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.

Open Now: Yes! Some attractions may restrict entry prior to their closing time.

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 4.5 out of 5

5 Star Rating The d'Orsay has to be considered one of the top art museums in the world, with a collection that will boggle the mind. It has those all important pieces by the likes of Van Gogh and Monet that are so famous even an art beginner will stop dead in front of them saying "wait, I know this!". But it has those more nuanced pieces as well, like Seurat or Luce that give even the seasoned art viewer a moment of pause. And aside from the world class art collection, be sure to look up. Housed in a former train station, the architecture inside is breathtaking. The d'Orsay is a must see for any and all!

William B - 22 days ago

5 Star Rating If you love Impressionism this is a MUST! It has probably the largest and greatest collection in the world. I almost cried while seeing paintings from Monet, Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh and many others. In addition, the museum (architecture and design) is beautiful. Buy your ticket online to avoid long queues! I recommend the audio guide. If you only have a few days in Paris, this is a must.

Jimena Rico - 27 days ago

5 Star Rating I didn't have any expectations when we visited this museum. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised! There is a strong focus on Impressionist art and it houses some of my favorite artworks (van Gogh and Monet). The building itself is also a piece of art! I really like the structure of the roof, because it lets in loads of natural light!

Ka Wai Ma - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Loved the collection! A must-visit if you love the impressionist era. Might be helpful to get the audio device, since each artwork has either little or no description and there's no information cards unlike at the Louvre. The queue took about an hour at around 11 AM, but this could be longer than usual since I visited on the first Sunday of the month when entrance is free for everyone. Regardless, it was very well worth the wait!

Sonnya Dellarosa - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Best museum experience in years. To begin, the building is EPIC, retaining much of it's open, massive railroad station grandeur from the past. The ceiling glows with light and structure like many other great rail stations, and brought to mind Grand Central, Union Station, Barcelona, etc - clearly I'm a fan, but even moderate interest will find much to love here in architecture alone. Then there is the art. Having been at the Louvre the previous day, I was prepared to be underwhelmed - pleasant surprise! It was a better experience in every way, no offense to the incredible Louvre. The art was more accessible and present, the security and crowds more manageable, displays had amazing depth and well organized. It was just excellent in so many ways, and a return trip is something I look forward to. You will miss a wonderful experience if you leave this off your list, in my opinion. Additional note, the restaurant upstairs was a lovely environment, food was simple but good, and service was fine.

Ken Simons - 3 months ago

Video


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

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