I love the new Louvre – it is a must see if you are visiting Dubai or the region. Here are my top tips if you are planning a visit:
- The Louvre opens at 10am. Get there 15 minutes before it opens to get a prime parking spot and to avoid the crowds. Really, every minute counts.
- Purchase your tickets ONLINE and PRINT THEM OUT before you come. You can avoid the ticket lines entirely and enter the museum directly.
- Consider purchasing an ART CLUB membership. It is only 450 Dirhams ($121.50) a year and gets you and a guest in free all year, plus gets you discounts and freebies (like free media guides). Since tickets are otherwise 60 Dirhams each, it pays for itself in fewer than four visits.
- There are 12 galleries. Consider going straight to Gallery 7, do 7 through 12 first, then take a break at the Cafe and re-enter to do galleries 1 through 6 after lunch. This accomplishes several things: you will experience the last six galleries largely free of crowds (and can spend time with da Vinci’s La Belle Fourniere uninterrupted). You will also be able to marvel at the open air portion also relatively crowdfree. 12 galleries are a LOT to go through without a break; and you can re-enter the museum how ever many times you like (for the one day).
- Be sure to notice the lifeguards. This has to be the ONLY museum in the world that employs lifeguards?!?!
- Do not miss the side rooms, which are easy to overlook. Some of my favorite pieces in the museum are in the side rooms, like the Egyptian mummy and the room of religious manuscripts, where a Torah, a Bible, and the Qu’ran are exhibited side by side.
- If you are coming from Dubai, definitely stop at LAST EXIT either on your way there, your way back, or both. It is such a fun stop and will break up the drive (I’ll do a blog post on LAST EXIT one day soon – it’s a hoot!) It is sort of the opposite of the cultured Louvre….
- If you are bringing kids, consider the family tour offered by the museum – I think it makes things a lot more interesting for the little ones. (The kids, by the way, will LOVE Last Exit too….)