How to Get to The Louvre for Free
How to visit the Louvre for free – all the ways to do it in 2023. As well as a description of the main museum of France, the masterpieces of the collection, where is everything located? Current prices for tickets to the Louvre online and at the box office, opening hours.
The Louvre is known to be the largest and most famous museum in France. And one of the largest not even in Europe, but in the whole world.
Is it any wonder that all tourists, without exception, who visit Paris even for a day, strive to get to the Louvre. Of course, they want to walk around the halls not in the crowd. And also – if possible – save on buying tickets.
In 2023, in order to visit the Louvre absolutely free, there are several possibilities.
1. Without regard to nationality. You must be under 18 years of age and can prove this by presenting a valid ID.
It used to be possible to schedule a visit to the Louvre on the first Sunday of the month – admission was free for everyone. In the high tourist season, that is, from April to September, this possibility disappeared. But in late autumn and winter, you could see the Mona Lisa for free.
Today, due to the very large number of tourists, it is impossible to get to the Louvre for free even on the first Sundays.
2. If you are a citizen of one of the EU countries (as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and you are between 18-25, then you do not have to pay anything to enter.
3. Similarly, a free ticket will be available to teachers in the field of art and its history, related topics, as well as journalists, holders of ICOM and ICOMOS cards. People with limited legal capacity, persons accompanying them, the unemployed and recipients of other benefits have the right to visit free of charge.
4. Everyone, without exception, is allowed inside for free on Bastille Day, July 14th. But, of course, to be lucky, you have to stand in a giant queue.
And we will tell you why people visit the Louvre at all and how not to get lost in it. In conclusion, he talked about how much tickets cost in 2023 and why you can save money if you buy them at the box office, and not via the Internet.
What is the Louvre? This question is asked both by people who are just starting to get acquainted with remarkable places in France, and by those who are trying to comprehend their significance for world history.
Without getting too deep, the Louvre in Paris is probably the largest museum complex in the world. And sometimes the most visited! Unless the British Museum in London can compete with it in terms of the number of visitors. And even then, perhaps due to a significant competitive advantage – free entry.
The Louvre is located in the very center of Paris, in the building of the former royal and imperial palace. The museum occupies the block between Rue de Rivoli to the north, Rue de Admiral Coligny to the east, Quai François Mitterrand to the south and Tuileries Garden to the west.
The total number of storage units is about 400,000 units. Of these, only a tenth of them is on display.
A collection of paintings and sculptures, ancient artifacts and other art objects from different eras are located in about 400 rooms. Obviously, it will not work to see all the exhibits of the Louvre in 1 day. Probably within a week!
The Louvre Royal Palace was not always a huge complex. Literally until the reign of Louis XIV, a relatively small castle was located here. It was founded in the reign of Philip II Augustus at the end of the 12th century. But it was turned into a royal residence only under Louis IX, in the middle of the XIII century.
Francis I, who tried to instill in medieval France a spiritualized Italian Renaissance and rebuilt castles in the Loire Valley, tried to do something with the royal residence in Paris. The fortress was rebuilt, giving it a much less severe appearance
The Lesko wing dates from the period 1546-1551. The grandiose Grande Galerie (architects Jacques Ducerceau and Louis Methezot), which connected the Louvre and the Tuileries, dates back to the time of Henry IV. As well as the elegant pavilion of Flora.
Under Louis XIII, the father of the future “Sun King”, the architect Jacques Lemercier extended the Lescaut building. He added a building to it, later named after him. The Lemercier wing stands between the Sully tower and the Beauvais pavilion.
The most significant construction work in the palace unfolded under Louis XIV. Deciding that the King of France deserves a much larger residence. Although he already knew that in the future he himself would move to the luxurious interiors of the Palace of Versailles.
They built buildings that closed the Square Court from the city, expanded the gallery along the Seine. The architects who worked on the building: Louis Leveau and Andre Le Nôtre, as well as the artist and decorator Charles Lebrun, however, remained in history only as the creators of the residence in Versailles.
The east wing of the Louvre was built by Claude Perrault (1665-1680), brother of the famous storyteller. His exceptionally luscious classical style subsequently inspired many architects.
As they say, the building of the famous Metropolitan Museum in New York, built 2 centuries later (1874), reproduces the architectural solutions of a Parisian colleague.
The descendants of Louis XIV did not visit Paris so often. And therefore they were little interested in the Louvre, paying all their attention to the decoration of Versailles. The next stage of large-scale construction dates back to the era of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Under the first emperor of France, the famous Carousel Arch arose in the courtyard of the Tuileries Palace, and a building was built along the Rue de Rivoli. The Tuileries Palace became the main residence, first of the first consul, and then of the emperor.
