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The Louvre Palace and Pyramid picture in Paris
Fall in Paris picture in Paris
Mona Lisa effect picture in Paris
Louvre at night picture in Paris
The Louvre Palace and Pyramid picture in Paris
Fall in Paris picture in Paris
Mona Lisa effect picture in Paris
Louvre at night picture in Paris

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • 15 euros (about $17.71) for adults; free for kids 17 and younger
  • Mon, Thurs, Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
    Wed, Fri 9 a.m.-9:45 p.m.

Details

  • Museums Type
  • Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.8
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.5
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

If you only had time to visit one museum in Paris, it should undoubtedly be the Musée du Louvre. That's because the Louvre is not only widely considered to be one of the best art museums in Europe, but one of the best in the world as well. The museum first opened its doors in 1793 and features a grand total of 35,000 works of art. Here you can get up close to a variety of art from different time periods and cultures. The Louvre features everything from Egyptian mummy tombs to ancient Grecian sculptures (including the renowned Winged Victory of Smothrace and curvaceous Venus de Milo). There are also thousands of paintings to peruse as well. Masterpieces such as "Liberty of Leading the People" by Eugene Delacroix, "The Raft of Medusa" by Théodore Géricault and Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," the museum's biggest star, can be found here. You can even get a glimpse of Napolean the Third's old apartment digs. Though you don't necessarily have to visit the apartments to get a taste of what it was like to be a royal. Before it was a museum, the Louvre served as a royal residence for a number of French powers, including Louis XIV. It was only sometime after Louis XIV left the Louvre in favor of Versailles that the Louvre began to transform into a museum.

With such a robust art collection, the Louvre has earned the title as the most visited museum in the world (upward of 9 million per year). While visitors agree it is no doubt a must-visit attraction, with the majority more than impressed with the museum's offerings, the crowds can be a major turn off (especially around the glass-enclosed "Mona Lisa"). Not to the point where travelers are willing to skip the Louvre altogether, but they stress going at a time where there will be fewer people (not the middle of the day on a weekend). Others said the sheer enormity of the museum can be overwhelming, so much so that covering the entire 650,000 square feet of gallery space in a day is close to impossible. The best strategy is to pick what you want to see ahead of time and grab a map so you can easily locate those works of art. Otherwise, you could easily end up spending hours wandering around waiting to run into the must-sees and miss them.

The museum is open Mondays, Thursdays and weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. Admission costs 15 euros ($16.80) for adults and is free for visitors 17 years old and younger. If you're visiting between October and March, save some money by planning your visit for the first Sunday of the month when admission is free. The museum is located in the city center and has its own metro stop, Louvre-Rivoli on line 1. To learn more, visit the Louvre's website.

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Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
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Hôtel du Louvre, a Hyatt hotel

Hôtel du Louvre, a Hyatt hotel ...

  • 0.2 Miles Away
  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal

Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal ...

  • 0.2 Miles Away
  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
Louvre Bons Enfants

Louvre Bons Enfants ...

  • 0.2 Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Paris »

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#1 Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) Like the Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is seen as a Parisian icon. Located right along the picturesque River Seine, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is considered a Gothic masterpiece and is ... Read more » gbarm / Getty Images

#2 Musee du Louvre If you only had time to visit one museum in Paris, it should undoubtedly be the Musée du Louvre. That's because the Louvre is not only widely considered to ... Read more » orpheus26 / Getty Images

#3 Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Designed and constructed for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (the World's Fair), the Eiffel Tower was always meant to be a temporary structure, but it skirted demolition talks twice.  ... Read more » Eric Schaeffer / Getty Images

#4 Le Marais Straddling the 3ème and 4ème arrondissements (districts), Le Marais is one of Paris' oldest and coolest districts  so cool, in fact, that French writer Victor Hugo (author of "The Hunchback ... Read more » PicsFactory / Getty Images

#5 Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre (Sacre-Coeur) Rising high above Paris, the Sacré-Coeur (meaning "Sacred Heart") looks more like a white castle than a basilica  but that's what it is. Towering over the eclectic neighborhood of ... Read more » Jennifer Reedie / Getty Images

