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If you’re looking for tips before visiting The Louvre, you’re in the right place. As you may imagine, the Louvre, an enormous Art Museum in the heart of Paris, is crowded. Overcrowded. Specially 3 of their most famous pieces, La Gioconda (Mona Lisa), Winged Victory of Samothrace and Venus de Milo. If you want to have a chance to actually enjoy these pieces, you need to keep reading. I would say that I’m really proud that I got to spend time with these pieces, without big crowds, and that’s almost unheard of.
Make sure you download the free guide to a successful day in The Louvre at the bottom of this post!
Here are the secrets to make your visit successful and efficient:
1. Do buy your ticket online
If you miss this step, the plan would not work as good as it can. Want to know why? Because the museum opens at 9am, and if you go exactly at 9am, there will be easily 50 people in front of you in line.
BUT, if you have a ticket that you bought previously, there is a special line just for you, so you enter before the people that don’t have one! So you’re already ahead of the game.
You have 3 options to buy your ticket:
→ Paris Museum Pass
→ The Louvre website
The Paris Pass gives you fast track entrance (faster line) and is included on the price of your pass along with over other 60 attractions. Worth checking out!
If you rather spend your time in museums, then the Paris Museum Pass is for you. Also offers fast track line, and the biggest benefit here, is that you can enter multiple times.
The Louvre website sells advance tickets with timeslots, this is your option if you don’t plan to do much sightseeing. But also means that you need to buy them a little more in advance, and get the earliest time slot (9:00 or 9:30).
Keep in mind museum is closed on tuesdays.
2. Have a game plan
Ok team! Make a list of the pieces that you’re really really really interested, and find them on the map. But I can almost guarantee, you’re interested on those 3 pieces. Yup, la Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace and Venus de Milo.
And you’re going to see them in the next order. Winged Victory of Samothrace first, Mona Lisa second, and Venus de Milo third.
3. Make sure you’re in the right line by the Pyramid
The most important thing about having an online ticket is that you will be in a different line, on a shorter, faster pre-paid ticket line. Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before 9:00.
4. You pass security first, but doesn’t mean you’re in.
Museum opens at 9, and I bought 9:30 timeslot, and still made it To the Louvre 8:45 expecting to enter by 9.
I’m sorry to inform you that just because you pass security, doesn’t mean you’re in. So if you want to actually have a chance to see the Mona Lisa, and not be in a huge crowd battling to get closer, keep reading.
Please be conscious about what you’re bringing with you. If you know you probably shouldn’t bring it, don’t. You don’t want to stop and either have to get rid of things or go back and drop them off.
5. Get your map!
As you head down the escalator on the right when you pass security, go to the opposite direction and grab a free map of the information counter. Turn around and walk towards the DENON museum entrance, on the direction that you went down the escalator.
Extra tip: Bring a pen with you, so you can mark your path as you go on your map!.
6. Go straight to the Mona Lisa
I know it’s tempting to stop by the beautiful art on the way, and I said earlier your first stop was Winged Victory of Samothrace, well it is, because it’s on the way. But believe me, you want to rush. Walk fast, but don’t run. Follow your map and the directions found on vinyl in the walls or stands. Remember that is called Gioconda, that is how is marked on the directions.
7. Get to the mona lisa and enjoy being (almost) alone with her
It will be nice to have maybe 3-6 people there instead of 40. Even though you can’t get too close, you can see it for longer and even take a selfie with her .
8. Head downstairs to see the Venus de Nilo.
Everybody else is probably doing the same thing you did, so while there are more people crowding the Mona Lisa, you can had time to see her, chat with her, and take a picture with her. Now you can see the Venus de Nilo, pretty much by yourself.
9. Enjoy the rest of the museum
I’d suggest you cover floors instead of areas. That’s at least how I did it, and got to see all the museum without much crowd. But from here on, you’re on your own.
Happy Art Day !!!