Wondering if the Louvre Museum is worth visiting? This post has all of the info you’ll need to make your decision!
If you’re planning a trip to Paris and deciding whether or not to visit the Louvre Museum, this post will help you make the right call. I’ve also included some helpful tips for planning your day, if you do decide to visit the museum.
I’ve been to Paris many times and I always make a point of at least walking by the Louvre Museum (usually more than once!). I love the grandeur of the building and I simply can’t walk past the iconic glass pyramid near the entrance without taking a photo.
Two of my trips to Paris have included visits to the Louvre Museum. I thought that I’d see most of the same pieces on my second trip, but I was surprised to find that there was almost no overlap. The only pieces I saw twice were on the way to the Mona Lisa because my travel companion, of course, needed to see this famous painting for herself.
There’s no one way to visit the Louvre Museum, and if you decide to go I’d recommend that you cater your visit. Go see exhibits that you’re interested in or seek out less crowded areas. On the other hand, it’s perfectly OK to read this post and decide not to visit!
About the Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum was originally built as a fortress for Philip II in the late 12th to early 13th century. The building was expanded many times over the years, eventually forming the expansive Louvre Palace that you can visit today.
The Louvre Palace opened as a museum in 1793 as an exhibition of 537 paintings. Today, there are more than 380,000 objects and 35,000 works of art in the Louvre Museum, of which about 38,000 are on display at any one time.
In 2022, the Louvre Museum was the most-visited museum in the world with about 7.7 million visitors. If you’re curious, the Vatican Museum came in second with about 5.1 million visitors, so it wasn’t even close.
So, is the Louvre Museum worth visiting?
If you’re asking me, I’d say that, yes, the Louvre Museum is absolutely worth visiting while you’re in Paris. The building is iconic, the collections are expansive, and it houses some of the most famous pieces in the world. Whether you enjoy sculpture, paintings, jewelry, furniture, or just like the idea of wandering around a palace, the Louvre Museum has something for you.
However, I’m just one type of traveler, and people have certainly visited the Louvre Museum and been disappointed by it.
I’d particularly recommend against visiting the Lovure Museum with the singular goal of seeing the Mona Lisa. It’s a small painting (I mean this literally) that you’ll have to wait in a long line to be able to see.
Yes, the Louvre Museum is worth visiting if…
Here are the reasons that you probably should make time in your itinerary to visit the Louvre Museum.
✅ You enjoy museums
If you already know that you enjoy visiting museums when you travel, then why not visit the most popular museum in the world? As a bonus, the Louvre Museum isn’t just a collection of paintings or sculptures, there’s truly a bit of everything.
You might also make time to visit the lesser known Rodin Museum while you’re in Paris.
✅ You’ve never been to the Louvre Museum
Having never been to the Louvre Museum is reason enough to visit. There’s so much to see in this museum, including the beds that royals once slept in, Medieval armor, and enormous Persian sculptures.
If looking at a bunch of portraits that were painted over a century ago isn’t your thing, that’s OK. Just skip those exhibits and keep looking until you find something that grabs your attention.
✅ It’s the summer and you’re craving an activity with air conditioning
Summers in Paris are known for being hot, whether you’re inside or outside. Air conditioning is not available in many hotels and restaurants, so it can be hard to find activities when you’re looking to cool off.
Luckily, the Louvre Museum is climate controlled to protect the artwork. The Louvre’s cooling system is actually really interesting – it’s not traditional air conditioning. Instead, they use a system of underground pipes that pump cold water, which chills the air in the museum.
No, the Louvre Museum is not worth visiting if…
Here are some scenarios where it might not make sense to include a visit to the Louvre Museum in your Paris itinerary.
🚫 You have very little time in Paris
As much as I love the Louvre Museum, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you make time for it if you only have a day to walk around the city. You’ll need to plan to spend at least two hours at the Louvre Museum, though 3-4 hours would be even better.
🚫 You only want to see the Mona Lisa
This might be surprising, but I wouldn’t recommend that you visit the Louvre Museum solely to see the Mona Lisa. You can see this famous painting in the Louvre Museum, but people are routinely disappointed by it because they don’t feel it lives up to the hype.
The great news? There are thousands of other pieces in the museum, so there’s a ton to see, even if you’re let down by the Mona Lisa.
