Musee d’Orsay is home to plenty of magnificent Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.
Some of the popular artists on display at Musee Museum are Renoir, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, and Gauguin.
This Paris attraction was inaugurated in 1986.
More than 3 million tourists visit Musee d’Orsay annually.
With so many art aficionados visiting Orsay Museum, it makes sense to plan your trip well in advance.
This article covers the following –
1. Orsay Museum’s location
2. Opening hours
3. Best time to visit
4. Free entrance
5. Musee d’Orsay tickets
6. Guided tours of d’Orsay
7. Musee d’Orsay and Louvre Museum
8. d’Orsay with Paris Museum Pass
9. Restaurants and Cafes
Musee d’Orsay location
This grand Paris museum is located in an ancient railway station in Paris.
What is today the Orsay Museum was once Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900.
This once famous Gare d’Orsay station closed down after World War II. Despite plans to tear it down, it was converted into a museum and re-opened in 1986.
Set in Rue de Lille, 62, this impressive establishment is landmarked by other beauties like the Louvre Museum (726), Jardin des Tuileries (389), Place de la Concorde (708) and Musée de I’Orangerie (506) and Musée des Arts Décoratifs (601).
Musee d’Orsay opening hours
The Musee d’Orsay is open from 9.30 am to 6 pm daily except on Mondays.
On Thursday, this Paris museum is open till 9:45 pm.
The last tickets are sold at 5 pm (9 pm on Thursdays), so please plan ahead.
The museum is cleared at 5.15 pm on all days. Except on Thursdays, when the clearing starts at 9.15 pm.
Pre-booked group visits only happen from Tuesday to Saturday between 9.30 am to 4 pm, and till 8 pm on Thursdays.
Bookshop and museum store timings
They are open daily (except Monday) between 9.30 am to 6.30 pm. On Thursdays, they are open till 9.30 pm.
When is Musee d’Orsay closed?
Musee d’Orsay is closed on all Mondays.
It is also closed on Labour day (1 May) and Christmas day (25 December).
Best time to visit Musée d’Orsay
Since Musee d’Orsay is closed on Mondays, visitors land up in droves on Tuesdays. That’s why the Museum is crowded all through the day on Tuesdays.
On Wednesday, the traffic is average all through the day.
On Thursdays, Orsay Museum is open till 9.45 which distributes the crowd even further and hence, there is not much queueing.
Friday is yet again a good day to visit Musee d’Orsay – meaning, there is hardly any waiting.
However, Saturday mornings (9.30 am to 1 pm) see the maximum queueing. During this period the waiting time can even go up to 90 minutes. In the second half of the day, the waiting time comes down slightly.
All through Sunday, Musee d’Orsay is inundated with tourists and 60-90 minute long waiting times are normal.
In effect, the least crowded times at Musee d’Orsay are –
• During Paris’ low season (November to March)
• From 9:30 a.m. to noon (with a slight dip at lunchtime)
• On Thursday evenings
• On weekdays
It’s best to take a guided tour if you are new to the Museum so that you can gain better insight and also save time.
Note: On the Weekends Parisians also land up at the Museums, crowding them further.
Recommended Reading: Musee d’Orsay facts
Musee d’Orsay free entrance
The museum is free to explore for everyone on the first Sunday of every month.
It is also free for those under 18 years. Tourists aged 18 to 25 years, who are citizens or long-term residents of an EU member state also get into Musee d’Orsay for free.
In both the cases, you need to show a valid ID card at the entrance.
Disabled visitors with one extra person, unemployed visitors or holders of a Paris Museum Pass also get free admission.
Carte blanche card holders, members of Louvre Abu Dhabi and members of Société des Amis du Musée d’Orsay or of American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay can also enter without paying the admission fee.
Having said that, we feel Musee d’Orsay is well worth the ticket cost. Don’t believe us? Check out its high ratings on Tripadvisor.
Musee d’Orsay tickets
There are three kinds of Musee d’Orsay tickets you can choose from.
The first ticket allows you dedicated access to Musee d’Orsay. The second ticket option allows access to both Musee d’Orsay and Musée de I’Orangerie.
The third Musee d’Orsay ticket reserves a priority access to Musee d’Orsay for the whole day.
All these online Musee d’Orsay tickets get delivered to your inbox instantly (after purchase).
You don’t need to take any print outs. On the day of your visit, you can show the ticket in your email, on your smartphone and walk in.
1. Musée d’Orsay dedicated entrance ticket
This Musée d’Orsay ticket helps you skip the line and gain direct entry into the Paris museum.
