Travel tip: The best kept secret on where to buy Louvre tickets
UPDATE 2018: Well zut (darn)! La Civette du Carrousel no longer sells Louvre Museum tickets. They do sell the Museum Pass which could be a good deal if you plan to visit several museums. So I’ll be back on the hunt for a new way to save time and money. Let the sleuthing begin…
Trust me, if there is one thing you want to do when visiting the Louvre, it is get your Louvre ticket before going to the museum; otherwise, your wait will be hours! What is crazy is the amazingly long lines you see for those without tickets is just the line to get through the security. Those with tickets actually go through another line but feed into the same security checkpoints but get to merge in before those without tickets. Then, you have to go stand in another queue to actually purchase your tickets. You can waste hours before you have even seen a piece of artwork. Don’t do that!
One popular way of getting your ticket beforehand is by buying a The Paris Pass which is a package of entry tickets to various museums and sites, as well as, many other additional activities like hop on/hop off tour bus, metro travel and a Seine River cruise. One of the main advantages of The Paris Pass is the “fast track” entry queues. But what if you decide The Paris Pass isn’t for you, then what?
There is always buying your ticket online. If you plan ahead and pay a bit more, you can have your ticket sent to you (US and Canada only) or can buy online and then pick it up at designated ticket offices. But, what if you are like me and you don’t want to pay more and you want an easy way to get your tickets without having to figure out the online options?
Well, I’m about to reveal a little secret thanks to the inside scoop courtesy of Daisy from THATLou. I think this is the best way to buy your Louvre Museum entry ticket. Located within Carrousel du Louvre (an underground shopping arcade conveniently attached to the Louvre Museum) is a little Tabac that sells them. Secret revealed!
Finding this Tabac (a store that sells tobacco products as well as other sundries) is really easy.
There are a couple of ways to find it.
First, from Palais-Royal/Musee du Louvre metro stop:
~Across the street from the metro entrance, you’ll see the museum and a red awning which is 99 Carrousel du Louvre. Go through those doors. This is one of the entrances to the Carrousel du Louvre.
~Then you will go down 3 escalators.
~ Once you hit the ground floor, turn right on Allee de France. The corridors are named like streets. Convenient, huh?
~Then walk to the end and you’ll see the Tabac to your right. Buy your ticket and then breeze by everyone without one.
Second way is to enter through Place du Carrousel entrances located on either side of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (not THE Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile located at the end of the Champs Elysees):
~ If you have your back to the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and facing the Louvre Museum, there are two entrances that go down to the Carrousel du Louvre. They both meet up at the same place (a row of statues) so it doesn’t matter which one you take.
~Ahead of you, you will see the inverted pyramid. Don’t go to it but instead, if facing it, take an immediate left.
~Walk straight ahead. There will be remnants of the original fortress stone walls along the side.
You’ll also see McDonald’s on the second floor directly above the tabac.
At the time of this post, the cost is the same as if you bought the ticket at the museum. This tabac also sells tickets to other museums – the D’Orsay, the L’Orangerie, the Picasso as well as to Chateau Versailles (accurate at the time of posting).
So, on the day you want to visit the Louvre, swing by the tabac first, purchase your ticket then head up to the main entrance line that says “avec billet” which means “with tickets.” You’ll breeze by all those who weren’t in on the secret.
This post is part of #AllAboutFrance hosted by Phoebe from Lou Messugo.