7 tips for a successful visit to the Louvre

It's the largest museum in the world, also the most visited, emblematic with its pyramid of glass and a must-see when staying in Paris. But where to start? What to see and what to remember about such a prestigious place? Read on for everything you need to know before your visit.

A little bit of history

The Louvre was first built to be a medieval fortress under King Philippe Auguste in the 12th century, and then became the Royal Palace in the 16th century. It has been a museum since 1793, dedicated to the conservation, education and transmission of heritage to future generations. Its great pyramid, which marks the height of its 21 meters and 673 glazed panels, dates from 1989.

Record dimensions

The Louvre is the largest museum in the world by the area reserved for exhibition halls, measuring nearly 73,000 m²! We must therefore prepare to walk 403 rooms, 8.5 miles of corridors and 10,000 steps—it's a track obviously impossible to achieve in one visit.

35,000 artworks

Some 35,000 artworks, including 7,000 paintings, are on display at the Louvre Museum. At the rate of 10 seconds for each, four days and four nights would be necessary to glimpse all of them. So, you'll just have to come back to do them justice! Especially since the reserves would count 460,000.

The must-see

The stars of the Louvre Museum? This is mostly women than the 10 million annual visitors do not want to miss: The Mona Lisa, well behind its window and photographed more than 20,000 times a day, the Venus of Milo, the the Victory of Samothrace and Liberty guiding the people. The Raft of the Medusa, the Marriage of Cana, which is also the largest painting of the museum, and the Rite of Napoleon are also very popular.

70 centuries of treasures

The oldest works exhibited at the Louvre date back 7,000 years. For the ease of visitors, the collections are divided into 8 departments: Egyptian Antiquities, Greek Antiquities, Etruscan and Roman, Oriental Antiquities, Paintings, Sculptures, Works of Art and Graphic Arts. The Department of Islamic Arts, opened in 2012, is the last created, a 2,800 m² box under an undulating glass roof covering the Visconti courtyard.

Here's the entrance

The Great Pyramid is the main and monumental entrance to the Louvre Museum. But once downstairs under the forecourt, how to find your way? Three affinity options are then proposed. The Denon entrance leads to the icons: the Mona Lisa, the Victory of Samothrace, the Venus of Milo. The Sully entrance is the best option to the visit of the Egyptian antiquities and the medieval Louvre. The Richelieu entrance leads to French sculptures, Napoleon III apartments and oriental antiquities.

Night at the Museum

The visit to the Louvre is particularly pleasant when done nocturnally. Less crowded, the museum offers a different atmosphere and breathtaking views of the Pyramid, the Square Court and the Seine: it's a view of Paris in all its splendor!

Getting to the Louvre Museum