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

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

3 Star Rating We decided to come because we needed a day out of the sun and heat. It was amazingly air-conditioned and lots of space for children to explore. It is not the most child friendly museum and they could use a children’s area to let parents have a break. For adults this place gets a five star. For families I give it three or maybe even 2 stars. Needs a safe place for kids and an elevator in the back.

Susan Cohen - 3 days ago

5 Star Rating One of my favorite museums in Paris! I love the architecture of this museum and all the interesting spaces it has. I came to this museum on two occasions, both with a friend who was a museum member (so I got in for free)! The first time we spent about two hours and the second, about three and a half. Still I think it would be easy to spend a whole day here. The d’Orsay is huge but not as intimidating as the Louvre. There is also a restaurant inside as well as gift shop. At the second time we went, we also got to see the Picasso exhibit. It was very interesting to see his earlier works but it was so crowded in there (a Thursday night) that it was hard to enjoy anything. Not only does this museum have paintings but many sculptures as well! Don’t forget to grab a map so you don’t miss anything!!

Theresa Tran - 6 days ago

5 Star Rating We had a fantastic experience at Musee d'Orsay. It was definitely worth the time spent there. Great museum with a lot of history. We lost one of our personal items during our visit and we were pleasantly surprised to find our property waiting for us at the reception. I really recommend this if you are visiting France.

Funmi Onolaja - 7 days ago

5 Star Rating This is a classic museum in Paris in an old train station which makes it cool just to look at. We went straight up the escalators to the fifth floor to see the clock windows and the paintings of the Impressionists. We wandered a little bit through the Greek and Roman statues. This museum is much smaller than the Louvre. We spent about 1.5 hours here, and our daughter was all done.

Jim C - 22 days ago

5 Star Rating If you like art, it's the right place to go. They have a huge Picasso exhibit going on in fall 2018 and if you're into that type of stuff it's great. But they've got a ton of stuff from Van Gogh and Picasso, to sculptures, to miniature playhouse engineering modules (which were really cool). It's cool. Enjoy it. Perhaps buy tickets ahead of time so you don't have to wait in line.

Daniel Robinson - 1 month ago

Video


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

Photo Gallery

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