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What Is the Best Way To Visit the Louvre?

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Visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris is a dream for many art lovers and cultural enthusiasts worldwide. As one of the largest and most visited museums globally, the Louvre holds countless treasures, including the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Planning your visit to this iconic institution can be as daunting as it is exciting.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the best strategies to make the most out of your visit, covering when to go, what to see, and insider tips to avoid the crowds and enhance your experience.

Here’s how to visit the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Related read: How to Explore the Best of Paris in a Day


Realize the True Size of the Louvre

… and the scale of your mission to explore it.

The Louvre is a really huge museum. 72,735 m² of exhibition space and approximately 500,000 art objects await you.

Yes, half a million!

And it is not just the quantity of exhibits but also the quality. The Louvre is packed to the brim with legendary masterpieces of world art, like the Mona Lisa or Venus de Milo. Paintings that would be the main treasure of a provincial museum are on every wall. All this goodness will weigh on you with its density because you wouldn’t want to miss anything important.

It’s not a bad idea to do a little Googling of the Louvre’s collection: it includes Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, medieval and Islamic art, Renaissance masters, modern-day painters and much, much more. Something may hook you more than the rest—a little mental prioritization plan will help make the visit more effective.

If you want to see “Everything,” – that’s okay too, you can work with (and achieve some partial success). We’ll share how below.

Related read: Exploring Paris by Foot: Walking Guide to Paris

Buy Your Louvre Tickets Online To Avoid the Queue

Buying a ticket online (with a skip-the-line feature) is imperative for an efficient visit to the Louvre. There’s no way around it.

We are talking about literally THE most visited museum in the world. There are always lines to get in. And sometimes they’re excruciatingly long. Add to that the possibility of a rainy day or hot weather, and there will be a recipe for a very sad wait.

Ultimately, time during the vocation is the most valuable resource. Let’s save it for the fun part: exploring the museum!

Related read: Paris for Beginners: Where and What to Eat, See or Do

What Is the Best Way To Visit the Louvre?

Visit the Louvre Museum Early in the Morning During Weekdays

The Louvre is less crowded on weekdays. So, if your trip schedule allows, go then.

Coming early in the morning usually helps a bit, too, but don’t expect to totally outsmart all the crowds anyway. There will still be quite a few people.

The main idea here is a little different. Coming early in the morning, you will be full of energy, and you will have the whole day ahead of you, both chronologically and psychologically. You can generously devote your time to the Louvre and do something else in the evening with a bit of rest. And you’re likely to get tired of the Louvre, especially if you decide to explore it more thoroughly.

Consider Purchasing an Audio Guide

Like we said, there’s so much incredible art in the Louvre that at some point (especially during a first-time visit) you can be visually overloaded. There’s a painting of a naked man, a painting of a bearded man, and now a woman in a hat. This is where you could use some help setting your focus on what’s interesting and providing some context.

One option: take part in a group tour. If your guide is a real professional, that would be great. It’s also a workable way to cover the cream of the collection relatively quickly and efficiently. But there are disadvantages: language issues, the group will follow a certain hard fixed route at a certain speed, depriving you of the opportunity to explore the museum as you would like.

So we would advise you to choose an audio guide.

An audio guide in the Louvre would combine the best of both worlds: You would have a handy (but unobtrusive) assistant to explore highlights of the collection, get an optional route to follow and not miss stuff. At the same time, you’ll be able to walk as you please at your own pace. An audio guide is much cheaper than a good group tour.

TouringBee Louvre Audio Guide

The TouringBee Louvre Audio Guide is a fantastic self-guided tour that allows you to explore the Louvre’s major masterpieces in just 2.5 hours.

With a handy route map to keep you on track, detailed illustrations to help you spot each artwork, and engaging audio commentary that delves into the palace’s rich history and priceless collection, you’re in for an unforgettable experience.

During your tour, you’ll get to marvel at iconic pieces like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Venus of Milos, Michelangelo’s Slaves, and many more renowned works of art. With 45 points of interest to discover, the route is designed to be efficient, allowing you to skip any exhibits you’re not keen on or take a break for a coffee whenever you please.

Plus, the app provides helpful tips to get you ready for your Louvre visit, and at the end of the tour, it suggests other intriguing sections of the museum to continue your exploration.

Don’t miss out on this convenient and enriching way to experience the wonders of the Louvre! The best works and treasures of the museum in three hours.

Price: €5

Remember to bring your own headphones and make sure your smartphone is fully charged. 😉

Audio guide for the Louvre in Paris, France.
Audio guide for the Louvre in Paris, France.

Take Your Time and Enjoy the Art

That’s right, take your time. You’ve prepared everything for this:

  • you bought your ticket in advance and didn’t waste your energy in line
  • you came early in the morning, and you have the whole day ahead of you
  • you have an audio guide who will tell you the most important things and orient you in the museum space.

It’s time to go on an adventure through the art world.

There are also several cafes and restaurants in the Louvre, so if you get tired walking between galleries – take a break and eat. Or just sit on a bench somewhere. And afterwards, continue your explorations.

