Musee d’Orsay is home to some of the best Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the World.
Famous artists on display at d’Orsay Museum in Paris include Renoir, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin etc.
More than 3 million tourists visit Musee d’Orsay annually.
Table of contents
- How to reach Musee d’Orsay
- Musee d’Orsay entrances
- Musee d’Orsay hours
- Best time to visit Musée d’Orsay
- How long does Musee d’Orsay take
- Musee d’Orsay tickets
- Musee d’Orsay + Louvre Museum
- Musee d’Orsay free entrance
- FAQs on Musee d’Orsay tickets
- Musee d’Orsay or Louvre Museum
- Tripadvisor reviews
- Musee d’Orsay map
- Restaurants at Musee d’Orsay
How to reach Musee d’Orsay
This grand Paris museum is in an old railway station in Paris.
The building that houses Orsay Museum was once Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900.
Gare d’Orsay station was closed down after World War II.
Despite plans to tear down the station, it was converted into a museum due to public pressure and re-opened in 1986.
Set in Rue de Lille, 62, this impressive establishment is surrounded by other tourist attractions such as the Louvre Museum, Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, Musée de I’Orangerie, Musée des Arts Décoratifs etc. Get Directions
You can board Metro Line 12 and get down at Solférino subway station, which is less than 300 meters (1000 feet) from the French art Museum.
RER’s Line C can also help you reach Musée d’Orsay.
If you don’t mind a slower but more scenic route, board bus Numbers 24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, and 94 to get to d’Orsay.
Even though parking spots are available around this Paris attraction, we don’t suggest you drive to Musée d’Orsay.
Instead of a private car, it is better to take a taxi.
Musee d’Orsay entrances
Musee d’ Orsay in Paris has four different entrances.
Two of these entrances are on the Seine riverside, while two are on the side of Rue de Lille (the main road).
It is crucial to know which Musee d’ Orsay entry gate you must enter through because you will waste your time if you stand in the wrong queue.
Seine river side entrances
Entrance A: Individual visitors who haven’t yet bought the tickets must use this entrance. There are ticketing counters along the way, for the visitors to buy their tickets.
Entrance B: Visitors in large groups must use this entrance. If you book a group tour, this is the entrance you will end up using.
Entrances on Rue de Lille side
Entrance C: At this entrance, the queue moves the fastest because it is primarily for visitors who have already bought their Musee d’ Orsay tickets online. Musee d’Orsay members and Paris Museum Pass holders also use this entrance.
Entrance D: Visiting school groups use this entrance.
Musee d’Orsay hours
From Tuesday to Sunday, Musee d’Orsay opens at 9.30 am and closes at 6 pm, except on Thursday, when this Paris museum remains open till 9:45 pm.
Musee d’Orsay in Paris remains closed on Mondays.
The last entry is at 5 pm, and on Thursdays, it is 9 pm.
The Museum is cleared at 5.15 pm on all days, except on Thursdays, when the clearing starts at 9.15 pm.
Besides all Mondays, Musee d’Orsay is also closed on Labour day (1 May) and Christmas day (25 December).
Important: The cheapest and most popular entry ticket at this attraction is the Musee d’Orsay Dedicated Entrance ticket. Follow the link to know the different types of Musee d’Orsay tickets available.
Best time to visit Musée d’Orsay
The best time to visit Musee d’Orsay is as soon as they open at 9.30 am on a weekday, or between 6 pm and 9.30 pm on a Thursday.
By starting early, you get ahead of the crowd that starts coming in by 11 am.
Since Musee d’Orsay is closed on Mondays, visitors land up in droves on Tuesdays.
During the weekends, from 9.30 am to 1 pm, long queues form at Musee d’Orsay, and you may have to wait up in lines for 60 to 90 minutes.
If you are planning on a weekend dose of French art, visit the museum post-lunch.
A good part of the weekend crowd is the Parisians themselves, who love visiting the Museums regularly. More such Musee d’Orsay facts
Insider Tip: When you book Musee d’Orsay tickets in advance, you skip the long lines waiting at the ticketing counter and walk into the Museum right away.
