Louvre Tours – Catalog and Louvre FAQs

Looking for the best Louvre tour? We have a great exclusive offer from first-timer Louvre discovery tours to themed tours, from a 2-hour tour to a full-day custom-made tour. All our Louvre tours are done by Yves, a postgraduate licensed Louvre tour guide.

Photo of the Louvre pyramid at twilight to illustrated the Louvre guided tours.

Louvre pyramid and south facade at twilight, Paris, France.

Our Louvre Tours in a Nutshell

From 130 € for 1 to 2 people + 45 € per extra person

  • Guided tours in English
  • Genuine private tours = your party only (up to 6 persons)
  • From 2-hour tours to day tours  
  • Postgraduate (MPhil) certified French national guide
  • Reservation & payment via an easy online process
  • Available all year long (subject to availability) as private tours
  • Museum skip-the-line tickets are extra (22 € per adult)

During the high season, we may offer semi-private tours at a lower rate.

Highlights Tour

Evening Tour

Alternative Tour

Full Day Tour

Custom Tours

Yves, your Louvre Tour Guide in a Nutshell

Certified Guide

Expert in Art & History

Postgraduate

BA Magna Cum Laude

French, English, Spanish

Yves is a French native Licensed tour guide, who specialized more and more in the Louvre Museum. He has personally curated all of the Louvre tour at Broaden-horizons.fr. A nice Louvre tour is before all a nice and knowledgeable tour guide who doesn’t work with a chronometer repeating always the same things. With Yves you probably won’t be disappointed as he collecte outstanding reviews in Tripadvisor :  

The highlight of our trip!!

“This was the best investment and hands down the highlight of our trip!! We booked a tour of the Louvre with Yves. The Louvre is huge and there is so much to see. In two hours, Yves managed to show us an incredible amount. He is deeply knowledgeable about art history, and it was amazingly helpful to have him contextualize what we were seeing for us. We are already planning to book with him again the next time we are in Paris. Don’t hesitate—this is an experience that is worth every penny!!”

Meg T

March 2023 - Tripadvisor

Louvre, daytime tour

The tour and Yves was really a wonderful experience. Made the crowded Louvre a pleasure and taught us a great deal about history and the art within. We had a mix of ages from 6 to 75 years, thus many different needs. Yves accommodated and supported the whole group while keeping his personable and educational approach. I wish we had known of Yves earlier in our trip, we would have used him in other areas of France. We will definitely rebook and recommend Yves highly for others.

Jeanna C

June 2023 - Tripadvisor

Fun at the Louvre

“If you really want to enjoy an art museum and do a deep dive into art history you must take a tour at the Louvre with Yves. I don’t remember a tour that was so much fun and informative.”

Gigi

April 2023 - Tripadvisor

Exciting visit to the Louvre

Fascinating visit of the Louvre, with this guide who is passionate about his subject. He doesn’t know everything, and at least he says so. For the rest, it overflows with fascinating anecdotes and knows how to captivate its audience with an erudition that is never heavy. Time passes without seeing him, and he too overflows. An experience to repeat.

Vincent d, France

Tripadvisor, January 2022

Summary – Louvre Tours FAQ & Other Information

When to come

How to avoid the crowd

Accessibility

Other FAQ

Want a Real Skip-the-line Privilege?

The Best Louvre Tours!

Louvre Evening Tour on Wednesday or Fridays! The best chance to avoid the Crowd!

An evening tour on Wednesday Friday is more than recommendable to follow our two tours having their route in the more crowded Louvre Galleries “the Louvre discovery tour” and the “Italian painting tour“. Nevertheless, all our Louvre tours may be booked as evening tours if the corresponding galleries are open on Wednesday or Friday. Just book the corresponding schedule in the availability calendar of the tour you are interested in!

Our Louvre evening tour page details all the advantages of this solution.

What if a Wednesday or Friday Evening Tour is not Possible?
The Alternative Louvre Tour!

If you have already seen the main Louvre work of art (Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, etc.),
Le Louvre alternative tour is designed for you and for those who simply want to avoid the crowd.

The louvre lights in the evening to illustrate the Louvre Evening Tour.

