Musee D'orsay Overview

Situated close to the Louvre Museum is one of the other most famous museums in Paris, the Musée d'Orsay. Located inside a restored former railway station, the Gare d'Orsay, the museum houses an unusual collection of artwork from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Visit the museum to take a look at its collection of decorative art objects, sculptures, furniture and more. Discover the star of the show, France’s treasured national collection of spectacular masterpieces from 1848 to 1914. Observe the masterpieces by famous painters such as Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Gauguin, Renoir and many others. Admire well-known works of art such as the stunning stained glass windows and the famous Orsay clock. You can also opt for a self-guided tour, an audio tour or a guided tour to explore the museum and view its collections. With our Best Europe tour packages, you will see the interiors of the museum reflect the superb artworks and intricate design elements picturizing various historical occurrences.

Apart from its permanent collection, this museum in Paris also hosts temporary exhibitions, concerts, performances, café readings and films from time to time for visitors.

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• Explore Musée d'Orsay, a museum located inside a former railway station, the Gare d'Orsay, near the Seine river.
• Take a look at its unusual collection of decorative art objects, sculptures and furniture from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
• Feel captivated looking at the D'Orsay Museum's photographic treasures, an impressive collection of historical photographs.
• Admire masterpieces by famous artists such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas, Monet, Renoir and others.
• Watch some of the famous artworks such as Bal du Moulin de la Galette, Small Dancer Aged 14 and more.Suggested Read: Romantic Places In Paris At NightAlso Check Out: Cool Things to Do in Paris at Night

How To Reach

  • By Car: Musée d’Orsay is located 2.6 km from the city centre. It will take 15 min via Quai François Mitterrand to reach by a hired car or taxi.
  • By Bus: Take bus no. 68, 68, and 87 to reach Henry de Montherlant and walk for 3 minutes to reach the destination. You can also take bus no. 73 and get down at Musée d’Orsay and walk down for 4 minutes. If you have taken bus no. 84 or 94, you will need to get down at Solferino–Bellechasse and walk for 6 minutes to reach the museum.
  • By Metro: Take line no. 1 to reach Tuileries Metro station and walk for 3 minutes to reach the museum. You can also take line no. 12 to reach Rue du Bac station and walk for 6 minutes to reach Musée d’Orsay.
  • By RER: The closest RER station is Musée d'Orsay station, and you will need to take line C to reach there. From the station, the museum is a 9-minute walk.

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Best Time To Visit

Musée d’Orsay is an all-year-round attraction, and you can visit any day of the year except for all Mondays, 1st May and 25th December.

  • Best day in the week: The best day in the week to visit is on a Thursday when the museum is open for longer hours, and being a weekday, the place is not very crowded.
  • The best time of the day: The best time of the day to visit the museum is either first thing in the morning at its opening hours or late afternoon. These are the hours during which there is less queue at the entrance and you will not need to wait for long to gain entry.

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Other Essential Information

Exhibitions at Musée d’Orsay

Exhibits at the Musee d'Orsay is something that allures all tourists coming over to Paris. This exhibition lets the visitors explore various parts of the museum and draw insights from each of the relics on display. The museum of Musee d'Orsay even borrows artefacts from other nearby museums at the time of the exhibition. 

Apart from exhibitions, the Musee d'Orsay is also widely held for hosting a wide range of functions like concerts, festivals, film screenings, and art shows. All these happenings at the Musee d'Orsay make it more appealing for tourists. 

Some of the popular exhibitions that have been organized at the Musee d'Orsay are as follows:

1. The Land of Monsters

The land of monsters has been one of the most popular exhibitions that has been taking place in Musee d’Orsay. This year the exhibitions are scheduled from 10th of March to 28th of June. This exhibition was started by Leopold Chauveau who happened to be a famous illustrator, sculptor, and author at the same time. 

2. James Tissot

James Tissot made his artistry debut in the 1850s because of his passion for Japanese art and craft. An era of modernity made it way into the air of Paris with his creatives. You can come over to this exhibition from 24th of March to 19th of July this year and check out some of the bold experiments of Tissot’s painting techniques and use of materials. 

3. Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley happened to be one of the most popular english illustrators and engravers who made it large in a very less time. Despite the fact that he was able to explore his passion for a short time, he quickly moved ahead through his amazing publication and creations. Aubrey Beardsley exhibition is going to be organised from 15th of June to 13th of September this year. 

4. Leon Spilliaert

The Leon Spilliaert exhibition is going to be held from 15th of June to 13th of September. The theme of the exhibition is going to be light and solitude. Leon Spilliaert has been a person dealing with his troubling solitude and infinite perspectives.

He started drawing creatives based on his metaphysical questions and flemish culture. His uncategorizable works became popular in no time and he was able to gain a good name in between the top illustrators of that time.

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The Architecture of Musee d'Orsay

The architecture of Musee d’Orsay happens to be one of the main attractions that entice one to behold the intricate design elements. The museum was originally a train station and was constructed for the train line that used to run in between Paris and Orleans. It was also presented at the time of world fair in the year 1990 when the whole world was amazed by its magnificent architecture. In the year 1970, it was decided to demolish the train station and give it a new makeover so that a luxury hotel can be curated behind its walls. But the decision was again turned down and finally, in the year 1974, it was converted into a museum. Musee d’Orsay has a stunning display of artisanship in both its outdoors and indoors.The design was crafted by three young architects of those times who had a motive to segregate the sub-roof space of the train station to two new floors.

The initial construction has a 138 meters long hall which is now converted into the main artery museum. The main entrance features the great glass awning and you will still be able to get the impression of the museum being an old railway station. Glass was used on the window panes at that time to allow the natural light to find its way in the structure and make available for a real impression of brightness.

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Tips to Visit Musée d'Orsay in Paris

  • Cloakrooms are available at the entrance where visitors can drop off their coats, small luggage, and other items free of charge.
  • You can take photographs inside the museum without the use of flash.
  • Before visiting, check the website for schedules of concerts, performances, cafe readings and films.
  • You can download the museum guide if you are planning on a self-guided tour.
  • Those who prefer a printed guide can avail of the same free of cost at the museum reception desk.
  • You can connect to the museum Wi-Fi which is free for all.
  • Wheelchairs, strollers, folding seats and usable canes are available in the museum if your family needs them.

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Point of Interest for Musee D'orsay
Sculptures and medals

Sculptures and medals

Museè D'Orsay has an inspiring collection of sculptures and with its glass dome the sunlight streaming gives an ethereal look to these incredible masterpieces. Here you can see pieces such as Ugolin and La Dance by Carpeaux; Hercules the Archer by Bourdelle, Napoleon I as the Emperor by Barye, Walking Panther by Bugatti to name a few.

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Decorative Art

Decorative Art

Although Museè D'Orsay is famous for its impressionist paintings, the Museum also has a fantastic collection of Decorative Art that has been very elaborately acquired over a period of time. Under one roof you will find Gustave Eiffel's letters, journals and drawings; molds by Bugatti; a crystal Holy Water font; intricate goldwork by Hoffman and many other masterpieces.

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The Museè D'Orsay has an ever growing collection of amazing photographs that documents the journey of photography from black and white to colored photographs. The Museum is the first photo museum in France and features over 55,000 photographs. It has rare prints like the portrait of the French poet Charles Baudelier by Nadar, a series of pictures of the Crimean War, Egyptian archaeological photographs from the 1850s and many more.

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Graphic Arts and Pastels

Graphic Arts and Pastels

For drawings and pastels the Museè D'Orsay features collections of artists born between 1820 to 1870. It initially started with about 70 architectural drawings and decorative arts pastels in frames. There are special collections of sketches, drawings, and pastels of renowned artists that have grown to over 80,000 in number today.

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The beginning of the Architecture collection began with architectural drawings which was initially held by the Louvre Museum. The Museè D'Orsay at the start had many donations of drawings from the descendants of renowned architects and engineers and this method of acquisition continues till today. Here you can see architectural drawings of Gustave Eiffel, Marcellin Marollier, Hector Guimard, Francois Garas and several others.

