The Louvre in Paris is the third largest museum in the world (and ranked number 1 among the most important museums in Paris) with a surface area of 60,000 m². The Louvre has grown from a French royal palace to a museum with an extensive collection of approximately 380,000 works.
Visiting the museum with a guide will allow you to have a more complete view of art from the Middle Ages to 1848. The Louvre is an extensive museum, every year there are more changes and variety of works; therefore, a professional guide will help you to optimise your time and not get lost among so much art and beauty...
Your ticket to the Louvre Museum with a guided tour in a small group and without queuing up.
Enjoy an unforgettable experience visiting the Louvre and its masterpieces in the company of an expert guide with a lot to tell.
Going to the Louvre Museum is a must on your trip to Paris but if you also have the chance to have the history and context of each of the works in its collection explained to you on a guided tour, I assure you that you will experience it even more.
Recommended if... You are not willing to waste time in the long queues at the entrance of one of the most visited museums in the world and you are also sure to have a guided tour with an expert in the field.
How much do guided tours of the Louvre Museum cost?
Unfortunately, there are no free guided tours of the Louvre. The audio-guided tour is the cheapest option available and costs around 5 euros. The duration of the guided tour will depend on the type and usually lasts between 1.5 and 3 hours.
If you are travelling to Paris as a student, or there are students in your group, they can enjoy free entry by simply showing their student card.
In addition, all persons (regardless of age, nationality, etc.) can access the Louvre for free on certain days of the month. These days are Bastille Day (14 July each year) and the first Sunday of the month from October to March. As you would expect, on these days the Louvre is flooded with visitors.
Is a guided tour of the Louvre worthwhile, and what are the advantages over seeing it on my own?
Short answer: Yes, if you have a good guide, your visit will be much better. The Louvre is a huge museum with over 100,000 works of art; some of the Louvre's most famous works of art are also among the most famous in the world. Everything from sculptures by Michelangelo, Bernini and Canova to paintings by Da Vinci and Delacroix.
You're talking about an attraction that was literally built and decorated by the world's greatest artists. You'll find sculptures that were built by the ancient Romans, sculptors by Michelangelo himself, paintings by Raphael and 25% of all the remaining paintings by Da Vinci!
For all this, having the experience of someone who has years of wisdom can take you back in time, understand the artist's philosophy, the conditions under which the works were created and how something seemingly simple can be steeped in emotion, feeling and skill. Without a doubt, a good guide can change the way you appreciate a work.
Good guides can make a seemingly meaningless detail interesting. When you combine a great guide with an amazing museum like the Louvre, you can have one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
What types of guided tours are available at the Louvre?
There are generally several types of guided tours of the Louvre Museum. These are differentiated by their duration, characteristics and the type of experience provided. Logically, the longer the duration, the more art you will be able to see and in greater detail, as well as being able to resolve doubts and ask questions. In any case, the mere fact of visiting the museum with a professional guide is enough to better appreciate the works, the type of guided tour will depend a little on your tastes,but remember to be aware of the Louvre's opening hours and always arrive on time.
- Private tours: This is a tailor-made tour designed specifically to suit your interests. A private tour allows you to concentrate on particular collections or pieces (for example, perhaps you are fascinated by Greek art and are only interested in that kind of sculpture).
- Group tours: The standard tour is often the best option if you don't want to spend a lot and are only interested in seeing the generic highlights and having someone there to answer your questions.
- Express tours: This is a super quick tour with an overview of the highlights of the museum.
- Audio tours: Audio tours are the perfect option if you're interested in discovering everything on your own and have all the information at your fingertips. You may find it a bit boring, but it's still a very economical option.
- Kids and Family Tours: These are tailor-made tours created to keep the little ones entertained and on their toes.
- Early morning and evening tours: A great option to avoid the crowds and rushing around.
- Themed tours: Another type of guided tour is one that focuses on a specific theme. Recommended for history buffs and fans of specific artists.
Are there guided tours for children? What are they like?
If you are planning a children's tour, I recommend you opt for a private tour designed for families. The budget for a family of up to 4 people is only slightly more than per person on a small group tour, plus you get the advantage of an experienced guide keeping the children engaged and entertained with the art.
These tours usually last 2.5 hours and are led by a specially trained art historian for the whole family. Similar to a crash course, this tour will lead you to discover the most spectacular collections that might be of most interest to children.
Main works you will see during the guided tour
Some of the world's most famous masterpieces are on display here, including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
A large number of the paintings in the museum were owned by the various kings who lived in the Louvre when it was a royal residence. Other pieces were acquired thanks to France's treaties with the Vatican and the Republic of Venice. The collection was further enriched by Napoleon I's booty.
The guided tour will focus mainly on three rooms, the Denon Wing, the Richelieu Wing and the Sully Wing, which contain the most representative works of the museum and the most popular in the world. Among the works that the guide will show you are: Mona Lisa, Les Noces de Cana, Victoire de Samothrace, Le Sacre de l'Empereur Napoléon Ier**, La Liberté Guidant le Peuple**, Vénus**, Louis XIV****, La Dentellière**.
For each work the guide will try to place you in time and space and spend a few minutes explaining both the historical and artistic background of each work, and then talk about the emotional and mental state of each artist in particular. You will also be able to ask the guide any questions you may have, both about the work itself and the artist.
How long does the Louvre guided tour last?
Tours usually last 1.5, 2 and 3 hours, but bear in mind that seeing a work of art without taking a long time to understand all the background is a meaningless visit(similar to watching the summary of a football match instead of watching it in its entirety with all the emotion).
- In 1.5 hours you can usually see the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory, the Venus de Milo and other famous masterpieces that make up the top 10 of the Louvre's most valuable works.
- In 2 hours in the Louvre you can see masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, as well as other works of art such as sphinxes and Egyptian mummies. And don't forget the Royal Crown Jewels in the Apollo Gallery.
- In 3 hours it gets even more interesting because you can also see additional paintings and sculptures, as well as ** Napoleon III's luxurious flats**.
When is the best time to take a guided tour of the Louvre?
As the most visited museum in the world, the crowds at the Louvre can be overwhelming. The best times to visit the Louvre are Wednesday and Friday evenings, when the museum is open until 9:45 pm. Also, if you can avoid going in high season, all the better.
If a night visit doesn't fit into your itinerary, I would recommend going a little later, once the big tour groups have left.
Tips for visiting the Louvre
After buying tickets, most people head straight to see the "Mona Lisa", the "Venus de Milo" and the "Winged Victory". However, another recommended approach would be to start your tour in the Richelieu wing, which houses the oldest works of art, including the Code of Hammurabi.
Before leaving the Richelieu wing, a smart move would be to go up one floor to see Napoleon III's opulent state flats. Originally built by Napoleon I's nephew, this was a large reception area for heads of state.
Also be sure to see the cycle of paintings by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens whose works were commissioned by Marie de Medici, the wife of Henri IV, in the early 17th century. The theme of these 21 paintings concerns the 'somewhat hectic' but ultimately triumphant life of Marie de Medici and represents an impressive feat of female art in a male-dominated era.
At this point you can visit the 3 major works in the museum (probably at your leisure) and then finish off with the Egyptian art.
This is undoubtedly one of the best strategies for you to enjoy your guided tour without being interrupted by the crowds, and without being left with an itch to see more.