The complex received its logical conclusion under Napoleon III. The courtyard was completely closed due to the construction of a building in the neo-baroque style from the side of the same Rue de Rivoli. The project was conceived and implemented (1852-1857) by the architects Louis Visconti and Hector Lefuel.
Unfortunately, in 1871, the Tuileries Palace, built under Marie de Medici (since 1564, architect Philibert Delorme), was destroyed during the Paris Commune. And then they never rebuilt it. Since then, the museum’s courtyard has been opened wide to the Tuileries Garden, the Place de la Concorde and the Champs Elysees.
The latest addition to the architectural complex of the Louvre was 4 glass pyramids that grew right in front of the Sully tower. The construction of the pyramids was completed in 1989, and at first they were perceived with hostility by zealots of the architectural and historical heritage.
How to Get Inside
The main part of the visitors enters the Louvre from the courtyard, the main entrance is located in the Great Pyramid. This design still causes fierce debate among art historians – some believe that it is absolutely alien to the spirit and forms of the museum. But, one way or another, it has already taken root and even become a recognizable symbol.
Less well known are the four small pyramids flanked by the central one. There are versions that the entire building was almost supervised by the Order of Freemasons and has a deep hidden meaning.
How to Skip the Line at the Louvre
There are several options, and one of them is almost a win-win: go to the museum in the afternoon or before closing. The bulk of art lovers tend to “shoot back” in the morning. Naturally, tour groups also flow in a stream. But in the evening the tourist gets tired and the queues thin out.
There is an option to enter the Louvre without a queue from the underground shopping center Carrousel du Louvre. Where you can get both directly from the Palais Royal metro station, and from Rivoli Street. There are ticket machines on the underground tier, and you can buy the coveted tickets there.
Another way ignored by most: the Civette du Carrousel kiosk. Where tickets are sold at a standard price for both the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. To find it is easy!
You can buy a ticket online and get inside, bypassing the queue. Or make an even stronger move by purchasing the Paris Pass. For the next few days, becoming a regular at the largest Parisian meetings.
A working, but expensive scheme is to visit the Louvre with a licensed guide. Although … about 50 € per person is not staggeringly expensive for a tour of the halls of the famous museum.
The Louvre collections are located in three main wings: Richelieu, Denon and Sully. Before entering the Napoleon Hall, you can get a map of the museum in English free of charge. And try to navigate…
The most famous works are in the Denon wing – the one that looks at the Seine. “La Gioconda” by Leonardo da Vinci, several of his other paintings: “Beautiful Ferroniera”, “Portrait of an Unknown Woman”. As well as the creations of Raphael, Veronese, Titian, Caravaggio …
Pictures of the classics of the Spanish school of painting: El Greco, Zurbarana, Murillo, works by Francisco Goya. The most format creations of French painting of the period before impressionism. British painters: Turner and Gainsborough, Constable.
The Denon Wing is the most beloved part of the Louvre by tourists!
In the same wing there are antique statues of Nike of Samothrace and Venus de Milo. As well as hundreds of samples of outstanding sculptural works from different eras.
It’s not easy to get close to Nika, like Gioconda – there are too many people who want to. But due to its size (height – 3.28 m), the flying figure of Victory can be seen from afar.
Specializes mainly in Egyptian artifacts and items from the ancient world. There are few paintings, but, for example, Vermeer’s “Astronomer” is located here on the second floor. In the same wing, you can thoroughly study the history of the palace-museum.
Most of the paintings by the masters of Northern European painting, the Flemings and the Dutch (Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Brueghel) are located on the second floor, but already in the Richelieu wing. The sculpture of French masters, objects of decorative art and the apartments of Napoleon III are also based here.
Immensely luxurious, which is generally characteristic of the style of the Third Empire, they were designed to demonstrate the greatness of France. How the emperor himself felt among such an abundance of gilding, history is silent.
How to get there: metro Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre, Louvre – Rivoli
Opening hours: 09-18.00, on Wednesdays and Fridays until 21.45, on Tuesdays the Louvre is closed. Also, the museum is closed on 01.01, 01.05, 25.12. .
Prices: 17 € – ticket for an adult, at the museum box office it costs only 15 €. True, you need to take into account that there may not be tickets “on the spot”. Yes, and cash payments at the box office are not accepted.
Can enter the Louvre for free persons under 18 and some other categories – louvre.fr/en/visit/hours-admission#ticket-prices.