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Take a Guided tour of the Masterpieces at Musée d’Orsay

Take a Guided tour of the Masterpieces at Musée d’Orsay

One of the best ways to appreciate the artworks of the Musée d’Orsay is to go on a guided tour of the place. The tour will provide insight into 19th-century art and is an excellent way to learn about the artistic concepts, themes and pictorial movements. During the tour, your knowledgeable guide will highlight the diversity of the artwork on display. Some of the masterpieces that you will admire during this tour are Monet’s Poppy Field and The Saint-Lazare Station, Renoir’s Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, Pissarro’s Landscape at Éragny, and Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen.

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Musee D'orsay FAQs

Why is the Musee d'Orsay important?

The Musee d'Orsay is not only one of the important architectural marvels in the city of Paris but also happens to be major hotspots for tourists. It was initially built as a railway station in order to bring visitors to the world fair in the year 1900. It featured a lot of futuristic things at those times like the luggage ramps, elevators, and 400-room hotel. It was later decommissioned as a train station and was thought to change into a luxury hotel but the idea was dropped and it was renovated as a museum and exhibition hall.

What can you see at the Musee d Orsay?

Here are some of the things that you can see at the famous Musee d’Orsay museum:

1. Edgar Degas, Small Dancer

2. Edouard Manet, Luncheon on the Grass

3. Georges Seurat, The Circus

4. Auguste Renoir, Bal du Moulin de la Galette

5. Hector Guimard, Banquette de fumoir

6. Gustave Courbet, Origins of the World

7. Claude Monet, La rue Montorgueil, à Paris. Fête du 30 juin 1878

8. Auguste Rodin, Fugit Amor

9. Van Gogh, Starry Night

10. François Pompon, Polar Bear

How long do you need at Musee d Orsay?

In order to cover all the important places present inside the Musee d’Orsay, you would at least need two hours. In these two hours, you will cover a number of impressionists and sculptures.

Is Musee d'Orsay free?

No, Musee d'Orsay is not completely free. It is open from Monday to Saturday and visitors need to pay EUR 8.50 if their age is in the range of 18 – 25. Anyone who is not more than 18 years is not liable to pay any entry fees.

Who made the Musee d Orsay?

Musee D’Orsay was designed by four Brazilian architects of those times named as Gae Aulenti, Jean-Paul Philippe, Pierre Colboc and Renaud Bardon.

Is Starry Night at the Musee d Orsay?

Yes, Starry night is at the Musee d'Orsay. It happens to be a painting made in the year 1888 when the painter was in an asylum. It is now displayed at the museum so that the visitors can admire this wonderful piece of art.

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Musee D'orsay Reviews

Lucas Gama
Reviewed: 01 May 2024
Segui as instruções do tiket e deu tudo certo. Peguei a fila C1, para aqueles que tinham ingresso sem horário. Fui direto para a catraca, leram o bilhete e entrei. Quando eu comprei já estava esgotado pelo site do Museu; então tive medo de não dar certo. Mas foi tudo ok. O museu D’Orsay é muito lind... Read More
Lucas Gama
Lucas Gama
Lucas Gama
Lucas Gama
Marianne Dickson
Reviewed: 01 Jul 2024
Got the tickets that were otherwise sold out for the Musée d’Orsay on the official museum website
Autumn Guyer
Reviewed: 30 Apr 2024
The security line was much shorter for these untimed tickets! Although more expensive than timed tickets purchased ahead of time, they were sold out and this was a great alternative and worth the extra fee to not have to wait in such a long line! It probably saved us 45 min - 1 hour of waiting in li... Read More
Joseph Lyons
Reviewed: 29 Apr 2024
I honestly didn't think we'd get the tickets - glad I took the chance. We beat the queues too on pur last day in Paris. Slightly different way of booking than I'm used too, but I will book again if ever stuck!
Bai Yu
Reviewed: 01 May 2024
Amazing place full of wonderful paintings and sculptures. 
Reviewed: 11 Feb 2024
It was the best option with excellent price :)

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