Quite a long time ago someone told me that the first Sunday of every month has free entry at the Louvre. This information stayed filed away, and when we found we would be in France the first week of September, we had our first Sunday activity all taken care of. When I told Swedish colleague Martin of our plan, he said that everyone in France would also be lined up to get in free.
As it turns out, tourists go whether it is free or not, and the line ups aren’t really that different. A lot of tourists don’t even know it is free until they get to the door. The French don’t bother going to the Louvre until the first Sunday in November when all the snap-happy tourists are gone and they can tour the museum with appropriate cool and ennui. I have to say, if I were to go back to Paris with the express purpose of touring museums, it would be in the off season when the lines are short and the museums not so busy.