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, however entry is free with a mandatory reservation on the first Sunday of every month.

Regular Hours:
May differ on holidays

  • 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: Esplanade Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, 75007 Paris, France

Phone: 01 40 49 48 14

Official Website: Musée d'Orsay (Art Museum)


Rated 4.7 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating It’s a beautiful museum with lots of masterpieces. Perfect place to escape the rain. Booking in advance is recommended, otherwise will have to wait in a long queue. I got tickets online one day before. Came earlier than in the chosen time-slot - was still allowed to enter
Yuliia Novak - in the last week

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5 Star Rating Beautiful museum with many masterpieces but also many yet to be discovered pieces. The floor plan is also sometimes a bit confirming. Queues are long. Even if you come early on a Saturday there will be a wait. Better to book tickets well in advance online. European citizens under 26 are free of charge but can’t buy tickets in advance sadly.
許櫻花Sakura - a month ago

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5 Star Rating We spent 4.5 hours here and could have stayed more admiring the art. Wonderful mix of paintings from primarily French artists, and lots of sculpture. Big impressionist collection with some super iconic works. We loved floors 1, 2, and 5. It’s a huge museum, so try not to go in a rush. There are big crowds admiring certain paintings, but be patient and you will get your turn to observe and admire.
B McC - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating Great museum. Must visit if you already visited the louvre. Great building as it was a train station before and huge collection of pieces and artworks. Most importantly is to dine at the restaurant with beautiful luxurious decoration and at the cafe where you will be at the back of the building clock.
Mohammed Al-Kuwari - a week ago

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5 Star Rating This time, I visited the museum only to see the special van Gogh exhibition. I recommend buying a timed ticket in advance for both the virtual show (10 minutes, but very well done) and the exhibit itself. The lines in front of the paintings can be obnoxious, and one has to work one's way through the crowd. It took me about two hours to work my way through the exhibition, but it was well worth it. I rewarded myself by having a nice lunch at the second floor restaurant, which itself is a piece of art with painted ceiling and gilded mirrors.
Michael Stemmeler - a month ago

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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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