Louvre in the evening in wintertime. Louvre evening tours are possible on Wednesday or Friday as the Louvre closes at 9 p.m. © Broaden-horizons.

Our Four Main Louvre Tours – Highlights / Discovery – Extended – Evening – Alternative

The Highlights / Discovery Tour is designed for those who come to the Louvre for the first time and want to discover the museum and its most iconic artifacts in +/- 2h.

The Louvre Alternative Tour is for those returning to the museum or wanting to discover another more peaceful Louvre.

Photo of the Louvre Pyramide to illustrate the Louvre Guided Tour; Paris, France.

Louvre Discovery Tour (2h)

A comprehensive introduction to the Louvre architecture and history and a fantastic selection of its famous masterpieces: Venus de Milo, da Vinci, Raphael, David, Delacroix, etc.

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Photo of the Louvre Richelieu Wing from below the Pyramid to illustrate the Louvre Alternative Tour; Paris, France.

Louvre Alternative Tour (2h)

Discover or more quiet Louvre off-the-Beaten-Track. A more peaceful tour in the lesser visited part of the Louvre to discover its hidden gems!

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The Extended Tour can simply be presented as the sum of the Discovery and Alternative Tour.

The Louvre Evening Tour (Wednesday or Friday) is for those who want to maximize their chances of seeing the Louvre in the best possible conditions. If a Wednesday or Friday Evening Tour is compatible with your planning, do not hesitate, this is the best way to discover the Louvre.

Photo of the Louvre Pyramide to illustrate the Louvre Extended Private Tour; Paris, France.

Louvre Tour Extended (4h)

A tour to discover hidden gems of the Louvre and a selection of its most famous masterpieces: Venus de Milo, Victory of Samothrace, paintings by da Vinci, etc. You will experience the two faces of the Louvre: the quiet one and the crowded one.

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Photo of the Louvre Pyramid at night to illustrate the Louvre Evening Tour; Paris, France.

Louvre Evening Tour (2h)

On Wednesday and Friday Evening, the Louvre close at 9 p.m. An evening tour is the best solution to discover the most famous Louvre masterpieces in a quieter environment. If it is compatible with your planning, do not hesitate.

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Louvre Themed Tours

Napoleon in the Louvre

Louis XIV, The Sun king, is the one who abandoned the Louvre for Versailles (1682).

Napoléon is the one who restarted the Louvre project and Napoléon III, his nephew, is the one who finished it up.

The Bonaparte family is still very present in the Louvre, from architecture to painting.

Photo of Entablement and quadriga of Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel; Paris, France.

Napoleon in the Louvre

At its beginning, the Louvre was called "Musée Napoléon", and the links between the French Emperor and the Famous Museum are strong—a tour reserved for the fans of the French imperial era.

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Italian Renaissance Painting Tour

In-depth in the Italian Renaissance, from its origin in ancient Rome and Greece sculptures to its end with the beginning of the Baroque.

A tour with the most famous painters of the period: Giotto, Fra Angelico, Paolo Uccello, Botticelli, Mantegna, Perugino, Bellini, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Caravaggio, Titian, Veronese, etc.  

Photo Crucifixion by Andrea Mantegna to illustrate the Louvre Italian Renaissance Painting Tour; Paris, France.

Italian Renaissance Painting Tour

The Louvre has an amazing Italian Renaissance collection which has been started long ago by the kings of France and first of all François I, the one who received Leonardo da Vinci at the end of his life.

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Also, a 3 hours Italian Painting Tour (from Cimabue to Tiepolo) from the 13th to 18th centuries is coming soon. 

French Painting Tour Set

Why follow French painting tours in the Louvre? Because even if the Louvre is world-famous for housing the Mona Lisa, it is also the most enormous Museum in the world, owning a massive collection of French Paintings.

Moreover, as most French painting rooms are not part of the Louvre classical touristic route, you will also probably discover and appreciate a quieter and not-so-crowded Louvre Museum.

The Louvre is the best place to learn about French canvases. We proposed a series of dedicated tours.

Photo a painting by Nicolas Poussin to illustrate the 17th century Guided Tour; Paris, France.

