Entrances to the Musée d'Orsay:
Entrance A: visitors without tickets
Entrance B: adult groups with reservations
Entrance C: visitors with tickets
Entrance D: school groups with reservations
Avoid long queues of visitors who have not made reservations. Instead, go to entrance C (the reserved entrance) and show the e-ticket on your smartphone.
Museum and exhibitions
||Musée d'Orsay Opening times
|Every day except mondays
||from 9:30 a.m to 6:00 p.m
from 9:30 a.m to 9:45 p.m
Warning! The museum closes at 18:00 and the evacuation of the galleries must begin from 5:30 p.m (9:15 p.m on Thursdays).
The museum is closed every Monday, along with May 1st and December 25th.
- For under 18s
- The first Sunday of each month
Audioguides are available in French, English, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Russian.
Wheelchairs, folding seats and strollers are available from the locker rooms for any visitors with reduced mobility.
A Guide to the Rooms of the Musée d'Orsay
On level 0 : Around the sculpture gallery (featuring Carpeaux, Cordier etc..), you can discover, on the Seine side, the Barbizon School (including Millet), the masterpieces of Courbet, and works by Manet and Monet. On the Lille side, you will find the academic current from the years 1850-60 (Ingres, Delacroix), works by Degas before 1870, the Symbolist Gallery (Moreau, Puvis de Chavannes) and a gallery dedicated to Toulouse-Lautrec.
On level 2 : On the Seine side you will find: naturalism, various foreign schools, decorative arts under the Third Republic, French, Belgian and Italian Art Nouveau (including Van Gogh, Gauguin and Seurat) and works by the Nabis movement from around 1900. You can also reach the Amont Pavillion by taking a newly added bridge, where you will discover a collection of great modern decorative pieces from 1905-1914. Inside the Amont Pavillion following the modern decorative section, you will find, on level 3, central European, Scandinavian and northern European Art Nouveau. On level 4, you will encounter Austrian, British and American Art Nouveau, while level 5 provides access to the Impressionists Gallery.
On level 5 : beginning with "Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe" by Manet, the Impressionists Gallery offers a tour through the masterpieces of the movement from the late 1860s to the 1900s.
Musée d'Orsay events :
- Symbolism in the Art of the Baltic States from 10 April to 15 July 2018
- In colour: polychrome sculpture in France 1850-1910 from 11 June to 23 September 2018
See other current exhibitions in Paris.
A Little History
Built at the end of the 19th century, the Gare d'Orsay was designed to transport crowds to the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900. Thanks to the beauty of the station itself, it became the Exposition’s very first pavilion. It is located opposite the Louvre and the Jardin des Tuileries, and just a few steps from the Grand Palais, the jewel in the crown of the 1900 Exposition. Situated on the Seine, the spine of Paris, the Gare d’Orsay played a key role in the city’s life until it was closed to trains in 1939.
In 1945, following the War, the station served as a reception centre for prisoners of war who were returning from captivity in Germany. It was also the stage for General de Gaulle’s famous 1958 press conference, when he announced his return to the public scene.
However, the magnificent building was constantly under threat. In fact, it almost disappeared, being threatened with demolition in the 1960s. A theatre company saved the station from destruction, by installing its stage in the vaults for six years. Finally, in 1978, President Giscard d'Estaing decided to transform the site into a museum of the 19th century, and the Musée d'Orsay was born.
After eight years of work, the museum was finally inaugurated by Francois Mitterrand on 1 December 1986. Even today, the museum-station proudly displays its double heritage as a transport hub and a world-class artistic institution.
Would you want to learn more about the history of the Musee d'Orsay?