Home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and other famous masterpieces like the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Louvre Museum in Paris is one of the city’s most popular attractions.
It’s also the most visited museum in the world, receiving nearly 10 million guests a year, so it’s important to consider different times of the day and specific days of the week to help beat the rush. These are the best days and times to visit the Louvre.
When is the Louvre Museum most crowded?
Housed in a former royal palace in the heart of the French capital, marked by an iconic glass pyramid, the Musée du Louvre is a must-visit on any Paris itinerary. Due to the museum’s popularity, it’s most crowded on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, during the work week at midday, and during high season as a whole.
What is the best day of the week to visit the Louvre?
The Louvre Museum is currently open from 9am to 6pm every day of the week except Tuesday. Weekends are the busiest time to visit the Louvre museum, so it’s best to plan your visit for a weekday. Because the museum is closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays are usually busier, so Mondays and Thursdays are better options.
When is the best time of day to visit the Louvre?
The best time to visit the Louvre is at night or during evening hours. Entry is cut off an hour prior to closing time, so arriving shortly beforehand yields fewer crowds. Being an early bird also helps: Visiting the Louvre Museum early in the day or first thing in the morning means you’ll get a quiet visit and have the entire museum practically to yourself.
On Wednesday and Friday evenings, the Louvre Museum stays open until 9:45pm. These special evening hours are temporarily unavailable due to COVID, but once they return, late nights are the best time to visit and view all the great art in a peaceful museum.
What is the best time of year to visit the Louvre?
Summer is high season in Paris, and that’s when the Louvre palace is at its most packed. If you’re visiting Paris between June and September, use the above weekday and time-of-day recommendations to visit the Louvre Museum with fewer people around. Shoulder and low seasons, like fall, winter, and early spring, will have smaller visitor numbers in general.
How much does entry to the Louvre museum cost?
Online tickets cost €17, while tickets purchased at the museum are €15.
How to beat the crowds at the Louvre Museum
These other expert tips will help you plan the best time to visit the famous Musée du Louvre:
- Purchase advance tickets online to skip the line at the main entrance. You can buy Louvre tickets on the official website and pick a time slot to enter.
- The museum has four different entrances. The best-known and most heavily trafficked is the Louvre pyramid entrance, but using the others, especially during peak hours, can reduce wait times—the Porte des Lions, Passage Richelieu, and Carrousel du Louvre (an underground entrance, also accessible from Rue de Rivoli) all have shorter lines. Still, the glass pyramid entrance is remarkable, so if you want to experience it, definitely go on a slow day or outside of peak visiting hours.
- If the glass pyramid is crowded, do your research before heading for the alternate museum entrances. Some are only open to disabled visitors or large groups.
- Avoid visiting on the first Sunday of the month, when there’s free admission and the place is absolutely swamped. For Bastille Day on July 14, the Louvre is also free.
- Boasting 403 rooms displaying 35,000 artworks, the Louvre museum can be overwhelming if you approach it without a plan. The best strategy is to structure your visit around your top priorities: If you want to see a particular painting like the Mona Lisa, specific collections like French paintings, or exhibits like Roman antiquities or Egyptian antiquities, grab a Louvre Museum map to head straight there.
- It’s impossible to take in the Louvre’s entire collection in one visit. If you just want to hit the most famous masterpieces, such as the Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo, a guided tours will take you straight to see them.
Visit outside of peak days and hours to see the Louvre Museum at its best
By visiting during the week or early or late in the day, there won’t be as many visitors around, and you’ll get to experience the Louvre either on your own or as only the locals do.