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 My wife and I enjoyed the Musée d'Orsay more than the Louvre. It is warm and inviting and the layout is efficient and easy to navigate. If you are a fan of Impressionism the d’Orsay is a must see while in Paris. All of the greats are on display. . . Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. I would HIGHLY recommend.

John Frankenfield - 2 days ago

5 Star Rating My favourite museum in Paris. Amazing collection of art. The place itself is gorgeous. The way the old train station was transformed into a beautiful art icon is a work of art in itself. The place wasn't busy on Saturday morning. We got there at 10am. In fact we didn't purchase tickets in advance and we went in directly. Highly recommend Musèe d'Orsay.

Hesham Alquraini - 4 days ago

5 Star Rating How to visit: Take the escalator (on the far side from the entrance) up to the 5th floor and walk slowly through the Impressionist area. When you get to the end take the escalator to the second floor and walk through the rest of the paintings and sculptures. if you have a real love of Arts and Crafts period of to see home furnishings visit floors 3 and 4 afterwords. The joy of this museum is that it is smaller and more approachable than the Louvre with pieces from a more modern era. It's still a world class collection but you will not find yourself lost inside, nor overwhelmed.

Sara Ellen Hall - 15 days ago

5 Star Rating Best museum for my liking in Paris. The art is amazing, the layout of the museum is clean. Not too crowded. Some of the paintings are stunningly realistic. Wish the information was printed in English as well but it's France and they have it in French and you can get audio guides if needed.

Aditya Shevade - 24 days ago

5 Star Rating It has been said before but I will say it again. It is my favorite Art Museum in Paris. It is more manageable than the Louvre due to its size and the way things are laid out. I love the amount of natural light coming through the old railway station roof. The collections are beautiful and done well. It is just one of the best in the world but can be too much if you are doing a lot of art museums in one day.

Dallas Sanders - 1 month ago

Video


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

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