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If you plan to visit the Louvre...

...keep up on what's going on with being able to gain entrance.

I follow the Trip Advisor Paris forum as well as the RS forum and I know a lot of the regulars here do as well.

Last week someone posted that they were unable to gain entry to the Louvre using a Paris Museum Pass for the late opening hours on Friday night. Now someone has posted they were in line Sunday AM at opening and were turned away with their Museum Passes.

"I can confirm that they were turning away Museum Pass holders this past weekend. We were there when it opened on Sunday morning, passes in hand, and were told that it was too crowded and pass holders were not allowed in."

A Paris Destination Expert has posted this today "Le Louvre is of course closed today, Tuesday, but I have noticed that there are currently no tickets available before Sunday. This week, one must have a timed ticket for entry. Paris Museum Passes are not being honored. This is the first time limited entry has become an issue to my recollection."

I've got family and friends traveling to Paris on Thursday and have had to re-advise them on their Louvre strategy. I've recommended they go ahead and purchase a timed entry if this is a sight they want to visit. When we first started discussing their trip (last Thanksgiving, lol!!) I blithely gave them the info about the Paris Museum Pass never thinking things would change the way they have - both with the Louvre crowds AND the changes to the PMP.

So...the sands are shifting. What worked for me last April or for you in 2017 is not going to be of use currently. Keep an eye on this forum and at Trip Advisor if you are traveling soon.

As for myself? I'd already bought a timed entry for the Leonardo exhibit the end of October, now thinking I might have to purchase another timed entry ticket for earlier in my visit and use it on a "non-Museum Pass" day.

Posted by
8405 posts

FYI, the pass website now states that entry to the Louvre is not guaranteed.

These timed tickets should solve the problem of multiple groups led by the same agency reusing the same tickets to enter different people all day long.

Posted by
13510 posts

Very good on you, Pam, for keeping a thumb on it!

I've been watching the TA forum as well, and added an update yesterday to one of my previous RS posts now that the info I'd originally provided is no longer correct. Holy cow, between changes to the Roma Pass, the Firenzecard and now this, it's almost enough to make a fella swear off passes altogether! :O(

Posted by
6622 posts

And in the process depriving honest tourists of the ability to come and go which has always been a feature of the Louvre and made visiting more pleasant. Abusive jerks are as usual the reason we can't have nice things. I don't see why the Louvre doesn't issue special tickets to tour groups that are a different color and clearly marked for non re-use and leave the ordinary traveler alone.

Posted by
9717 posts

Yes! Bets, I was so distressed to read the information about the passes being used multiple times by tour groups. Just makes me sick and now the rule-followers are being punished.

Yes, Kathy it's quite the chore to keep up with the changes.

editing to add: Had SIL just book tickets for their group for next week. They had planned to go Monday but the only entry time was 3:30 or after, so they've gone for Wed afternoon. No morning slots available! It was slightly difficult for her to find availability for 5 as well but it's done!

Posted by
6486 posts

I understand the issues with ticket abusers and I understand the Louvre taking steps to address the issue. What bothers me is that they made this change with very little advance notice and very little 'fanfare' leaving lots of tourists, especially museum pass holders in the lurch. Not cool.

Posted by
9717 posts

Bets, thanks for the Le Figaro link. Interesting there were indications of counterfeit bills and counterfeit tickets previously.

Nancy, yes, I feel the same way. I'm really glad I've been keeping up on things so my family that is traveling is not caught off guard when they get there. Can't imagine what it will be like for people who depend on guidebook, only, information (and I mean ANYONE's guides, not just Rick's) and then find things have changed completely.

Posted by
21 posts

Oh, wow! I am grateful we went last week without trouble at opening. A times entry would have been so tough for my family (which includes a teen with a mild disability and who is prone to meltdowns). The best part of the Museum Pass was the ability to be flexible. I am sad to hear about these changes. :-(

Posted by
8405 posts

In addition to ticket fraud, I think this is the follow up to the employee walk out, an action I support 100%. The Museum objects have been in danger for years from overcrowding, people eating and drinking in the galleries; I saw people climbing on statues for photo ops. So the guards let the administration know they couldn’t guard the Museum under such conditions. Maybe this will lead to a more enjoyable experience for those who manage to ride that magic escalator down the Pyramid.

Finally, the Louvre was told a decade ago to increase admission number$, they did, and this is a consequence. It’s similar to Venice having to post tourism rules.

Posted by
9717 posts

Mandy - glad you hit it right and got in on the Pass last week! These quick and recent changes may change everyone's recommendations.

