Musée d'Orsay (Art Museum)

Musée d'Orsay, located in a former railroad station, is one of the most popular art museums in Paris

Expansive interior of Musée d'Orsay
Expansive interior of Musée d'Orsay cc licensed photo by Dimitry B

The Musee d'Orsay is a magnificent art museum situated on the left bank of the Seine River running through the heart of Paris. If you are visiting Paris as a tourist, then stopping off at the Musee d'Orsay is an absolute must, in fact if you have decided that you have to visit the world famous Louvre museum then you should most definitely visit the Musee d'Orsay in order to really get the full experience of significant art works within Paris.

The Musee d'Orsay was originally a railway station known as the Gare d'Orsay, completed in 1909 and served as the main terminus for the trains servicing the railways to south western France up until 1939. The building has been used over the years for many different purposes including as a partial mailing room during the Second World War, as a backdrop and set for several films including Franz Kafka's The Trial and as a sort of headquarters for the Renaud-Barrault Theatre Company.

In 1970 plans were put in motion to demolish the entire building and the green light was given to commence demolition, however, the timely intervention of the then minister for cultural affairs, Jacques Duhamel, prevented its demolition in order to make way for a new hotel. Instead the building was added to a list of historic buildings and saved for many generations to come.

In 1974 it was suggested that the building be converted into a museum in order to create a bridge between the Louvre and the modern art museum and so the Musee d'Orsay was born and is today one of the most popular museums in Paris. Extensive work was carried out on both the exterior as well as the interior of the museum however the original railway station look was maintained in terms of the huge, rather cavernous space which provides vast amounts of light, perfect for viewing works of art.

Nearby attractions: Jardin des Tuileries, Le Musée des Arts Decoratifs and Musée de l'Orangerie

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes - Free entry with the Paris Pass.

Currently Closed

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:30 AM – 9:45 PM
  • Friday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France

Phone: 01 40 49 48 14

Official Website: Musée d'Orsay (Art Museum)

Directions

Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M12Solférino Station4 minutes
RER-CMusée d'Orsay0 minutes

How to get to Musée d'Orsay (Art Museum) by Metro / RER

By Metro: Exit Metro Line 12 at Solférino Station and walk north on Rue de Bellechasse to the museum entrance.

By RER C: The exit at Musée d'Orsay Station is located right in front of the entrance to the musum.

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Reviews

Rated 4.7 out of 5Musée d'Orsay Star Rating

5 Star Rating A good sized museum with some great art work. Went to the Cafe on the 5th floor as it was recommended but was not impressed with the high prices and poor service. Go to the cafe anyway for a view through the clock face. There is another clock face that also offers a good photo opportunity. The museum has a bit of everything, sculptures paintings old furniture. You will need 2 hours for a walk through and 4 hours to cover it well. Included in museum pass

Paul Taylor - 2 days ago

5 Star Rating A beautiful space with a stunning collection. This museum is not too big and not too small. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there two years ago. Earlier this month we went on the first Sunday of the month when there is free admission. It was far too crowded at that time and was not nearly as enjoyable. It's important to be able to see the art and to be able to feel the vibe of the collection in the space. I highly recommend this museum on any other day but the free entry day.

Maria Garcha - 3 days ago

5 Star Rating Stunning building with amazing items on display. The museum is well laid out, bright and airy and the exhibits are not too crowded or packed into the space. The furniture collection is well worth a look. The cafe and restaurant are expensive, so it’s best to get lunch in the surrounding streets before you visit. A much more pleasant museum experience than the other museum across the river, with the pyramid, which can be like an overwhelming sea of people.

Nick Townsend - 22 days ago

5 Star Rating When you think of Art in Paris you naturally think of certain other world famous galleries, maybe one that’s notable for its pyramid features (or I did anyway) and not the Musée d’Orsay but having visited recently I now know what a mistake that is! Out of all the museums and galleries I’ve been to, the Musée d’Orsay might now be my favourite! Not only is the gallery beautifully presented and well laid out but it’s also a manageable size. Easy on the step count and not such an art fatigue risk as some others that I’ve struggled with. The current impressionist collection is fantastic if you’re into that kind of thing and if visited off peak-time there’s plenty of room to sit back and actually take it in. Overall a great and varied collection on a digestible scale. Highly recommended.

Nicholas Morss - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating This is the excellent museum on par with Louvre. Ordered tickets online hoping to save time and avoid lines. Line for folks with tickets on Wednesday on rainy day off season was huge going around several blocks. Came back later around 4pm on the same day and got inside in 30 minutes. Unfortunately museum was closing at 6pm and 90 minutes was quick preview. Museum is set from old railroad station. It's collection of Degas, Monet, Janet, Power to and other famous painters require easy 3-4 hours. This museum is a must to visit while in Paris.

Josef Gasimov - 2 months ago

Video


Video about the Musée d'Orsay and its focus on the age of impressionism

Photo Gallery

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