(Previously posted on Facebook 2015)
So you’re in Paris and you decided to visit the world famous museum, le Louvre, but there is a long line outside the Glass Pyramid–perhaps there is an even longer line than you had expected, depending on the time of year you are in Paris. Fortunately, there are solutions, or rather alternatives to entering the Louvre through the “front door”. Most tourists mistake the “main” entrance to the Louvre as “the” entrance to the museum, but it is not. There are three other options (entrances) that you can use.
The first option is by métro. Take the métro line M1 and exit at the stop, Louvre Rivoli. As I recall, there is an entrance directly to the Louvre area by métro. As I’m writing this (November 2015), however, I noticed that the M1 was marked as having some work done; so I don’t know whether or not this entrance is open.
The second option is an entrance to the Carrousel, which is a small shopping entrance, near the corner of Rivoli and Place du Carrousel. There is a red awning with “Carrousel” with which you can identify this entrance.
The third option is my personal favorite because it’s practically a secret entrance. If you find yourself at the Glass Pyramid, disappointed seeing the number of tourists lined up to enter the museum, just turn around towards the Jardin des Tuileries. You will see an arch. Right next to its right–your left–there is what looks like a block or a little wall. It is in fact an entrance. This is what I call the “back door” to the Carrousel or, if you will, the Louvre. There are virtually no lines leading into this entrance!
So once you are in the Louvre, you may want to leave your coat and/or bags that you might have with you–travel lightly when looking at art at the Louvre. Go to the coatcheck room or vestiaire to store your belongings. There may be some confused people when you enter. By pass them and go all the way to the end. You will see lockers with clear doors and a locking mechanism. If the locking mechanism is blinking red, it is locked. If it’s not blinking, you can use it and you can use your own four digit code. Here’s how it works. Press C then any four digits of your choice, then press the key icon. The light should be blinking red. To reopen it, press C; your four digits; and then the key icon.
To buy tickets, you can use the ticket dispensers. You can choose English to utilize this machine. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to use your French, they still have people manning the ticket booths.
If you have any questions or wish to add something that I had missed, please feel free to contact me.