Bets, I wondered if part of this was because of the guards strike last month. Interesting they were told to increase numbers! Do you know if that is because it is a state-owned museum?

Posted by
6486 posts

These quick and recent changes may change everyone's recommendations.

Exactly. The old recommendations to get a museum pass, go early or later in the day, use the Carousel entrance, etc. no longer apply. So, it seems the new recs need to just be "buy a timed entry online".

Probably going to reduce the number of tourists getting the museum pass if the Louvre was a main reason for using it, especially the ability to go more than once during the pass activation dates, or even more than once on a given day.

Posted by
8405 posts

Guards weren’t told to increase admissions; the government told the administration to attract more visitors and increase self-financing. Have you noticed the works on loan worldwide— exhibits in Atlanta, Indianapolis, the Louvre Abu Dhabi....

Posted by
9717 posts

Oh, my brain was ahead of my fingers! Didn't mean the guards were told to increase numbers - realized it was administration.

And no...had not thought about how much stuff is lent out. Although I did notice after I went on a treasure hunt for the Vermeers in the spring that the Lacemaker was off gallivanting around.

Posted by
2017 posts

I didn't see this and just posted on the forum the message on the museum webpage today

One potential trick if you plan to get a museum pass. I purchased my tickets for Leonardo today and noticed that it allowed you to select a timed entry for free if you had the museum pass. Other exhibits might work the same!

(I decided to pay for the exhibit and buy a 4 day pass that I can start using a few days later. If I get back in the Lourve fine, if not, fine)

Posted by
2097 posts

My last trip to Paris in April 2018, we did not even go to the Louvre. I have been several times and luckily feel I have explored enough of the interesting galleries beyond the Mona Lisa. Several of us on a RS tour went back later on a Weds. evening to go through the Egyptian and other galleries of astonishing works. Truly remarkable.

Being an Atlantan, I have enjoyed seeing the Louvre works on loan to our High Museum of Art. For 3 years in a row as I remember. Very nice exhibits.

Pam,
I think you mentioned the Firenze card has changed its rules? I'm planning a trip to Venice & Florence next April. Could you give me the high points of the changes, or, tell me where to look them up?

An update from Paris. We were able to get into the Louvre today using our Museum Passes. We were in line at 8:00 a.m. and through security by 9:30. The museum is open late today, so maybe that factored into their willingness to accept the pass.
Kathy

Posted by
6622 posts

Article very interesting. So it is true that Chinese tour companies have abused the Louvre process by sending as many as 6 or 7 groups a day through the museum on one set of tickets and so now those of us who have ethics can no longer come and go on one ticket. Surely they could manage this problem without penalizing ordinary non-cheating tourists. Require every tour group to purchase special 'tour group tickets' that are not re-usable. They do that in St. Petersburg at the Hermitage (of course they offer groups cheaper tickets and then restrict what those tickets cover).

Posted by
2017 posts

Sorry but for me one of the draws of the pass was that I didn't have to get in line at 8 am and spend 90 minutes on line.

Posted by
13510 posts

Surely they could manage this problem without penalizing ordinary
non-cheating tourists. Require every tour group to purchase special
'tour group tickets' that are not re-usable.

Exactly, Janet.! It shouldn't be that difficult to stop the cheats in their tracks without penalizing everyone else. Grrrrrrr.

I think you mentioned the Firenze card has changed its rules? I'm
planning a trip to Venice & Florence next April. Could you give me the
high points of the changes, or, tell me where to look them up?

Judy, pretty sure that was me. Linking my previous thread on the subject is probably the fastest way to get info to you:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/firenzecard-and-the-uffizi-well-this-is-new

The big change is requiring advance, timed-entry reservations for the Uffizi and Accademia if using the card. No more waltzing in just any old time. If you have more questions, post 'em on the Italy forum. :O)

Posted by
9717 posts

Carol, when are you traveling? That ~might~ make a difference but as mentioned, I went ahead and booked a timed ticket for the Leonardo exhibit. I'm pretty sure the Museum Pass does not cover special exhibitions but I'm also not sure I'd trust a lot on their website now, lol! I agree that one of the advantages was not having to spend an inordinate amount of time in line.

Kathy, thanks for answering. Yes, I'm sure it was your Italy information!

Kathleen, thanks for adding your experience today. I'm so glad you got in! Hope you don't melt in the heat tomorrow!