🚫 You’re looking for something off the beaten path
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most popular museum in the world is solidly on the beaten path in Paris.
However, there are entire exhibits that you can have essentially to yourself while at the Louvre Museum. While everyone is clamoring to see the Mona Lisa, you could instead peruse the Egyptian Antiquities (4000 – 30 BC) or learn about the Medieval history of the Louvre.
Why is the Louvre Museum famous?
The Louvre Museum is famous for being the largest and most visited museum in the world. It houses an incredibly extensive collection, spanning from Greek Antiquities from 6500 BC to relatively modern paintings and sculpture from the 19th century.
The building that is now the Louvre Museum has been, at various times in history, a fortress, a residence, and, of course, a museum. It is home to the Mona Lisa and an extensive collection of other artistic masterpieces, mostly from the Western canon.
What famous works are on display in the Louvre Museum?
One of the most famous works on display at the Louvre Museum is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. You’ll also find The caryatids by Jean Goujon, Aphrodite (also known as Venus de Milo), and the Winged Victory of Samthrace.
Can I see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum?
Yes, you can see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum. Unless you go very early or very late in the day, there’s likely to be a long line to see this famous painting.
Again, I wouldn’t recommend that you visit the Louvre Museum solely to see the Mona Lisa. It’s a great and iconic piece of art, sure, but it’s arguably only famous because it was stolen about 100 years ago.
When the Mona Lisa was recovered, people were intrigued by the painting and the story – it essentially went viral. It is a great story, but many visitors don’t feel that the actual painting lives up to the hype.
You might as well see it while you’re there, but I wouldn’t plan your day around it.
Visitors’ information: The Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is one of only a few museums where you really need to plan your tickets and decide ahead of time when you’ll visit. Tickets are timed, so you can choose ahead of time when you’d like to visit the museum.
There’s no limit to how long you can visit, aside from the opening hours, so if you choose a slot in the morning you can stay all day.
I’d strongly recommend that you book your ticket to visit the Louvre Museum ahead of time. They do sell out, so the earlier you can book your tickets, the better.
If you can’t find a ticket on the official site, you can also check for Louvre tickets on Get Your Guide.
You can join a skip-the-line tour of the Louvre Museum with a knowledgeable guide. Not only will they show you some of the highlights on the Louvre Museum, you’ll learn about the history of the museum and its contents.
As a bonus, you can skip the long lines to enter the Louvre Museum. The lines at the main entrance can sometimes take upwards of two hours to move through, so this can definitely save you some time.
What are the hours for the Louvre?
You can visit the Louvre Museum from 9am to 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On Fridays, the museum is open from 9am to 9:45pm.
The Louvre Museum is closed on Tuesdays.
How much time should I spend at the Louvre?
I would recommend that you spend 2-5 hours wandering through the Louvre. I have a long attention span for museums, so my trips to the Louvre have averaged around 5-6 hours. My trick is to keep my feet moving while looking at the collections, with breaks where I find a bench and sit for several minutes.
However, most visitors will probably get a sense for the museum in a few hours and be ready to move on to other Parisian attractions.
Best time to visit the Louvre Museum
The best time to visit the Louvre Museum is early in the morning or late in the afternoon, around opening and closing hours. The museum is open late on Friday evenings, so you’ll likely find the smallest crowds during this time.
Be forewarned: if you stay in the museum until 9:45pm, it will be challenging to find a restaurant for dinner afterwards. Plan accordingly!
Guided tours of the Louvre Museum
I’ve never done it, but there are a few reasons you might consider a guided tour of the Louvre Museum.
First, the Louvre Museum is enormous and can be overwhelming to navigate. If you want to be sure that you see most of the greatest hits without constantly studying a map, a knowledgeable guide will be very helpful.
Additionally, guide will also help you to better understand the history of the museum and the pieces that you see while in the museum. The added context can help to make the museum more enjoyable to visit.
Most guided tours also come with skip-the-line access.
Tips for visiting the Louvre Museum
Here are some of my top tips for visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Use the hidden entrance
There are two entrances to the Louvre Museum. The main entrance is next to the iconic glass pyramid, and there’s usually an enormous line to get in.
Any visitors with a ticket or a membership card can enter through the Carrousel Entrance at 99, rue de Rivoli. You can search for the Carrousel Entrance on Google Maps.
