More than nine million people visit the Louvre in Paris each year and almost every one is desperate to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Here’s how to beat the crowds.

Avoid Fridays (when Porte des Lions entrance is closed), Tuesdays (when the museum is closed) and Wednesdays and weekends (when the crowds are thickest).

That leaves you with Monday or Thursday.

Buy tickets online and familiarise yourself with the museum layout.

Avoid the main entrance under the pyramid.

Instead, arrive at 8.30am, 30 minutes before the museum opens, at the Porte des Lions entrance. That’s closest to the Salle des Etats, the room where the painting hangs.

Travel light so you don’t waste time at the cloakroom.

Once you’re in, head to the Salle des Etats on the first floor of the Denon wing for one-on-one time with Mona Lisa before the masses arrive.

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