#6 Musee d'Orsay Housed in a former railway station along the Left Bank, the Musée d'Orsay is regarded for its rich collection of impressionist works. You'll see paintings by French artists ... Read more » Steve Shupe / Flickr

#7 Pere-Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise) A cemetery as a tourist attraction? If any city can pull it of, it's Paris. Covering nearly 110 acres of the 20th arrondissement (district), the Père-Lachaise Cemetery is considered one ... Read more » jacquesvandinteren / Getty Images

#8 Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris A masterpiece of architectural opulence, the Opéra Garnier  also known as the Palais Garnier  still exudes the same enigmatic atmosphere it radiated in the late 1800s. This palpable sense of intrigue ... Read more » Joe deSousa / Flickr

#9 Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) A warm-weather oasis that offers the simplest of pleasures, the Luxembourg Gardens provide ample green space (61 acres) for sun-soaking and people-watching, plus there are plenty of activities to keep ... Read more » chrisdorney / Getty Images

#10 Arc de Triomphe Situated at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the towering Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoléon to honor the Grande Armee during the Napoleonic Wars. The arch, which is the largest of its ... Read more » AndreaAstes / Getty Images

#11 Centre Pompidou The Centre Pompidou is one of the most visited cultural sites in Paris. But keep this in mind  and recent travelers attest to this  if you're not a fan ... Read more » siraanamwong / Getty Images

#12 Versailles Palace (Chateau de Versailles) The Château de Versailles, the sprawling palace and former seat of power, is located 14 miles southwest of Paris in Versailles. Every year, millions of travelers make the trek from ... Read more » Ninara / Flickr

#13 Musee Rodin A hidden jewel in the city, the Musée Rodin is actually the former residence of famed 19th-century sculptor Auguste Rodin. But in the place of furniture and kitschy lawn ornaments ... Read more » bbourdages / Getty Images

#14 Paris Catacombs (Les Catacombes de Paris) Not every inch of Paris is as romantic as you think  in fact, the Catacombs are downright chilling. Prior to the creation of the Catacombs in the late 18th century ... Read more » haahr / Flickr

#15 Champs-Elysees Musician Joe Dassin once sang "Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Élysées," which translates to "There's everything you could want along the Champs-Élysées." And he's ... Read more » Bruno De Hogues / Getty Images

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For a beautiful photo op of the Notre-Dame, walk along the Petit Point - Cardinal Lustiger bridge. gbarm / Getty Images

The giant glass and metal pyramid that serves as the entryway to the Louvre museum is a popular spot for photos. orpheus26 / Getty Images

The soaring Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited landmarks in the world.  Eric Schaeffer / Getty Images

The Le Marais area of Paris showcases many archietcturally impressive buildings and also boasts a burgeoning gay community with a selection of gay bars. PicsFactory / Getty Images

In addition to a beautiful church, Sacré-Coeur is known for being a popular vantage point from its small park. From there, you can panoramic views of Paris as far as the eye can see.  Jennifer Reedie / Getty Images

This museum features works from the greats including Monet, Van Gogh and Degas. Steve Shupe / Flickr

Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf are among the famous buried here. jacquesvandinteren / Getty Images

The opulent Opera Garnier served as inspiration for "The Phantom of the Opera."  Joe deSousa / Flickr

The Luxembourg Palace, part of the Luxembourg Gardens, is home to the French Senate.  chrisdorney / Getty Images

The towering Arc de Triomphe can be found at the end of the famous Champs-Élysées. AndreaAstes / Getty Images

The Stravinsky Fountain features 16 separate fountains representing the themes and works by composer Igor Stravinsky. siraanamwong / Getty Images

If you want to beat the crowds of Versailles, travelers say the best time to go is either really early in the morning or right before the attraction closes.  Ninara / Flickr

Once the residence of Auguste Rodin, Musée Rodin now showcases the artist's renowned works like The Thinker and The Kiss. bbourdages / Getty Images

haahr / Flickr

The Champs-Élysées draws shoppers in droves to its luxury storefronts. Bruno De Hogues / Getty Images

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