If you’re standing at the glass pyramid looking towards the Jardin des Tuileries, the second entrance is to your right. It will be near the pedestrian area, just past the small tunnel where cars are entering and existing.
Make a plan before you go
The Louvre Museum is so large and expansive that you can easily get lost or overwhelmed trying to navigate it. Be sure to plan your visit and know which, if any, of the famous masterpieces you’d like to see.
Here’s a helpful map of the Louvre Museum that you can use when planning your visit.
Use the free lockers
It’s no fun to carry around your bulky jacket or backpack while you’re exploring the Louvre. You can use the free lockers during your visit, with plenty of room for small personal items.
Eat before you go
The restaurants near the Louvre Museum are overpriced and not very exciting. If you can, avoid them and head further into the city for better food (especially the spots along rue de Rivoli).
The exception is Angelina’s – I love to stop here for a hot chocolate in the winter then wander around the Tuileries Garden. It’s one of the most relaxing things to do in Paris!
Wear comfortable shoes
It might go without saying, but you’ll be walking a lot while you wander through the Louvre Museum. The place is enormous!
Wear shoes that are comfortable enough to stand and walk in for many hours. Your feet might still be sore after wandering around Paris for a day, but at least it will be bearable.
Where to stay in Paris
Paris is a city without a singular center or downtown, so you can choose a hotel in one of several areas of the city while still feeling central. The downside to this, of course, is that you’ll have to travel around a bit no matter where you choose to stay.
Budget pick: The People – Paris Bercy
Budget travelers will love The People – Paris Bercy, a hostel that boasts great reviews and modern amenities. There’s even a rooftop patio and garden where you can sit and read a book or drink your coffee.
Midrange pick: Hôtel AMI – Orso Hotels
Hôtel AMI is a great midrange hotel for visitors to Paris. It’s located just steps from the Vaugirard Metro Station and a 30 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower, perfect for exploring the city. The rooms are small, but they’re very clean and stylishly decorated.
As a bonus, may of the rooms have air conditioning – not a given in Paris!
High end pick: Hôtel des Arts Montmartre
The beautiful Hôtel des Arts Montmarte is the perfect choice for a a luxurious stay in Paris. Set in the charming Montmarte neightborhood of Paris, this hotel as close to perfect as it gets. The rooms are tasteful, and the staff is warm and happy go out of their way to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
FAQs: Is the Louvre Museum worth visiting?
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by travelers wondering if the Louvre Museum is worth visiting.
Why do people want to visit the Louvre Museum?
The Louvre Museum is set along the River Seine and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Paris. It’s also home to famous pieces of art like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
Is one day enough for the Louvre Museum?
Yes, one day is plenty of time to explore the Louvre Museum, but not nearly enough time to see everything. I find that I can only take in a few hours’ worth of pursuing a museum before I start to feel fatigued, so I would recommend that you not plan to visit for more than one day. You can always visit again on a subsequent trip!
How long would it take to see everything in the Louvre?
If you spent about 10 seconds looking at each piece in the Louvre, it would take you more than 4 days to see it all. Needless to say, you’ll probably never see everything in the Louvre – but that’s OK!
What do you wear to the Louvre?
There’s no formal dress code for the Louvre Museum, but you will want to choose an appropriate outfit for a day at the museum. Comfortable shoes are a must, as you’ll be walking and on your feet for many hours.
Otherwise, think classy-yet-casual for your outfit.
What is the most famous item in the Louvre?
The most famous item in the Louvre Museum is the Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Conclusion: Is the Louvre Museum worth visiting?
In my view, the Louvre Museum is absolutely worth visiting while in Paris. It’s a central landmark in the city, and one the most iconic. Whether you love paintings, sculpture, or cultural artifacts, the collection in the Louvre is sure to have exhibits that interest you and pique your curiosity.
I’ll never forget wandering through the lavish exhibit showing Napolean III’s apartment or seeing the Mona Lisa in person.
If you’re visiting Paris during the high season from May to September, be sure to carefully plan your visit. The Louvre Museum will be packed, and it’s likely that all of the tickets will sell out in advance. Further, the crowds can easily become overwhelming if you’re not sure what you want to see or where you want to go.