"Long lines at the Louvre (in the rain)" Top 5 Page for this destination Long Lines - Queues Tip by Nemorino

Long Lines - Queues, Paris: 25 reviews and 41 photos

  Queuing in the rain at the Louvre
by Nemorino
  • Queuing in the rain at the Louvre - Paris
      Queuing in the rain at the Louvre
    by Nemorino
  • Queuing in the rain at the Louvre - Paris
      Queuing in the rain at the Louvre
    by Nemorino
  • Queuing in the rain at the Louvre - Paris
      Queuing in the rain at the Louvre
    by Nemorino
  • Queuing in the rain at the Louvre - Paris
      Queuing in the rain at the Louvre
    by Nemorino
  • My advance ticket - Paris
      My advance ticket
    by Nemorino

On my first photo you can see two lines of people waiting to get into the Museum of the Louvre.

The line on the left consists of seven or eight people whose waiting time will be less than a minute, since they are allowed to use the ‘priority entrance’.

The line on the right consists of several hundred people (I’m not exaggerating – click on the other photos if you don’t believe me!) who will spend an hour or more on this rainy Sunday afternoon queuing to get into the Pyramid, where they will have to queue again to buy their museum tickets.

To use the priority entrance you don’t have to be any kind of big shot or VIP. You just have to have a Museum Pass or an advance ticket for the museum, which you can buy up to a year in advance at various places in Paris including the eight fnac stores in various parts of the city.

If my photos on this tip look rather similar to the ones posted by VT member breughel a few days ago, that’s because we were going through the Richelieu Wing of the Louvre together. Every time we came to a window looking out onto the courtyard and the Pyramid, we both took photos of all the people standing in line in the rain. We ourselves had used the priority entrance, because we had bought our advance tickets the day before at the fnac store in the Passage du Havre at 109, rue Saint-Lazare, which is just across from the Saint Lazare railway station.

It is also possible to order advance tickets online through the fnac website, but this is rather pointless because the Louvre, like the Gobelin manufactory, does not (yet) provide a print-at-home option, so even if you order online you still have to go to one of the fnac stores to pick up your ticket. (You cannot pick it up at the Louvre itself!)

By now I have bought or picked up tickets at four of the eight fnac stores in Paris. Only once did I have to wait in line for any length of time, and that was when I went in the afternoon and there were a bunch of ‘ados’ lined up to buy tickets for one of their events. (‘Ados’ are the kind of folks we quaintly used to call ‘adolescents’.) But when I went to fnac in the mornings or evenings I had little or no waiting time.

Note that the priority entrance for individual visitors to the Louvre is now at the Pyramid, not in the Richelieu Passage where it used to be. The entrance in the Richelieu Passage is now reserved for groups, with their leaders or teachers. The groups have to reserve in advance and are assigned an entry time to avoid crowding, so only one group enters at a time.

Second, third and fourth photos: More people queuing in the rain. If you insist on doing this on a rainy day, at least wear shoes that are somewhat water repellant. As the day went on, I started seeing more and more lovely young women walking around the museum wearing very soggy light canvas shoes. This did not detract from their loveliness (nor did their shoes make squishy noises), but I’m sure it was uncomfortable for them and perhaps led to sniffles and sneezes later.

Fifth photo: This is the advance ticket that I bought the previous evening at the fnac store. The text on the ticket reads: “Ticket valid for one day (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday) starting at 9 am. Date of use: . . . . . . . . . [this I had to fill in myself]. Also permits access to the collections of the Delacroix Museum. Ticket valid 1 year starting with the day of purchase = August 24, 2013. Price including all taxes EUR 12.00 + 1.60 commission.”

Don’t be put off by the commission charge. It’s the best € 1.60 you will spend in Paris.

Update 2015: Advance tickets for the Louvre now cost € 16.60 (up from € 13.60) and are only valid for entrance to the museum within half an hour of the time you select. (This is to prevent crowding at the entrance.) After entering the museum you can stay as long as you want, until closing time, but you can only enter within the half hour you have selected. Popular entrance times in the mornings sometimes are sold out two or three days in advance.

Next review from September 2013: People under the Pyramid at the Louvre

Phone: 01 40 20 51 77
Website: http://www.louvre.fr/en/advance-tickets

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jul 12, 2015
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse

Comments (7)

  • wabat's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    I dont understand why more don't buy in advance. Everywhere we read of the queues and how to avoid them and yet people queue. Perhaps they like queuing !

  • ashokSPB's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    Very informative. I missed Louvre in my first visit seeing this long line, time constraint and also basically I am not a museum interested person. Using this tip I hope to see Louvre if fortunate to go there again.

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Nov 14, 2013 at 2:01 AM

      Yes, give it another try. The Louvre is a fascinating place, and it is so big that you are bound to find lots of interesting things to see there.

    • ashokSPB's Profile Photo
      Nov 14, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      Sure, I will give it my best try. Regards,

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    Oh my god... this is almost as long as the lines at Neuschwanstein Castle.... Good that they have a advanced purchase possibility! And yes, any money spent on advanced reservation etc is well spent money!

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    this a great tip on how to save time at one of them most visited sites of the world.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Buying a ticket in advance seems to be a must!

  • CDM7's Profile Photo
    Sep 24, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    A great piece of information,have added it to trip planner!

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Sep 29, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      Thanks, Clive. I hope it helps when you go to Paris.

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2013 at 5:17 AM

    Maybe we are both wrong to write such warning tips to avoid the lining?
    If every tourist going to the Louvre reads VT and buys tickets in advance the long line will be the priority line on the left at the Pyramid! But from experience we have seen that few visitors reads us; my first tip on VT about avoiding lines is from 2006 with photos of people in the rain!


“The world is full of wonderful places. Help keep them wonderful by not driving in them.”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 1 9
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 7 7

Have you been to Paris?

  Share Your Travels