The Carrousel du Louvre is a shopping centre in Paris that is very popular with locals and visitors alike. It offers a great way to take a break after visiting the famous paintings and works of art at the Louvre, which, by the way, I recommend you buy your ticket in advance- not for nothing is it the most visited museum in the world!
Open seven days a week, the exclusive centre has dozens of shops, a gourmet food court and an elegant and spacious setting. If you're looking for a place to eat near the Louvre, the Carrousel is a great choice. It's also the place to go if you're looking for new clothes, jewellery, books or a special gift to take back on the plane.
What's so special about the Louvre shop?
The construction of the Carrousel du Louvre was seen as an extension of the entrance in a project that began in the early 1990s. The Carrousel du Louvre officially opened in 1993 and is now one of the most popular shopping centres in central Paris.
It is not only a shopping centre, but also an artistic space, as it was decided that the medieval ruins should be preserved in their original location. They are now visible in the Carrousel shopping centre and form an integral part of it.
As if that were not enough, sculptures have also been added. Carrousel du Louvre plays a more than practical role for the Louvre, as it houses parts of its past. The Carrousel also provides access to the museum.
Architecture of the Louvre shop
The Carrousel is also architecturally impressive: the lower section of the famous glass Pyramide du Louvre (Louvre Pyramid), designed by Chinese architect I.M. Pei, is visible from the shopping centre. In addition, the Carrousel du Louvre includes a large exhibition space where major annual events are held, such as the Paris photo exhibition.
The work on the Grand Louvre and the construction of the Carrousel uncovered the amazing foundations of the Royal Palace. These are the ruins of Charles V's perimeter wall, a stone wall designed to protect the city. The part visible from the Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre was built in the 16th century.
What to buy in the Louvre shop
The shopping centre features fashion, jewellery, home design, gifts, books and many other specialised boutiques.
- Mariages Frères: Tea room for a break during a day of sightseeing and shopping.
- Fragonard: Brand specialising in cosmetics.
- L'Occitane: French cosmetics and gift shop of medium price and high quality.
- Comedie-Francaise: Place to buy tickets for French comedy theatre.
- Hertz Car Rental: Car rental service in Paris, a very good option to consider.
Restaurant of the Louvre shop - Bistrot Benoit
The Bistrot Benoit restaurant is located in the heart of the museum, just below the pyramid, and is the only restaurant in the Louvre boutique, hence it is also known as "the restaurant of the shopping centre''.
This restaurant offersmenus and dishes of French gastronomy, with a menu completely revamped by Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse, mixing the traditional with a contemporary twist, as well as providing a large selection of wines and other drinks to accompany the meal.
There is a lunchtime formula available where you can have a starter, a main course and a dessert, which also comes with a glass of wine or mineral water and costs around €20-30). However, you can also enjoy the food even more by ordering à la carte as you would in one of Paris's fine restaurants. In this case, Bistrot Benoit**(originally called Cafe Grand Louvre**) will offer you several options at your leisure to enjoy a three-course meal in a unique and prestigious setting.
Prices and opening hours of the Louvre boutique restaurant
Bistrot Benoit is open every day except special holidays for breakfast between 9am and 11:30am, then for lunch from 11:30am and closing at 5pm. It is also open in the evening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays, except in summer when it maintains these hours every day.
The average à la carte price ranges from €20 to €50.
Style of the Louvre Shopping Centre restaurant
Bistrot Benoit welcomes visitors all day long in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. An authentic setting in the heart of the museum. The interior offers an artistic style with chairs and tables made of zinc, brass, wood and red velvet (a rather formal look that fits in perfectly with the Louvre museum). What's more, you'll also find waiters dressed in a traditional style with white aprons and bow ties.
Bistrot Benoit stands out under the prestigious glass pyramid with an area of 200 square metres and a capacity for 90 people.
Louvre boutique patisserie - Patisserie Paul
Another of the most outstanding places to eat in the shopping centre is its patisserie. Despite being the only patisserie in the mall and offering some of the tastiest cakes, crepes and croissants, it's not a place to spend a lot of money, and you're unlikely to find anything that costs more than 8 euros. It's also very close to the museum entrance.
They also serve breakfast in the morning, which is a very smart option to save time and go straight to the museum, especially if you're going to the Louvre with children, although you should note that it doesn't open until 10:30am. In case you prefer to visit the Louvre earlier in the day and want to have breakfast nearby, I recommend heading to the cafes and eateries near the museum.
Of course, it must be said that the Paul Patisserie offers very complete French-style breakfast menus with coffee and croissant, the classic French ham and butter sandwich or a chocolate cake. You can even stop by for a light snack in case you want to visit the museum later.
- Location: Second floor, just below the Louvre Pyramid.
- Opening hours: Continuous service from 10.30am to 5.30pm.
- Prices: Breakfast between €8 and €12 per person.
Recommendations for your visit to the Louvre shop
Don't just shop for the sake of shopping: while it's true that the shopping centre has many electronics and clothing shops, I recommend that you only buy items that are exclusive to the museum and that you won't be able to buy elsewhere. This is because, in general, the prices of items not related to the museum are usually more expensive.
Take advantage of your location to enter the Louvre: if you plan to visit the museum and you have already bought your tickets, I recommend you not to leave the shopping centre, but to go directly to the entrance of the Louvre museum, this entrance has the same name as the shopping centre: Carrousel du Louvre and it is much less crowded than the main entrance (Pyramide).
Louvre shop opening hours
The Carrousel du Louvre is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. With a few exceptions, the shops are open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., 7 days a week.
Important: Every corner of the Carrousel is accessible for people with disabilities or movement difficulties.
How to get to the Louvre shop
The shopping centre is located at 99, rue de Rivoli. If you take the metro , I recommend the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre stop (Line 1). However, if you have your own means of transport, bear in mind that parking is available at the Caroussel du Louvre.
If you go by bus, lines 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81 and 95 will be useful. You can also use the RER trains to get there; the Chatelet - Les Halles stop where lines A, B and D stop is only 650 metres from the restaurant. You can also use the tourist buses as a means of transport, or even the water buses that travel along the Seine River, dropping you off at stops near the Louvre Museum and the Bistrot Benoit restaurant.