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 Really enjoyed this musuem, even more so than the Louvre. It's small enough to enjoy in a reasonable amount of time but the collection is still world class. Come early in the morning so you can beat the tour buses and school visits. Easy to navigate with a clear floor plan.

Faisal Chaudhry - 1 day ago

4 Star Rating House to the wonderful impressionists and other artwork, this museum is an amazing place. An ancient train station, it was restored and transformed to become an iconic place. Plan to arrive early on your visit day, so you'll avoid the queues and won't find lots of staff members in a bad mood in the closing hours. Walk around, take your time, enjoy everything and then go out to stroll along the beautiful Seine.

Cecília Pacheco - 5 days ago

5 Star Rating It's the Louvre, for heaven's sake, possibly the most famous museum in the world and it does not disappoint. Going as early as possible is a good idea as it gets seriously crowded, and once the tour groups get going, you can find it difficult to move around. The layout is a little quirky and takes some mastering, so make sure to get a map. If you are a serious art fan, or scholar, you could spend several days in the Louvre, it is massive.

David Hawley - 6 days ago

5 Star Rating This is my absolute favorite museum in Paris. It's situated in a beautiful old train station, so it has an easy to navigate layout. It has so many famous and simply breathtaking works of art! The service I got was great and the cost of it was a steal! I definitely recommend this museum! Make sure you get there early though, as the wait line can be lengthy!

Shannyn O'Callaghan - 18 days ago

5 Star Rating NOTE the following ISSUES first: your city/museum pass you paid a lot of money for probably won't help you bypass the incredibly long, slow-moving line to get in, so you are going to have to wait (sometimes over an hour) to get inside. EXPECT the foregoing and then read why this is a 5-star experience and why you MUST go if you are in Paris. Pound-for-pound this is the greatest museum in the world. PARTICULARLY if you enjoy impressionists. Start at the top and work your way down; give yourself a full day for this (relatively) small museum that is absolutely packed with incredible art, furniture, and fixtures. It is located in a converted train station and the building itself is marvelous. I would make this a priority to any trip to Paris.

Will Pew - 2 months ago

Video


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

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