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Paris 2019 – Free Admission to the Louvre on the First Saturday Night of Every Month

Paris 2019 – Free Admission to the Louvre on the First Saturday Night of Every Month

As of January, 2019, the Musée du Louvre opens its doors for free to all visitors on the first Saturday night of each month!  That’s right – for free – from 6:00pm to 8:45pm.

Louvre to Open First Saturday Night Each Month with Free Admission

Attempting to attract more first-time locals to visit, the Louvre adds the first Saturday of each month to its free admission line up.  As the most visited museum in the world, the Louvre has no problem attracting visitors.  But, it wants more locals to visit as well.

With this exciting news out of Paris, the Louvre adds more time for locals and visitors from all over the world to visit the Louvre without paying the price of admission.  Right now, a full-price admission ticket is 17 euros.  For a family of 4, that price could keep away many families working full time jobs and trying to make ends meet.  So, to try to get more locals in the doors, it has opened on an additional night.  That is good fortune for visitors, too!

Past Efforts

In the past, the Louvre opened on the first Sunday of each month with free admission, trying to draw in the locals.  But, after reviewing data on visitors coming at that increasingly popular free day, the museum lacked an increase in locals.  It appears that more and more international visitors are taking advantage of the 12 free Sundays each year.  Who doesn’t want a free entry?

One goal of the Louvre is to engage locals.  Saturday night seems like an obvious gateway to reach suburban locals wanting a night out.  Louvre officials hope that this additional free time does the job and entices young adults and families from outside Paris proper to take advantage of the world’s most-visited museum.  In addition to being free, the museum is hosting a board game area and a reading corner – all trying to lure young families in the door!

Bonus for You!

Of course, for non-local visitors, it is a boon as well.  Night visits are an extraordinary way to see the massive royal palace and its dumbfounding treasures.  Along with looking out of the windows into the night sky of the city, fewer people visit at night.  You may wind up in a gallery with entire rooms to yourself.  Admire the art with only your family and friends.  Climb the worn marble stairs alone.  Wander through the vast space and imagine the kings and queens that were there before you.

Musée du Louvre

Hours:  Open Wednesday – Sunday from 9am to 6pm
Night opening until 9:45pm on Wednesdays and Fridays
Night opening until 8:45pm on FIRST Saturday of the month beginning January 2019
CLOSED: on the following holidays: January 1, May 1, May 8 and December 25.
Arrondissement:  1st
Nearest Métro:  Two stops serve the Louvre.  Exiting at Louvre-Rivoli, you will be at the eastern-most end of the Louvre.  Exiting at Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre, you will be closer to the pyramid entrance and very close to the entrance at the Passage de Richelieu (if they will let you in) and the entrance through the Carousel de Louvre – kind of underground shopping area that leads you to the main entrance under the pyramid.
Nourishment:  Food and drink options available inside the Louvre in various locations – enjoy a baguette sandwich overlooking the entrance while watching the people come down the stairs under the pyramid!
Official websitehttps://www.louvre.fr/en/
Suggested time to visit:  In the evenings on the days it is open late


You may also be interested in one of the lesser known museums in Paris, such as Musée Picasso Paris, Musée Marmottan Monet or Musée Rodin. See the article on “15 Lesser-Known Museums in Paris” for more details here.

Know Your Source.  But Also Ask Questions

Know Your Source.  But Also Ask Questions

Just this past weekend I had an encounter that made me really remember what to do when you receive recommendations from someone – know your source!  And, ask questions! I ran into a friend at a wine store this past Friday.  It was terrific to see him.  In fact, it was genuinely good to catch up.  We have known each other a long time and he and his wife are extremely worldly. While I’m asking about his wife and children, he leans over toward the wine racks and grabs a bottle of wine.  He holds it up and shoves it over toward me.  Next he volunteers that it is a great bottle of white wine.  But, better yet, he tells me what a great deal it is for the price.  He pronounced the name with a French accent, making it sound really great.  I was convinced that I had to try it! Never mind that I really don’t even like white wine.  I listened to a friend, took the advice, bought the wine, got home and opened it up.  After one taste, surprise, surprise, it is not to my liking.

Don’t ASSUME – Know the Source!

