“Museum exceptionally busy. We strongly recommend buying tickets online to ensure entry to the museum,” suggests the webpage of the Louvre museum in Paris. But the recommendation won’t be a recommendation for long. Starting in the fall, it will be a requirement.
On Friday, August 3, the Louvre began urging visitors to purchase tickets on its website. The option to buy tickets online was already available, but now during checkout, ticket purchasers are required to pick a date and time for their visit. People who qualify for free entry or hold the Paris Museum Pass must also reserve places.
Holding a time-stamped and dated ticket purchased online does not give you the ability to jump the line to enter the museum. Rather, it gives visitors the right to wait in a shorter line for a maximum of half an hour after the time shown on the ticket. Proof of identity must be shown with the tickets upon entry.
Those who miss their time slot or come on a different date “are subject to the same admission and waiting conditions as visitors without tickets,” notes the site.
For now you can still buy tickets on location, but that will change this fall, starting in October or November, when the museum will make reservations obligatory to enter the Louvre.
The advancing ticketing system is meant to limit the time visitors have to spend waiting in line to enter the museum and to provide for some crowd control. The French museum is a victim of its own success: the Louvre is the most visited museum in the world. Last year, more than 10 million people traipsed through its halls.
“Reservations smooth the entry for the public throughout the week,” said Vincent Pomarede, the deputy general administrator of the Louvre, to Agence France Presse.
The mandatory advance reserving was planned to be implemented at the beginning of 2020, but the high volume of crowds anticipated for a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit this fall, as well as the air conditioning-seeking crowds that have flocked to the museum during summer heatwaves, have led management to push up the change.
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