The Mona Lisa in The Louvre Musuem in Paris, France
What Is the Best Way To Visit the Louvre?

Cafes In and Close to the Louvre

The Louvre, being a massive 652,000-square-foot palace, offers plenty of dining options for visitors. You’ll find various places to grab a bite, ranging from quick grab-and-go spots to fancy dining rooms.

Remember: You can’t leave the Louvre for lunch and return on your original ticket. Some big tour groups have been taking advantage of that loophole by passing around used tickets, so now you’ll have to grab a fresh ticket if you want to head back in after your meal. So, choose your lunch spot wisely.

Cafés de la Pyramide

Check out the charming Cafes de la Pyramide beneath the Richelieu Wing pyramid. Three delightful cafeterias—Le Café, La Petite Boutique, and La Cuisine—offer a variety of delicious options like burgers, salads, paninis, pizzas, and pastries. They are perfect for a quick and tasty meal, although I recommend them more for convenience than gourmet dining.

For a speedy bite on the go, swing by the takeaway counters located under the Pyramid on the lower level in the Denon and Richelieu Wings.

Cafe Marly

The Cafe Marly is inside the Louvre Museum. It is a chic brasserie with an amazing view of the Louvre Pyramid. Situated under the arches of the Richelieu wing, it even boasts a terrace for sunny days. Their menu offers many options, from delicious breakfast bagels and homemade granola to savory truffle ravioli and seared salmon tartare.

You can expect to pay around €20 – €35 for a satisfying meal, all while taking in the stunning views of the Pyramid.

Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris, France.
Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris, France.


Paul Bakery at The Louvre is awesome for a quick snack under the iconic Pyramid. Get yourself a coffee to kick off your visit, or enjoy a tasty croissant for a boost. For lunch, you can’t go wrong with a traditional ham sandwich. And if you’re craving something sweet, their chocolate éclair is top-notch!

The price range for this item is approximately $11, making it an affordable choice. It is quick and easy, making it ideal also for takeout options. You can locate Paul’s bakery at Level 2, under the Pyramid.

Paul bakery in the Louvre museum in Paris, France.
Paul bakery in the Louvre museum in Paris, France.

Café Richelieu Angelina

Check out Café Richelieu Angelina at the Louvre for a truly iconic dining experience. With a charming terrace offering views of Cour Napoleon and the Louvre Pyramid, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a meal or snack.

Situated in the historic Richelieu Wing, this café was the office of the French Minister of Finance until the ’80s.

Indulge in various savory dishes like croque monsieur, quiche lorraine, and club sandwiches, but don’t miss out on the famous pastries that Angelina is known for. Treat yourself to the decadent Mont-Blanc with meringue, whipped cream, and chestnut cream, or the Eclair Framboise-Passion with raspberry cream and passion fruit ganache.

Fun fact: Angelina’s tea room was founded in 1903 by Austrian confectioner Anton Rumpelmayer and has since become a beloved Parisian institution on Rue de Rivoli. Don’t miss the chance to experience this piece of pastry history during your visit to the Louvre.

Cafe Richelieu Angelina at the Louvre in Paris, France.
Cafe Richelieu Angelina at the Louvre in Paris, France.

Café Mollien

Café Mollien, located on the first floor of the Denon Wing, offers a lovely view of the French painting galleries. Just a short walk from the Mona Lisa, this café was designed by French architect Hector Lefuel (1810-1880).

You can enjoy the terrace overlooking Cour Napoléon and the Jardin du Carrousel during the summer.

The café is beneath Charles-Louis Müller’s stunning ceiling mural, Glory Distributing Palms and Crowns. While the ambiance is elegant, the food is more casual. It’s a great spot if you’re looking for a quick and easy bite or simply want to take a break in the vast museum. The menu features baguette and bagel sandwiches, salads, quiche, pastries, hot drinks, and juices. The food may be average, but the enchanting setting more than makes up for it.

Café Saint Honoré

Café Saint Honoré is such a charming spot near the Louvre! Located on Rue Saint-Honoré, right by Palais-Royal, this café boasts a stunning exterior with lovely pastel hues of pink and green.

The pink-and-white striped awning and gorgeous pink floral decorations really make it stand out.

Inside, you’ll find an array of adorable teddy bears that add to the cozy ambiance. The menu at Café Saint Honoré is a delightful mix of Asian, Italian, and French-inspired dishes. From classic French favorites like onion soup and escargot to mouthwatering pizzas, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Tarte tropézienne with cocktail at the Cafe Saint Honore in Paris, France.
Tarte tropézienne with cocktail at the Cafe Saint Honore in Paris, France.

In general, as a final thought – go to the Louvre in a good mood but with realistic expectations. You can’t conquer such a huge museum in one go (no matter how hard you try)!

But if you plan everything effectively, you can satisfactorily advance to this goal and leave many memorable impressions.

We wish you a wonderful visit to the Louvre!

  • TouringBee

    With us, you can go at your own pace and no one will try to rush you along as you are admiring the sights. We will show you the city from all the most beautiful locations. We have more than 7 years of experience in writing guides and informative texts for individual and group tours. We have chosen the most interesting places and unique routes that travel through them.

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