What was I thinking?  I knew better!  But, because I know the source and was friends with him, I assumed the wine would be good.  I should have asked some questions, like, “Is it a dry white wine?”  “Would you call it minerally?”  “What about sweet?” Without asking questions, and without knowing whether the answers appealed to me, I took the advice of a friend.  Wine is a definite personal preference kind of purchase.  Just like what to see in Paris is a personal preference.  Unlike one bottle of inexpensive wine, making choices in Paris is much more consequential.  You may not be back.  And you will have wasted precious time in the most beautiful city on earth. Friends, guidebooks, and online resources will have suggestions for what to do in Paris.  Of course, some things in Paris are “must sees.”  But beyond those, who cares what someone else likes if you aren’t interested in it? Don’t assume that if your friend likes it, you will like it.  And, rather than fall for the flashy, descriptive and well-advertised, take a step back and ask yourself, “What do I like?”  “What is going to make me happy?”  “What do I want to see and learn about?”

It Is Your Trip

You are the one spending the money and taking the time off work to see Paris.  Figure out what makes you happy – historic buildings, shopping, monuments, museums of paintings, sculptures, gardens, walking the streets, or maybe it is watching movies in the hotel room. Then, take a look at, or a listen to, recommendations and suggestions.  Understand and know your source.  Next, ask questions.  Then, really listen to the answers.  After that, determine if the suggestion fits in with what you like to do.   Everything is available in Paris.  So, don’t fret about lack of choices.  Just make sure it is what you want to do. Want to know where PariswithScott is coming from?  Take a look here and feel free to ask as many questions as you like.
13 Suggestions for Saving Money and Time in Paris

13 Suggestions for Saving Money and Time in Paris

Nearly any search on tips for trips to Paris will come up with a few suggestions for saving money and time.

Who doesn’t want to save on these?  Nearly everyone wants common sense advise.  And, a few of the good suggestions that will stretch your dollars and provide more time bear repeating here.

1.  Plan in Advance

Planning is crucial.  From what you want to see to what times to visit that museum or landmark, having a plan will maximize your time in Paris.  Before buying a plane ticket, read as much as possible to make your Paris List.

Don’t waste time in Paris trying to figure out what you want to do.  Even if I change my mind while I am there, I always make a plan.  The last thing I want to do is sit at the hotel for an hour wondering, “What should I do today?”  That is a waste of precious time.

2.  Keep the Name of Your Hotel in Your Satchel

Remember to keep your hotel’s name, address and telephone number in your satchel.  Wandering off and forgetting where you are staying is kind of a big deal.  And, this is not a joke!  I have had people tell me they did this!!!!  Not a fun experience and definitely not a good use of time.

3.  Paris is Huge

Be aware that Paris is a big city!  It will take longer than you anticipate getting from one place to another.  So, put some travel time into your plans.  Also, if possible, group things to do geographically so you do not have to spend time going back and forth across the city all day.

4.  Order a Carafe d’Eau

In cafés and restaurants, rather than ordering bottled water, request a carafe d’eau (kah-rahf-doe).  A carafe d’eau is a bottle of Parisian tap water.  Some restaurants even have taps that carbonate the water so you can choose bubbly or still water in your carafe d’eau!

Parisian water is good and available throughout the city.  You will find no reason to buy bottled water that can be quite expensive.  The Parisian tap water is an especially good deal if you are like me and drink a lot of water.

After you order the carafe d’eau, the waiter will bring over the bottle, provide a glass and maybe fill it up the first time.  Then you are free to pour as much as you want.  Order another if you are really thirsty.  Want a cost comparison?  Add up the 4 or 5 euros (or more) for bottled water at a few meals and you will have saved enough for another meal or two out!

Carafe d'eau

Carafe d’eau sitting on a satisfying table mid meal. Save $ on water, order a carafe d’eau!

5.  Fill Up

Another way to take advantage of Parisian water is to fill up an empty water bottle before leaving the hotel each day.  Pop it in your satchel for the day out.

Then, when you run low, refill the bottle at the beautiful green fountains that can be found around the city.  They provide drinking water for everyone.  You can also find other fountains in town.  Just make sure they have a sign with the words, “eau potable” and feel free to fill up.

Paris water fountain

Paris water fountain – sorry, a little blurry. Fill up!

6.  Museum Pass or Individual Tickets?

Really analyze what tickets you must have for museums or landmarks you have on your Paris List.  Then, compare the price of the pass (and the number of days it is valid) with the price of purchasing individual tickets.

If you only want to visit one museum, the museum pass is probably a waste of money.  Purchase an individual ticket at the time you visit your only museum.

