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aussietourist Jun 22nd, 2011 04:02 AM

Louvre - Should I visit on free day?

I am in Paris for 3 days from Jul 13-15 and will be visting the Louvre. Apparently Jul 14 is a free day admission so would anyone suggest if its worth visiting on this free day or better off to visit another day to avoid teh huge crowds on Jul 14.

gwan Jun 22nd, 2011 04:30 AM

You can always wander past and have a look, but based on the lines I've seen outside in the middle of winter, I probably wouldn't do it. I tried going to the Pompidou Centre once on the 14th and waited in line for maybe an hour in the glass-covered tunnel until I couldn't take it any more - must have been about 30 degrees outside, who knows, maybe 40 in that tunnel! Perhaps people who have actually been to the Louvre on the 14th will have a different perspective though :)

Christina Jun 22nd, 2011 08:51 AM

no, absolutely not, it is even busier than normal free Sundays I've been there that day, I know

annhig Jun 22nd, 2011 09:43 AM

aussie - i would get a 48 hour museum pass [assuming that you really only have 2 days] and avoid the Louvre like the plague on the 14th.

the shorter the time you have, the more benefit you get from having a pass as you can walk straight in; even if you don't actually save any money, IMHO the saving of time is just as important.

FrenchMystiqueTours Jun 22nd, 2011 09:56 AM

I would suggest walking past first thing in the morning when it opens. Instead of using the main entrance at the pyramid use one of the other entrances. It is always most crowded the closer you are to the main lobby and the most famous attractions are always mobbed (Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Egyptian collections). The further you move away from the main attractions the the less crowded it becomes. This is even more true as you move to the upper floors. If it is too crowded for you then just leave. It was free anyway so money lost. And if wasting time in crowds at the entrance turns you off then don't go in.

Christina Jun 22nd, 2011 10:33 AM

YOu can try that tactic if you don't mind spending your time going to the Louvre that day even if you don't want to go in. I never use the Pyramid entrance and the one time I thought I'd go on the 14th, there was so many people there you could barely move (literally) in the area around the lobby, ticket machines, etc (the area you enter from the metro, near those shops). So if you could get in, probably tyhere wouldn't be crowds in some esoteric corner or the less popular areas (but then why go unless that's okay with you), but I got claustrophobic just looking at it and immediately left. It wasn't first thing in the morning, though, that might work if you don't care about seeing the military parade.

I actually went to the Pompidou instead as even though there was a short line there (maybe 25-20 minute wait), it wasn't that bad. The Pantheon was free that day, also, and there wasn't any problem seeing it. Most people want to go to the Louvre.

layanluvstotravel Jun 22nd, 2011 10:42 AM

I'm not sure if Paris is like Madrid..... but we visited all of the art museums in Madrid on the free days. Our strategy was to go extra early when they first opened the doors or when "free time" first started in the case of the Prado. That worked pretty well for us. I agree with others about seeing the big line and then deciding.

sassy_cat Jun 22nd, 2011 10:51 AM

All of Paris will be busy on July 14th, Bastille Day.
Crowds, parades, fireworks the whole caboodle. Try going to the Louvre as soon as it opens or late in the day and IF the lines aren't horrendous then go. If it's too busy then visit the next day.

Sophie17 Jun 22nd, 2011 11:25 AM

As everyone, the Louvre will be crowded as hell on the 14th of july.

If you are less than 26 years old, it is free access from 18h00 to 22h00 every fridays, and it's a real pleasure to visit this museum with no crowd at all...

denisea Jun 22nd, 2011 01:55 PM

Big'll e in line all day and once inside it will be packed!!

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