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.

Musée d'Orsay (Art Museum) Hours:
Opening 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)

Musée d'Orsay (Art Museum) Reviews

Rated 4.7 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating Definitely a must see. Get your timed tickets in advance though, the line can be pretty long. A wonderful selection of a variety of artists, the building itself is a beautiful set piece and definitely a recommendation. Arrive before hand to explore the avenues around it because there's a lot to see.
Neko Ramsay - 3 weeks ago

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5 Star Rating A great museum with sculptures, paintings, and crafted models from different times. I appreciated the Impressionism painting exhibition on the top floor the most. Guided tours and audio-guided tours are available. Don’t miss the beautiful view of Paris through the windows!
Arkadiusz Jędrzejewski - a month ago

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5 Star Rating Absolutely loved this museum. I recommend starting in the impressionist art because there are a ton of gems here and it can be easy to get overwhelmed and tired. We went through the art eras that we appreciated the most and then were able to cruise through the other art and sculpture during the second half of the day. Came during the free Sunday visit and highly recommend to purchase tickets ahead of time to skip the crazy long wait lines
Bindu F. - 3 months ago

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4 Star Rating Extremely busy but there are lots of seating areas, long wait time despite advanced booking online. Well connected to bus and metro. Very close to Seine river. Fast wifi, clean toilets, free coat check. Fifth floor has iconic impressionist works, and view of the clock. Floors 3-5 have escalators but there are mainly stairs.
A Kim - a month ago

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5 Star Rating This experience was amazing. It was very crowded but it was worth seeing. Prepare to spend 2 hours+ if you want to see and enjoy it all. It was a bit difficult to get around with a stroller because elevators were hard to find. However, the staff is very kind and polite and will always help you. I will definitely return.
Kleopatra Papaj - a month ago

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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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