How long does Musee d’Orsay take
Musee d’Orsay is a good-sized art museum, and you need 3 to 4 hours to explore it to your satisfaction.
If you see only the Impressionist wing on the top floor, which is the highlight of Musee d’Orsay, and skip everything else, you can finish your tour in two hours.
Art fatigue sets in after about two hours in an art museum, and if you plan to stay longer, we recommend a short stop at one of the restaurants.
Musee d’Orsay tickets
Visitors can opt for three types of Musee d’Orsay experiences.
You can take a self-guided tour of Musee d’Orsay, or get a local art expert to give you a guided tour, or combine Musee d’Orsay with a visit to Musee de I’Orangerie.
Or, if you are visiting with kids, you can even book a guided tour customized for children.
All these tickets get delivered to your inbox immediately after purchase.
So you don’t need to take any printouts.
On the day of your visit, you can skip the ticket counter lines, show the ticket on your smartphone, and walk in.
Dedicated entrance ticket
These are the most popular Musee d’Orsay tickets and get you to access all permanent and temporary exhibitions.
You can walk up to the dedicated entrance at Gate A1, show your ticket, and step into the museum.
Adult ticket (18+ years): €16
Child ticket (up to 17 years): Free entry
EU Citizen ticket (18 to 25 years): Free entry
Musee d’Orsay and Musee de I’Orangerie
This one ticket helps you gain access to two of Paris’ finest museums – Musée d’Orsay and Musée de I’Orangerie.
They are located 650 meters (0.4 miles) from each other.
Tickets are valid for one entry to each of the two museums, and you can either visit them on the same day or within the next seven days.
Musée d’Orsay is closed on Mondays and Musée de l’Orangerie is closed on Tuesdays.
Adult ticket (18+ years): €20
Child ticket (up to 17 years): Free entry
EU Citizen ticket (18 to 25 years): Free entry
Musee d’Orsay guided tour
When it comes to art, it is always better to be guided by someone who understands it better than you.
This trip is a Musee d’Orsay highlights tour, where the guide takes you on a 2-hour visual treat of the best in the French art Museum.
Headsets are also part of the ticket price and help you hear the guide amongst the crowd.
On the ticket booking page, you can book the regular guided tour or the small group guided tour, which is more personal.
Guided tour with 20 participants
Adult ticket (18+ years): €54
Youth ticket (11 to 14 years): €49
Infant ticket (0 to 3 years): Free entry
Guided tour with 7 participants
Adult ticket (18+ years): €94.90
Child ticket (4 to 17 years): €79.90
Infant ticket (up to 3 years): Free entry
Guided tour for families with children
This tour is an excellent opportunity to visit the Orsay Museum as a family with a kid-friendly guide.
After helping you breeze through the entry with the skip-the-line tickets, the local guide will adapt their language and the tour to accommodate your children.
Since this tour is specifically adapted to accommodate children’s shorter attention spans, it is perfect for families.
Tour price: €299 for a group of four
Musee d’Orsay + Louvre Museum
This private tour enables you to skip the line and enjoy four hours of guided exploration of two of the finest Museums in Paris – Musee d’Orsay and Louvre Museum.
You discover 3000 years of history just by crossing the bridge between Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre museum.
We recommend comfortable shoes because there is a lot of walking.
You qualify for a full refund if the cancellation is made 24 hours before the visit.
Visitors can book this combo as a private tour or a relatively cheaper semi-private tour.
Musee d’Orsay free entrance
The d’Orsay Museum is free to explore for everyone on the first Sunday of every month.
Since it is a highly rated attraction, it gets really crowded on free days, so we don’t recommend it.
It is also free for all visitors under 18 years of age, on all days.
Tourists aged 18 to 25 years who are citizens or long-term residents of an EU member state also get into Musee d’Orsay Paris for free.
In both cases, you need to show a valid ID card at the entrance.
Disabled visitors with one carer and unemployed visitors also get free admission.
Free entry with Paris Museum Pass
Paris Museum Pass is yet another way to score discounts.
You pay once for the Museum Pass and access 60 different Parisian Museums for free, including Musee d’Orsay, The Louvre, Center Pompidou, etc.
