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 4.7 out of 5

5 Star Rating Everyone needs to go here at least once, especially if you're a fan of Monet or Renoir, for their extensive collection. The museum also has old artifacts and some brilliant sculptures. Best to go in the mornings on a weekday if you prefer less people. There are a few restaurants and cafes inside and even a souvenir shop where you can pick up prints of your favourite paintings from around 4 euros onwards depending on their size. You'll need at least 3 hours to comfortably see everything in the Museum.

Conrad Egbert - 10 days ago

4 Star Rating This is one of my favorite museums now. One can take their time looking at all the pieces that are showcased here. I suggest coming early and using the audio tour. I came alone and spent hours just looking at everything. The summer months can get a bit crowded so be patient. Make sure you bring a camera with plenty of memory space as there will be lots of things to take pics of.

Cristina Olano - 27 days ago

5 Star Rating Every bit as good as the Louvre (I went there too) only much more manageable, the building is a stunning re use of an old train station and it brings together the old iron work and new stonework beautifully. There are a number of incredible piece of art inside and the introductions to the different collections are presented in French, English and I think it was Spanish. The only negative (and to be fair its not the museums fault) is the continuous photo taking... I mean really people? You've travelled miles (in some cases thousands of miles) and instead of looking at the genuine work of art right there in front of you, you look at the screen on your phone and press click, so you can put your crappy snap on Facebook. It is the most rage inducing thing to have happen in a gallery or museum, you are there face to face with an item that has captured a thought, feeling and moment or likeness that has resonated over ages and has brought joy to so many people for so long, a work of passion and skill, there you are... And then 'CLICK' 'click click click' as some Muppet waves their iPhone around and then strides of to the next piece. Rant over The museum is amazing though.

Mark Dix - 29 days ago

5 Star Rating Highly recommended. The building is beautiful, the art is fantastic. When we were there there was a particular exhibit of Cezanne so you could see his talent strengthen over the years with repeated sittings with the same models. The collection of impressionist paintings is spectacular. The Salon non-recognition meant most were 'starving.' The way their lives intertwined is interesting to consider, even to including J'Accuse Emile Zola. Even a famous painting by Whistler. The statues are all top rate. You don't get lost or overwhelmed by crowds. A most comfortable experience, a real treasure.

Doug H - 1 month ago

2 Star Rating Yesterday, July 5th (Wed), I arrived at the museum at around 5pm. All I wanted to do was to buy some souvenirs for my students. When I was about to get into the building from the C and D entrances, three security guards stopped me. One guy asked me if I had a ticket or not. I said no and tried to explain why I wanna get there. He cut my words and kept saying 'no.' Until this conversation, I spoke in French even though my French is bad. It was because I thought it's a way of respect. But I was so mad that I changed the language to English. I said, "I just wanna buy some gifts from the souvenir shop." Those three guys talked in French and the one guy who annoyed me said "you should change your words and tone. Calm down." I was gonna say "it is you who interrupted my explanation and did not listen to my words." But I didn't. I just ignored and got into the building right after he said 'go.' First, you guys really need to learn how to deal with people with a polite manner. I can't believe that he did not say sorry to me. Rather, he talked to me that I was the one who did wrongdoings. Second, when you are arguing with French people, don't speak in their language. They would think of you as a easy and dumb foreigner and acted in a worse way. They need to be disciplined.

richard lee - 1 month ago

Video


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

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