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Timed ticket @ The Louvre VS. "Skip the line" from outside website?

We are travelling in July and know that The Louvre will be PACKED. From the forums I understand that the security lines are often the big line-ups and one way to save time is getting guided tour tickets that have a different check-in point when available.

I'm reading reviews on "skip the line" tickets offered by outside companies and it sounds like the tickets have to be picked up elsewhere, you need to return audio headphones back to the other location after, sounds like all that alone would be a hassle and a good chunk of time.

As you still need to allocate your desired time to enter The Louvre to the "skip the line", I'm wondering if these tickets are still using the same lines that a timed ticket from the official website would use? Is there some type of advantage to actually paying the increased price to the outside company rather than going direct and buying a timed ticket from The Louvre website?


Posted by
1441 posts

I've never had more than a momentary wait using the metro entrance rather than the Pyramid entrance.

Posted by
271 posts

Disclaimer: I've never been to Paris in the summer, only in the off- or shoulder-seasons. But a strategy that has worked well for us on multiple occasions is to arrive in the courtyard about 15 minutes prior to opening. This allows us to take pictures and admire the pyramid and the exterior of the museum itself. Then we approach the guard at the Richelieu entrance (in the Richelieu passage, to the left of the pyramid if you're facing the Louvre) with the Paris Museum Pass in hand and a big smile on our faces a few minutes before 9, when the Louvre opens. Even though this is (according to the RS guidebook) technically a tour-group only entrance, we've always been waved in - without a single other person in line. Having a few polite French phrases (good morning, how are you, thank you very much) prepared is never a bad idea.

Again, this has never been during the super-busy summer season, but it might be worth a shot.

Posted by
7727 posts

There is no such thing as a 'skip the line' ticket that some vendor has special access to. If you have an untimed ticket then the only line you skip is the ticket line which at the Louvre is generally not a long line. That long long line you see at the Pyramid and sometimes the Carrousel is not a ticket line; tickets are bought from machines in a room off the courtyard under the Pyramid. the tickets vendors have are the same tickets you can buy; they just cost more.

Posted by
9207 posts

FastEddie... what mêtro entrance?
The only 2 entrances, unless you’re a tour group or annual pass holder, is the Carrousel on rue de Rivoli and the pyramid.

Posted by
32110 posts


The easiest solution would be to use a Paris Museum Pass, as that avoids the long queues for people waiting to buy a ticket. I've never heard of any "skip the line" tickets except for those with organized tours.

"FastEddie... what mêtro entrance? There is no mêtro entrance."

I think what Fast Eddie is referring to is the Le Carrousel du Louvre entrance, which is described on this website - . It leads into the underground shopping area as I recall. I've used it in the past and it's not usually crowded at all.

Posted by
9207 posts

Yes, the Carrousel entrance which janet and I mentioned and RS and many guidebooks have been recommending for over 10 yrs.
It has nothing to do with the mêtro.

Posted by
2516 posts

Advance ticket/pass holders bypass the ticket lines.

There are three ways to become an advance ticket/pass holder allowing you to skip the line:

  • Purchase a ticket from a 3rd party at what are typically inflated prices
  • Purchase a Paris Museum Pass (or an annual pass)
  • Purchase tickets from the museum´s own website.
Posted by
15477 posts

The only way into (and out of) the Louvre is through a large hall under the Pyramid. In that hall, there are ticket agent windows, ticket machines, and a cloakroom, toilets and a cafeteria. From this hall there are 3 entrances to the museum collections, one to each of 3 wings. Once inside, the wings are connected. At each of the 3 entrances, you can rent an audio guide. Since you have to leave photo id (driver's license is fine), you need to remember which one you got it from. No matter which wing you exit from, it's easy enough to walk over to the other entrance for that.

"Skip the line" only means skip the line to buy tickets, but you still have to wait in line for the security check first.

You have to go through a security check before you enter the hall. There are 3 entrances to the hall. The main one is right above the hall at the Pyramid. Sometimes there are two lines, one for ticket-holders which presumably would be faster. Then there's the Carousel entrance, through a small shopping mall. The last time I was there (a few years ago), there was a shop that sold Louvre tickets. There is usually a much shorter security line at this entrance - and there may be a double line, one for ticket-holder. The third entrance is the Passage Richelieu, aka Rue de Rivoli, (which can be accessed from the metro stop without going to street level, so someone may refer to it as the metro entrance). This entrance is only for special pass holders (not the Paris Museum Pass). Because only a few people are eligible, there's virtually no line but tourists are usually turned away. There's also 4th entrance, only for groups.

There can be short lines to buy tickets once you're inside. There are lots of ticket windows and machines, so it's usually pretty fast. The only long lines I've seen inside the entrance hall are at the toilets.

Posted by
730 posts

But first think why are you going to the Louvre? Is it because you love the period of paintings they have in their collection, or because its on the so called "must see" list? If its the second i would not bother. There are so many other amazing art museums in Paris that are alot less stressful and in my mind more beatiful, d'Orsay, Orangerie, d'Art Moderne, Rodin etc. I had avoided the Louvre like the plague for the last 20 years but thought this feb i should try it, it wasn't my thing. I am an arts graduate, but we arent ment to all like the same thing.

Posted by
9207 posts

Yes, there are two entrances only for tour groups/annual pass holders... Richelieu and Lions.
The only two entrances for people that are not in a tour group or do not have an annual pass are the Carrousel and the pyramid entrances. As I said above... : )

Posted by
12154 posts

As I understand it, if you are using a Paris Museum Pass, you have to go through the pyramid entrance. That's what they said when I bought my pass a couple of Septembers ago. It was a new rule then, I assume they still have it.

There was a line for the Pass, another line for pre-purchased tickets (online) and a third for people who needed to buy tickets. I went a little over 30 minutes before opening and was first in line. No bags so waived through security and was literally the first person in the Louvre.

Posted by
1441 posts

FastEddie... what mêtro entrance? The only 2 entrances, unless you’re
a tour group or annual pass holder, is the Carrousel on rue de Rivoli
and the pyramid.

Yes, I was thinking of the Carrousel entrance. Thanks, Susan.