolutely inspired! The sheer size of it is enough to put you off trying to tick it off, but with these little tips for visiting The Louvre Museum, you should have a smooth visit!
Ultimate Guide To The Louvre Museum In Paris
Get To The Museum Early
This is a pretty obvious tip for such a major tourist attraction, but let me expand on this and give you some more time saving advice.
Head inside the 'Carousel Entrance'. For a while it has had scaffolding around it, so most people walk past it and don't think to use this entrance. That's exactly why you should. It's quicker and quieter. When you go down the escalators, there will be a split in the corridor with a sign reading 'Entrance' one way and 'Tickets' the other. Follow the 'Tickets' sign to a small souvenir shop, here you can buy your tickets, quickly and stress free. Then continue on following the signs to the Museum Entrance and you'll breeze right through past all the lines.
Set Aside Plenty Of Time For Your Visit
I cannot emphasise how HUGE this museum is! When we first got to the booth to buy our tickets, we thought it was very strange that multi-day passes were available... we quickly worked out why. We only skimmed (basically ran through) about 1/3 of the sections, and it still took us 4 hours. If you really appreciate or study art, history or architecture, and have the time, the multi-day passes may be a good option for you.
There is a food court inside the building, before the entrance of the Museum, so it is more convenient to spend the whole day there
Dealing With The Crowds Inside The Louvre Museum
Just in case you didn't know, there's a sort of famous painting called the Mona Lisa here. For some reason it's kind of a big deal.... Ok ok, we've all heard of her, and if you haven't, you probably shouldn't even be in Paris in the first place.
Now, everyone is visiting to see this painting. No question, if you have even 5 minutes in this building, that's all you'll look at. Which means crowds.
Crowds bring 2 things - problematic photography environments and pick pockets.
My advice - If you have a good enough camera, try and take your money shot from the back of the room. If not, you just simply have to put your big boy pants on and shove yourself to the front of the crowds. Once at the front of this crowd, taking your insta-selfie, don't forget to look around at the painting to which the lady herself is staring at. It makes you wonder why she has such a cute little snicker on her face.
Be Aware Of Pick Pockets
Please be mindful of pick pockets anywhere in this Museum, but particularly the Mona Lisa room. You will have many hands and bodies pushing against you, all while you try and focus on the right exposure for Her Lady. Zip up your bags and don't keep valuables in your pockets.
Be Aware Of The Air Vents On The Floor
Ladies, this one's for you. Throughout the museum, there are air vents that blow cool air into the building, due to all of the people inside. This is great, but they are located on the floor... I wore a dress to The Louvre, and with so many people and amazing artwork around, I wasn't exactly watching where I was walking. Many Marilyn Monroe moments were had, and they weren't flattering. So either wear pants, or just be aware of where you're stepping.
Get The Best View In The Louvre Museum
To get the best view of most paintings, you're best off walking on the opposite side to what you're looking at. You don't get anyone's head in your view and you can really appreciate the sheer scale of the masterpieces.
Bateax Mouches Cruises Paris
The Louvre itself is an architectural masterpiece of great historical significance. To get the greatest appreciation for this grand structure, taking a River cruise day or night will give you the best view. We went with Bateax Mouches cruises and it was a great break after the hours of walking. You can do a basic day cruise, running every 20-30 minutes, for 1 hour 10 minutes, or go a little bit fancier with dinner and a show at night.
The Roof Inside The Louvre Museum
Last piece of advice, don't forget to look up! This Museum is truely incredible! Even if you have no interest in art or history, I can guarantee you will still have a jaw-dropping 'wow...' moment within this building.
For more tips for travelling around Europe, check out my comprehensive guides.