Note: As we’ve just recently booked our next trip to Paris, we thought it’d be fun to share this post I wrote last April following our previous visit. Enjoy!
Before heading to Paris earlier this week, my wife and I didn’t make a ton of plans. That said, one thing we both knew we absolutely had to do was visit the Louvre. I don’t know about her, but I’ve been hearing about this museum since I was in elementary school when we had an art history teacher that would come in once a month or so. It seems that a majority of the paintings she showed on one of those old-school carousel slide projectors were on display at this one place in France. I guess that’s always stuck with me, making it a must-see.
While the museum is home to literally thousands of painting, sculptures, and antiquities, its most famous work is the Mona Lisa. Of course, they’ll never let you forget that either — there are plenty of signs throughout the extensive building directing you her way and you can get just about any souvenir you can think off emblazoned with da Vinci’s work. But, in this post, I want to talk less about the art itself and more about how you can see it without having to wait in the massive queue.
Buying tickets online is so simple that it seem like a no-brainer. However, I was slightly confused by a note on the site that said the tickets were “not a queue jump,” but would grant you access to the glass pyramid that serves as one of the museum’s entrances at your assigned time. Further Googling informed me that, at the Louvre, it’s typically the security checkpoint that takes the most amount of time and not the ticketing. Thus, if these tickets would not allow you to skip that line, then what’s the point?
With the “not a queue jump” line in my head, my wife and I arrived about 30 minutes before the 11:30 a.m. arrival our tickets were for. Fearing that we’d be late for that appointment if we didn’t hurry, we ended up just jumping in the security line that curved through the area. As 11:30 drew closer, I decided to take a closer look at the various signs near where the queue finally reached the pyramid. There I found a line for those with museum passes (not us) and then, to my excitement, a dedicated line for those with tickets for a specific time. Heck, there was even a picture of such a ticket that mirrored our print outs. Needless to say, I went back and grabbed by wife from the still-45-more-minutes-to-go queue and brought her over to my newly-discovered line.
Once there, the guard looked at our tickets and waived us through. From there, our line merged with the regular queue at the door and we went through security… and that was it. So, technically, I suppose we didn’t skip the queue… we just had our own that was much, much faster.
If you’re headed to Paris, I not only highly recommend spending a day (or more — it truly is massive) exploring the Louvre but also that you buy your tickets online and save yourself a good amount of time waiting outside.