Janet...I'm with you and Kathy. Surely they could figure out a better way. You write your name on the pass but that might be a workaround if they used another alphabet, etc.

Posted by
6622 posts

Tour groups get purple tickets which do not allow re-enty. How hard is this. And ordinary humans get the old tickets which allow coming and going.

I am now grateful for all those years I had a professional membership and could go any time at the head of the line and take my husband on evening hours.

Posted by
8294 posts

This is such important and useful info, thank you Pam. Bumping this thread back to the 1st page.

Posted by
2017 posts

I am going in November. I went ahead and booked my time entry to the exhibit. It did say on the exhibit ticket page you could book a timed entry for free if you had a museum pass. I decided not to do that and book a paid time entry for the museum and then potentially buy a museum pass for later in my stay and maybe come back

Posted by
1842 posts

I like the idea of timed entries and see this as de rigueur as more people can afford international travel.

The Louvre, and may other places, can be a crazy crowded at times.

Posted by
13510 posts

Ran through some of the most recent reviews on TA and it sounds like it's chaos there on some days.
LOTS of unhappy folks with Museum Passes. Oh, and some mentioned having to stand in long, individual ticket-check lines just to move between wings. Is that a new thing too? My brain doesn't remember having to do that but then, my brain isn't as fresh as it used to be.

I wish they'd just move Mona out of the Louvre entirely. Give her her own separate building/pricey entry fee for all the visitors who are ONLY interested in a shot of her smirk and ease the madness for fans of the other works/collections.

Posted by
9717 posts

"and some mentioned having to stand in long, individual ticket-check lines just to move between wings. Is that a new thing too? My brain doesn't remember having to do that but then, my brain isn't as fresh as it used to be."

Oh, I missed that! Yes, if you exit any of the 3 wings back to the area under the Pyramid then you go thru a ticket check to re-enter another wing. Sometimes it just does not seem possible to get from one area of the Louvre without having to go back to the central entrance hall. Previously the ticket check has been cursory - a couple of booths at the top of the escalators so they must be having to scan each ticket or something.

I agree about the Mona. Maybe have moving sidewalks in front of her and then another stationary level up behind that. Something to keep the crowd moving and funneled away.

I'm thinking I am going to have to work on the skill of finding back ways to things the next time I visit!

Posted by
13510 posts

Pam, I guess they have guards moving people along in front of the thing now but that doesn't solve the issue of reducing the numbers wanting to get inside just to see HER and nothing else. The Vatican Museums have the same problem with the Sistine Chapel: a vast number only want to see THAT and overload the entrance and crowd levels in parts of the museums.

Posted by
1256 posts

I am hoping that with all these new issues on using passes Rick will include some new helpful advice in his monthly newsletter soon.

Posted by
13510 posts

I am hoping that with all these new issues on using passes Rick will
include some new helpful advice in his monthly newsletter soon.

Laurie, regarding just the Louvre, I don't know what sort of advice he could offer at this point other than to order timed-entry tickets well in advance or book a tour. The staff regularly adds updates for changes which have occurred after the latest guidebooks went to press but I don't know how many site users find or use that function.

https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/guidebook-updates

It's also possible that the museum isn't finished making changes to entry requirements/options, sort of like there have been been seemingly endless changes for accessing the Colosseum this past year and it has been rumored that they are not done yet (e.g. possible general-entry price in increase in Nov.).

Posted by
1 posts

Pam thank you for such a helpful post. First trip coming up and the options are dizzying. I have come to the conclusion reading the available info online for the Louvre, the Pass, and even Versailles that the only option to avoid a hassle is to buy timed entry for these sites for our visit in August. I find it interesting that neither the Louvre or Versailles have any readily visible info on their sites about entry with the Paris Museum Pass.

Kathleen, so even with the museum pass it took you 1.5 hours just to get in?

Can anyone with experience buying timed entry online share how quickly they got in?

Posted by
8293 posts

One day soon, everyone in the world will have been to the Louvre, Versailles and the Tour Eiffel, and then you will be able to buy a ticket and walk in. Just like in the old days.

Posted by
4473 posts

Wow, thank you so much for posting this info! I will be returning to Paris next month.

A thought on making the regular visitor tickets to the Louvre a different color from the tour tickets: If the regular tickets could be reused, those tour groups with no absolutely integrity would just change their purchase to regular visitor tickets and continue with their 6+ people practice of reusing the same visitor ticket.

Reading about this makes me sad to think about how our beautiful museums are changing - from a place to stand and admire great works a few years ago to these practices now. I REALLY wish all museums would stop allowing photos; the current ones that don’t allow photographs are so much more enjoyable!

