The Secret Louvre Entrance That Will Save You Time!

The Louvre is arguably the most famous museum in the world housing priceless works of art like the Mona Lisa. With more than 10 million visitors annually, the Louvre sees a LOT of visitors daily, and with a lot of space inside to spread out {more than 60,000 square meters!} the most popular attractions can feel crowded but you can often find hidden spaces to spread out. However, there are only four entrances that every visitor has to funnel through. Everyone has seen the main pyramid entrance, and if it's your first visit, you may think this is your best {only?} option. But I'm here to share with you the secret Louvre entrance that will save you time and get you to all the best art pieces before the crowds!


The Secret Louvre Entrance That Will Save You Time!

louvre secret entrance

Before You Go

You can {and should} book tickets to the Louvre. Even if you have a Paris Museum Pass {the Louvre is included!}, you need a timed entry ticket before you go. 

The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays and opens at 9 am Wednesday-Monday. In order to make the most of your visit, book a 9 am pass and arrive at the entrance 15 minutes prior to opening. 

Rick Steves has the best guidebooks for popular cities. I suggest you get your hands on a copy of it!
I've always been impressed with the free audio guides from Rick Steves that you can download. there's a 57-minute walking tour of the Louvre you can download before you go. 

louvre first time visit tips

Do I Need a Skip the Line Ticket?

I have yet to find it necessary to spring for a skip-the-line pass for any popular attraction when traveling. Regardless of what pass you buy, you'll still need to stand in a security line before entering any museum or attraction. Your best bet is buying a ticket ahead of time, printing it, or having it on your phone for easy scanning, and then arriving slightly before your time slot. The best time to plan your visit is always for the first opening time on popular attractions. So book the 9 am time slot for the Louvre Museum, enter through the secret Louvre entrance {keep reading!} and you'll be glad you didn't spend extra on the skip-the-line ticket!

Will You Need a Skip the Line Ticket for Rome?

Did You Know

There are a few different "fun" facts, but the general consensus is, that you won't be able to see it all!

There are more than 380,000 objects at the Louvre, but only 35,000 pieces are displayed. That's only 10% of the museum collection that's on display at a time. 

If you spent just 30 seconds looking at every piece of artwork, you'd be spending at least 100 days straight in the museum before you saw it all. And that's not counting bathroom or meal breaks.


The "Secret" Louvre Entrance

I had done some research before heading to the Louvre and I heard a few people mention the Carrousel du Louvre entrance. When you hear Carrousel, do you think Merry Go Round like I do? 

The Carrousel du Louvre is actually an underground shopping mall that we kind of happened upon as we stepped off the metro. Metro lines 1 and 7 both arrive at this location from the Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre stop. Follow the signs underground until you see the inverted pyramid. 

There is a street entrance at 99 Rue de Rivoli and you will have to take two sets of escalators underground. 

On rainy or hot days, this entrance has the benefit of being undercover and air-conditioned, so it's worth trying to seek it out.

Take Note: Some guides will tell you to take the Porte des Lions entrance. They will often say that this is the "hidden" entrance into the Louvre. However, it's been "temporarily" closed since 2019 with no plans of reopening. Don't waste your time trying to find it!

beat the crowds to the mona lisa lourve

First Stop: Mona Lisa!

It took around 5 minutes for us to get through security {skip the line passes won't let you skip this!} before we started following the signs for the Mona Lisa. We are fast walkers and it still took us around 10 minutes to walk to the Denton wing where she's located. You won't regret getting to this stop first. There are often two-hour waits just to get up close to the roped-off art piece. Heading there first, it took us only a few minutes to get to the front of the line to take a visit with her.

After leaving the Mona Lisa, continue to follow the signs to the other various popular attractions. I was grateful for the stand-alone signs that had images of the popular works of art and arrows so we could quickly reach the destination. 

how to get into the lourve with no one else around
Have you ever seen images where the Louvre is empty like this? Go early, have a plan and enjoy it!

Accessing the "secret" Louvre entrance with a timed entry pass, and heading straight to the Mona Lisa, allowed us to get ahead of the crowds for the rest of our visit. Once you've hit the highlights of popular artwork, then you can slow down to spend the rest of your visit exploring. You'll be surprised at how many crowds you beat as walk past the lines of people waiting just to access the museum. 

great sphinx of tanis lourve
The Great Sphinx of Tanis could date back as early as 26th Century BC!

Since you arrived underground, don't forget to spend some time in the courtyard before you go! 

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