Going to Paris? This is How You do The Louvre!

The Louvre is the home of the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, long queues to get in and big crowds. It is also spectacularly beautiful and is biggest and best, most famous art gallery and museum in Paris. Make sure you go at night. It is open on Wednesday nights until 9.45pm and Friday nights, also until 9.45pm.

You can have dinner in and around The Louvre, or a post-dinner drink – everything is within walking distance. Drop in at 8.00pm and leave at 9.45pm and you’ll have enough time to zero in on what you really want to see (from Ancient Egypt to the aforementioned Mona Lisa, it’s wise to choose in advance) and skip scenes like this (below, Wikipedia). If you are really committed to Paris it’s also wise to avoid Summer. Below, Mona Lisa Hell (Wikimedia).

 

Mona Lisa hell at The Louvre (Wikimedia).

 

Get into The Louvre Fast – Skip the Line/Queue

Get a Paris Pass and you’ll get fast-track entry to The Louvre. Nobody likes to stand in line. Nobody likes crowds either, so go at night and use your Paris Pass to skip through the queue. Entry is free with the pass (it is normally around 15 Euros). The Paris Pass can be posted to your home before you take your trip. Allow at least 2 weeks. It can also be downloaded to your mobile phone. 

What else is good about The Paris Pass? It will give you access to The Big Bus, which picks you up near The Louvre and drops you off at all the major landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower. See the map here. 

Save your Feet and Save Money – Shopping Heaven

If you are only in Paris for a couple of days, save your feet and save money by using your Paris Pass, to take you from The Louvre to The Paris Opera – on The Big Bus. Galeries Lafayette is the famous department store with Chanel, Dior and so much more – and a 10% discount with your pass. It’s a short walk from the Paris Opera stop. 

Don’t miss the Angelina Tea Room at Galeries Lafayette

Don’t miss one of the most famous tea salons in Paris, and its equally famous outrageous cake. The Parisienne, one of the best Paris blogs, has the details. 

In Galeries Lafayette, there are 18 tax refund desks where shoppers can get a VAT refund (12%) on Galeries Lafayette purchases over €175. All you need is your passport and receipt. Once the desk clerks print your tax refund slip, you can use the machines to get your euros back. Read the full explainer at the wonderful blog Frenchly.

If the roof terrace is open go up to the very top of Galeries Lafayette. Astonishing views right over Paris from the top of the store. Buy our Holiday Goddess Guide to Paris here for your iPhone, iPad, iTouch or Mac and take it with you for the bigger picture of the city. You can read it while you are having a Mont Blanc cake (below) from Angelina in store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Paris Pass – From the Louvre to Super Shopping – the Easy Way

Galeries Lafayette is a gentle stroll from the bus stop at The Paris Opera (spectacularly beautiful inside, even if you don’t like opera) before you go to The Louvre at night. You’ll find it at 40 Boulevard Haussmann

Don’t forget Printemps, the other great Paris department store, is steps away from Galeries Lafayette. Don’t miss it. Printemps is at 64 Boulevard Haussmann and if you apply for a Printania Plus store card you’ll get a 15% discount the first time you use it. Again, like your Paris Pass, you can organise this before you go.

 

 

How Much is a Paris Pass?

A Two Day Pass is 131 Euros or about $200 Australian/$150 US dollars. This sounds expensive until you realise what you are getting. Fast-track into the Louvre with free entry. No need to hail taxis or speak French when you get into Paris from Eurostar. Train travel is included in your Paris Pass on The Metro.

The combination of high-speed trains and the sheer convenience of The Big Bus (the guided tour is personal headphone-based on board and you can ignore it if you wish) is worth a lot. You also get to sit on the top deck and see Paris in all her beauty and glory. 

 

 

Orsay Museum – Monet, Manet and Van Gogh

Your Paris Pass also gets you into the Orsay Museum free, to see Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. What’s great here is that the Orsay is fast-track.

Your pass also sneaks you into The Rodin Museum and the Salvador Dali Museum if you can’t get enough art. Bestselling British novelist Freya North wrote about Rodin for our book, The Holiday Goddess Guide to Paris.

What Does The Savvy Backpacker Say? Is Your Paris Pass Worth It?

The people who write The Savvy Backpacker website have lived in Paris for years. They know.

They say The Paris Pass is ideal for –

“People Who Want to See a Lot in a Few Days — If you’re in Paris for only a few days and you want to see as much as possible, we think you’d get a lot of value from the card. As mentioned before, the hours you save by skipping some of the many lines is worth the price of the pass. This is especially true in the summer.”

“Travelers Who Want to See Paris at Their Own Pace — If you’re not too worried about the price, the Paris Pass is a nice option just for the fact that you can hop in and out of museums as you like and you don’t have to wait in line. You can also leave a museum and not feel guilty that you’re not “getting your money’s worth.”

How To Get to The Louvre

Take the Metro train to Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre (Metro 1 & 7) or  Louvre-Rivoli (Metro 1) and walk.

Managing Your Big Bus Advantage
The free access to the Hop-On and Hop-Off bus, normally 38 Euros, is only for one day of your two-day pass. It will, however, allow you to have the fullest day and night possible, with plenty of rest and relaxation on board as you zoom around the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Paris Opera House (near those tempting department stores) and the Champs Elysees. It’s not particularly glam, but it’s your best friend if you need to ‘do’ The Louvre and also enjoy those discounts, rooftop views and spectacular cakes nearby. 

 

 

 

About Holiday Goddess Editors

Holiday Goddess. Travel for Less.