Posted by
9717 posts

BigMike, that actually was exactly what I was thinking of!

Kathy - urk...yes...the crowding at Vatican/Sistine Chapel is just too awful to contemplate. At least with Mona she is portable (as opposed to the Sistine Ceiling). I'm thinking whole new showcase for her - in a building of her own so those that just want to see her can be shuttled thru there without clogging up the works. However...maybe some who just come for the Mona are exposed to other things and start to have an appreciation for art?

rbdub, if I were buying a timed ticket I try to get the earliest one available say at 9 or 930 and that is what I did for the end of Oct for the Leonardo exhibition. I would still get there by 830 or so. BUT I'm an early riser and I'm ready to be out of the hotel by 8A. You might be a different kind of traveler! Glad this thread is helpful in planning. It is a fluid situation so things may be different when you are there.

I liked the way they did the timed entries for the King Tut exhibit. There were different lines for timed admits - you got in the line for XX:00 or XX:30 and were sorted out that way.

And Kathy, I think you are right. I don't think they are finished with changes at the Louvre. The current location of Mona Lisa is temporary while they refurb the gallery where she was hanging. I noted in April when I was there that ALL the other art in that gallery had been removed and they had started doing stuff to the walls at that time.

Jean, I don't even mind the photos. I DO mind selfie sticks and I do mind if people are just going step/click/step/click and not actually looking and enjoying what they are seeing with their eyes.

Posted by
13510 posts

However...maybe some who just come for the Mona are exposed to other
things and start to have an appreciation for art?

Sigh. I know, Pam. Being exposed to it is the best way to learn to appreciate it so limiting access might not be the right solution. Then again, I wonder how many people go the Louvre or Uffizi or Accademia only to be able to say that they did and don't really care for the collection beyond a single piece or two?

Accademia: David
Uffizi: Birth of Venus
Louvre: Mona

We chose not ascend the Eiffel + skipped Versailles entirely. O the SHAME, eh? :O)

Posted by
9717 posts

Hahaha Kathy! No demerits from this group on not checking off the boxes!

And yes, the selfish tourist in me wants them just to go to the Mona Lisa and go away so I can enjoy what I want to see.

The more altruistic person hopes they will get more out of the visit.

Posted by
13510 posts

The more altruistic person hopes they will get more out of the visit.

LOL. Our better angels, yes?!!! As far as art without angst (where tickets are involved) we've wandered into some killer Italian churches with drop-dead, knock-the-socks-off art for free and had them almost all to ourselves. You can see some pretty awesome stuff without the pain involved with getting into Top 10 museums these days but you have to be into that sort of thing to put them on the itinerary in the first place.

We saw some great art in Bruges, Antwerp and Munich as well without being trampled. Amsterdam was sort of a pain.

Posted by
113 posts

Really hoping this situation calms down by my visit in October. I have always entered via the Carrousel entrance first thing in the morning, and gotten right in the museum with my PMP. Obviously from other posts, this may no longer be possible ::sigh::

Not that the Louvre is listening to me, but rather than making tour groups tickets different colors, how about punching a hole in them once used which would mark them as unusable thereafter? Or – and this would obviously take a lot of infrastructure on the part of the Louvre – perhaps putting a program in place where tour operators must register with the Louvre and each morning, online, they have to register the number of guests they will be bringing through, pay for them (online) and be issued a special pass for that number of people in each group. It could be done.

Posted by
13510 posts

Really hoping this situation calms down by my visit in October

Not sure when exactly your visit will be but I think they're expecting heavy attendance for the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition which starts on the 24th. Just speculating.

Posted by
153 posts

On the parisinfo.com site for the Museum Pass...

Louvre Museum: Due to the high number of visitors and ongoing renovations, access to the Louvre Museum is currently very disrupted.
Consequently, we are unable to guarantee access to holders of the Paris Museum Pass.

Fun... I have a few weeks to decide what to do, but I pity others there now where the confusion and anger must be bad.

Posted by
18 posts

We are in Paris now. We arrived Sunday morning (before 9:30) and were told the museum was sold out and no tickets were available for the rest of the day and we couldn’t use our museum pass. We couldn’t buy tickets for Monday on line as it was already sold out. And we haven’t been able to find a time on Wednesday with 3 tickets available at the same time. We leave Thursday. Not sure if we try early Wed am or if we just give up and plan other stops. It has been very frustrating.