Louvre French Painting 17th Century

The French call the 17th century “Le Grand Siècle” (the great century), the one of Louis XIV the Sun-king, the one of the creations of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, when France started to dominate arts for over 250 years.

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Photo a painting by François Foucher to illustrate the 18th century Guided Tour; Paris, France.

Louvre French Painting 18th Century

18th-century French painting with Watteau, Boucher, Chardin, Fragonard, Greuze, Vigée Lebrun, David, Gerard, etc. Spend two amazing hours back in the century of enlightenment.

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Photo a painting by Achille Etna Michallon to illustrate the 19th century Guided Tour; Paris, France.

Louvre French Painting 19th Century

This 19th-century French Painting Louvre tour is the last one of our Louvre painting series. It is only dedicated to the first half of the 19th century, to discover the second half of this century, you will have to change of museum and follow our Musée d’Orsay tour.

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Crash Course French Painting From 14th to 19th Century

A three-hour tour in 5 parts to understand the evolution of French painting from the 14th to the 19th century.

  • 14th & 15th C. International Gothic
  • 16th C. French Renaissance – Italian & Flemish influence
  • 17th C. Baroque versus Classicism
  • 18th C. From Rocco to Neoclassic
  • 19th C. The age of Romanticism
Photo a painting by Nicolas Poussin to illustrate the 17th century Guided Tour; Paris, France.

Crash Course French Painting

Crash Course. French Painting from 14th-century beginning to 19th-century Romanticism. Five hundred years of art history in +/- 3h.

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Combo With Orsay Museum and Orangerie Museum

The Louvre collection stops at the mid-19th Century; if you want to continue your discovery of French paintings after 1850, you just have to cross the Seine River from the Louvre Gardens (Jardin des Tuileries) to Reach the Musée D’Orsay.

D’Orsay is the best place in the world to learn about the French Art Révolution of the second half of the 19th century: Impressionists, neo-impressionists; Manet, Monet, Renoir, Morisot, Cassatt, Pissarro, Cézanne, Toulouse Lautrec, Signac, Gauguin, Van Gogh, etc. See our Orsay Museum Private Tour. 

You can even continue your art Journey further away with the Orangerie Museum with its two famous immersive rooms exclusively dedicated to Monet’s Water Lilies. The Orangerie Also houses the prestigious Walter & Guillaume painting collection with plenty of works of Art by Soutine, Modigliani, Picasso, Matisse, Douanier Rousseau, Utrillo, Renoir, etc.  See our Orangerie Museum Private Tour.

Dutch and Flemish Painting

The Louvre owns the biggest collection of Flemish and Dutch paintings outside Belgium and the Netherlands. Our tour gives a chronological overview of the field with Van Eyck, Memling, Metsys, Patinier, Bruegel, Pourbus, Hals, Ruisdael, Vermeer, Rubens, Van Dick, Rembrandt, etc. Three versions of the tour are available.

Photo of the old city of Bruges to illustrate the Louvre Flemish and Painting Tour; Paris, France.

Louvre Flemish Paintings Tour

Understand the development of painting in Flanders, from Flemish Primitives with Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, Memling, Bosch, Matsys, Pieter Brueghel, etc. to Flemish Baroque of Rubens, Van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, and more.

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Photo of a windmill to illustrate the Louvre Dutch Painting Tour; Paris, France.

Louvre Dutch Paintings Tour

Starting from its origin with humanism and reformation in Habsburg Netherlands, this Louvre painting focus in the 17th century Dutch Golden Age with Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Gerrit Dou, Frans Hals, Van Ruisdael, Ludolf Backhuysen, Frans Post, etc.

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Photo of the old city of Bruges to illustrate the Louvre Flemish and Dutch Painting Tour; Paris, France.

Louvre Flemish & Dutch Paintings

A 3-hour tour from Flemish Primitive to Dutch Golden Age. More than 250 years of art evolution with the most famous painters of the northern schools: van Eyck, van der Weyden, Memling, Bosch, Brueghel, Rubens, van Dyck, Rembrandt, Vermeer, etc.

