Louvre Discovery Tour First-Timers

Our Louvre discovery tour is a masterpieces selection also designed to give you a comprehensive introduction to the architecture and the history of the famous museum. Our Louvre tour guide is a postgraduate licensed guide who curated the tour content. This Louvre tour is a genuine private tour for you and your party only.

Photo of the louvre great pyramid to illustrate the Louvre private tour, Paris, France.

Louvre pyramid where the museum’s main entry.

The Louvre Discovery 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 (17 € per adult)

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


Your Private Louvre Tour Guide

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 Gallery of the Louvre Discovery Private Tour

The route of the Louvre discovery private tour follows the most crowded galleries of the museum in the Denon Wing, where is Mona Lisa with all the other da Vinci paintings, the Victory of Samothrace, and the coronation of Napoléon. Then we strongly advise you against booking this tour during high season or pick hours.

To make the most of your Louvre discovery tour, you better book it as an evening one on Friday night. You can do it on this page, just select the corresponding Friday evening time schedule in the booking calendar. The advantages of a private Louvre evening tour are described in more detail on our dedicated page.

What’s in the Tour?

Famous 19th Century French Paintings

Italian Renaissance Masterpieces

French Crown’s Jewels

Ancient Rome & Greece Collections

800 Years of Louvre History

A Glimpse on the Tour Masterpieces

Venus de Milo ; Nike of Samothrace ; Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss ; Michelangelo’s Slaves Coronation of Napoleon by David ; Raft of the Medusa by Gericault ; Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix ; The Wedding Feast at Cana by Veronese ; The death of the Virgin Mary by Caravaggio ; La Belle Jardinière by Raphael ; The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne by Leonardo da Vinci and for sure Mona Lisa (*) and much more.


Is a Louvre Private Tour Worth It?

Visiting the Louvre is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and the 9 miles of corridors and 38,000 works of art can quickly transform it into an overwhelming experience. So yes, it’s worth it! The problem is to find a good knowledgeable guide at a reasonable price.

How Long Does it Take to Visit the Louvre?

The Louvre is enormous; you would need weeks to see everything. So you better plan a whole day there to have a pleasant first understanding of the Louvre. A 2 hours private tour drives you directly to the main works of art and helps you understand how the museum is organized and find your bearings there, so you will be able to make the most of the rest of your day there.

Is Mona Lisa Included in the Tour?

Mona Lisa is on the tour route in Salle des Etats room, so yes, you will see it during the tour. But, to admire it close up, there is always a long line non-compatible with the tour. The tour ends not far from Mona Lisa, so you will easily return there to queue up after the tour if you want.

How Long Last the Louvre Discovery Tour?

The Louvre private tour last 2 hours. We also propose 4 hours extended version of the tour.

Is this Tour for Louvre First-timers?

Yes, the tour was specifically designed for first-timers. Its purpose is to present the museum’s most famous work of art and to explain its amazing history.

I’m not a First-timer, Do You Have a Louvre Tour For Me?

If you already know the Louvre and want a tour without the Mona Lisa, Da Vicci, Vénus de Milo, or the coronation of Napoléon, our Louvre discovery private tour is not adequate. Go for one of our Louvre thematic tours or for our half-day full flex tour.

When to Better Follow a Louvre Discovery Tour?

To avoid a too-crowded Louvre during the high season booking an early morning tour at 9 AM when the Louvre opens its doors is a good strategy. Nevertheless, if you don’t want to spend all day in the Louvre, an even better solution is to book a Friday evening Louvre Tour (On Fridays the Louvre closes at 9:45 PM instead of 6 PM).

What Are the Days to Better Avoid a Louvre Private Tour?

Do not come on July 14th (Bastille Day) as the Louvre is free for everybody… Avoid weekends and peak hours during the high season. Also, avoid Monday as this is the Orsay Museum’s closing day, so more people may come to the Louvre. Check Google Louvre’s business profile Popular Time section to get visit statistics by day. Last, due to renovations, some rooms close during specific days of the week, so you better check the Louvre rooms closure schedule before planning your coming.