Posted by
9717 posts

Christina, I would just go to one of the other museums and avoid the hassle. Have you been to any other museums yet? Fabulous collections at multiple locations that are not as difficult to access.

Pastorash, thanks for adding that. I had not seen that statement so I think that has been added since the end of last week!

Posted by
13510 posts

For the benefit of anyone else who have pre-purchased passes, the same issue with the Louvre is going to occur with Parislib' and Paris Pass as the Museum Pass is part of those 'bundled' (attraction+ transport) passes.

Posted by
9717 posts

Oh...good point Kathy! Most who purchase those products are first-timers and might not realize this will apply to them.

Posted by
113 posts

Pastorash -

"Not sure when exactly your visit will be but I think they're expecting heavy attendance for the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition which starts on the 24th. Just speculating."

As luck would have it, I am leaving October 23!

Posted by
10344 posts

IMO it's about time the Louvre moved to a timed entry purchased in advance online, so that the number of visitors in the museum at any one time can be controlled. Will be better for everyone's quality of experience. Other major museums are moving to this. It's good they feel a responsibility (the museum) to go to some effort to prevent over-crowding and enhance their visitors' experience.

Posted by
13510 posts

I would agree to a point Kent. Our issue here is that they are marginalizing holders of the Paris Museum Pass. That one has been a terrific options for YEARS for visitors deeply interested in the City of Light's artistic treasures. We did the Louvre 3 times (one long and two short visits) on that pass during our week in Paris. If one of the big contributors to overcrowding is tour group reusing tickets, then there are any number of ways that could be deterred.

Posted by
65 posts

I will be in Paris from Sep 10 to Sep 14. do you guys think things will be better off in September?

I was thinking to wait until mid August to access this situation. This will determine if I buy Museum Pass or just buy individual tickets.

Posted by
9717 posts

BG if you are interested in other museums the Museum Pass may still provide an advantage. I, too, would wait a bit to see how things are going. You wouldn’t need to buy the Museum Pass ahead but you would want to purchase a timed entry to the Louvre if things continue as they are.

Kent, I have no problem with the Louvre going to timed entries. I do have a problem with the way they are handling this. There was no notice and no official explanation. There was seemingly no communication between the Louvre and the agency that sells the Museum Pass to warn purchasers it might not be honored until the last few days. It seems like the entries are being handled differently every day. Over the last week and a half people are reporting both being allowed in with the pass and being turned away. I’d be in favor of more transparency and a published plan on how admissions will be handled so people can plan.

Then...I have suggestions for the rest of the Universe! 😁

Posted by
131 posts

Just went to the official Louvre website. The current disclaimer clearly states:

High visitor numbers are expected in the coming days. For this reason, we strongly recommend buying tickets online to ensure entry to the museum. From 17 July until mid-October 2019, while renovations are ongoing in its usual location, the Mona Lisa will be displayed in the Galerie Médicis (room 801) on level 2 of the Richelieu wing.

I add the above information to this post in case you want to re-think your visiting strategy and avoid that area of the museum altogether and see all the other wonderful art!

We are going in October and had planned to go to the Louvre on Wednesday, Oct. 2, late afternoon because it closes at 9:45 p.m. and it's supposed to be less crowded then. We will be already have the Museum Pass (we're there for 6 days, 7 nights and will get our value out of it regardless of whether or not we get into the Louvre). But I did not see anything on the website about the timed entry purchase being waived if you have the Pass....can someone clarify if this is true? Or maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part? Looked to me like you had to just purchase tickets like everyone else.

Obviously I'd prefer to hold off on jumping the gun and buying timed entry tix just yet, but I did go into "purchase tickets" just to see what's still available right now, and for October, there are already no timed entries available for any of the Tuesdays, and if memory serves the entire last week of October is unavailable as well. Timed entries are going fast, look like--just a heads up if you must see the Louvre! Also, the Leonardo exhibit looks to be a separate ticket you need to buy, not covered by an individual ticket, nor the MP.

I think the always-busy Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam does it right: you buy the general IAM Museum Pass (same idea as the Paris Museum Pass--good value for lots of sights), and then for the VGogh, you are required to additionally book a timed entry. BUT, it does not cost extra to do so. Your IAM pass still "gets you in free," so to speak. It just helps spread out the crowds--there is still advantage with the IAM pass, and lines are mitigated b/c of the timed entry. What they are doing at the Louvre is making you pay for something you thought you already paid for b/c you bought the MP! Require timed entry reservations, but honor the Museum Pass!

