Louvre - should we buy advance tickets?

Apr 3rd, 2009, 03:23 PM
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Louvre - should we buy advance tickets?

Our group of 12 people will be arriving in Paris on May 21 with only 2 days to hit the highlights before heading south. I'm planning to spend the morning of May 22, 9-12 or thereabouts in the Louvre. To save time, I thought we might buy advance tickets. I can buy them through ticketweb for $14.51 each. (They are 9 euros at the Louvre.) I had also thought about buying them at a FNAC but they only seem to sell tickets for special events now, not the general admission.

I have read about machines that dispense tickets in the big lobby under the pyramid, but I suppose they would not take US credit cards. Do they also work with cash?

Also, can anyone use the metro entrance to the Louvre at Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre or is it only for those with advance tickets or passes? I know I've used it before and don't remember having to show a pass or ticket but I may have forgotten that.

I've looked all over the web and am finding conflicting answers to these questions and a lot of erroneous or outdated information. So, if anyone has recent personal experience with this I'd love to hear from you.

And finally, do we even need advance tickets at that time or could we probably get in fairly quickly without?
Betty1 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 03:30 PM
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Anyone can enter via the Carrousel entrance (via Metro). You can also try Porte des Lions. We used it last fall and there was no one there (but we didn't arrive until 1 or 2pm):
yk is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 03:33 PM
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I've used the ticket machines and they took my US credit card, but I do not remember it they also took cash. The mentioned metro station just drops you off at the mall that leads into the Louvre and you do not have to have a ticket or pass to use it.

Other times I've been to the Louvre I've used the Museum Pass that you can purchase just about anywhere in Paris (e.g. your hotel will usually sell them).
gatorbill is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 03:45 PM
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Huh, looking around I'm starting to wonder if I'm remembering correctly. I may have used cash instead since it looks like you're right and you need a credit card with a smart chip in it. As you say it's only 9 euros so to be safe I'd make sure everyone had euros on hand. In general, whem I'm in Paris I use my debit cards at all ATMs with no issued and get cash as I get along.
gatorbill is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 04:39 PM
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Thanks, yk. That diagram is one of my problems. I cannot reconcile it with my memory. I seem to remember getting off the metro, going through a fairly short passage and coming out in that lobby area with the escalators coming down from the pyramid on my left. Is that what they are calling the Passage Richelieu? If so, it says that entry is restricted to ticket/pass holders. There is no mention that I can find of the metro entrance unless that's it. And where it shows the metro, I don't see how that could lead to the Carrousel entrance. Obviously, I'm confused!

Thanks to you, too, gatorbill. It's true that most machines in France that accept credit cards don't take our chipless American ones. (gas pumps, train station ticket machines, etc.) ATM cards are an entirely different matter.
Betty1 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 04:49 PM
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No, the Richelieu is the 2 red arrows entering the north building. The metro uses the Carrousel entrance. See this thread:
yk is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 05:11 PM
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Why don't you consider buying a 2 day musuem pass instead? You can get into museums and the arch di triomphe for free, and you get to skip any lines.
dina4 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 05:16 PM
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Where's the best place to buy the museum pass, and what museums is it good for?
CleoB is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 05:24 PM
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I've always gotten mine at the hotel, but you can buy it at any of the participating museums also. The following link will tell you all about it, but I've cut and pasted the list of museums in Paris that you can use it for. It's also valid for Versailles, the Basilica at St Denis, and the Chateau du Chantilly, as well as a number of other museums just outside of Paris.


Aquarium Tropical de la Porte Dorée
Arc de Triomphe
Musée de l’Armée - Tombeau de Napoléon 1er
Centre Pompidou - Musée national d’art moderne
Musée national des Arts asiatiques - Guimet
Musée des Arts décoratifs
Musée de la Mode et du Textile
Musée de la Publicité
Musée Nissim de Camondo
Musée des Arts et Métiers
Musée de l’Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Musée du quai Branly
Chapelle expiatoire
La Cinémathèque française - Musée du Cinéma
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie - La Villette
Musée national Eugène Delacroix
Musée des Égouts de Paris
Musée d’Ennery*
Musée Galliera - Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris
Musée Hébert*
Musée Jean-Jacques Henner*
Musée de l’Institut du Monde arabe
Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme
Musée du Louvre
Musée national de la Marine
Musée de la Monnaie
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine - Musée des Monuments français
Musée Gustave Moreau
Musée national du Moyen Âge - Musée de Cluny
Cité de la Musique - Musée de la Musique
Crypte archéologique du Parvis de Notre-Dame
Tours de Notre-Dame
Musée national de l’Orangerie
Musée de l’Ordre de la Libération
Musée d’Orsay
Musée national Picasso
Musée des Plans-reliefs
Musée de la Poste
Musée Rodin
gatorbill is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 05:59 PM
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Looks like a good deal - thanks for the official link!
CleoB is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 06:12 PM
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We could buy a pass but we'd just about have to run from one museum/monument to another both days to make it pay for itself. Then again, maybe the convenience is worth it.