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

No, any exit from the Louvre is final.

I Want to Spend All Day in The Louvre. Is It Possible to Eat There?

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

I Want a Guide for The All Day in The Louvre, Is It Possible?

Yes, you can book a half-day or full-day private Louvre tour; see our Louvre tour full offer.

What Are The Rules to Follow When Staying in The Louvre?

A dedicated Louvre website page describes all the Museum rules.

Why Choose Us?

Postgraduate Certified Guide

  • History and history of art enthusiast
  • Holding an MPhil and a BA, Magna Cum Laude

Original Tour

  • Designed by your guide.
  • Not a recitation of a speech learned from a script and repeated day after day.

Optimized Tour Route

  • Designed for you to make the most of your tour.
  • Ending at Mona Lisa (*) or close to it, so you don’t pay to queue up with your guide there.

Dual Tour

  • Amazing introduction to the Louvre world-famous collection.
  • Louvre’s architectural history from the middle-age fortress to the world-famous museum.

Recognized Customer Satisfaction

  • We want you to be happy with your tour with us.
  • Private also means adaptive for us, we definitely don’t want to deliver rushed or tedious tours.
  • The quality of our services has been recognized by 2020 & 2022 Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Rewards.

Our Private Discovery tour is definitely
a must
for a first visit of the Louvre!

Photo of Cour Napoléon with the famous Pyramid in its center to illustrate how big is the Louvre.

The huge Cour Napoleon with the famous pyramid in its center only gives a partial view of how big is the Louvre. Our private Louvre guided tour will help you to understand how is organized the museum and find your bearings there. Credit Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash.

Tour Glimpse: Palace history

Medieval Louvre

Our tour starts at the beginning: the impressive underground remnants of the ancient fortress built by the King of France Philippe Auguste (the rival of English king Richard the Lionheart) and transformed into a medieval palace by King Charles V.

Etching (1660) by  Jacques Callot depicting the Seine River and the Louvre on the right bank during the reign of Louis XIII to illustrate the Louvre Private Tour in Paris, France;

 Etching representing Paris around 1630. On the left part, the picture depicts the right bank of the Seine River with the Louvre castle. The remaining parts of the medieval castle are clearly visible as the Lescot Renaissance wing and the newly built Great Gallery alongside the river. View of the Louvre, Jacques Callot, Arts Institute of Chicago.

Renaissance Louvre

The Lescot Wing

Built by architect Pierre Lescot under the reigns of Francois I and Henri II it is a reference of the French Renaissance.

There you will discover the magnificent Henri II grand staircase as the “Salle des Caryatides” a 6458 ft² reception room, a masterpiece of the Renaissance with its four impressive caryatides by sculptor Jean Goujeon.

Many historical events happened in the room as for example the first time Molière performed a play in front of Louis XIV.

Photo of a detail of the Lescot wing facade to illustrate the Louvre private tour, Paris, France.

Detail of the facade of the Lescot Wing, built between 1546 and 1551 this is the oldest portion above ground of the Louvre. This Renaissance building influenced by Italian Mannerism, later on, became the reference for French Classicism. Credit DEZALB Pixabay.

Grande Galerie (Great Gallery)

Situated in Denon Wing it is the most famous room of the Louvre. Built under Henri IV it was initially 460 meters long (now a third less).

Future King Louis XIII was playing there when he was a child. Nowadays the Great Gallery houses most of the Louvre Italian Renaissance painting collection.

Photo of the Great Gallery to illustrate the louvre private tour, Paris, France.

The Great Gallery where is the Italian Renaissance paintings collection.  Credit dat-vo Unsplash.

Sun King’s Louvre

It mainly consists of four architect Louis Le Vau‘s works.