Posted by
10344 posts

This problem (of the big museums being over-crowded crowded) is just going to get worse over time, as the number of visitor increases but the number of museums doesn't increase. The museums need to step up and be responsible (they're making millions) to make the experience better for their visitors, with timed entry or whatever.
Some museums have already taken action, others need to do so as the problem inevitably gets worse.

Posted by
759 posts

Good evening everyone,

Long time reader with no urge to post. I do not want to insult anyone nor rock existing relationships. But 30 yrs as a “fixer” I’ve spent a career fixing mistakes and helping companies/institutions set up procedures to avoid future issues. While the mistake that breaks the camel’s back is readily apparent the true issue/process that lead to the “opps” is much further back in the business plan and not always obvious to those not looking for it. Thus my take on the current Louvre issues.

It is quite obvious that the Louvre is going through issues. Summer season, cheating tour groups, guards and staff upset. It is a highly fluid situation and there will not be a quick end.

Thus if the Louvre is a must for you, please do yourself a huge favor and prebook a ticket. I would not wait one day. Do it NOW. Things may clear up for a week and then go south again; so wait and see very much reminds me of a Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood) quote: do you feel lucky, do ya? (quote cleaned up)

What is at risk: $20 vs no entry into the Louvre. Your vacation is costing you thousands of $$. Your putting a major experience at risk for a few $$. Wait until only a few weeks-month before you depart to buy your Louvre ticket and you just might find yourself out of luck with tickets sold out as word further spreads and the rest of the world rushes to buy tickets. All those cheating tour groups are gonna give up and start buying huge blocks of tickets to appease their customers. I would love to hear what RS is doing with their Best if Paris tour which includes a visit to the Louvre.

There are times and things to save money on, this is simply not one of them.

Please excuse typos- doing this on a Caltrain/iPhone, not the best typing platform.

Safe travels

One Fast Bob

Posted by
9717 posts

Suzanne-there are no timed entries for Tuesdays because that’s the day the Louvre is closed.

Right now the Louvre is only guaranteeing entry to those who have purchased the timed entry tickets. This past week sometimes people with Museum Passes were being allowed to enter, sometimes not. It seemed to be random as several of the reports were from those who arrived early AM.

It’s hard to say what it will be like during your visit in October. Three weeks ago none of us would have predicted what’s gone on the last 1.5-2 weeks so there is no precedent on which to really base an opinion.

The purchase of a timed entry for the Leonardo exhibit allows you to enter the museum afterward.

Posted by
18 posts

Being here now and seeing almost everything booked with pre purchased tickets I would not plan the museum pass. We were willing to forgo using our museum pass for the Louvre but can't buy tickets online, can't wait in line for tickets (as we keep being told its entirely sold out) and can't find any third parities with tickets/tours. Same with the catacombs. The Orsay we walked right into. If something is important to you I would prebook it and just forget about the museum pass until they sort this out and provide further information.

Posted by
9717 posts

Thanks Christina! When you have time, could you expand on any experience trying to book 3rd party tours? I had been wondering if some of the 3rd party groups had been caught out and had not been able to get in. I also realize you are on vacation and may not have time or energy to respond!!

Posted by
131 posts

I did figure out quickly that Louvre is closed Tuesdays...and posted recognition of my mistake but didn't hit reply so it never posted. Sorry to mislead anyone!

I am going to take Fast Bob's advice and book a timed entry for our Wednesday visit in October, mid-late afternoon. I need some advice on which timed entry will still give us enough time to do other things earlier that day. I can see me spending at least 3 - hours at the Louvre....

Our itinerary earlier that day is:
Arc de'Triomphe @ 10:00--climbing some stairs, likely lines
Walk Champs-Elysees (just to see, we are not shoppers so won't need to allow time for that)
To Tuilleries, have picnic or lunch there
Orangerie museum ( Monet and the rest as well).
Louvre.

I am thinking around 5:00 for an entry time, so nothing is rushed. Thoughts?

Posted by
9717 posts

Suzanne, I'm glad you figured out the Tuesday thing.

Your schedule looks OK to me if the weather is pleasant. If it's yucky, take the Metro from Arc de Triomphe to the Concorde Metro stop and then head for the Orangerie. I know many enjoy the walk down the Champs-Elysee but it's not my thing.

Posted by
9717 posts

In an interview in the French newspaper, Le Parisien on July 29 ...

