Best time to visit the Louvre


HIntroducing some of the world's most famous works of art ( mona lisa, Venus de Milo), not surprisingly, the Louvre is often crowded. Most guidebooks recommend arriving early (doors open at 9am) to avoid the rush, but the problem is that everyone reads and does the same. Alternatively, arrive after 3pm to avoid the long lines in the morning. Even better, come after 6pm on a Wednesday or Friday and visit when it opens late (until 9:45pm – the museum usually closes at 6pm). That's plenty of time to see the sights. You can admire the works in relative silence, creating a blissfully intimate atmosphere. What days should I avoid?Tuesdays, Closed, First Sunday (October to March), when all the hommes and their cyans flock for the monthly free admission, it's not worth saving the admission fee for this mess.

Main photo: Louvre Museum (Alamy) at dusk

The Lion Gate of the Louvre Museum (Alamy)

The Lion Gate of the Louvre Museum (Alamy)

which entrance to use

Is a morning visit required? The key is to stick to museum entrances and avoid the one most people find right off Rue de Rivoli. The museum just renovated the main entrance to the Glass Pyramid, so the lines there will move faster than ever. However, there is a faster way to enter. Enter the museum through the secret Port de Lion entrance in the Denon (south) wing (open from 9am to 5:30pm). Walk past the Pyramids towards the Seine and before the arched road turn right into the Jardin des Tuileries, marked by the two lion statues. It's not easy to find (hence the long lines), but once you find it, you can waltz right in. This is also the closest entrance. mona lisaSo, running up the stairs to the first floor, you can beat the crowd with her inscrutable smile. She is in her room 6.

Morian Staircase (Alamy) at the Louvre Museum

Morian Staircase (Alamy) at the Louvre Museum

How to purchase tickets

The guidebook tells you to buy your tickets online in advance to save time in line (ticketlouvre.fr). The problem is that you have time allotted, and sometimes it's better to play something by ear. However, there is a secret way to avoid the lines and visit whenever you want. Head underground to the Carrousel du Louvre Shopping Center (99 Rue de Rivoli), where you'll find the Louvre ticket machine. Are they busy too? Buy tickets at his Civette du Carrousel tobacconist on level 0 (Ared France, from 9am). Few people know about this store, so there's never a long line.

Diana of Versailles in the Louvre (Getty Images)

Diana of Versailles in the Louvre (Getty Images)

where to eat

With 35,000 works displayed in 403 rooms (and 72,735 square meters of museum space), walking through the Louvre feels like an exploration. You'll certainly need to wear comfortable shoes, but even frequent museum-goers should consider taking breaks. When you have decided on a time of day and are ready for some rest, go to Café Morien on his ground floor in the Denon Wing. The food is not too expensive compared to other restaurants in the Louvre (Sarnies and salads are under his £10, set menus from £14). Unlike the nondescript spot below the pyramid, the caryatids are intricately carved and quite impressive. A terrace with a ceiling painted by Charles-Louis Muller and behind an imposing statue overlooking the main pyramid.

Sailing a toy boat on the Tuileries Garden pond at the Louvre (Getty Images)

Sailing a toy boat on the Tuileries Garden pond at the Louvre (Getty Images)

How to make it kid-friendly

For families who love visiting museums, the Louvre is a no-brainer. First of all, don't get stuck with a stroller. Strollers can be rented for free at the information desk located below the main pyramid (ID required). It also has a baby changing room and a child-sized toilet. Next, make sure you have some entertainment for the kids. The museum offers free themed online trails, including a 90-minute “Lion Hunt.” This course focuses on 12 lion sculptures, explains how to get there, and makes kids feel like explorers. So too are the seven 'horseback' trails, which easily end at the outdoor Louis XIV statue and take you directly to the Tuileries gardens' playgrounds and ponds.

Fragment of an Egyptian sarcophagus in the Louvre (Getty Images)

Fragment of an Egyptian sarcophagus in the Louvre (Getty Images)

what else should i do

Don't have time to start performing in Paris's great concert halls? No problem. You can also attend the Louvre museum instead, especially if you can choose the best time to visit. Unbeknownst to most people, the museum has an underground auditorium where classical music concerts related to current exhibits are regularly held. Wednesday nights (8pm) usually feature chamber music by international artists. Thursday lunchtime (12:30pm) is reserved for up-and-coming artists. and Friday nights (8 p.m.) are reserved for “great classics.” Purchase tickets directly at the auditorium before the box office closes at 5:15pm (or 7:15pm on Wednesdays and Fridays) and be sure to arrive one hour before the performance to ensure a good seat. Please arrive at Tickets cost £13 on Thursday, £19 on Friday and £30 on Wednesday.

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