Planning a trip to Paris? The world-famous Louvre Museum is at the top of many visitors' lists. It is home to Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and many other famous and important works of art.
My family visited the Louvre during our first Paris trip, and I didn't love it as much as I hoped to. However, the rest of my family thought it was great. In this post, I'm sharing what worked and what didn't for me and my family.
Here's what we did, and my tips for making the most for your first visit to the Louvre Museum.
Go When You're Fresh
Pick a time when you'll have plenty of energy if you really want to appreciate the Louvre. This was the third art museum we visited that day and I was tired. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the size and the crowds.
We purposely planned our visit for late Wednesday afternoon to avoid the crowds. And it worked. We spent almost no time in security or ticket lines and the crowds inside were not as bad as we feared.
Reservations are now required to visit the Louvre, so hopefully, crowds and lines will not be as a big problem anytime you visit.
If you do visit in the afternoon, plan a lighter itinerary for your morning. Sleep in. Save plenty of energy for the museum. Consider non-museum activities for the morning like a park, playground or picnic.
Why My Kids Loved the Louvre
We visited the Louvre with my 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. My daughter loves art museums and my son does not. Both of them thought the Louvre was great.
- Our visit was short – under 3 hours.
- We let our kids explore on their own.
We felt comfortable letting our kids loose in the Louvre as long as they stuck together and had a phone. We agreed to meet under the Pyramid two hours later but we actually crossed paths several times.
Visiting a big museum like the Louvre with kids takes compromise to keep everyone happy. Be flexible about how long you'll stay and let them make some decisions about your visit.
If you have children who are too young to explore on their own, let them take the lead at least some of the time. They'll love it. Making good memories is more important than checking everything off a list.
Make a Plan
We didn't go to the Louvre Museum with much of a plan. For the rest of my family, that worked well. We wanted to see Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, and then whatever struck our fancy from there.
We succeeded in seeing most of the highlights, but I feel like I didn't learn much about them. Most of the signs are in French, and I'm far from fluent, so I wasn't able to learn much that way.
If you want to dig deeper, plan ahead. There is a lot of good information on the Activities and Tours section of the official website. Choose from 20+ themed trails to plan a DIY tour. Consider renting audio guides. If I go again, I will probably book a guided tour.
Related: Tips for Using the Paris Metro
You can book a guided tour directly through the official website, or book through an independent tour provider.
The Louvre's official website offers several affordable tour options in French and in English.
- Louvre Highlights
- Hidden Louvre
- Louvre for Families
Independent tour providers can offer more options so you get exactly the experience you want. They generally take care of tickets and other details, which get you into the museum with minimum hassle. They also allow you to bundle your Louvre tour with other Paris attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral.
My sister and her family booked a Paris in a Day tour through Viator.com and loved it. Click the button to see all your Louvre tour options through Viator.
Ways to Save
These groups get free admission to the Louvre every day.
- Everyone under age 18
- Residents of European Economic area under age 26
- People with disabilities, plus one guest
- Some teachers, union members and others. Get details at https://www.louvre.fr/en/free-admission-musee-du-louvre.
Admission is free for everyone on the first Saturday of each month from 6 PM to 9:45 PM and on Bastille Day (14 July). Expect crowds.
Every Friday from 6 PM to 9:45 PM, admission to the museum is free for all visitors under the age of 26 with ID.
The Louvre Museum is an amazing place, but it can be overwhelming. Go when you have plenty of energy and go with a plan. Get your kids involved.
Good to Know
Where: Rue de Rivoli, Paris. The Louvre Museum has its own Metro station and is within walking distance of other popular attractions. It is adjacent to the Tuileries Garden – a beautiful public park that is fun for families.
When: Open most days from 9 AM to 6 PM. Closed on Tuesdays. Open until 9:45 PM on Wednesdays and Fridays. Closed on January 1, May 1, May 8 and December 25.
How Much: 17 Euros per adult. Kids under age 18 get in free.
How Long: 2+ hours. You could spend all day.
Amenities: Restaurants, gift shops, restrooms. The Louvre Museum has its own Metro stop and an underground shopping mall.
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