How NOT to Visit the Louvre With Kids
Ask any Parisian parent why they never go visit the Louvre Museum with their children and they will all give you the same three reasons:
- It’s way too big (there are over 30,000 works of art displayed on 60,600 m². So if you spend the whole 9 open hours inside, you’ll have less than 2 seconds per artwork and more than 2 bruises on your feet!)
- It’s way too crowded (there were 9 million visitors in 2015, so that’s 25 000 visitors per day!)
- It’s not suitable for children. They’ll start complaining and crying, the parents will get irritated and the whole excursion will turn into a nightmare for everyone! Remember when you were young and your parents dragged you to a fine arts museum: boring!
Yet, missing out on the Louvre on a first visit to Paris would be a pity. The Louvre Museum is the world’s most visited museum for a simple reason: some of the most iconic works of art are exposed there. Think Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and many other world renowned painters such as David, Delacroix, Géricault, Vermeer and Veronese. That’s more than one reason to visit this ancient Royal Palace turned into a museum in 1793!
What the Parisians say is only half true. The Louvre is “too big” but only if you are not organized and don’t plan your visit in advance. It is “too crowded” only if you don’t have skip-the-line tickets or don’t know less crowded entry points. And it can be boring for children if you don’t make it entertaining for them.
Here are the do’s and don’ts to make your visit to the Louvre with kids an unforgettable experience. You’ll find tips on how NOT to visit the Louvre with kids and what to do to make it an entertaining and interesting visit for you and your whole family.
1. Entering the Louvre
– Visit the Louvre museum with your children on a weekday afternoon and try to get in through the iconic glass Pyramid (main entry point). That’s probably the worst idea you can get! Just the sight of the long security check line will scare you and your kids. And if you do get through the security check and ticket lines, your whole family won’t have any strength left to visit the museum!
– Outsmart the masses and beat the lines! There is more than 1 way to do that. Avoid the overcrowded Pyramid entry, and prefer the Porte des Lions. It is located on the southern wing and there are only very few people. “Porte des Lions” means door of the lions, and once you spot the 2 lion statues, you’ll see the entry. The Porte des Lions is closed on Fridays.
– Book your tickets online beforehand. With these pre-booked tickets, you can go to another entry point located in the Passage Richelieu, on the north wing.
– Plan to visit the Louvre during late opening hours. If your kids are in their early teens, you might want to consider visiting the Louvre on a Wednesday and Friday evening, when the museum closes at 10PM. You’ll be able to enjoy a more intimate and quiet museum.
– Plan to visit the Louvre on Monday and Thursday mornings from 9 to 11AM. Statistically, these are the best times to visit the Louvre with kids as it is not as crowded as other moments of the week. Your children will thank you if you don’t bring them to an overcrowded museum.
2. Visiting the Louvre
– Think that you will be able to see it all. Unless you like running marathons, that won’t be possible!
– Enter the museum without the faintest idea of what you like, and what you are willing to put aside for a future visit to the Louvre.
– Limit yourself to the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace, as these are all very crowded areas.
– Prepare and focus. If you are planning to visit the Louvre museum without a guide, than take a minute to determine what you are interested in. There are 8 curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings. Choose one or two and enjoy them to the fullest!
– Take breaks and take your time to enjoy the museum. There’s no rush, and your kids will prefer a pleasant stroll than a cultural race. The Cour Marly and Cour Puget are two magnificent and wide areas which are perfect for a break.
– Limit the time. Your children’s attention span is not more than 2 hours so it is better to plan a 2 hour visit and make the most of it.
– Entertain your children: there are many great book on the Louvre for children of all ages. You’ll find books such as My Little Louvre or Wonders of the Louvre in the special bookstore for kids. The bookstore is called “les enfants du musée” and it is located in the Allée du Grand Louvre, in the shopping area under the museum (Carrousel du Louvre)
3. Guided visits
– Book a classic visit to the Louvre. In children’s words, “a classic visit” is a synonym for nightmare!
– Force them to use the audio-guide!
– Use Family Twist and book a Treasure Hunt at the Louvre with them. This 2 hour activity is the best way to visit the Louvre when spending a holiday with your whole family in Paris. During this adapted kid-friendly treasure hunt, the professional and fully licensed private guide will not only take you to the museum’s highlights, but also to other curiosities and masterpieces while entertaining your children.
They will have to listen to the guide’s comments and fun facts and solve all the riddles to take them one step closer to the treasure… This is an activity that perfectly combines entertainment and education.
4. Restaurants and Facilities
– Try to get in the museum with a large and heavy bag. Pack light so you’ll clear the security check a lot faster.
– Bring food or drinks from outside, as it is not allowed to eat and drink inside the museum walls.
– Take a break at the café Mollien, the only restaurant that is really inside the museum. Located right next to the Mollien staircase, you’ll be able to buy drinks and snacks there. Your children will want to get a refreshment after an hour or two inside the Louvre! Since drinks and food are not allowed inside the museum, you will have to stay in the café Mollien for the snack break.
– Enjoy one of the 14 cafés, restaurants and take-away outlets located throughout the Louvre, the Carrousel and Tuileries gardens. These offer either table service or take-away food. These are not located inside the museum, but they are perfect for a break after the visit!
Strollers are accepted inside the Louvre, but if you don’t want to take it during the visit, you can always leave it at the There are plenty of toilets in the Louvre!