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: No

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 One of my favorite museum/gallery. You must visit the 5th floor where there are beautiful cafes and the most popular artworks. Going there again for sure

Yura Ariane Ahn - 20 hours ago

5 Star Rating I cannot encourage you enough to go to this museum if you are in Paris. The Louvres is probably more famous, and it's another place you have to see in Paris is, but I enjoyed this just as much maybe more. The line to get in was pretty long. I saw one woman reading a book, if that gives an idea of the time in line, but it's well with it. The art was so amazing it took my breath away. I'm a big fan of impressionists, and this is impressionist heaven. But there are lots of other awe inspiring pieces of art. The building is beautiful and comfortable. Don't miss this if you are in Paris.

Beth Copeland - 23 days ago

4 Star Rating Love the design of this museum which was retained from a train station. The sculpture archway really catches your eyes. So many masterpieces of the impressionism genre. Greatly recommended

Fan Huang - 29 days ago

5 Star Rating Wow, nothing short of amazing! This is time well spent in a fantastic setting (converted train station). If you want to bring your own food, grab a bench on level 2. You'll have to check backpacks in before entering the gallery, so plan ahead! There are some eating options inside that all looked busy. Be prepared for the growing number of "click and go" gallery visitors. Sadly most of these people appear oblivious to others trying to just enjoy the art.

Michael Hutchison - 1 month ago

3 Star Rating Very interesting building with a great story behind it. The paintings inside are very impressive, but if you can only visit one Parisian gallery this is not the one for you! If you want modern art, go to the Pompidou. If you want anything else, Louvre. The Musée d'Orsay is the awkward middle child with not a lot to uniquely recommend itself. Even the architectural interest, whilst not insignificant, must yield to that of the two previously mentioned museums.

George Monaghan - 1 month ago

Video


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

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