The most visited art museum in the world, and it's not by chance!
10 October 2012 Price range : 10 - 20 USD
It's difficult to introduce the Loure Museum and Palace, since it's the most famous museum in the world, or at least the most visited. Just a few figures to illustrate …More
It's difficult to introduce the Loure Museum and Palace, since it's the most famous museum in the world, or at least the most visited. Just a few figures to illustrate the incredible wealth of this art temple: 210000 m² among which 60600 m² for exhibitions, 35500 objects from prehistory to 19th century, 9 Million visitors...50% more than the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the second most visited one. Needless to say that it's a must do when visiting Paris.

Besides the unmachable collection it has (3/4 th not even being exhibited), the Louvre building by itself is a masterpiece of historical and modern architecture, with many different styles overlapping from the 11th to the 21st century. No where in the world you will see this diversity of architectures, objects and masterpieces. From Leonardo Da Vinci Joconde (Mona Lisa), to the Venus of Milo or the Marly horses, or the Egyptian wing or the Appolon Gallery, or the remaining Jewels of the French Royal Family with the famous 140 carats Regent Diamond... you need days if not weeks to be able to have a look on the collection.

So the best way to visit the Louvre is to take a Guided tour, otherwise you'll end up wandering in miles of galleries full of paintings, sculptures and other historical master pieces without really getting any sense of it; The tours of the Louvre are given by national museum guides and it will take you an hour and a half to discover the museum's collections, whether it is your first visit or you are a regular museum-goer.

The introductory tour is the best option for a first visit since it gives you an overview of the museum's most famous works. It is available in English and check the Louvre Website for all details.

Most famous and visited means unfortunatly long queues, so I will first start by how to avoid queuing for 1 hour to get in.

Restaurants and Cafés in the Louvre and Tuileries:
You have not less than 15 cafés and restaurants in the Louvre and Tuileries Gardens. Usually crowded and overwhlemed by tourists, don't expect a good service in any of them. If you're lucky, you'll have an average one, so don't let a ruthless waiter ruin the beauty of the Louvre experience. Outside of the museum, you have the cafés in the Tuileries gardens where you can enjoy terrasses in beautiful weather as well as kiosks selling sandwiches and Crèpes at the entrance of the Gardens from Place de la Concorde. The Cafés in the Tuilerie Gardens are half the price as the ones in the Museum, so better for you stop before and after the visit, unless you want to enjoy having a break in Café Richelieu, previously the office of the French Minister of Finance (from Napoleon III to 1984). The café offers the same menu as famous "Angelina" tea shop in Rue de Rivoli. Try their famous "L'Africain" hot chocolate, or the ineffable Mont-Blanc

You have also more classy restaurants such as Café Marly with a beautiful view on the Pyramid or inside the Museum with Café Denon, Richelieu and Mollien. The quality of the food is good, but they are expensive and you should count a 50 EUR bill for a 3 course lunch. Mollien is the cheapest among the three inside the museum, and has an outside terrasse.

Get in there!
The queue to enter the museum is as famous as the museum itself, and if you're going there during high season or WEs, you need to count around an hour queue. The best way to avoid queuing is to buy online the tickets from the Museum's website or by buying Paris Museum Pass
If you did'nt buy the tickets in advance, you can try entering from Porte des Lions gate, which is usually less crowded than the Pyramid gate (check below opening days); As a second best option, try the Caroussel du Louvre entrance from beneath the Pyramid.

- Pyramid and Galerie du Carrousel entrances: every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (starting from July 1, 2012: 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays; closed on Tuesdays)
- Passage Richelieu entrance: every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays)
- Porte des Lions entrance -99 rue de Rivoli-: every day except Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Opening hours

Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday: from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays
Saturday July 14,2012 (French national day): the museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free admission for all visitors.
Wednesday August 15, 2012: the museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. No late night opening that day.
Rooms begin closing 30 minutes before museum closing time.

As for many French National Museums Free admission for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month and on July 14, as well as all year long for Under 18 years old and 18-25 from EU countries
(except for the temporary exhibitions).

For more information, also visit the Museums Website or Wikipedia Page
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