Another Louvre Tour 

The Louvre Alternative Tour is for those who want another Louvre tour, more peaceful and quieter, an off-the-beaten-tracks Louvre experience. A genuine private tour for you and your party only.

Cour Puget, bronze, French 17th c. sculpture.

Cour Puget in the Richelieu Wing.

The Louvre Alernative Tour in a Nutshell

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

  • Louvre Guided tour in English
  • Genuine private tour = your party only (up to 6 persons).
  • Available in 2 durations 2 hours and 4 hours 
  • Postgraduate (MPhil) certified French national guide
  • Flexible schedule – Evening tour possible on Fridays
  • Not available on Tuesdays
  • Two meeting point options: outside or inside the Museum
  • Skip-the-line tickets not included: to buy online (22 € per adult)

Skip-the-line-tickets clarification: they are just standard online tickets.

KNOW MORE / BOOK NOW

Your Private Louvre Tour Guide:
Yves

Certified French national guide
BA, Magna Cum Laude, Heritage Developpement & Preservation from Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers
Postgraduate from Paris Dauphine-PSL University

Know more about Yves, your private tour guide in Paris

Warning About the Crowded Galleries of the Louvre

During high season, French bank holidays, weekends…very often, the most famous Louvre Galleries are very crowded. The most crowded gallery of the museum is the Denon Wing, where is Mona Lisa with all the other da Vinci paintings, the Victory of Samothrace, and the coronation of Napoléon.

There are two solutions if you don’t want to struggle in the crowd during your tour time

an Evening Tour on Friday night

The advantages of a Louvre evening tour are described in more detail on our dedicated page

But There is Only One Friday a Week

So, there is another solution, the Louvre Alternative Tour, an off-the-beaten-track Louvre discovery

The Louvre Alternative Tour Content (2h)

The Tour is based on the lesser-known sections of the Louvre

The tour is normally based on the Richelieu Wing and some sections of the Sully Wing.

The exact content of the tour depends on the opening of the galleries, which varies according to the days of the week.

If you have precise expectations always look at the Louvre galleries opening calendar before booking a tour (There is no guarantee about this schedule, any gallery may be closed anytime without notice).

Photo of the Venus de Milo to illustrate the Louvre private tour, Paris, France.

Alone in front of Rubens’s most Famous Gallery?

Napoleon throne at the Tuileries by Jacob-Desmalter from a Percier & Fontaine drawing

Napoleon throne at the Tuileries by Jacob-Desmalter from a Percier & Fontaine drawing. Credit Unplash W. Krause. 

The tour content is as flexible as possible in function of open galleries (and knowledge of the guide).

Example of Possible Galleries of the Tour

  • Decorative arts Middle Age & Renaissance
  • Napoléon I Gallery
  • Napoleon III Appartements
  • French paintings 16, 17, 18, or 19 centuries
  • Dutch paintings (Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals)
  • Flemish paintings (Van Eyck, Brueghel, Rubens, Van Dyck)
  • Cour Marly: French sculptures of the former palace of Marly (Louis XIV & Louis XV)
  • Cour Puget (French sculptures from middle age to 19th C.)
  • 18th Century Art of Living (period rooms)
  • Near Eastern antiquities (Code of Hammurabi, Palace of Sargon II, Palace of Darius)

Warning: Napoléon III’s Appartements are closed. Reopening is planned for May 2024.

Jan van Eyck Madona of Chancellor Rolin

Flemish Paintings Galleries. Jan van Eyck Madona of Chancelor Rolin. Credit: The Yorck Project – GNU Free Documentation License.

Napoléon III Apartments in the Louvre

Napoléon III Apartments in the Richelieu Wing – Photo Nat Molino, Unplash.

Depending on the contingencies, it may also be possible to see some rooms of the Egyptian galleries.

Depending on the gate we will use to enter the museum, it may be possible/convenient to see some of the galleries of the extended (4h) version of the tour (Spanish Painting, non-Western Art).

Example of Famous Artifacts of the Richelieu & North Sully Wings

The ʿAin Ghazal Statue (Circa 7000 BC, modern days Jordan). Made of lime plaster it is one of the earliest large-scale representations of the human form. One of the most remarkable specimens of prehistoric art from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period.

Statue of Ebih-Il (2400 BC), Superintendent of the ancient city-state of Mari (in nowadays Syria. The statue is made of gypsum, with inlays of schist and lapis lazuli.

The Code of Hammurabi (1792 – 1750 BC): a basalt stele that gives prominence to the lex talionis later appears in the Bible in the form of: ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth ‘.

The Cour Khorsabad (Circa 700 BC) where have been installed the great winged bulls with human heads (called Lamassu) that were guarding the entrance to the palace of Assyrian king Sargon II.

Frieze of Archers of Darius’s Palace. Darius was King of the Kings of the Achaemenid Empire (550 – 486 BCE); he was King of Persia, King of Babylon, and Pharaon of Egypt. He was defeated by the Greeks at the Battle of Marathon (490 BC).

Passing Lion (Babylon, reign of Nebuchadrezzar II, 605 BC–562 BC): bricks panel of glazed terracotta from the Procession Way which ran from the Marduk temple to the Ishtar Gate.

Photo of the Venus de Milo to illustrate the Louvre private tour, Paris, France.

  Frieze of Archers, decorative Panel of the palace of Darius in Susa (Persia).

Funerary monument of Philippe Pot; eight mourners dressed in black hoods act as pallbearers carrying his effigy.

Philippe Pot was a knight of the Golden Fleece. He served under the two last Valois Dukes of Burgundy, Philip the Good and Charles the Bold. After the final defeat of Burgundy and the death of the duke in 1477 at the battle of Nancy, Pot switched allegiance to the French king Louis XI, who named him grand seneschal of Burgundy and knight of Saint Michael. Pot eventually served under Louis XIs’ son Charles VIII of France conserving his position of governor of Burgundy.