Queen Anne of Austria’s Summer Apartments

The apartments of the Sun King’s mother are famous for their magnificent painted and stucco work. [Temporary closed for restoration to mid-2023]

Apollo Gallery

The gallery is named after the theme of its decoration from walls to ceiling: Apollo glorifying Louis XIV as the Sun King. Designed by the King’s first painter Charles Lebrun the magnificent work was continued by many famous French artists such as Delacroix with its Apollo Slays the Python.

Reopened in 2020 after a spectacular cleaning up. It is a prototype of French Baroque (Classicism) used as a reference for the Hall of the Mirrors at Versailles.

Photo of the Apollo Gallery to illustrate the Louvre private tour, Paris, France.

The Apollo Gallery: The Sun King Louvre where are the Jewels of the French Crown.  Credit Dat-vo Unsplash.

Rotonde de Mars and Rotonde d’Apollon

These two rotundas respectively serve the Anne of Austria’s apartments and the Apollo Gallery. On the walls is engraved the impressive list of Louvre’s most important sponsors and donors.

Salon Carré (Links Great Gallery & Apollo Gallery)

When Louis XIV left the Louvre for Versailles he attributed the room to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture which organized there its yearly art exhibitions. They were called the “Salons” in reference to the room name.

Later on, in 1810 the religious wedding ceremony between Napoleon I and Marie-Louise of Austria was celebrated in the Salon Carré.

Imperial Louvre of Napoleon III

The Imperial Museum

It was created in 1863 with the huge Daru and Molien rooms decorated by Alexandre Dominique Denuelle. The two rooms are still under the imperial color (red and gold) and now house world-famous 19th-century French paintings.

Daru Staircase & the Nike of Samothrace

The impressive huge Daru Staircase was also designed under Napoleon III. It is not only an amazing setting for the Winged Victory but it is also the entry gate of five must-see collections of the Louvre:

  1. Ancient Greece and Rome collections
  2. Italian Renaissance paintings (including Mona Lisa)
  3. Sculptures of the Michelangelo Gallery
  4. The French Crown’s Jewels
  5. The 19th-century French Paintings Gallery
Photo of the Daru Staircase to illustrate the louvre private tour, Paris, France.

The Daru Staircase with in the background the Nike of Samothrace.  Credit Kazuo-ota Unsplash.

Tour Glimpse: the collections

1. Ancient Greece & Rome Collections

The Louvre ancient Greece & Rome collections are extremely rich with for example some frescos from Pompei, some fragments of Athens Parthenon frieze, etc. The tour will meanly focus on the world-famous masterpieces of the collection:

Ancient Rome Sculptures (reproduction of older Greek ones)
  • Diana of Versailles (or Artemis Goddess of the hunt)
  • The Sleeping Hermaphroditus (formerly in the Borghese Collection)
  • The Venus of Arles (The preferred of Louis XIV)
The two Louvre’s Original Greek Sculptures from the Hellenistic Period
  • The Venus de Milo
  • The Winged Victory of Samothrace
Photo of the Venus de Milo to illustrate the Louvre private tour, Paris, France.

Vénus de Milo. Credit Jean Carlo Emer Unsplash.

2. Italian Renaissance Painting

In the Great Gallery and the Salle des Etats is housed one of the world’s most prestigious Italian Renaissance painting collections from Trecento (early stirrings of the Renaissance) to High Renaissance and Mannerism.

Beginnings of the Renaissance
  • St. Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata by Giotto
  • The Maestà by Cimabue
  • Madonna and Child with the Young St. John the Baptist by Botticelli
  •  St. Sebastian by Mantegna
  • Saint Anne, Leonardo da Vinci’s ultimate masterpiece
  • La Belle Jardinière by Rafael
  • The Pastoral Concert, initially attributed to Giorgione is now considered from Titian. The works inspired Manet for his Luncheon on the Grass.
  • The Wedding Feast at Cana by Veronese (the biggest Louvre painting)
  • The Four Seasons (a set of four paintings) by Giuseppe Arcimboldo
  • Daniele Voltera’s two-sided painting of David killing Goliath

3. Michelangelo Gallery

A gallery named after two famous non-finito sculptures by Michelangelo: The Dying Slave & The Rebellious Slave.

