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 This museum is in my personal opinion, more enjoyable than the Louvre. The scale of the museum allows one to see everything at a leisurely pace, rather than rush through to the more popular items. It also has a large selection of Van Gogh paintings, which I happen to greatly enjoy.

Andrew Bouffard - 4 days ago

5 Star Rating The problem with reviewing museums in Paris is that they are all extraordinary. As a huge Degas fan I was in my element. The beauty on display is mind blowing. It is a life affirming experience. From the spectacular architecture to the smallest sketch, joy can be found. Except the cafe is freakishly expensive, and why is there so few toilets?!?

William Bloor - 10 days ago

5 Star Rating A must visit in Paris, might be better than the Louvre. Queue wasn't too long, all staff very friendly and helpful and the layout of the museum is very good. The building itself is amazing and the art of course is some of the most famous in the world. Def worth the price of entry and I look forward to returning next time I'm in Paris.

Oli L - 20 days 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 - 21 days ago

4 Star Rating Another great museum! I will take away a star based on service (I'll explain). So we got the Museum pass and we went here. There was a bit of a line for even the Fast track. The guy who was allowing people from both the Fast track line and museum member's line was not that great. He would let people go in small batches, which was fine, but then he disappeared for 15 minutes and everyone was getting upset. ------------------------------------------------ Besides that, this place was really cool. We went to go see the Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, and Rodin. If you were tired, there was places to sit and relax on all floors. The exhibits on the top floors (I believe visiting exhibits) were very crowded and at times hard to take pictures. Very cool Museum though!

Roger Aba - 29 days ago

Video


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

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