Cleo, it's best to buy the pass at one of the smaller museums that is less likely to have a long line. Since I often stay in the 7th I usually buy mine at the Musée Rodin. Choose one that is near your hotel.(You don't have to visit that museum when you buy the pass.)

Thanks for the link to the other thread, yk. That helped some although I still can't see how one would get from the metro stop marked on that diagram to the Carrousel entrance, at least not in the short time I remember. No doubt it's my memory that's faulty.

If we can use the metro entrance and then buy tickets at those machines with American credit cards that might be the best solution.
Betty1 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 06:43 PM
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This past winter, we used the entrance on Quai F.Mitterand/Quai des Tuileries; there was no line at the time, early afternoon. As there was just the two of us, we paid cash. 12 could make it through this entrance (assuming no or a short line) paying in pairs or individually in only a few minutes. The line at the pyramid is likely to be far longer than this!

Plus, you get to enjoy a stroll down the Seine before entering Musée du Louvre, instead of fighting the crowds in the less-scenic (but still incredibly useful) Metró. And you can exit the Louvre via the mall, and take the metro from the Louvre Rivoli stop to your next destination.
imaginaryjazz is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 07:01 PM
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Thanks, Betty1. I am just now plotting out our itinerary. I think the Louvre is closest to our hotel (!) but don't think we'll make it our first stop.
CleoB is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 07:02 PM
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When you exit the metro station you will actually walk underground (i.e. beneath the Rue de Rivoli and Place de la Pyramide) thru a commercial mall area with lots of stores known as the "Espaces Carrousel du Louvre" which takes you under the inverted pyramid. It then makes a turn that takes you into the Louvre Pyramid entrance at the underground level where all the information desks and the ticket machines are. Once under the Louvre Pyramid there are escalators on each side that will take you to the Richelieu and Denon wings of the museum.

gatorbill is offline  
Apr 4th, 2009, 06:08 AM
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Thanks again, gatorbill. I guess I have just forgotten walking through the "Espaces Carrousel du Louvre."

I found a small picture of those ticket machines on this page of the Louvre website: http://www.louvre.fr/llv/pratique/ta...bmLocale=fr_FR

They do look a lot like ATM machines - might they take ATM cards?
Betty1 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2009, 06:33 AM
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Betty1, if you read the last reply on the thread I linked, the poster said the machines took US CC.
yk is offline  
Apr 4th, 2009, 07:32 AM
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I guess I'm getting too old as I don't exactly recall if I used Euros, CC, or Debit Card on the one trip I did use the machine, it was about 4 years ago. But the thread yk points to seems to indicate that the machines do take US credit cards and it's fairly recent.

I wouldn't worry to much about it since if push comes to shove you can always buy the tickets at a manned booth. I've noticed that the Louvre has become more efficient at selling tickets and getting people in and out throughout my several visits there. Also there are lots of stores were you can get change and I'm sure there are several ATM machines down there were you can get cash if you need to do. However, just to be on the safe side I would have everyone bring along 10€ each.

gatorbill is offline  
Apr 4th, 2009, 09:00 AM
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The ticket machines will take an American credit card.
MrNuke is offline  
Apr 4th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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Yk, I did see that about the machines taking American credit cards, and thanks for confirming that, MrNuke. I was just wondering if they might take ATM cards as well.

The fact that they do take US CC's made me think they might be more like ATM's, which do take both (but, of course, we've been warned against using CC's in ATM's many times).

I guess it really doesn't matter much for the small amounts we'll be paying. And I feel sure now that we can get in and get our tickets pretty quickly without wasting a lot of precious time.

Thanks, everybody.
Betty1 is offline  
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