The Louvre: An insider's guide

Rub shoulders with the locals around the world's most famous museum...

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Cour Marly

Cour Marly Jean-Christophe Godet / Time Out

The world's largest museum is also its most visited, with an incredible 8.8 million visitors in 2011. It is a city within the city, a vast, multi-level maze of galleries, passageways, staircases and escalators. Some 35,000 works of art and artefacts are on show, split into eight departments and housed in three wings: Denon, Sully and Richelieu. You'll find treasures from the Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks and Romans as well as Middle Eastern and Islamic art, and European decorative arts from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century. Needless to say the whole area is geared to tourists, so follow this guide to escape the backpacks and flashing cameras in the 1st and 2nd arrondissements. Click here for more information on the Louvre...

Around the Louvre...

Museum: Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Set in the Louvre's West wing, yet seperate from the Louvre museum,  this is one of the world's major collections of design and the decorative arts (along with the Musée de la Mode et du Textile

  1. 107 rue de Rivoli, 1er
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Café: Le Fumoir

There aren't many places around the Louvre that can compete with this elegant local institution: neo-colonial fans whirr lazily and oil paintings adorn the walls. A sleek crowd sips martinis or reads

  1. 6 rue de l'Amiral de Coligny, 1er
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Restaurant: Higuma

Higuma's no-nonsense food and service makes it one of the area's most popular destinations for locals. On entering, customers are greeted by plumes of aromatic steam emanating from the open

  1. 32 bis rue Sainte-Anne, 1er
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Restaurant: L'Ardoise

One of the city's finest modern bistros, L'Ardoise attracts gourmets eager to sample Pierre Jay's reliably delicious cooking. A wise choice might be six oysters with warm chipolatas and a pungent

  1. 28 rue du Mont-Thabor, 1er
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Wine bar: Le Garde Robe

This wine bar, near to the former Samaritaine department store building, will please even the most demanding epicureans. No Saint-Emilion or Château Latour here. Instead, with advice of the friendly

  1. 41 rue de l'Arbre Sec, 1er
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Bar: Experimental Cocktail Club

A ten minute-walk from the Louvre and you're in the land of creative cocktail making.  The Experimental Cocktail Club’s mixes are to cocktail bars what McDonald’s is to Michelin stars,

  1. 37 rue Saint-Sauveur, 2e
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Shop: Espace Kiliwatch

  • Price band: 3/4

The trailblazer of the rue Etienne-Marcel revival (a 10-minute walk from the Louvre) is filled with hoodies, casual shirts and washed-out jeans. Brands such as Gas, Edwin and Pepe Jeans accompany

  1. 64 rue Tiquetonne, 2e
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Shop: Kitsuné

The London/Paris style collective has finally got its own boutique (just 5-minutes from the Louvre), which offers the entire catalogue of music compilations, as well as branded clothing that takes a

  1. 52 rue de Richelieu, 1st
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