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Bringing food into museums

Hi all,
Would we be OK entering a museum if we had a sandwich in our purse? Because of our timing, I was thinking of picking up sandwiches when we have breakfast to eat between a museum visit and a tour. We would not be consuming them at the museum, but I am wondering if they will make us toss any food upon entering. I am specifically thinking of the Orsay.

Thanks in advance

Posted by
3630 posts

I suggest looking at the rules of each museum you visit on their respective websites because there may be new rules during the pandemic.

Posted by
12 posts

My daughter and I kept snacks (granola bars, nuts, crackers) in our purses and also water bottles. We did snack all over Europe in museums, but very discreetly. It got us through the museum until we could get food outside at a restaurant or such. All museums have security screening that you and your bags go through. But, food was never a problem.

Posted by
12 posts

One more thing: my daughter has blood sugar issues so just last week we were at the Orsay. She was feeling jittery so she pulled into a corner on the first floor, ate her snack, and then we were able to move on. Snacking can be done, just discreetly.

Posted by
6170 posts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC has confiscated food from me, and prohibited protein shakes from being carried in. It is quite wrong to consume food in non-dining areas of any museum. Pests eat art, as well as food crumbs.

Posted by
9172 posts

I can't imagine that a well-wrapped sandwich or piece of fruit that stays in a locker or a purse would be a problem.

OTOH, eating anything that could crumble such as a granola bar or bread is another story. You could imagine the crumbs that attract rats and roaches if all 22,500 daily visitors to the Louvre took just one bite each of a granola bar or bread.

Someone who needs to maintain blood sugar levels steady could pop a solid, hard cheese cube or a bite size veggie ( carrot, cherry tomato, etc) into their mouth to keep going. No crumbs for treating a serious condition.

Posted by
795 posts

Each museum has its own rules.

Here is what the Louvres regulations say:

It is forbidden to enter with excessive quantities of drink or food at the discretion of the agents carrying out the entry control in the reception areas.

It is forbidden to drink and eat in the spaces where works are presented. For this purpose, food and drinks must be kept stored in a closed bag. Only the consumption of plain water, away from the works is tolerated.

Controls may now be tighter.
Here is what happened two weeks ago at the Louvre in front of the Mona Lisa painting:

“A visitor simulated a disability situation to use a wheelchair and approach the work installed in a secure display case. The Louvre has applied its usual procedures for people with reduced mobility, allowing them to admire this major work of the Louvre. »

“Sitting near the work, this individual threw a pastry that he had hidden in his personal effects onto the window of the Mona Lisa. This roll had no effect on the painting, which suffered no damage. »

Posted by
136 posts

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. I have no intention of eating in the museum. I also know about the cafes available at the museums (I had a pretty nice lunch at the Louvre 10 years ago). The issue is that I had not planned on visiting the D'Orsay (have visited before). But our daughter wants to go, and we have a tour that leaves at 1:45 pm from the D'Orsay. Since we have Museum Passes, we are going to try go in for about an hour or so. Adding the museum leaves us very little time for lunch so I thought that I could pick up some sandwiches when we eat breakfast and eat them after the museum.

Thanks again,

PS I had seen the whole MonaLisa cake fiasco...but I guess the guest could easily buy it inside the Louvre and hide it.

Posted by
426 posts

When we are doing full on sightseeing we either do breakfast and dinner or lunch and dinner - life is too short to fit in 3 meals a day normally - and most of us don't really need 3 meals a day

Posted by
12553 posts

Instead of keeping sandwiches in your bag for a couple of hours, why not just pick up a jambon beurre or a croque monsieur from the numerous shops offering them. They will be much fresher and can be purchased and eaten quickly.