Are you thinking about visiting the famous Louvre Museum in Paris? You are not alone. The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world, with over 10 million visitors per year! The museum attracts more people than the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, or the Tower of London. There were so many visitors that staff even went on a strike to protest against the crazy crowds. If you think you can casually walk into the Louvre: forget it. You need a plan!
If you are reading this blog, you are not looking for reasons to visit the museums. You know that you will get up close and personal with the Great Sphinx of Tanis, Venus de Milo, and of course, the Mona Lisa. If you are nevertheless interested in discovering what to explore in the Louvre, we recommend this post at thetourguy.com. We offer tips and tricks to beat the colossal crowds at the Louvre in this blog.
Although you can beat the crowds at the Louvre, let’s start with the bad news. There is no skip-the-line ticket. You cannot pay extra to jump the line. Similar to Burj Khalifa in Dubai, lots of blogs and websites claim to sell skip-the-line tickets. Still, in reality, these don’t exist. The Louvre doesn’t offer skip-the-line tickets. But there is also good news: there is a way to skip the museum’s line.
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The Louvre's Timed Entry tickets
The magic key to skipping the line and beating the Louvre’s crowds are so-called timed entry tickets. You have two choices: show up to the Louvre at any time you like and stand in line with the other 10 million visitors, or pick a date and a time and walk right past the line. It is as simple as that: You choose a date and a time that you want to visit Louvre, and you can access the priority access lane. That is, of course, only if you show up at your designated timeslot.
The museum’s main entrance is through the iconic glass pyramid. But that entrance is often too crowded. If you have bought a timed entry ticket, you can use another door if the glass pyramid is in gridlock. On busy days, those that still need to purchase tickets will enter the museum by battling the massive lines at the glass pyramid. Those who have pre-purchased tickets can enter the museum at the nearby Carrousel. This allows you to beat the long line of people queuing to buy tickets.
Buying timed entry tickets
You can buy timed entry tickets online. We recommend purchasing these tickets through an authorized reseller that gives you better terms and conditions than the Louvre. The Louvre has notoriously bad T&Cs, disallowing any refund if your plans change. More about that is below.
At GetYourGuide.com, an authorized reseller, you select the date you want to visit. After that, you set your timeslot and choose between a refundable ticket or a ticket with less consumer protection. The choice is all yours. That is why we like GetYourGuide.com. Although the ticket is a bit more expensive, it comes with ease of mind. Your plans might change, and your ticket should be changeable as well.
Why you shouldn't buy tickets directly at the Louvre!
Tickets sold at the Louvre aren’t refundable. If your plans change, which isn’t unlikely these days, you will lose your money. Buying through an authorized reseller will give you the right to get a full refund. How do we know this? Just go to the fine print of the Louvre’s T&Cs. Paragraph 11 basically states that you will only get a refund if the museum messes up or if you, for example, order 100 tickets because of a typo.
GetYourGuide.com, an official reseller of the Louvre, offers much more consumer protection. The choice is yours. If you pay a fee, your ticket becomes 100% refundable. A refundable ticket for the Louvre is 3 EUR more expensive; you can cancel your ticket 24 hours in advance. If your plane is delayed, your plans change, or if someone gets COVID-19, you are allowed to cancel your visit to the Louvre and get a full refund.
GetYourGuide.com also offers more payment methods than The Louvre. For example, you can use PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and even American Express. Most of these payment methods aren’t accepted on the museum’s website.
Does the Louvre sell timed entry tickets?
Yes! The Louvre strongly recommends buying timed entry tickets. According to the Louvre, you might not even get in if it is too crowded. When you are entitled to free entry, it is even mandatory to book a timeslot. The Louvre website clearly states the following:
We strongly advise all visitors to book a time slot in advance to guarantee their admission to the museum in case of overcrowding. Buying a ticket in advance will also avoid an annoying wait until your timeslot is available if you purchase a ticket at the museum.
Isn't the Louvre free? Are there free days?
Yes! There are certain free days. Entrance is free for everyone under 18 and under 26s on Friday evenings. On some days, admission is free for everyone: On the first Saturday of each month between 18:00 and 21.45 and all day on Bastille Day (14 July). Remember to book a timeslot directly on the museum’s website if you plan on visiting the Louvre on a free ticket.
Can you buy skip the line tickets at the Louvre?
No, you cannot skip the line at the Louvre Museum. But you can buy timed entry tickets! Timed tickets are a great way to skip the line and save time standing in line at the Louvre’s ticket counter. While timed entry tickets don’t get you access to a special fast-track, they allow you to enter the museum without waiting. How does it work? Is it simple? Just buy a timed entry ticket from an authorized reseller such as GetYourGuide.com.
Can I be denied access with a regular ticket without timed entry?
In some circumstances, regular ticket buyers could be denied entry. Tickets will not be on sale when it is too crowded at the Louvre. Those not holding entry tickets would be denied access.
Is there a Priority Access Lane at the Louvre?
Yes! There is a special Priority Access Lane at Paris’ Louvre. You can walk through this lane if you own a Timed Entry Ticket. This means that when you know the time you want to visit the museum, you can enter it without hassle. The Louvre says you will get in within 30 minutes if you have a timed entry ticket.
What is the best time of the day to visit the Louvre?
The Louvre is at its busiest just after lunch. Suppose you want to visit the museum without crazy crowds. In that case, we recommend visiting the Louvre in the morning or late afternoon. Basically, avoid anytime between 12:00 and 18:00.
Who is entitled to free access to the Louvre?
Many people will get free access to the Louvre. Here are some examples:
- Those under 18, regardless of citizenship.
- 18–25-year-old residents of the European Economic Area
- Teachers working in France
- Teachers of art or art history
- Disabled visitors and an accompanying visitor.
- Job seekers
If you are trying a free ticket, make sure that you bring proof! Please note that you still need to book a timeslot on the Louvre website.