"However, "the situation has returned to normal," says Vincent Pomarède, deputy general administrator of the museum. "Following the move of the Mona Lisa , we had trouble managing the flow, especially because of the escalators but after three days, everything is back in order," he continues. In the same way, specifies the person in charge, "it is not the first time that one represses visitors but before, one did not say it. People waited for hours but now, we can warn them and especially, they are encouraged to buy their tickets in advance."

http://www.leparisien.fr/culture-loisirs/sans-reservation-pas-de-musee-le-louvre-victime-de-son-succes-29-07-2019-8125764.php

This is a translation from viewing the paper in GoogleChrome using the translation feature.

I'm not sure what the deputy GA of the museum thinks is normal but not allowing people in to the museum with the Museum Pass is not what "we" have known as normal in years!

I think this is still an unfolding event.

Posted by
8294 posts

suzanne, i think your timing is perfect. 10 am at the Arc de Triomphe, 5 pm at the Louvre.

We do enjoy walking down the Champs Elysées. We’re not shoppers either, but we enjoy the “store” that has cars, the PSG store (France’s Soccer team) and Ladurée for lunch. Best club sandwich on the planet in a very nice dining room.

I’ll be in Paris early Sept to end of Oct and i’m going to buy a Timed Entry ticket now to the Louvre. I just want to be on the safe side.

Posted by
1 posts

Has anyone else not had their Paris Museum Pass honoured at attractions apart from the Louvre and the Catacombs?

I'll be in Paris late August and now I'm wondering if I should just pre buy all tickets. The main thing I did like about the pass was the flexibility of not having to choose a timeslot and exact date.

I wanted to get the pass to cover Le Centre Pompidou, Sainte Chapelle, Louvre, Musee de l'Orangerie, Musee d'Orsay and Versailles. So if there's uncertainty with any of these as well then a regimented pre booked and pre timed everything it will have to be I guess!

I have noticed that pass holders can pre book timeslots on the Lourve website. When you click buy tickets it's called 'Paris Museum Pass holders - Compulsory time slot booking'. Was going to just buy the pass when we got to Paris though and you need the serial number in order to pre-book these tickets.

Posted by
13510 posts

We were willing to forgo using our museum pass for the Louvre but
can't buy tickets online, can't wait in line for tickets (as we keep
being told its entirely sold out) and can't find any third parities
with tickets/tours. Same with the catacombs. The Orsay we walked right
into.

Coming back to this post, Christina, it sounds like your only issue with the pass was at the Louvre, correct? As you stated, you "walked right into" the Orsay, and the pass has never covered the catacombs so it wouldn't have helped you there anyway. Along with queue-skipping, where possible, benefits of a pass can also be not having to pony up cash/credit card at individual attractions and, as someone mentioned earlier, the ability to stop into museums one might otherwise pass by.

I'll agree, though, that being able to visit any museum a pass covers on any day/hour during the life of the pass - and access them via shorter queues for pass/ticket holders - has usually been their biggest selling points.

Posted by
153 posts

The only annoying thing now is not being able to reserve at the Louvre until you physically get your Museum Pass, which I presume most people don't do until they arrive. Hope there is room when we arrive.

Posted by
2018 posts

We were with a Rick Steves tour last week and our museum passes were honored at the Louvre. But even our guide wasn't certain they would be as we stood in line waiting to enter. She said the policy is changing from day to day and she had concerns about the tour groups yet to visit being able to do so with their passes.

Posted by
9717 posts

Andi! I am sure the RS guides are going nuts trying to plan this for their tour groups. So glad you got in!

PastorAsh - IF something happens and you can't get in to the Louvre there is so much that you CAN see! Were there specific pieces you wanted to see in the Louvre? I'm hoping since they have temporarily relocated Mona that I can spend time in front of one of my favorites, Winged Victory of Samothrace (which the Nike swoosh was modeled on) without being trampled by those trying to get to Mona's old gallery!

Posted by
759 posts

This has the potential of becoming a big problem for RS Tours (and other Tour Groups). NOT the fault of RS but a logistics issue- RS Tours already do not include the Eiffel Tower (no way to insure every tour group will be able to get tickets). If they lose the use of the Museum Pass for the Louvre and drop the Louvre from the Best of Paris schedule..... think about it. A Best of Paris Tour that is missing the 2 biggest highlights of Paris for many. Again, not a choice by RS but logistic changes being created by the individual sites.

Maybe there is hope in some type of preregistration (and prepayment) by tour groups to insure their groups gain admission.

