What is the Louvre Wait Time? | Tips on How to Avoid the Long Lines
The Louvre in Paris is arguably one of the most famous art galleries in the whole world, receiving over 10 million visitors per year! As such, the wait times for the Louvre can be pretty long, especially if you don’t plan your trip in advance, know what ticket you want to purchase (or have purchased in advance), or visit on one of the most popular days of the year.
But fear not! You can still have a hassle-free trip to this epic museum simply by following our top tips and preparing yourself for your trip.
Read on to discover more about what the wait times for the Louvre are like and how to avoid giant crowds and queues…
What is the Louvre Wait Time?
How long you wait in line for the Louvre depends on a variety of factors including what time of year you visit, which day of the week you go and whether or not you have purchased your ticket in advance. Other factors like travelling in a group or having a Paris Pass may also affect your wait time.
If you purchase your ticket online and are visiting in low season, you shouldn’t really have to wait to enter the Louvre, and at most, you will be waiting around 30 minutes to get in. This is a far cry from the summer months when ticket queues can sprawl through the inner courtyard, and you’ll be waiting over three hours to enter!
If you have just turned up at the Louvre without a ticket and are wondering how long the wait time for the Louvre is, you can download the museum app which tells you an estimated wait time at the Pyramide and Carousel entrances.
How Can I Avoid Long Queues at the Louvre?
Buy Your Ticket Online for the Louvre
There are a few ways to avoid long queues at the Louvre, the best being to buy your ticket online and have it printed and ready when you arrive. At the time of writing the museum does not accept tickets on your phone, so it is always best to have it printed to avoid extra hassle or technical issues.
If you purchase your ticket online, you will bypass the giant queues of people waiting in line to buy tickets and will simply be able to head straight for one of the entrances. While there may be a short queue of people who also have pre-purchased tickets, this is unlikely to be anywhere near as long as the main Pyramide entrance lines.
Buy Your Lourve Ticket at FNAC or the Tourist Information Centre
Another option to save time is to buy your tickets in advance from FNAC (an entertainment and electronic store found all over Paris), or from the Tourist Information Centre at the airport upon arrival. These places will allow you to buy tickets for a specific date and time so you can plan your trip in advance.
Buy a Skip-The-Line Ticket with a Guided Tour
If you want certainty that you’ll be able to miss the queues, then you might want to book on to a guided tour with skip-the-queue advantage.
These tickets allow you to waltz past the waiting queues with your small group and enter the Louvre with priority access. The guides will help you navigate the gallery halls, seeking out the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo with ease. If you don’t want to miss the highlights, and be entertained along the way by an expert, this is a great option. And if you want to stay longer than 2 hours the guide will advise you on what to see for the rest of your time there.
Use One Of the Alternative Entrances of the Louvre
Another great way of lessening your wait time for the Louvre is to use one of the alternative entrances to the museum. There are four entrances to the Louvre: Porte des Lions, Carrousel de Louvre, Passage Richelieu and the Pyramide.
While the Pyramide entrance in the centre of the Louvre courtyard is breath-taking and is well worth seeing, it also the busiest entrance to the Louvre by far if you don’t have a ticket! It’s better to simply pop over to the Pyramide before or after your visit to the museum to see the building rather than buying your tickets or queueing here.
If you already have your ticket you can enter via the Pyramide, just make sure you don’t wait for ages in the wrong queue. It can be quite hectic within the Pyramide, so if you want to avoid crowds, it’s best to go elsewhere.
Walk straight into the Pyramide and down the escalators and seek out the entrances that state they are for Ticket Holders.
If you’d rather a quieter entrance to the Louvre, you’d be better of choosing Porte des Lions, Carrousel de Louvre or Passage Richelieu. These are much quieter entrances, and while they are a bit harder to find, it will reduce your wait time immensely. Porte des Lions is located on the south side of the Louvre courtyard, close to the Tuileries Gardens end of the building. The Carrousel de Louvre entrance is located underground in the shopping centre on the north side of the courtyard and the Passage Richelieu is located opposite the Palais-Royal-Musee du Louvre station, also on the north side.
An access map can be found here.
If you want to slow things down a little, have a look at our article:
21 Relaxing Things to do in Paris
What are the best times to visit the Louvre? Continue reading below
When Should I Visit The Louvre To Avoid Long Wait Times?
Visit in Low Season
If visiting the Louvre is one of your main priorities for your trip to Paris, you’ll probably want to travel in the lower season to avoid large crowds and queues.
The summer months in Paris are especially busy, and there are likely to be loads of people crowding around famous paintings like the Mona Lisa, which may spoil the experience for you. The months of October to May are likely to be much quieter than June to September.
Don't Visit on One of the Free Days.
One of the things that can be tempting is to visit the Louvre on the 14th of July or the first Sunday of the month when entrance to the Louvre is free. Of course, this saves having to buy a ticket, but it does mean that the whole of the Louvre and the queues to enter will be particularly busy with both locals and tourists alike.
If saving money is more important to you than saving time, then, by all means, this is a great time to visit, but you’re likely to meet queues in and around the whole of the Louvre.
Don't Visit on Wednesday Mornings.
The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays throughout the year, which means that Wednesday mornings can be one of the most popular times to visit.
If people are visiting Paris for a few days and planned to go to the Louvre on a Tuesday before discovering it was closed. They are likely to head down to the Louvre early the next morning to squeeze a visit into their trip.
Visit on Wednesday and Friday Evenings
If you are in Paris on a Wednesday, though, you might want to take advantage of the late opening hours which occur on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The Louvre is open until 21:45 on these days, which means you can peruse the halls at your leisure when many of the other Paris attractions are closed. Despite only occurring on two days of the week, these evening hours are a quiet time to visit, so are great if you want to avoid crowds and queues.
If you are under 26, you will also be able to enter the Louvre for free on Friday evenings after 6 pm (with proof of age)!
Do I Have to Queue if I am Eligible for a Free Ticket to the Lourve?
There are a number of people who are eligible for free tickets to the Louvre including everyone under the age of 18, EEA citizens under the age of 26, teachers of art and disabled visitors and their carers. You will need to have proof of your concession reason so be sure to bring any valid ID with you for entrance.
Unfortunately, just because you qualify for free entrance doesn’t mean you don’t need to get a ticket. However, this doesn’t involve standing in the same long queues like everyone else without a ticket. If you are eligible for free entrance you can head straight down to one of the ticket collection desks, show them your ID and receive a free ticket. While there may be some queues at these desks, they are much shorter than the main ticket queues.
How Long Can I Spend in the Louvre?
While the queues to the Louvre can be quite long, the fact that the museum is one of the biggest in the world makes it more than worth it when you’re inside. Once you’re in the Louvre, you can hypothetically spend the whole day there – although this isn’t particularly recommended as you’ll probably reach art appreciation saturation point after a few hours! This museum is vast, and if you’re especially into art, you might want to buy a pass for a few days so you can go back time and time again.
Fun fact: Some say that if you were to stop and look at every item in the Louvre for just 4 seconds each, it would take you three months to see everything!
So, there you have it, you now know all about the wait times for the Louvre, how to avoid the queues and crowds, the museum’s alternative entrances and the best ways to buy tickets. Have you been to the Louvre? Let us know your thoughts below!
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