The price of this ticket for an adult (above 18 years) is Euros 14.
This Orsay Museum ticket also gets you access to the ongoing temporary exhibitions.
On the day of your visit, walk up to the dedicated entrance ‘C’, show your ticket and walk in.
These are the most popular Musee d’Orsay tickets.
2. Tickets for Musee d’Orsay and Musee de I’Orangerie
The perfect day in French capital includes exploring two of Paris’s finest museums Musée d’Orsay and Musée de I’Orangerie.
With just one ticket, you can now gain access to both the Paris museums.
With this ticket, you can make one entry in each museum.
You can visit them on the same day or on different days within 6 months of the purchase of the ticket.
Do note that Musée d’Orsay is closed on Mondays and Musée de l’Orangerie is closed on Tuesdays.
This ticket to both the Museums costs Euros 18.
3. Reserved access 1-day admission ticket
Enjoy great masterpieces through reserved tickets to Musée d’Orsay.
This Euros 17 ticket to Musee d’ Orsay allows you to explore the Paris museum at your own pace.
Since you will be holding a Reserved Access ticket, you will skip the line and go straight for the security check.
There may be a line at the reserved access entrance but it will be much shorter than the normal one.
Musee d’Orsay guided tours
There are two Orsay Museum guided tours, which we recommend.
1. Musee d’Orsay small-group tour tickets
This Orsay Museum ticket is for a 2-hour guided tour for 7 people or less.
If you are a small family or a bunch of friends who believe that a Museum is best explored with an expert tagging along, this is the perfect ticket for you.
After the guided tour by the expert guide is over, you can stay as long as you like amongst the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.
For a full adult, the price of this ticket is Euros 89.90.
Youth – kids aged 11 to 17 – end up paying Euros 74.90 for this guided experience. And children aged 4 to 10 get a discounted rate of only Euros 39.90.
The tour will be guided by a fully-accredited English speaking guide, who will meet you next to the Rhinoceros statue in front of the Museum.
2. Skip The Line guided Musee d’Orsay highlights tour
Skip the hassle of touring with large groups with an intimate tour of no more than 20 people or less and get a commentary from a local’s perspective on Parisians favorite museum.
With this guided tour ticket you get headsets so that you can hear the live guide, amongst the crowd.
Cost of this guided Musee d’Orsay ticket is Euros 54.
This tour involves a fair amount of walking, so come well rested.
Sadly, wheelchair persons, strollers or baby carriages are not permitted on this tour.
If you land up late and miss the group, these tickets will not be refunded. You must reach 15 minutes earlier than the allotted time.
Musee d’Orsay and Louvre Museum combo tickets
This tour enables you to skip the line and enjoy 4 hours of guided exploration of two of the finest Museums in Paris.
You will discover 3000 years of history just by crossing the bridge between Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre museum.
We recommend you wear comfortable shoes because there will be a lot of walking.
The cost of this Musee d’Orsay and Louvre museum combo ticket is Euros 174.
You qualify for a full refund if the cancellation is done 24 hours prior to the visit.
Musee d’Orsay with Paris Museum Pass
Did you know that you don’t need to buy Musee d’Orsay’s tickets if you already have the Paris Museum Pass?
If you love Museums and didn’t know about the Paris Museum Pass, you can thank us later.
Paris Museum Pass allows you free access to 60 different Museums in and outside of Paris. Yes, you can buy this one pass and walk into any Museum – through the Skip the Line entrance.
While purchasing you must choose a Paris Museum pass that is valid for 2, 4 or 6 days, according to your preference.
All the Museums in Paris are free for children under 18 and European citizens under 26. Buy the Paris Museum Pass only for tourists who don’t qualify these conditions.
The pass can be used on consecutive days only. For example, if you start using the pass at 2 pm, it will be considered as day 1.
The Pass must be collected at the tour office located at 23 rue d’Aboukir, 75002 Paris. It is just a 10-minute walk from the Louvre Museum. The office is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 6 pm.
The 2 day Paris Museum Pass costs Euros 53 per person. The 4-day and 6-day Paris Museum Pass costs Euros 67 and Euros 79 respectively.
This amazing discount Pass can be canceled 24 hours before the start date.
Restaurant and Cafes in Musee d’Orsay
The Musee d’Orsay’s eating and drinking places can be used by individuals walking in. But if you are in a group, you must reserve in advance.
Both individuals and groups need to have their museum admission ticket with them.
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.