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Louvre Museum

Home to the Mona Lisa, and instantly recognizable by its glass pyramid, this landmark has vast collections of well-known art from France and around the world. 

With miles of corridors and 15 acres (six hectares) of exhibition space, Paris’ largest museum is one of the biggest in the world. Its official title is Musée du Louvre, but is known to locals simply as “the Louvre.”

This world-class museum has three wings: Denon, Sully and Richelieu. You can easily spend the entire day exploring the paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, Near Eastern antiquities, Egyptian antiquities, Islamic art, prints and drawings, and Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities. The objects in the collections range in date from 5,000 B.C. to the 19th century.

Perennially popular works include the marble statues Winged Victory of Samothrace and Venus de Milo, and the Mona Lisa to name just a few. The lines to view these masterpieces can move slowly, but there’s plenty to observe — both art and people — while waiting.  

The Louvre’s vast collection can seem overwhelming, but a little planning in advance will ease the pressure. Make a succinct list of key works you wish to see. The Louvre website is an excellent resource, with features such as a detailed floor plan of the permanent and visiting exhibits, and an online catalogue of works. 

Buy your entry ticket in advance from the website or from many stores in France. With advance purchase tickets, you will use an entrance where the lines are much shorter. Still, don’t miss the main entrance, as it is where you’ll find the Pyramide du Louvre (Louvre Pyramid), in the center of the main courtyard, the Cour Napoléon. 

Like the Eiffel Tower and the Pompidou Centre, the Louvre Pyramid, a creation by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, was initially criticized for being too modern. Unveiled in 1989, the steel and glass structure was built as part of a new entrance foyer designed to better accommodate the thousands of daily visitors. Today the pyramid is regarded as an iconic symbol of Paris.

Once inside the museum, take a guided 90-minute tour for a good introductory overview of the museum and key pieces. You can also rent audio guides in the form of a Nintendo 3DS or a buy a smartphone application.

The Louvre is located in the center of Paris, along the Right Bank, in the neighborhood known as the 1st arrondissement. There are three entrances: the main entrance at the pyramid, an entrance from the Carrousel du Louvre underground shopping mall, and an entrance at the Porte des Lions (near the western end of the Denon wing). The museum is accessible by public transportation, including boat, and there is parking available.

You could comfortably spend an entire morning at Louvre Museum. Here are a nice selection of the things you can do here:

If you're chasing even more options, have a look at our Paris things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Louvre Museum


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Louvre Museum

See all 8,314 Properties near Louvre Museum
K+K Hotel Cayre Paris ¥16,237
K+K Hotel Cayre Paris

K+K Hotel Cayre Paris

4 Boulevard Raspail, Paris, Paris
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Orsay Museum and Le Bon Marche. Rodin Museum and Tuileries Garden are also within 15 minutes. Rue du Bac Station is only a 2-minute walk and Solferino Station is 4 minutes.

    Novotel Paris Les Halles ¥19,236
    Novotel Paris Les Halles

    Novotel Paris Les Halles

    8 Place Marguerite De Navarre, Paris, Paris
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Paris hotel is located in the historical district, steps from Forum des Halles, Les Halles, and Rue de Rivoli. Centre Pompidou and Museum Georges Pompidou are also within 10 minutes. Paris Chatlet-Les Halles Station and Les Halles Station are within a 5-minute walk.

      Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris ¥18,150
      Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris

      Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris

      53 Ter Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris, Paris
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Paris residence is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Pont Neuf, Sainte Chapelle, and Les Halles. Notre-Dame and Rue de Rivoli are also within 10 minutes. Paris Saint-Michel - Notre Dame Station and Pont Neuf Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        OKKO Hotels Paris Gare de l'Est ¥11,640
        OKKO Hotels Paris Gare de l'Est

        OKKO Hotels Paris Gare de l'Est

        30 A rue d'Alsace, Paris
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canal Saint-Martin and Grands Boulevards. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris and Grevin Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Paris Magenta Station and Gare de l'Est Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          Saint James Albany Paris Hôtel Spa ¥19,454
          Saint James Albany Paris Hôtel Spa

          Saint James Albany Paris Hôtel Spa

          202 Rue De Rivoli, Paris, Paris
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Paris City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rue de Rivoli, Palais Royal, and Tuileries Garden. Louvre Museum and Champs-Elysees are also within 10 minutes. Tuileries Station is only a 2-minute walk and Pyramides Metro Station is 5 minutes.

            Citadines Les Halles Paris ¥15,959
            Citadines Les Halles Paris

            Citadines Les Halles Paris

            4 Rue Des Innocents, Paris, Paris
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Paris City Centre, this residence is steps from Forum des Halles, Les Halles, and Rue de Rivoli. Centre Pompidou and Museum Georges Pompidou are also within 10 minutes. Paris Chatlet-Les Halles Station and Les Halles Station are within a 5-minute walk.

              Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris ¥8,577
              Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris

              Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris

              38-40 Rue Saint Séverin, Paris, Paris
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ile de la Cite and Sainte Chapelle. Notre-Dame and Pont Neuf are also within 10 minutes. Saint-Michel Station and Paris Saint-Michel - Notre Dame Station are within a 2-minute walk.

                Hotel Duminy Vendome ¥15,324
                Hotel Duminy Vendome

                Hotel Duminy Vendome

                3 Rue du Mont Thabor, Paris, Paris
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tuileries Garden and Place de la Concorde. Louvre Museum and Opéra Garnier are also within 15 minutes. Tuileries Station is only a 2-minute walk and Concorde Station is 6 minutes.