Nearby is Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova, probably the world’s most romantic sculpture.

4. The French Crown’s Jewels

  • Louis XV crown.
  • Breast star with diamonds of the Holy Spirit Order
  • Empresses Josephine and Marie-Louise Jewels (Napoléon first and second wives)
  • Diadem of the Duchess of Angoulème (daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette)
  • Three famous diamonds: the Sancy, the Hortensia, and most of all the Regent: one of the biggest diamonds in the world (140.64-carat)
Portrait of Louis XVI wearing the blue ribbon and the breast star with diamonds of the Holy Spirit Order to illustrate the 2-hour Louvre private tour

Portrait of Louis XVI wearing the blue ribbon and the breast star with diamonds of the Holy Spirit Order.

5. 19th Century Large French Paintings

Neoclassicism in Room Daru
  • The Coronation of Napoleon by David
  • The Grande Odalisque by Ingres
Photo of 1810 Painting by Boilly representing a public view of Jacques-Louis David master piece "The Coronation of Napoleon" to illustrate the Louvre Private Tour in paris, France;

1810 Painting by Boilly representing a public view of Jacques-Louis David “Coronation of Napoleon” The David huge painting (+/- 10 x 6 meters) completed in 1807 was exhibited on three occasions between 1808 and 1810 in the Napoleon Museum (nowadays Le Louvre Museum). You won’t be the first one to admire this David masterpiece!

Romanticism in Room Mollien
  • The Raft of the Medusa by Géricault
  • The Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix

And many other interesting works as Antoine-Jean Gros’s realistic Napoleonic paintings which make a transition between Neoclassical and Romantic styles.

Photo of The Raft of the Medusa by Gericault to illustrate the Louvre private tour.

The Raft of the Medusa by Gericault. Credit: The Yorck Project – GNU Free Documentation License.

The Louvre Discovery tour extended (4 hours tour)

What is the Louvre Discovery Tour extended?

This tour is an extended version of the classical 2 hours Louvre discovery tour. Also designed for first-timers, It is made of 2 parts.

The first part is nothing more nothing less than the content of the normal 2 hours Louvre discovery tour as presented on this page. The second part is made of 2 extra hours from which the exact content is to be decided on-site between the customer and the guide!

What Can be Done During the 2 Extra Hours of the Extended Tour?

The extra content of the extended tour is flexible.

A first option is to stay on the 2-hour tour content but do it at a slower pace.

Or we can dedicate the extra time to focus on one of the fields available in our thematic tours: Napoleon (the Napoleon III Appartement), French paintings 16, 17, 18, or 19 centuries,  Duch paintings, or Flemish paintings. This each time the corresponding gallery is available.

Another possibility for the extra time is to walk fast some Louvre galleries to maximize the number of famous masterpieces we will see.

As 4 hours is quite  long take a little coffe break is also possible.


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

  Lubin Baugin Still Life with Wafer Biscuits. The most famous 17th-century French nature morte (still life), the masterpiece became even more famous after having been represented in 1991 French movie “Tous les matins du monde” (All the World’s Mornings) 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


  • 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

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.
Sculpture photo of the facade of the Louvre Museum to illustrate the Louvre Private Tour in Paris, France.

View of people entering in the Louvre by Richelieu Gallery coming from rue de Rivoli and Palais Royal. Photo by Serge Kutuzov on Unsplash

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

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

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French painting crash course in the Louvre. 500 years of painting from the mid 14th century to the mid 19th century.

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

Flemish & Dutch Paintings

3h Private Tour from 180 € for 2

From Flemish Primitives to Flemish Baroque painters till Dutch Golden Age.

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