The Louvre is located on the Rive Droite (Right Bank) of the Seine in Paris’s 1st arrondissement, between the river and Rue de Rivoli. First inaugurated in 1793, it still remains today the largest museum of arts and antiquities in the world. The Louvre was a French chateau and, subsequently, a royal palace before it became a museum. Standing by the Seine at the very heart of Paris and located close to the Tuileries Palace (Palais des Tuileries), the building has in the past served as a royal residence for numerous French kings.
A record 10.2 million people visited the Louvre in 2018, making it the most visited museum in the world. Planning to visit the Louvre yourself? Find out the essential things you need to know to properly organize your trip right here.
What are the Louvre’s opening times?
The Louvre is one of the top landmarks to visit in Paris and is open every day of the week except Tuesday. The full opening times are as follows:
Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It should be noted that on the first Saturday of each month the Richelieu wing can be visited until 9:45 p.m. by prior arrangement.
Wednesday and Friday: 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Please be aware that the process of emptying the galleries actually begins at 5:30 p.m. on normal opening days and at 9:30 p.m. on late opening evenings. If you are thinking of visiting the Louvre, the best times to do so are either straight after it opens in the morning or in the evening. By buying your ticket online, you can even get access to the museum in less than 30 minutes.
Getting to the Louvre
You can get to the Louvre using any of the main forms of public transport.
The RER train system: take line RER C and get off at the Musée d’Orsay station. From there it takes precisely 11 minutes to reach the museum on foot via Quai Voltaire and the Pont du Carrousel bridge.
The metro: take line 1, 7 or 14 to the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre station. The station is located just four minutes’ walk from the museum entrance.
Bus: buses 27, 39, 69, 72 and 95 all go to the Louvre.
With Open Tour, you can take the blue line (ligne bleue) and get off at Place du Carrousel at stop nr. 4 – Musée du Louvre (Stop 4 – Louvre Museum).
Where to eat at the Louvre
The entire Louvre is 360,000 square meters in area (approximately 3.9 million square feet). In other words, there is no shortage of places to eat. In total, there are 15 cafes, take-away food outlets and restaurants located throughout the Louvre.
These eating places all offer both a waited table service and a take-away food service. The most famous amongst them are:
- The Starbucks cafe, which is located beneath the glass pyramid and serves particularly richly-roasted coffee.
- The Denon and Richelieu take-away food counters, which sell a range of fresh sandwiches, snacks and soft drinks.
- There are also other places where you can buy food, such as the Paul food booth and the Goguette and Comptoir du Louvre cafes.
The works and exhibits you can expect to see
Certain of the tens of thousands of works and exhibits (around 46,000 paintings) making up the Louvre’s collections are particularly well-known. Amongst these are:
The Mona Lisa
This is, of course, the famous painting created by Leonardo da Vinci between 1503 and 1506. We’ll leave you to discover it for yourself so you can enjoy the full range of surprise and emotions it evokes.
The Raft of the Medusa (Le Radeau de la Méduse)
A painting created by Théodore Géricault between 1818 and 1819. This work on canvas measuring almost five by seven meters in size (around 16 by 23 feet) depicts shipwrecked sailors from the Méduse, a French frigate that ran aground.
The Venus de Milo
Created in around 100 BC, this sculpture was discovered with its arms missing when first found on the Greek island of Milos.
The building and the pyramid
And finally, one of the Louvre’s most well-known works is the actual building itself and, in particular, its famous glass pyramid. Created by architect Leoh Ming Pei, this structure standing 71 feet high was first opened in 1988 and has contributed to the museum’s worldwide fame and reputation. The Louvre Pyramid is one of the most photographed and Instagram-posted places in the world.
Other things to see and visit near the Louvre
In addition to visiting the museum itself, the area around the Louvre, which lies at the very heart of Paris, is home to many other tourist attractions. Amongst the things to see and visit are the Statue of Molière, the Comédie-Française theatre, the Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries), the Palais-Royal, Place de la Concorde and the famous arcades of Rue de Rivoli.
So with your bus pass in hand, be sure to take the time to see and visit these legendary and highly symbolic French historical landmarks. There are several walks you can go on along the Seine from the south side of the museum, or alternatively you can cross the Pont Neuf bridge to reach Île de la Cité and the Latin Quarter or head over Pont de la Concorde to the Musée d’Orsay.
The Open Tour Paris Museum Pass
Our special Museum Passes give you access to more than 60 museums and famous buildings and monuments throughout Paris:
An excellent option for those looking to enjoy a cultural trip to the French capital!
Freedom. Simplicity. Paris, your way.
Get some height! Admire the Seine, Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower in open air, from the upper deck of our hop-on-hop-off buses. Breathtaking views!
One bus every 15/20 minutes
Pass valid 1 year
Audio guides in 12 languages
Free WiFi on board
Discounts and free entrance passes
Tales and legends for children
Free walking tours