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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 around Louvre Museum


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Lodging Near Louvre Museum

See all 3,619 Hotels near Louvre Museum
Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris $238
Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris

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

53 Ter Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris
     
    4.4
    of 5, from 2,038 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in 6th Arrondissement, this residence is steps from Place Dauphine and Pont Neuf. Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame Cathedral are also within 10 minutes.

    K+K Hotel Cayre Paris $256
    K+K Hotel Cayre Paris

    K+K Hotel Cayre Paris

    4 Boulevard Raspail, Paris
       
      4.4
      of 5, from 1,014 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      This 7-story Paris Beaux Arts hotel is located in the Left Bank neighborhood of St-Germain-des-Prés, 2 blocks from the Musée d'Orsay, and 500 meters from the Seine.

      Novotel Paris Les Halles $177
      Novotel Paris Les Halles

      Novotel Paris Les Halles

      8 Place Marguerite De Navarre, Paris
         
        4.2
        of 5, from 1,985 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        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.

        Hôtel Elysées-Opéra $107
        Hôtel Elysées-Opéra

        Hôtel Elysées-Opéra

        17, rue de Turin, Paris
           
          4.0
          of 5, from 819 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Located in 8th Arrondissement, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Theatre Mogador, Galeries Lafayette, and Moulin Rouge. Parc Monceau and Paris Opera are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Maison Albar Hotel Paris Céline $343
          Maison Albar Hotel Paris Céline

          Maison Albar Hotel Paris Céline

          23/25 RUE DU PONT NEUF, Paris
             
            4.6
            of 5, from 214 reviews
            5.0 out of 5.0

            Located in 1st Arrondissement, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Forum des Halles, Pont Neuf, and Palais Royal. Louvre Museum is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away.

            Hotel Original Paris $157
            Hotel Original Paris

            Hotel Original Paris

            8 Boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris
               
              4.5
              of 5, from 189 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in the heart of Paris, this hotel is within walking distance of Place de la Bastille, Opera Bastille, and Place des Vosges. Also nearby are Picasso Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral.

              Hotel Square Louvois $216
              Hotel Square Louvois

              Hotel Square Louvois

              12 rue de Louvois, Paris
                 
                4.7
                of 5, from 274 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Located in 2nd Arrondissement, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Galerie Vivenne and Paris Bourse. Paris Opera and Paris Olympia are also within 10 minutes.

                Crowne Plaza Paris Republique $174
                Crowne Plaza Paris Republique

                Crowne Plaza Paris Republique

                10 Place De La Republique, Paris
                   
                  4.1
                  of 5, from 2,869 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Along the Place de la République and next to a Metro station, this hotel is 2 km (1.2 mi) from the Louvre and about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) from the Opera Garnier, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Pompidou Center.