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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.

Guide to Exploring Louvre Museum


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Normandy Hotel

Normandy Hotel

7 Rue De L Echelle, Paris
of 5, from 727 reviews
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This six-floor Paris hotel is across from the Louvre, a block from the Tuileries Gardens, and 1 km from the Champs-Elysées, Opéra Garnier and Musée D'Orsay.

Novotel Paris Les Halles

Novotel Paris Les Halles

8 Place Marguerite De Navarre, Paris
of 5, from 1,230 reviews
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Plenty of tourist attractions nearby the hotel Novotel Paris les Halles: the Marais area, Georges Pompidou center, Notre-Dame, Louvre etc. Business or leisure travelers can enjoy the culture of the city.

Citadines Les Halles Paris

Citadines Les Halles Paris

4 Rue Des Innocents, Paris
of 5, from 745 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in 1st Arrondissement, this residence is within a 10-minute walk of Forum des Halles, Museum Georges Pompidou, and Sainte Chapelle. Notre Dame Cathedral and Pont Neuf are also within 15 minutes.

Saint James Albany Paris Hôtel Spa

Saint James Albany Paris Hôtel Spa

202 Rue De Rivoli, Paris
of 5, from 195 reviews
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Extraordinary architecture earmarks this former royal residence, centrally located in Paris' Right Bank district, across from the Tuileries gardens and Louvre Museum.

Hôtel le 17

Hôtel le 17

17 Boulevard de magenta, Paris
of 5, from 55 reviews
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Located in 10th Arrondissement, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Alhambra Theatre Music Hall, Picasso Museum, and Museum Georges Pompidou. Forum des Halles and Place des Vosges are also within 1 mi (2 km).

La Clef Louvre Paris

La Clef Louvre Paris

8 Rue De Richelieu, Paris
of 5, from 365 reviews
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Located in 1st Arrondissement, this luxury residence is steps from Comedie-Francaise, La Carrousel du Louvre, and Palais Royal. Museum of Decorative Arts is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) away.

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

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

53 Ter Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris
of 5, from 829 reviews
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Located in Quartier Latin, this residence is within a 10-minute walk of Pont Neuf, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Sainte Chapelle. Louvre Museum and Forum des Halles are also within 15 minutes.

The Westin Paris - Vendôme

The Westin Paris - Vendôme

3 Rue De Castiglione, Paris
of 5, from 374 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This landmark Paris hotel has a prestigious location on the Right Bank, across from the Jardin des Tuileries and two blocks from Place Vendôme and Place de la Concorde.