Posted by
9717 posts

TBH, ofastbob, there are so many big museums that I don’t think tour members will suffer. On the Best of Paris tour I did several years ago we had a wonderful guided tour of the Orangerie. Wow, I learned so much about art from that guide. We did not have a guided tour of d’Orsay but that would be a great substitute.

Posted by
1842 posts

I'd guess three of the most popular sites in Paris include Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre. Of those three at a minimum I'd want to go up to the first level of the Eiffel. It's a much more immersive experience than just looking at it.

Posted by
9717 posts

Well, Mike, you are welcome to go up in the Eiffel Tower although I'm not sure how that relates to the issues at the Louvre. Or did you mean for it to relate to RS tour visits to Paris? Not sure...

Anyway, I've got a fear of heights so I'll be staying on the ground. Which fortunately works for entering the Louvre!

Posted by
64 posts

I have a friend who will be visiting Paris for the first time in September for 3 days. I have been helping her with her itinerary. I read recently about the Louvre changing entry rules, like beginning at the end of this year, they are switching to an all timed entry rule. But, anyway, I recommend she buy her museum pass at the Pantheon, a less crowded place, as Rick has suggested. They planned to do the Louvre in a limited visit. Question is- where do you make reservations for the timed entry ? Is it done online, or exclusively at the Louvre, or can she do it at another location, like the Pantheon when she purchases her MP ? Thanks,

Posted by
759 posts

Stacyl,

You make the timed entry reservation online at the Louvre web site but it appears you have to have your Museum Pass in hand as it contains an Id/inventory number that you need.

The Louvre has been “selling out” mainly because of the Mona Lisa location change situation (and a bunch of collateral issues). Things are in flux and changing daily. If your friend really wants to get into the Louvre then have her go online now and buy a single entry timed ticket (about $20). She can then buy a Museum Pass while in Paris for the other sites she wishes to see.

Yes, it is an extra $20 this way but it guarantees she gets into the Louvre.

Travel safe,

One Fast Bob

Posted by
9717 posts

Oh MIke...you made me laugh out loud! I thought I had missed something. It's good you are thinking about a trip to Paris though!

Posted by
26 posts

Thank you so much for posting this and the other post!

We are leaving Paris on the 25th of October, so just bought our DaVinci tickets. We decided to forego the PMP, and bought our tickets to the Louvre as well (not realizing we could go into the museum afterwards).

As luck would have it, the 24th is a PMP day so we are goign to do our visit to the Louvre on the 23rd, and DaVinci on the 24th. We are not staying far from there, so we can easily go back.

Now I just need to get my passes for the other sites we want to see.

Posted by
2017 posts

Over on a Facebook I am reading reports that if you pre-order the Museum Pass you get a confirmation number which can also be used to book your timed entry for the museum.

Also while someone above says the museum is getting back to normal there's also news reports that timed entry will be required going forward.

https://frenchly.us/the-louvre-will-make-ticket-reservations-mandatory-for-visitors-starting-this-fall/?no_cache=1&fbclid=IwAR21SCsO9anXO5GhkLFGc0LncoKPGtjtJAf7CH3ghG1CX0AbOKsHO-yUa7E

Posted by
3 posts

I have timed entry tickets for Louvre on October 17th. Can anyone confirm what the location of the Mona Lisa will be on that date? Will it have already been moved for the Leonardo exhibit that starts on October 24th? My husband will be with me and he has never been to France, so I want him to see her. Thanks so much for any help.

Posted by
9717 posts

DEB, all the Louvre website (English version) says is this:

"To ensure the smooth progress of renovations in the Salle des États and maintain optimal visiting conditions, the Musée du Louvre has decided to temporarily transfer the Mona Lisa to the Galerie Médicis (room 801, level 2, Richelieu wing). The painting will remain there from July 17 until work in the Salle des États is completed mid-October 2019."

https://www.louvre.fr/en/mona-lisa-temporarily-display-galerie-medicis

I'd bookmark the website and then check a few days before you travel, then check again the AM you plan to visit.

I also would not think this painting would be included in the special Leonardo exhibition. It's the museum's top draw (whether anyone likes that or not, it is) and there is no way they could manage that volume of traffic down in the special exhibition area.

Have a wonderful time!

Posted by
8294 posts

DEB, since you now have your tickets for 10/17, knowing ahead of getting there where Mona is won’t make a difference. I would just ask at the Information counter where she is when you get there.
Plus, her location could change on any given day and even they don’t know ahead of time where she’ll be on 10/17.
You chose a good day to go though... it’s my birthday... : )