This exceptional monument was initially in Cîteaux Abbey (south of Dijon in Burgundy), the original house of the famous Order of Cistercians developed all over Europe by Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th Century.

Joyeuse (also called the sword of Charlemagne). It has been used in French royal coronation ceremonies since the 13th century.

Sceptre of Charles V (King of France from 1364 to 1380). At the top of his golden scepter is a statue representing Charlemagne sited on the throne with his imperial crone.

Morion (helmet) of King Charles IX of France. An amazing artifact designed by goldsmith Pierre Reddon. Despite being used in many other countries, the iconic murions are primarily identified with early Spanish explorers and conquistadors in South America and Mexico.

Chest for Louis XIV’s gems, 1675 by goldsmith Jakob Blanck.

Marie-Antoinette’s Furnitures, including her necessaire de voyage.

Trone and Crone of Napoleon I.

Morion (helmet) of the king charles IX of France by Pierre Reddon.

Morion (helmet) of King Charles IX of France by Pierre Reddon. Credit Pixabay A. Lischka.

Portrait of Jean II king of France (1350-1364). This painting is often considered as the first known individual portrait of western art.

The Gallery de Medicis. A stunning cycle of 24 paintings by Rubens glorifying the life of queen of France Marie de Medicis. 

Portrait of King of France François I. A stunning Masterpiece of French Renaissance by Jean Clouet.

The Lacemaker By Vermeer. It was considered the best painting in the world by Renoir. Also by Vermeer, The Astronomer.

The Emmaus PilgrimsBathsheba by Rembrandt along with numerous self-portraits.

Louis XIV most famous portrait by Hyacinthe Rigaud. 

 

Portrait of John II king of France.

Portrait of John II king of France. Credit The Yorck Project – GNU Free Documentation License.

The Lacemaker by Jan Vermeer van Delft

The Lacemaker by Jan Vermeer van Delft. Credit The Yorck Project – GNU Free Documentation License.

The Louvre Alternative Tour Extended (4h)

Two Ways to Use the Two Extra Hours of the Extended Alternative Tours

  • A slower pace of the visit
  • Discovering more content

A mixte of both is also possible.

Example of Extra Content That Can Be Seen

First, we can see more galleries and artifacts of the Richelieu and /or Sully Wing that are listed in the two-hour alternative tour presentation.

But, having more time, we can also walk to some lesser-visited sections of the Denon Wing (the one where there is the Mona Lisa), where there are some interesting, most of the time very quiet Louvre departments or galleries.

Art of Islam

There is the amazing Baptistère of Saint Louis, a 14-century Islamic art jewel, a hammered brass basin that was used as a baptismal font for future French Kings,

Archaic Ancient Greece Sculptures
  • In this Gallery is the Lady of Auxerre, an archaic Cretan sculpture from the 7th century BCE
Spanish painting

El Greco (Saint Louis), Ribeira (The Clubfoot), Murillo (The Young Beggar, The Birth of the Virgin, The Angels’ Kitchen), Goya (The Countess del Carpio, Marquesa de La Solana).

Northern Europe Sculpture

There is a fabulous German nude polychrome sculpture of Saint Mary Magdalene.

Africa, Asia, Oceania & the Americas (Non-Western Art)

This department, called Pavillon des Sessions, opened in April 2000 as a satellite, an Embassy of the Quai Branly Museum, which is dedicated to featuring Non-Western art and culture (Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas).

Saint Louis by El Greco typ

Portrait of Saint Louis by El Greco. Credit The Yorck Project – GNU Free Documentation License.

Things to know before Booking

Clarification: Skip-the-Line Tickets Are Just Standard Online Ones

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 on 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!

Louvre Museum Tickets Fare

Museum tickets are not included in the tour price.

  • Online Louvre tickets: 17 € per adult
  • Free for all kids under 18 years old
  • Free under 26 years old for the European Union residents

Restrictions

  • Private tour means a tour for you & your party only, not that the museum is privatized.
  • Tour duration & content are purely indicative, they may vary due to contingencies.
  • In case of unexpected closed galleries you accept to follow a substitution content.
  • Prices do not include transportation, food, drinks or any other extra services.

Attention Points

  • Check the Louvre galleries closure schedule before planning your Louvre coming
  • Tour on foot in Louvre's huge galleries, so good health & comfortable shoes are mandatory
  • Photos are authorized, but without flash. Selfie sticks are not allowed.
  • WARNING proof of ID is mandatory as tickets are nominative!
  • WARNING print your tickets or at least upload them before coming to the Louvre (last minute problem uploading tickets may spoil the tour)

Meeting Point

Easy one Inside or outside the museum (detail during booking)

Access: Metro Line 1 station Palais-Royal

Book your Louvre Private Tour

Just request the date, time, number of people you want for your Louvre tour in our calendar and follow the below 4 steps online easy process.
(1) Receive our OK email (48h free pre-booking)
(2) Buy your Louvre tickets online (compatible schedule)
(3) Once you have your tickets pay your tour online
(4) Receive our
confirmation (email)
Nota bene: Step (1) free pre-booking is lost if no step (3) payment is received after 48h. Buy your ticket on Louvre official web site. Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. Open hours:  9 am - 6 pm. Any exit is final.
Photo to illustrate the Louvre 17th century French Painting, in Paris, France.

This portrait in Coronation Robe by Hyacinthe Rigaud is King Sun’s most famous one. A lot of replicas have been realized by his studio. The original is in the Louvre (Photo credit Getty Museum).