Since all Museums in Paris are free for children under 18 and European citizens under 26, you only need to buy this Museum Pass for those that don’t qualify for 100% discount.
FAQs on Musee d’Orsay tickets
Visitors to Musee d’Orsay have a lot of doubts about the entry tickets.
We try to answer a few of these questions –
- What is Musee d’Orsay ticket price?
Musee d’Orsay tickets cost €16 for all visitors 18 years and above.
Kids 17 years and below and European Union citizens aged 18 to 25 enter the Museum for free.
- Where to buy Musee d’ Orsay tickets?
You can buy Musee d’ Orsay tickets at the venue (on the day of your visit), or you can buy them online.
We recommend you buy d’Orsay Museum tickets online in advance because it helps you skip the long lines at the ticketing counter.
- Where to get Musee d’ Orsay tickets for free?
On the first Sunday of every month, you can get free Musee d’Orsay tickets from the ticketing counter at the Museum.
You must be at the tourist attraction as soon as it opens because free days can get crowded.
- Where can I get Musee d’ Orsay tickets in English?
If you want self-guided Musee d’Orsay tickets, you can buy them online – language doesn’t matter.
However, if you want to book a guided tour of Musee d’Orsay, language is essential.
- Price of Musee d’ Orsay tickets for visitors under 26 years of age?
If you are an EU citizen and under 26 years of age, you can enter Musee d’ Orsay for free.
All Non-European Citizens older than 18 years need to pay an admission fee of €16 per head.
- Where to pick up Musee d’ Orsay tickets?
If you have bought your Musee d’ Orsay tickets online, check your inbox, for you would have received an email.
On the day of your visit, show the ticket in your email at the dedicated entrance for ticket holders and walk in.
If you have bought Musee d Orsay tickets from a travel agent, you may want to call and check with them.
- Are Musee d Orsay tickets timed?
Yes, while booking your Musee d’ Orsay tickets, you must select a time of visit.
And on the day of your visit, you must reach the museum 15 minutes before the time on your ticket.
- Are Musee d Orsay tickets Skip The Line?
Yes, tickets to Musee d’ Orsay are Skip the Line because they allow you to bypass the long queues at the ticketing counter.
However, depending on the time and day of your visit, you may have to stand in a queue for the security check at the entrance.
- Can I buy Musee d’ Orsay and Louvre tickets together?
Yes, you can.
Diehard art fans usually book the 6-hour long Musee d’ Orsay and Louvre guided tour.
If you want something cheaper, you can book ‘Skip The Line’ for both The Louvre and d'Orsay individually.
After exploring one Museum, on the day of your visit, use the directions here to go to the next Museum.
The two Museums are only 1 km (0.62 miles) apart, and it is a scenic walk over the river Seine.
- Do Musee d Orsay tickets get emailed to the phone?
Yes, if you buy your Musee d’Orsay tickets online, they get delivered to your email inbox, which you can access from your phone.
That’s why these tickets are also known as smartphone tickets.
Musee d’Orsay or Louvre Museum
If you have the time and budget isn’t a constraint, you must buy Orsay + Louvre combo ticket and explore both the art Museums.
If for some reason, you have to pick between either Musee d’Orsay or Louvre Museum, our heart goes out for you.
Here is a quick comparison of Musee d’Orsay and The Louvre –
1. Louvre is almost four times that of Musee d’Orsay. So if you are short on time, go to Musee d’Orsay Museum.
2. If you prefer impressionist paintings, give preference to Musee d’Orsay, for it has the world’s most extensive collection of impressionist paintings. Some of the highlights include Manet’s Olympia, Degas’s The Ballet Class, Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait, Monet’s Poppies, etc.
3. If you prefer to enjoy art without being crowded, d’Orsay wins hands down over Louvre. Musee d’Orsay only attracts one-third of the tourists Louvre gets.
4. Even though Louvre is in a 13th century Castle, and Musee d’Orsay is in a converted 19th-century train station when it comes to architecture, d’Orsay is much better. So if you are an architecture buff, opt for the latter.
5. If you want to see the ultimate masterpieces such as Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, Napolean’s rooms, etc., book your tickets for Louvre Museum.