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Ancient Egypt Louvre Private Tour

The Louvre Museum houses one of the world’s most important ancient Egypt collections. France’s first contact with ancient Egypt started with the young Bonapart’s 1798 expedition to Egypt when modern Egyptology was invented.

Another French man Champollion discovered a little later the secret of the translation of ancient Egypt writing: the Hieroglyphs. Champollion was the first Curator of the Louvre Ancien Egypt Department.

Contact us for this tour.

Stele with hieroglyphs

Stele with hieroglyphs. The Ancient Egypt hieroglyphs writing system was deciphered by Champollion.

Tours in Preparation

Art of Islam

In what is probably the quietest part of the museum under the Cour Visconti. There is the Baptistère de Saint Louis, an amazing 14-century Islamic art jewel, a hammered brass basin that was used as a baptismal font for future French Kings,

Near Eastern Antiquities

It is in the Louvre that was inaugurated the world’s first Assyrian Museum on May 1st, 1847. Nowadays, the Louvre Near Eastern Antiquities Department covers three geographical areas Mesopotamia, Persia, and the Levant (Cyprus, Lucia, Lydia, Cilicia, Phoenicia).

The department is full of amazing artifacts: ʿAin Ghazal Statue (Circa 7000 BC); Statue of Ebih-Il (2400 BC), Superintendent of the ancient city-state of Mari. The Code of Hammurabi (1792 – 1750 BC); The Cour Khorsabad (Circa 700 BC) with the Lamassu of the palace of Assyrian king Sargon II; Frieze of Archers of Darius’s Palace (550 – 486 BC); Passing Lion (Babylon, reign of Nebuchadrezzar II, 605 BC–562 BC), etc.

History of Sculpture Through the Ages

From ʿAin Ghazal Statue (Circa 7000 BC) to 19th-century Romantisme.

Rubens, Master of Flemish Baroque and Marie de’ Medicis friend

Rubens, from the Romaniste painter to the preeminent baroque workshop leader. His friends and collaborators, Van Dick, Jan Brueghel, etc. The tour will focus on Rubens’s Louvre main masterpieces, his 24 paintings for the Marie de’ Medici Cycle. A work to glorify the queen of France.   

Soon available.

Louvre Special Tours

Full-Day Louvre Private Tour

Full-day Louvre tours are possible. +/- 7 hours of visit + a mid-day lunch pause of +/- 1.5h inside the Louvre (food and beverage not included). Contact us.

Louvre Custom Made-Tour

Special subjects, artists or eras requests are welcome: contact us.

When to Come to the Louvre to Make the Most of Your Stay

1. Chose the Best Period of the Year

Avoid the high season (May to September).
Avoid Bastille Day (July 14th), as the Louvre is free for all.

2. Chose the Best Day / Time of the Week

It is probably a good choice to start in the early morning at 9 AM when the Louvre opens its doors.
The crowd arrives typically from 10:30 to the midafternoon.

Avoid weekends, including Friday afternoon (Saturday afternoon is the worst).
As the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, more people may come on Wednesdays.
Mondays are not a wrong choice, but more people may come to the Louvre as the Orsay Museum is closed.

So Thursday early morning is theoretically the best choice, with shorter security lines and relatively quiet galleries.
But if you only want to spend a couple of hours in the Louvre, there is a much better solution.

On Wednesday and Friday, the Louvre close at 9 p.m.; after 6 PM, galleries are usually quieter.

Hurikat web site gives a synthetic table of the situation. The Google Louvre’s Business Profile in the “Popular Times” section also shows statistics of visits per day. Also, Check real-time (live) visit data on the Affluence website.

3. Check if there is no Planned Closure of a Department You Want to See the Day You Want to Come

Some galleries close on specific days of the week; check the Louvre rooms closure schedule.

4. Last but not Least Always Buy your Louvre Tickets in Advance Online, if not you’ll Stand in Line With Those with no Tickets, a very Bad Idea.

