"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
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.
Phone: 01 40 20 51 77
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