6. If you are into history, The Louvre is better than Musee d’Orsay. Besides the paintings, you can see priceless artifacts from Egypt, Ancient Greece, Rome, etc.
Louvre vs Musee d’Orsay – the winner
If you are short on time, we recommend you opt for the d’Orsay Museum.
D’Orsay gives you a general idea of art, is small thus more manageable, is less crowded and the Museum itself is very beautiful from inside.
If you are not short on time, we highly recommend the combo tour, which provides access to both the Parisian Museums.
Recommended Reading: What to see at Musee d’Orsay
Musee d’Orsay is a highly-rated tourist attraction with a TripAdvisor rating of 4.5 out of 5.
Musee d’Orsay reviews on Tripadvisor rate it as the No. 1 tourist attraction to see in Paris.
Here are two randomly selected reviews about this Parisian art Museum.
Best Art Museum in Paris
This museum is a delight and my favorite art gallery I have visited in Europe. There aren’t as many tourists flooding through the building as the Louvre. The art is spectacular, and the building is more spacious and endearing than that of The Louvre. I would say this is a MUST visit if you are going to Paris. – Written by NJoi-1
Impression and post impression well displayed. The museum is well organized with an excellent audio guide. Picasso’s exhibit is outstanding, but so are the regular collections of Monet, Renoir, Manet, Degas, Sisley, etc. This Museum is not to be missed. – Written by Mike W
Loved the reviews? Book your tickets!
Musee d’Orsay map
At Musée d’Orsay the artifacts and paintings are spread over four primary levels and a terrace exhibition space.
With so much to see across so many floors and halls, visitors can get overwhelmed.
That’s why it is better to understand Musee d’Orsay’s layout to make the most of your visit.
The Ground Floor showcases artwork produced from 1848 to the early 1870s.
Artists highlighted in this section include Delacroix, Moreau, Courbet, Corot, Millet, Manet, and Ingres.
Early paintings of Edgar Degas, which fall within the mentioned period, are also displayed on this floor.
Besides Academic and pre-symbolist schools of paintings, you will also find a lot of Naturalism, Realism, and Pre-Impressionism on this floor.
The Middle Level
This floor showcases paintings and decorative items from the second half of the 19th century.
Artists highlighted here include Klimt, Munch, Roussel, Maurice Denis, and Bonnard.
Six rooms on this floor are full of Art Nouveau decorative arts.
Naturalist and Symbolist painting dominate this Musee d’Orsay floor.
The Upper Level ‘2’
Artists showcased here include Gaugin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat, Signac, etc.
Paintings by Neoimpressionists, Nabists, and the Pont-Aven painters who used innovative and unconventional techniques are on display here.
If you are interested in small format painting (with a maximum size of 35.5 cm/14 inches), check out the gallery dedicated to it.
The Upper Level ‘1’
The topmost floor, dominated by impressionist and expressionist movements, houses some of the best galleries of Musee d’Orsay.
Artists on display here include Degas, Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Renoir, Caillebotte, Van Gogh, Cezanne, etc.
Don’t miss out on the dedicated galleries to Monet and Renoir.
On this floor, you can also see a giant clock facing outwards. Before it became a Museum, this building was a Railway Station, and the clock helped passengers be on time.
The Terrace Level
19th-century sculptures dominate the terrace of Musee d’Orsay.
French sculptor Auguste Rodin’s masterpieces are spread over an entire wing.
The terrace also offers stunning views of the Seine and Sacre Coeur.
Restaurants at Musee d’Orsay
Musee d’Orsay has a restaurant and a few cafes where you can stop for a bite (or a drink).
Both individuals and groups need to have their museum ticket with them to enter.
Restaurant: From Tuesday to Sunday it opens at 9.30 am and closes at 5.45 pm. On Thursdays, the restaurant is open longer – till 9:30 pm.
Tea room: 2.45 pm to 5.45 pm on all days.
Café Campana: Tuesday to Sunday between 10 am to 5 pm. On Thursdays till 9 pm.
Café de l’Ours: On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays it opens at 9.30 am to closes at 4.45 pm. On Thursdays, this café stretches till 8 pm.