Clarifications Skip-the-Line-Tickets

Skip-the-Line Tickets Are a Marketing Concept; They are Just Standard Online Ones

The Louvre website says, All visitors, including those entitled to free admission (including Paris Museum Pass bearer), must book a time slot. Buy your ticket online at www.ticketlouvre.fr… During off-peak times, there may also be a limited number of time slots for same-day visits available for booking at the museum. However … to guarantee your entry … we strongly advise booking your time slot in advance online.” Conclusion no magic: During your time slot, you are entitled to enter the online booking security line, so yes, you skip the line… of those who come without a ticket.

There is more than one entry gate in the Louvre; your guide will help you optimize the situation.

How to get a real skip-the-line privilege  

Become a Member of the Société des Amis du Louvre

If you plan to come a few times to the Louvre and want real privileged access to the museum, the solution is to become a Société des Amis du Louvre member. This will give you one year of illimited access to the Louvre by the Porte Richelieu card holder entry (reserved for professionals and … Amis du Louvre). Different annual membership packages are available: single adult 80 €, duo 120 €, under 26 only 15 €, etc.

Constraint: Amis du Louvre cards are mailed to your address from France, so you better deal with that long in advance. 

Other FAQs about the Louvre

How Long Does It Take to Visit the Louvre?

The Louvre is enormous; you would need weeks to see everything.

If you are an art lover, it makes a lot of sens to plan a full day there.

The tour also helps you understand how the museum is organized, and find your bearings there. 

What Are The Rules to Follow in The Louvre?

A dedicated Louvre website page describes all the Museum rules.

Is It Possible to Go Outside and Come Back with the Same Louvre Ticket?

No, any exit from the Louvre is final.

Is it Possible to Spend All Day in The Louvre & Eat There?

Yes, at the Pyramid Area (Goguette, Comptoir du Louvre, Starbucks, and two takeaway counters) or even in some galleries at café Mollien and café Angelina.

Is it Possible to Have a Guide for the All Day?

Yes, you can book a half-day or even a full-day private tour.

Accessibility / Wheelchair

The Louvre has excellent accessibility. People in wheelchairs are welcome on our Louvre tours, but please always contact us before booking. Some themed tours may be difficult (or even impossible) to organize. Whatever tour we speak about, the itinerary and content will be different from the usual ones because of the constraint of the elevators. Sometimes problems may occur (elevator out of order). Your guide will define a step-free, wheelchair-friendly itinerary on the go throughout the museum.

Prepare Your Tour at the Louvre to Make the Most of it

Louvre Facts & Data

  • More than 800 years of history (initially a medieval castle).
  • Since then, most of the French rulers have participated in its construction.
  • Artists worked and were housed there since the 15th century.
  • 1682 Louis XIV abandoned the Louvre for Versailles
  • Became a museum during French Revolution.
  • 2260421 ft² built, among them 652293 ft² of galleries.
  • More than 300 000 works of art from which +/- 35 000 are exhibited.
  • 7500 paintings, a little more than half of them are shown in the galleries.
  • The Louvre houses a famous fine arts school: l‘École du Louvre.
  •  Also housed in the Louvre is the Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France, which owns a particle accelerator to study artworks.
  • The Louvre is the world’s biggest, most famous, and most visited museum.
  • The Louvre pyramid complex, designed by architect I.M.Pei in the 80s to manage the flow of tourists, is now undersized.

Related French Rulers Timeline

  • Philip II (Philip Augustus): The first Louvre, a medieval fortress, was built under is reign around 1190.
  • Louis IX (Saint Louis): Great son of Philip II, he continued the work on the fortress. The “Sainte-Chapelle” was built (1241 to 1248) under his reign.
  • Charles V (1364 to 1380): transformed the fortress into a Gothic palace.
  • François I, the iconic king of the French Renaissance, starts the royal collection by acquiring works from Italian masters such as Raphael or Michelangelo and bringing others, such as Leonardo da Vinci, to his court.
  • Henri II: Carried out from 1547 is Father François I’s project, the Renaissance Louvre.
  • Henri IV: The Grand Gallery was built under the reign of the first Bourbon King.
  • Louis XIV: The Sun king initially involved himself in the Louvre layout but finally left it for his newly built Versailles Palace.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte restarted the Louvre building, the Rivoli Street wing.
  • Napoleon III: finalized the project with numerous constructions.
  • François Mitterrand:  In the 80s, the French president asked architect I.M.Pei to implement his pyramid in the Louvre main courtyard.