On the other hand, if you are a museum lover, a museum pass is probably the only way that makes sense.

Some people have very specific paintings or sculptures at museums that they want to see.  Maybe only one per museum.  But, if it is twenty things at twenty different museums, a museum pass is in order.  Dart in, visit the masterpiece or little known object that is a must for you.  Then, skip out without feeling any guilt about buying an expensive ticket to see one thing.

If you analyze your plan and are on the fence, think about the museum pass as a time saver.  It may be worth it to buy a pass because then you do not have to wait in line to buy a individual ticket at each museum or landmark.

Be aware that many special exhibitions will have tickets that must be purchased in advance.

7.  Meal Time Specials

Throughout Paris, restaurants at lunch and dinner offer “prix fixe” menus.  Prix fixe (pre-fix) menus are a budget friendly way to dine in style and taste a variety of flavors.  Choose this menu option at a “fixed price” and enjoy multiple courses at a reduced price.

Restaurants may also offer a “plat du jour.”  Plat du jour (plah-dew-zhore) is the daily special.  Check them out.  You may find a pleasant surprise waiting for you at a special rate.

Although not as commonly used, you could also see these menus advertised as “table d’hôte.

8.  Fine Dining at Lunch

This one is so often repeated, but definitely true.  Is there an expensive restaurant that you really want to try but it is out of your budget?  Think about going for lunch.  Lunch is a great deal at many expensive restaurants.  You have the same restaurant, same food, but a lower price.

When planning your day, don’t think of having lunch at a fancy restaurant as giving up the ability to visit a great museum or landmark.  Choose a day for your extravagant lunch that is the same day that a museum or landmark that you really want to visit stays open late.  Then, you can have a big lunch.  Sight see in the afternoon.  Have a baguette sandwich or something else light for dinner.  And spend the evening at another definite on your Paris List.

9.  Data Usage on Your Phone

Only use data on your telephone when you are connected to wifi.  Seems like an easy enough idea, but remember to change the settings to keep it from eating up data.  Your hotel will likely have wifi.  And, many cafés and museums will have free wifi as well.  Turning the data off actually has two purposes.  One, you get to keep the cost down while at the same time keeping in contact.  And, two, being unconnected allows you to focus on Paris and not the phone.

cellular data

Turn cellular data off while away from wifi.

10.  Do Not Tip Unnecessarily

This does not mean abandon civility and forget to be appreciative!  Rather, it means that waiters are paid for their service (or, the tip) in the price of sit down meals.  Our ideas of tipping on the full amount of the bill is not necessary.

At most restaurants, round up the bill to the next full euro and leave the change on the money tray.  If you really enjoyed the service, leave a couple of euros.

For Michelin-starred restaurants, and other really fine dining establishments, consider 5-10% of the bill as a way to show your appreciation for good service.

After a good taxi ride, round up to the next euro for your driver’s tip.

Personal tour guides should also be rewarded for a good job.

11.  Is Breakfast Included in the Price of Your Hotel Room?

If not, then you may want to walk to the neighborhood boulangerie.  Practice your French, or sign language, and enjoy a fresh pain au chocolat or croissant for breakfast.  Or, sidle up to the bar at the closest café, order un café and a croissant and spend less than 5 euros.  Heck, go crazy and order a double café to get you going!

But, if you do not eat breakfast, or only want to run down to the boulangerie for a croissant in the morning, do not buy the breakfast that the hotel offers.  Most likely it will be an expense that you can avoid.

12.  Time Saver, Not Necessarily a Money Saver

No matter how much time you have in Paris, it will go by quickly.  So, consider carefully where you are staying.  Maybe trade off a little luxury for being closer in to the city center.  That way you can walk, catch the hop on hop off or take a taxi to a monument or museum you want to see.

13.  Not a Time Saver Nor a Money Saver

Try to choose off times to visit places of interest.  Even if you can do this at a few places, you will enjoy a shorter line and fewer people.  For example, late hours at the museum.  Or, rise and shine and be in line when the landmark opens.  It will not save time or money, but it could save some of your sanity.

Plus One More

Want wine with dinner?  Order a “carafe du vin rouge” (carafe of red wine) or “carafe du vin blanc” (carafe of white wine).  Usually, the house wines at restaurants are completely fine.  Plus, it will be reasonably priced.  Don’t get nervous if they give you a choice in centiliters.  They use the metric system, so go big, or choose the small amount and order again if you would like more.