Amenities

WIFI: Some free hotspots are spread in the museum, no full coverage.

Children: They are welcome in the Louvre but have no really dedicated area for them despite since the end of 2021 a new space Le Studio may partially play this role.

Snack and Lunch Break Inside the Louvre:

  • At the Pyramid reception area (Goguette, Comptoir du Louvre, Starbucks, and two takeaway counters).

In the galleries: café Mollien in the Denon wing and café Angelina in the Richelieu wing with terraces overlooking the Louvre Pyramid

Entry of Ecole du Louvre

Entry of Ecole du Louvre. Inside the Louvre is one of the world’s most prestigious archaeology, art history, anthropology, and epigraphy institution of higher education. © Broaden Horizons.

What to See, What to Do Close to the Louvre

Jardin des Tuileries (The Louvre gardens)

The Tuileries are the Louvre’s magnificent gardens, from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde.

The Tuileries Gardens is free, the opening hours are season-dependent.

7:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. in June, July & August.
7:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. in April, May and September.
7:30 AM to 7:30 P.M. in January, February, March, October, November & December.

Pavillon de Flore from Jardin des Tuileries

The Tuileries gardens with the Pavillon de Flore (Louvre) in the background. © Broaden Horizons.

Place de la Concorde, at the end of the Tuileries Gardens.

The Tuileries Gardens is free; the opening hours are season-dependent.

7:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. in June, July & August.
7:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. in April, May and September.
7:30 AM to 7:30 P.M. in January, February, March, October, November & December.

If you have young children, the Little Boats at the Grand Basin in the central alley is an iconic activity of the Garden since 1850. There is an all fleet of little boats. Children pick a boat and help it navigate with a stick; rent one cost 4 €.

Normally in July and August, there is a funfair there (entry is free, rides are not) and, in the winter (from mid-November to the beginning of January), a Christmas market.

Crossing the seine from the South of the Gardens is Musée d’Orsay. Our D’Orsay Tour continues the Louvre after 1850

Your art journey can continue with our Musée de l’Orangerie Tour, as the museum is at the end of the Tuileries Garden beside Place de la Concorde.

Summer funfair at Tuileries Garden - Broaden-Horizons Louvre private tours

Traditional summer funfair at Tuileries Garden. © Broaden Horizons.

Rodin The Kiss Jardin des Tuileries - in front of the entry of the Orangerie Museum - Place de la Concorde in the background.

Rodin The Kiss Jardin des Tuileries – in front of the entry of the Orangerie Museum – Place de la Concorde in the background. Background.

Palais Royal & Place Vendôme

Just north of the Louvre is the Palais Royal, one of the nicest landmarks in Paris.  Also, not far from the Louvre, just north of the Tuileries Gardens, is Place Vendôme, one of the world’s most famous and prestigious showcases for luxury goods. Hôtel Ritz is also there.

Our Napoleon in Paris Tour – which can be followed by non-Napoleon fans – explores the area from Metro Grand Boulevard to Concorde.

Palais Royal

Palais Royal, just north to the Louvre. © Broaden Horizons.

Photo of Place vendôme in Paris to illustrate the Paris private tour offer at Broaden-horizons.fr

Place de la Concorde, at the end of the Tuileries Gardens.

Pont des Arts, Académie Française & Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Just south of the Louvre is Pont des Arts, from which you can have one of the most famous Seine River sceneries with a stunning view of île de la Citée (Pont-Neuf, Conciergerie, Notre-Dame, etc.).

There is a strong link between the Louvre and the Pont des Arts as this bridge was built by order of Napoleon to link his museum (Musée Napoléon, nowadays Louvre Museum) to the Palais des Quatre Nations where he decided to install the French Academies.

The Bridge also links the Louvre directly to the famous Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. Discover this iconic district with our Saint-Germain-des-Prés Tour

Photo of Place vendôme in Paris to illustrate the Paris private tour offer at Broaden-horizons.fr

Place de la Concorde, at the end of the Tuileries Gardens.